Flanked by the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Pacific coast, Sacramento is a camper's dream.
Sacramento, the capital of California, is the perfect jumping-off point for camping trips. The Sierra Nevada rise to the east, welcoming you with Alpine campsites and giant sequoias. To the west, fall asleep to the sound of the surf on the Pacific coast. In between, there are wineries, rivers, lakes, and foothills—and a site for every taste.
For a quick getaway, head to the three campgrounds at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Beal’s Point has year-round tent camping sites and an RV park with full hookups. Bring sunblock—you’ll need it for boating, fishing, and cycling the American River Bike Trail. A short drive from West Sacramento, Lake Solano County Park provides shaded Riverside campsites.
When the mountains are calling, drive east on Highway 50. Fish and swim in the river at Sand Flat and China Flat campgrounds. At Northwind Campground, you can hike or mountain bike the forest trails around Ice House Reservoir. Each tent and RV site has a picnic table and fire ring, but you’ll need to bring your own water.
Within 100 miles of Sacramento, you can camp in some of California’s grandest landscapes. Swim in the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe and raft the Truckee River. Head southeast to explore Gold Rush country and camp under giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Near San Francisco, you’ll find four campgrounds in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.