Camping in California

Discover and book the best campgrounds, cabins, RV parks, and more.

Camping in California

Hipcampers are spoiled for choice in California, where landscapes come supersized. Golden coasts. Redwood forests. Fiery desert canyons. Alpine lakes framed by snowy peaks. But the best memories are in the details—seeing a gray whale breach off the rugged north coast, feeling the sun on your face on a Southern California shore, or maybe enjoying s’mores beside the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe. Trails climb from campgrounds to immense granite domes in Yosemite while Joshua trees beckon for attention in the eastern deserts. The best part? There’s somewhere amazing to camp year-round.

Top-rated stays

Lake Olancha RV Park and Campground
100%
(8)
Lake Olancha RV Park and Campground
21 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents100 acres · Olancha, CAWelcome to our new resort with breathtaking views our 100 acre RV retreat and our nearly 1 mile shoreline of beautiful Olancha Lake with the majestic snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and Death Valley to the east make for an incredible retreat. We are located near Lone Pine in the township of Olancha in the Owens Valley of California.
from 
$29
 / night
Mill Creek Resort
98%
(1779)
Mill Creek Resort
46 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents25 acres · Mineral, CA Welcome! We’re Jillian and Joe, along with our new sidekick Sonora, the brains and the brawn behind Mill Creek Resort. Since 2017, we have been pouring every ounce of our love and energy into this landmark 1930’s resort. We take great pride in honoring it's rich history while creating a space for the next generation of mountain adventurers. Nestled in 12 acres of cedars and towering pines on the south side of Lassen Volcanic National Park, we offer 9 cabins open year-round, along with 17 campsites, 8 RV spots, and a restaurant open seasonally. We hope your path leads you here to experience all that Lassen has to offer. Miles of trails, pristine waters, dark skies, and wildlife abound, all awaiting to be discovered. Find your Wild, be kind, and leave no trace.
from 
$35
 / night
Pismo Sands RV Resort
Booked 7 times
Pismo Sands RV Resort
83 sites · Lodging, RVs12 acres · Oceano, CAOff the beaten path, yet near the beach, the caves, kayaking, shell-collecting, surfing, fishing, and all the reasons you come to California’s Central Coast. It’s beautiful here. It’s natural. And it’s just perfect for you. Come in your RV and stay as long as you like – you don’t have to leave!Conveniently located near the Halcyon Road exit of US 101, Pismo Sands RV Resort offers 133-level, paved, full hook-up sites with 20/30/50 amp electric. Our pull-thru and back-in sites will accommodate RVs of up to 40 feet in length. FREE WiFi and cable TV are available at every site.Pismo Sands RV Resort also features four fully-equipped vacation cottages for 4-6 folks who want the resort experience without the RV. These cottages are roomy and fully furnished. Bedding and towels are provided. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher. You’ll have a regular-sized bedroom, sofa bed, bathroom with shower, outside deck with patio furniture, and flat-screen TVs in the living room and bedroom. While in the area, visit Hearst Castle, taste wines, see Dinosaur Caves, take a butterfly tour, go hiking, fishing, or horseback riding, play golf, or try a Hummer tour of the dunes. Enjoy all the new and exciting experiences Pismo Beach has to offer. YOUR AFFORDABLE RATE INCLUDES…• Immaculate restrooms and showers • Some sites are ADA accessible • Modern laundry facility • Controlled access gate for safety • Smooth, paved streets for easy walking • Roomy enough for all slide-outs • Patio and picnic table at every site • FREE WiFi and cable TV • Grass areas • Dump station • Onsite management and management office • Use of all the deluxe Amenities• We’re pet friendly!• Sorry, no tent camping• RV Check-in 1 p.m. & Check out at 12 p.m
from 
$73
 / night
Paradise Shores Camp
99%
(747)
Paradise Shores Camp
46 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents2 acres · Bridgeport, CAWe're a family owned RV Park & Campground located on the shores of Bridgeport Reservoir. Together with our crew, we're excited to welcome you into our newly adopted home. We believe in campfires, starry nights, good laughs, exploration, a deep sleep and an early rise. The mountains are a place to get back to basics, a place to explore, to breathe. So turn off your phone and turn on your senses. It’s important to us that our guests don’t feel they are renting a tent/RV site or a camper as much as they’re immersing themselves into the outdoor experience. You may just want to sit outside and read for days, enjoy campfires and eat s'mores. For more adventurous, there's a full slate of self-guided recreational activities, such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, ATVing, rock climbing, biking, natural water slides, stand up paddle boards, bird watching, available in the area. We do have modern conveniences such as wifi internet; however, we encourage our guests to “unplug” and immerse in the slow paced life instead. At Paradise Shores, we believe in protecting people, animals and the planet. We make sure that the majority of products we use at our camp is recycled, composted, or re-used. We prefer to use products that are produced in a sustainable way and avoid those that aren't. We are continuously reducing the amount of waste we generate and actively promote recycling of aluminum, plastic, glass, and cardboard. We pack our own recycling and haul it to the nearest recycling facility which is an hour away. We co-opt the drive with other activities to reduce waste. We don’t use individually packaged toiletries or one-use products. We use plant and planet friendly detergent. We're based in a desert. We share our precious water with the entire planet. With only 326 million cubic miles of water on the earth, the decreasing amounts of access to quality fresh water is alarming to us. We monitor how we use water in our day-to-day activities and are constantly working on ways to reduce our consumption of fresh water resources. We hope you can help us maintain this greener camping! We hope Paradise Shores Camp becomes your home as it is ours. It’s located in one of the most spectacular areas in the world. We’re surrounded on three sides by the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne Meadows, Mono Lake, June Lake, Virginia Lakes, and Twin Lakes, as well as the historic gold-mining town of Bodie, CA are all within a short drive from our place. We're proud to know this area intimately and are excited to share the secret spots with you. The excellent hiking/running trails including the Pacific Crest Trail, thousands of miles of ATV, dirt bike and mountain bike trails are accessible right from our camp or within a short drive from here. The surrounding terrain offers endless activities and unbelievable scenery in remote wilderness settings.
from 
$36
 / night
Mendocino Magic
96%
(541)
Mendocino Magic
122 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents600 acres · Laytonville, CAMendocino Magic is a camping, fishing, wedding and outdoor events destination in inland Mendocino county, Northern California, just a few miles off Highway 101 in the heart of the Emerald Triangle. This unique sprawling 600-acre property is home to the largest privately-held reservoir in the North Coast region, perfect for swimming and catch & release fishing. We offer tent camping, RV & Car camping, luxe furnished tents, and cabins for your stay. Star gaze from the rolling hills of the Mendocino forest, kayak on our private Reservoir, and show off your BBQ skills with included campground amenities. Reserve your camp site early for the best availability. About half of our 2023 summer weekends are currently sold out. All Mendocino Magic Campers Enjoy the Following Amenities - Central Campers Area with tables, BBQ grills (propane provided), filtered water, and weekend fire pit. - Portapotty bathrooms with outdoor sinks. - Outdoor showers with hot water. - Access to Holland Reservoir, our private lake, for swimming, boating, and fishing. Kayaks are available at no charge. - Miles of hiking and biking trails through mountainous hillsides and scenic valleys. - Some of the best stargazing in Northern California with frequent meteor showers. - Camping supplies delivered to your camp site (for an additional charge), including cooler rentals, ice, and s’mores kits. Mackenzie manages the campground with a team of incredible people. In a world increasingly connected in the digital sense, we invite you to come up and get back to your roots, and connect with people the old fashioned way. Come join us for stargazing, paintball, fishing & swimming, weddings & outdoor events, and camping!
from 
$60
 / night
Sequoia Mountain Farms
94%
(254)
Sequoia Mountain Farms
72 sites · RVs, Tents10 acres · Wilsonia, CAWelcome campers! PLEASE read all of the below before booking and screenshot/print the BELOW DIRECTIONS, as google and otger mapping apps have taken guests on very difficult routes. Trust us, mapping apps don't account for the issues of small mountsin roads! We have over 10 acres of stunning campground nestled only 15-20 minutes from the North entrance to the Sequoias! We have multiple sites to accommodate every type of camping from tent camping to tents-attached-to-cars and trucks, to pop-up campers to RVs with or without power and water hookups. Please see our RV hook-up spaces on our sister post! (RV sites at Sequoia Mountain Farms) Site numbers are not used...which allows you to pick any open area on the 10 acres. We have many sites made for you to choose from! There are wonderful views down into the valley, at night with sunsets off-the-hook, and city lights twinkling in the valley distance. Pick your spot and enjoy! First come-first serve, with multiple sites for large groups which can be reserved. Hot showers now available for all campers at no extra charge!! DIRECTIONS: Navigator apps push anyone coming from the south up the 245 highway north. It is a very windy and slow climb up the hill. It's doable (except large rigs), but we HIGHLY recommend continuing north on highway 99 to Fresno and then heading east on highway 180 up the mountain. It's faster, much more scenic and a smoother drive. This route also goes right by the nearest gas station on your way up! Coming east on highway 180, out of Fresno, that gas station is a Valero at 35468 E Kings Canyon Rd. aka Clingans Junction. From Clingans, head east on the 180 for exactly 13.8 miles to the 245 highway (it comes up quick with only 1 or 2 small signs), make a right, heading south. If you hit the park entrance, you went too far, turn around drive back about 5 min and look for the 245 on your left. Once on the 245 heading south, go 5.1 miles. On your right you will pass the 'Pinehurst Lodge', which is on google, an easy reference point and is 1 minute or less away (great food!). Then a few seconds later the "Worksource Center" and we are just past that on the same side of the road. First you will see a Giant Sequoia Tree in the front yard (campground road is just to it's right) then the apple ranch with the ole loggers cabin chimney from the late 1800s still standing in the front yard directly off the highway! If you hit the 'leaving sequoia national forest' sign and the community center, you went too far, turn around and drive 1 minute back and look for the apple ranch on your left, pass it and then turn left after the Sequoia tree into the gravel road with the orange cones coming from this direction. ARRIVAL: Please feel free to drive in and directly find your spot, no need to check in unless you want to say hi or need some assistance! We are usually around working somewhere and make multiple rounds on the camp daily. Please take note of the posted pics from directly across the street facing what you will see when you get here. The address sign is posted on a tree and you can see the apple orchard and ole loggers chimney from the road off to the left and the Giant Sequoia Tree on the right of the address sign with the main entrance just to the right (north) of the tree. There are 3 gates.: The FAR RIGHT GATE (north gate), just to the right of the Sequoia Tree, goes to the campsites! Look for the graveled road with orange cones / solar lights easily visible from the road.The middle gate is to the 2 RV hook up sites in the big pad / yard directly off the road. Far left and southern most gate (to the left of the address sign) is closest to the apple ranch and chimney; leads to the house which is also a rental. We look forward to seeing you soon at Sequoia Mountain Farms!!! :) Please message us for any questions! We are happy to help! We want you to have the best experience possible, so if we can help, we definitely will! Also, please check the weather online before you come up to the mountain! Just know we are operating under the assumption that you are aware of the conditions and are prepared for them. If nature happens message us and we will do our best to assist! :)
from 
$40
 / night
Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping
100%
(50)
Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping
122 sites · Lodging10 acres · Healdsburg, CAWildhaven Sonoma is the top-rated glamping spot in the Bay Area. Our glamping experience was designed to provide guests with comfort, warmth, and cleanliness, while still maintaining a close connection to Sonoma County’s stunning natural beauty. Guests check in to extra-large, safari-style tent cabins with comfortable beds (with linens and heated mattress pads), electricity & heaters, WiFi, and all the furnishings needed for a memorable night outdoors. Outside the tent, guests have a personal fire pit, a covered porch with patio furniture, and a large picnic table. Those seeking more comfort and features can book tents with 2-person hammocks, festive string lights, and unobstructed views towards the Mayacamas mountains. Then there are the amenities, which are not typically found at traditional campgrounds. These include a clean, updated bathroom building, hot showers, an outdoor kitchen with dish-washing sinks and gas BBQs, a store with local treats, and activities such as yoga classes, local wine tastings, and live music. The highlight of the 10-acre property is the private river access for guests. Wildhaven’s section of the Russian River is calm yet clean and perfect for innertubes. Wildhaven is surrounded by vineyards on 3 sides and is in the middle of the famous Alexander Valley wine-growing region. When it's time to venture out, Wildhaven is just 5 miles from the charming small town of Healdsburg, with its picture-perfect town plaza filled with palm and redwood trees and surrounded by 30+ tasting rooms, book and cooking stores, and ice cream shops. We hope you'll consider trying out a unique night of wine country glamping with us on the Russian River. Please note there is a limit of 2 pets per tent. Please be sure to add pet fee in extras upon check out.
from 
$259
 / night
SoCal Camping
91%
(23)
SoCal Camping
39 sites · Lodging20 acres · Kernville, CAThe cabins are situated in The Sequoia National Forest, overlooking the majestic rapids of the Kern River. Come and hike, bike, dip in the river, or simply kick back and take in the 360 of sky scrapping mountains (even glimpse Mount Whitney!) At once a silver mine along the Kern River, now converted to a fun recreation spot for adventure seekers
from 
$159
 / night
Willow Springs Resort
100%
(51)
Willow Springs Resort
28 sites · Lodging, RVs10 acres · Bridgeport, CAWelcome to Willow Springs Resort Please come stay with us when you are visiting the beautiful Eastern Sierras. For Your Convenience, an Online Booking System is Now Available! www.willowspringsresort.com Willow Springs Resort is located five miles south of Bridgeport, California, in the heart of the Eastern Sierra premiere outdoor recreational region. Although you’re sure to unplug with all there is to do around here, our guests have access to some of the best Wi-Fi in the area. The facility is a small 50’s era motel and RV park with all the amenities one normally expects. We are a pet-friendly facility. We love pets and welcome them in our RV park but not in our motel rooms (with the exception of service animals). Willow Springs Resort was built 70 years ago and is still owned and operated by the same family. That family prides itself on operating a peaceful, beautiful, and clean vacation destination. The fish at the left was caught in Virginia Creek, which is just across the highway from Willow Springs! There are a host of activities to enjoy in the "big backyard" of this Sierra Nevada paradise. Whether you enjoy fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, swimming, or 4-wheeling, or want to take a photo class or tour of Bodie Ghost Town, the area offers it all. If you prefer to read a book or catch a falling star, meet new people, and share stories at the campfire, Willow Springs Resort is here to welcome you!
from 
$50
 / night
Yosemite Westlake Camp
90%
(45)
Yosemite Westlake Camp
35 sites · RVs, Tents6 acres · Coulterville, CALocated on the John Muir Historic route to Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Westlake Campground and RV Park is convenient to all things Yosemite. Between here and the park is Rainbow Pool, a well-known swimming hole that campers here often visit on their way back to the campground for a refreshing dip in the cool waters. Coulterville was started as a gold-rush town. You can visit the museum and visitor center even try your hand at panning for gold.
from 
$48
 / night
One of those late afternoons that you never want to end
98%
(793)
Camp Nauvoo
24 sites · Lodging, Tents86 acres · Placerville, CACamp Nauvoo was originally bought by the LDS church in the 1960's for a girl's camp. The camp was owned by the Boy Scouts from 2011-2015. The Rose family bought the property in 2016 with the intent to continue the tradition of tent camping as well as creating opportunities for exclusive events i.e., group/family reunions, weddings and corporate events. We are a small privately owned small campground (20 sites only) located on the outskirts of Placerville. The property features 86.5 secluded Tahoe like acres with beautiful year-round Weber Creek. The camp sites are placed along the creek or the bluff overlooking the creek. We have traditional dirt camping, canvas tents on platforms, teepees and glamping tents for those that want the comforts of home. We are tent camping only with only one site that allows a small travel trailer or van. (#14) . We are dog friendly and allow dogs in all but 5 glamping sites. We do enforce camp rules especially our quiet time between 10 PM and 7 AM (please review). We’ve been told that we have a “family camp” vibe. We are a great place for families wanting a safe environment for their kids but also several group sites for those that want to hang out together with multiple families. We are also a great base site for those wilderness enthusiasts with access to all the El Dorado National Forest including Desolation but want a hot shower at the end of the day. We have a lodge that is stocked with games and a ping pong table. The lodge has a microwave, Keurig machine and a hot water kettle for those hot drinks (BYO Cups).We have several tables set up for those that want to eat inside as well as multiple picnic tables along the side of the lodge with overhead protection. We have electricity at the at the lodge for small appliances and charging phones. We have a compressor on site to blow up your air mattresses or float toys. We’ve been told that our bathrooms are the “cleanest” ever and have changing tables and diaper pails. We offer nice flushing toilets and hot showers! For outdoor activities we have basketball, volleyball, pickleball and cornhole not to mention the playground with swing sets, seesaw and tractor play. We have hiking trails throughout the property. Our highlight is a camp fire bowl with bench seating with a stage to display camper talent which is perfect for the evening fire and roasting s’mores (bring the fixings). The creek starts out in spring looking like a rushing river featuring many fishing and swimming holes. As the summer progresses the water level falls but is still great for water play and fishing. We have propane BBQs (we provide the propane for BBQs) located throughout the property. We also have a propane grill and charcoal BBQ located in the common area for all to use. There is a dutch oven pit also in the fire bowl area. We do not allow wood fires at the individual sites but each site has a propane firepit for ambiance (not cooking) that requires you to purchase a 20 lb. propane cannister on site (add in extras) or pay cash on site. No internet service. There is limited internet only available for purchases at the setore. We require a 3 night minimum for the major holidays - Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. We do not do checkins on Sunday but do allow camping over Sunday night. We do exclusive events so you may need to explore multiple weekends to find the right reservation. We are located in the foothills so we are a short hop to many local attractions that include river rafting, gold mines, wineries and historical towns with great eating establishments. Tahoe is less than an hour away and there a many hiking trails within 20-30 minutes. We have a limited number of items to rent i.e, tents, cots, camp stoves, etc. We also have a small store on site for those items you forgot and a good selection of ice cream. We take venmo or cash. CHECKIN IS BETWEEN 4 AND 8. IF YOU ARE COMING FROM THE BAY ALLOW 4 HOURS - YOU MUST LEAVE BY 3:00 IN ORDER TO ARRIVE DURING CHECKIN. IF YOU GET DELAYED, FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE OTHER CAMPERS YOU MAY CONSIDER WAITING AND ARRIVING THE NEXT MORNING. THERE ARE NO CHECKINS AFTER 9:00.
from 
$80
 / night
Hideout Mountain Glampsites
97%
(19)
Hideout Mountain Glampsites
38 sites · Lodging, RVs40 acres · Julian, CASan Diego Mountain Lodge, presented by Hideout Mountain, is a beautiful escape to nature, sprawled out over 40 acres of land in Santa Ysabel, CA. With a combination of offerings ranging from glamping in our vintage RVs, RV sites with full hookups, and campsites, to a luxury experience in our remodeled cabins each with a fireplace. Gather and share ideas with fellow guests in our community areas which include hammocks, picnic tables, and firepits. What makes Hideout Moutain a magical place? The breathtaking views of Lake Henshaw and the surrounding wildlife preserve stretching as far as the eye can see. We also have a one-of-a-kind restaurant and bar on the property, Josie's Hideout Saloon. We are located just a few minutes drive away from downtown Santa Ysabel and Julian, with easy access off Hwy.
from 
$75
 / night

Outdoor stays for every style

Find your new favorite spot.

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All camping options

Where to Go

North Coast

Camping beneath redwoods—the tallest trees in the world—is a hard-to-beat highlight of the north coast. The majestic groves scattered across Redwood National & State Parks are an excellent choice for first-timers. Further south, from Eureka to Mendocino and eventually San Francisco, you’ll find a string of private and state park campgrounds tucked along rugged coastlines marked by bluffs, coves, dunes, and tidepools.

Central Coast

Stretching from Monterey south to Santa Barbara, the Central Coast scores points for scenery and variety. Plus, it’s a convenient escape from the urban hassles of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Redwoods, waterfalls, and windswept bluffs border Highway 1 in Big Sur, while waves crash beside state parks north of Santa Barbara. For a remote camping experience, campsites at Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Santa Barbara can oblige.

SoCal Beaches: Los Angeles to San Diego

The golden beaches of Southern California are the stuff of lazy days and pop songs. And fantastic camping for those inclined. The best campsites line-up beside the coast between Newport Beach and Dana Point in Orange County, with a few more perched on coastal bluffs north of San Diego. Not surprisingly, these oceanfront sites fill fast, so book early.

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Granite domes and lush Alpine meadows border campgrounds in Yosemite National Park, while enormous sequoias are the draw in Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. Campgrounds beside alpine lakes and the sparkling blue waters of Lake Tahoe are always postcard-pretty.

Southern Deserts

For surreal sunsets, striking rock formations, restless sand dunes, and spring wildflowers, head east. Nine campgrounds and plenty more right outside await at Death Valley National Park, home to the lowest spot in the U.S. Joshua trees and picturesque boulders keep Hipcampers happy at Joshua Tree National Park while Anza-Borrego Desert State Park serves up fantastic desert hiking outside San Diego. High season is late fall through spring, when temperatures are pleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions

To reserve a campsite at a California State Park, you can use the official reservation system called ReserveCalifornia. Follow these steps to book your campsite:

  1. Visit the ReserveCalifornia website.
  2. Enter your desired park, campground, or region in the search bar, or use the interactive map to find a location.
  3. Select your preferred dates and the type of camping you're interested in (tent, RV, group site, etc.).
  4. Review the available campsites and choose the one that best suits your needs.
  5. Click "Book Now" and follow the prompts to complete your reservation.
  6. Provide your personal information, payment details, and any additional information requested, then click "Submit."
  7. Once your reservation is confirmed, you'll receive an email with your confirmation number and additional details about your campsite.
It's important to note that campsites at popular parks, especially during peak season, can fill up quickly. It's recommended to book your reservation as far in advance as possible, up to six months ahead of your desired dates.

Boondocking, also known as dispersed camping, is legal in many areas of California, particularly on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and in National Forests. Here are some popular areas for boondocking in California: 1. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: This park allows dispersed camping in designated areas. 2. Alabama Hills Recreation Area: Managed by the BLM, this area offers boondocking with stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 3. Joshua Tree National Park: Outside the park boundaries, you can find BLM land where boondocking is allowed. 4. Inyo National Forest: Dispersed camping is permitted in most areas, but be sure to check with the local ranger station for any restrictions. When boondocking, always practice Leave No Trace principles, and make sure to follow any posted rules and regulations. Additionally, consider checking out Hipcamp for unique boondocking and camping locations in California: California Stars and Valley Boondock Campsite.

Yes, camping at Trona Pinnacles is generally safe, but campers should be prepared for the remote and rugged conditions. The area is known for its unique geological formations and offers dispersed camping with no established campgrounds or facilities. Be sure to bring plenty of water, food, and supplies, as the nearest services are located in the town of Trona, 20 miles away. Keep an eye on the weather, as temperatures can be extreme, and flash floods can occur during heavy rains. As always, practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the fragile desert environment.

Free beach camping in California is quite rare, as most beach campgrounds are managed by state parks or other organizations that charge fees. However, you can find some dispersed camping areas along the coast in certain parts of the state, such as on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or in National Forests. Keep in mind that these free camping spots usually have limited facilities and are often located in more remote areas. It's essential to follow the Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment when camping in these locations. Always check the specific regulations and restrictions for the area you plan to visit.

Several beaches in California allow camping. Some popular options include:

For more options, check out Hipcamp's beach campgrounds.

There are several reasons why it can be difficult to find campsites in California:

  1. High demand: California is a popular tourist destination with its diverse landscapes, beaches, national parks, and mild climate. This high demand for camping spots makes it challenging to find available campsites, especially during peak season.
  2. Population: California has the largest population of any state in the U.S., and many residents enjoy camping as a recreational activity. This means increased competition for campsites among both residents and visitors.
  3. Limited supply: Although California has a vast number of campgrounds, the supply of campsites may not be sufficient to meet the high demand. Some campgrounds also have a limited number of sites, making it harder to find a spot.
  4. Reservation system: Many popular campgrounds in California require reservations, which can fill up months in advance. This can make it difficult for last-minute campers to find a site.
  5. Seasonal closures: Some campgrounds in California are closed during certain seasons, such as winter, due to weather conditions or maintenance. This further limits the availability of campsites during those times.

To increase your chances of finding a campsite in California, consider camping during the off-peak season, making reservations well in advance, or exploring lesser-known campgrounds. Websites like Hipcamp can help you discover alternative camping options, including private land and unique accommodations.

Boondocking, or dispersed camping, is not illegal in California as long as it is done on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the United States Forest Service (USFS). However, it is essential to follow specific rules and regulations, including staying within designated areas, adhering to stay limits (usually 14 days), and practicing Leave No Trace principles. Keep in mind that boondocking is not allowed in all areas, and it's crucial to research the specific location before setting up camp.

In California, you can camp without a permit in areas designated for dispersed camping, usually found on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Forest lands. Here are some popular locations for dispersed camping without a permit:

Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles, respect the environment, and follow any posted rules or regulations. Also, be aware that some areas may have fire restrictions or seasonal closures. It's always a good idea to check with the local ranger station for current conditions and regulations before heading out.

Camping rules in California vary depending on the location and type of campground (national park, state park, national forest, private campgrounds, etc.). However, there are some general rules that apply to most camping situations in California:

  1. Choose designated campgrounds or campsites for overnight stays.
  2. Observe quiet hours, typically between 10 pm and 6 am.
  3. Keep campfires contained in designated fire rings or stoves, and never leave them unattended. Obtain a campfire permit if required.
  4. Follow fire restrictions, especially during high fire danger periods.
  5. Store food and scented items in bear-resistant containers or use proper food storage techniques in bear country.
  6. Practice Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all trash and minimizing your impact on the environment.
  7. Respect wildlife and maintain a safe distance from animals.
  8. Keep pets on a leash and under control at all times.
  9. Observe posted speed limits and other traffic regulations in campgrounds.
  10. Adhere to any specific rules posted at the campground, such as maximum stay limits, check-in/check-out times, and group size restrictions.

It's crucial to research the specific rules and regulations of the area where you plan to camp, as they may differ depending on the land management agency or private property rules. Check the website or contact the managing agency for the most up-to-date information.

Camping costs in California can vary greatly depending on the location, amenities, and type of campsite. Prices can range from free for dispersed camping in some national forests or BLM land to over $100 per night for a glamping experience or a cabin rental. On average, you can expect to pay around $20 to $50 per night for a basic tent or RV camping site in a state park or campground. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the season, availability, and any additional fees such as reservation or vehicle entry fees.

Hipcamp is created with ❤️ and hope for our future.