Mountainous camping in California

Hipcampers are spoiled for choice in California, where landscapes come supersized.

94% (39521 reviews)
94% (39521 reviews)

Popular camping styles for California

Available this weekend

Under $50

12 top mountainous campgrounds in California

95%
(1847)

Finnon Lake Recreation Area

39 sites · RVs, Tents140 acres · Placerville, CA
MOSQUITO ROAD WILL BE CLOSED FROM MAY 28TH TO AUGUST 4TH. ALL VEHICLES PLEASE USE ROCK CREEK ROAD - DIRECTIONS BELOW. From Sacramento on Hwy 50: At the second stop light, Spring St./Hwy 49, turn left, heading north about 1 block to the stop sign. Turn left, staying on Hwy 49, approximately 1 mile. Turn right on Hwy 193. Travel approximately 3.1 miles to Rock Creek Road. Turn right onto Rock Creek Road and travel 8.9 miles to Finnon Lake/Frank's Diner on the Left. The campground is behind the Diner. The DINER IS CLOSED. Traveling West on 50 from Tahoe: make a right on HWY 49 traveling north. Follow the above instructions. Welcome to Finnon Lake Recreation Area! Our lovely lake offers serenity in a beautifully unique setting, nestled deep into the forest. Enjoy the scenic and exhilarating drive to our hidden gem along the South Fork of the American River- this is all for you to discover. The night skies above Finnon Lake will reveal stars unseen in most parts of California. Enjoy searching for bullfrogs, and watch the flock of Canadian Geese fly in right at sunset as the horizon blends into the watercolor sky. This private lake supports the fire protection efforts of the Mosquito Fire Protection District and the firefighters of this community. The lake is managed by volunteers of the community for the benefit of the residents The primary funding source for the Finnon Lake Restoration is the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, which was signed into law in 2004 with a mission to support “efforts that improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities and the residents of California,” according to its Website. Finnon Lake is also home to a popular 18-hole disc golf course and Mosquito’s only restaurant, Frank's Diner. Enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, paddling, hiking, or biking during your stay. Potable water, picnic tables, campfire rings, and toilets on site. The property can not accommodate horses. 2 dogs per site limit. Our property is located in Placerville, California. Placerville is a charming California gold rush town named after the placer gold deposits found in its riverbeds and hills in the late 1840s. PLEASE NOTE, there is construction on the Mosquito Bridge. Expect delays, RVs/trailers must use Rock Creek Road (even if your GPS says Mosquito Road). Please message me with any questions. Please see our website: finnonrecreationarea.com for full directions. Diner: https://www.facebook.com/smokeonthewaterplacervilleca NO FIREWORKS OF ANY KIND ARE ALLOWED. Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle.
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$30
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97%
(587)

Diamond Gulch

39 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents824 acres · Groveland, CA
CLOSE TO YOSEMITE! Explore the mines and hang out on our Groveland, California ranch! We are 35 minutes to the main gate of Yosemite National Park. A great place to stay just outside of the park. We have 824 acres on a beautiful cattle ranch with two small ponds. On our property, you'll find frogs, turtles, oak trees, pine trees and stunning views of Yosemite. We have several campsites to choose from including RV camping, tent camping, and a glamping tent. Pets are welcome. Campfires are permitted as long as there is no fire ban. Potable water and toilet are available onsite. There's a golf course less than a mile away. We are also very close to town. In just a few minutes, you can drive to our local grocery store and pizza parlour. We are a 10-minute drive to Pine Mountain Lake. Beautiful Pine Mountain Lake offers golfing, dining, horseback riding, water sports and an airport. When you come to the ranch it feels like you are hundreds of miles away from civilization, but still close to everything you need. It is incredibly peaceful! This is a great place for someone who wants to escape city life and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. Much of the ranch is open wilderness for you to explore, and it's not uncommon to see deer, frogs, turtles, quail, turkeys, or other countless species of birds. Diamond Gulch Camp is the perfect place to relax if you’re a photographer, artist, family or a group of friends looking for a place to camp near Yosemite. A small portion of the property was used as a gold mine years ago, and you may find remnants of old home sites if you go exploring. We're not far from Wards Ferry Road, Groveland, Lake Don Pedro and other interesting places.
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$30
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91%
(983)

Bridgeport Reservoir Campground

33 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents11 acres · CA
Bridgeport Reservoir is a lake at the lower end of Bridgeport Valley in Mono County, California. Its earth-filled dam was constructed in 1923 by the Walker River Irrigation District, along the East Walker River. The campground and marina was built I-don't-know-how-long ago, but it sure is nice! About Us: Welcome to Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and Campground. Join us for the classic camping and fishing experience with unique views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Within the Toiyabe National Forest, Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and Campground is conveniently located near two distinct hot spring areas. A true angler's paradise, the Reservoir has excellent trout fishing from spring through fall and is close by to multiple rivers for incredible fly fishing. A 35 minute drive on highway 120 will take you to the Tioga Pass Gate of Yosemite National Park. This gate is a great start to several different areas inside of the park that you may want to visit beyond that gate. Off-road enthusiasts would not have enough time in one visit to explore all of the 4x4 trails, abandoned mines, and sites in the area as well as the famous trail that brings you right to the Bodie Ghost Town. Climate and Ecosystem: At 6,400 feet (1,950 meters), this high desert climate has little to moderate tree coverage and gets hot during the days and cool at night. The conditions are much like Joshua Tree National Park or Alabama Hills camping area. During your visit, you will notice many flying insects that resemble mosquitos. These Chironomid are harmless and do not bite. On the contrary, the mosquito presence is very minimal. Swimming in the lake is possible usually between April to July.
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$27
 / night
91%
(492)

Kings Canyon Campground

21 sites · RVs, Tents80 acres · Wilsonia, CA
This rustic campground is located in Kings Canyon on hwy 180, 16 miles past the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Park entrance. Ten Mile Creek running thru the property. Magnificent views of Kings Canyon from the property. Google plus code for maps R497+877 Hume Station, California Campground sites with picnic tables. Flushing toilets on site. Water and sewer hookups available at some sites. 6 miles to the mighty Kings River, 12 miles to Grant Grove and the Giant Sequoia’s, 16 miles to Cedar Grove, 22 miles to “Roads End” and trail head for the endless backcountry trails including the Pacific Crest trail. Easy access to General’s Hwy for Sequoia National Park access The Sequoia & Kings Canyon area has a long history of being visited. Even in the pioneer days, before the road, people had heard tales of the majestic canyon, wild rivers and of the groves of gigantic trees, that many thought to be a hoax. Folks would make the difficult trip up into the mountain to see for themselves. This site, in the early 1900’s was a farmstead providing fresh fruits and vegetables to the areas loggers, ranchers, hotels and backcountry explorers. During the construction of the new highway In the 1920’s the site was used as a labor camp. During the highway construction days a lodge and gas station was built and was known as “Barton Flat”. In the 1950’s the property was sold and became the “Kings Canyon Lodge”. In 2015 the historic lodge and some of the other cabins were destroyed in the “Rough” fire, by a miracle the original 1928 visible gas pumps survived the fire and are still being used to this day. We are hopeful to eventually rebuild a lodge to serve the many visitors.
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$25
 / night
89%
(298)

Yosemite Westlake Camp

33 sites · RVs, Tents6 acres · Coulterville, CA
Located 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.
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$48
 / night
96%
(781)

Splitrock Farm and Retreat

47 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents101 acres · Fallbrook, CA
About Splitrock Farm and Retreat Far Away, Close to Home For more information... Visit our website www.splitrock.camp Instagram page @splitrockfarmandretreat. Tag your photos #splitrockfarmandretreat #SplitrockFAR #farawayclosetohome Or, contact the Camp Host through Hipcamp direct message or the direct line 760-645-5431. Splitrock Farm and Retreat started in January 2021 after a global search of a place to set roots, live off the land, and create an amazing place for recreation, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Splitrock Farm Splitrock was part of a 160-acre avocado farm that prospered from 1970 to 2017, generating over 1million pounds of avocados per year until the previous owners switched off the water in 2017. Ben purchased 101 acres in 2021 with plans to harvest the dead avocado trees for firewood and replant with organic, sustainable crops such as grapes, citrus trees, and flowers. Splitrock's attraction comes from its unique groves, magnificent granite boulders, and sweeping vistas. Mixed within the avocado groves are several ancient groves and solitary trees that include 200 foot tall pines, hundreds of old oaks, and soaring palms. Freckled throughout the hillsides are thousands of humongous granite boulders, offering a prehistoric feel to the landscape. Above all, Splitrock offers unrivaled views. Over 40 miles of coastline includes views to Point Loma, the Carlsbad power station, and the Pendleton Hospital. To the northeast are views of near 11K foot snowy peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, with rolling hills of De Luz and Fallbrook in the foreground.
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$36
 / night
96%
(234)

Cosumnes River Somerset Camp

10 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents23 acres · Somerset, CA
This land was home to the Miwok, then European and Chinese miners, then a cattle rancher. It was also home to a former nun who quit the dominican order to purchase this land for inner city kids to have a chance to ride, swim, hike and fish. We moved here in 2017 and purchased this land with the main goal to raise our large family here, but we have found that good things must be shared! There is NOTHING like being in the wilderness of this area for a good re-centering of the soul! We have found it to be a true blessing for our family, and we hope you can experience this blessing as we share this space with you. We feel certain you will not be disappointed with this beautiful river canyon. Our property is situated right on the middle fork cosumnes river. We have 2 sleeping cabins and several tent sites (can be rented separately). The cabins offer a rustic/minimalist type vibe - bring your own bedding/pillows to sleep on the comfy futon. A table and chairs are provided for the cabins. Tent sites have a wood table (bring your camp chairs) and a fire pit when the season is open for burning. The swimming is awesome and the stars at night will put you into a state of awe! Many family owned wineries in the area, most of them offering free tasting. It’s a short drive to Tahoe and the Marshall gold discovery site as well as the historic hangtown Placerville. The recent Caldor Fire was VERY close to our property and a back burn was initiated nearby the cabins. It is still as beautiful as ever but please know there are lots of slash piles. Falling trees and burned up stump holes are also a risk and it is presumed campers will be cautious and use at their own risk. Please don't hesitate to shoot us a message if you have any questions!
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$45
 / night
94%
(989)

Magical Harrison Serenity Ranch

22 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents67 acres · Palomar Mountain, CA
This land has been a community gathering space for the Native's Ceremony and Healing Space for over a thousand years. Feast your eyes upon the Matates and traces of the people that once gathered here so long ago.Upon the mid 1800's we had a Settler named Nate Harrison find this to be the ideal space, and he set up homestead here, and lived an amazing full life. He was to become the first African American to aquire land here in San Diego County, and his homestead remains to this day; studied by archaeology students to this day.Sensitive habitat and magic lies within our gates, and we must approach the mountain as we would any sacred space; with RESPECT.We welcome you to enjoy Nate's land and inspire who you are deep inside your heart.
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$60
 / night
95%
(465)

DABUDAGE

7 sites · Lodging, Tents10 acres · CA
A place to stay in southern Big Sur with camp sites and accommodations. Before sending an inquiry please read the listings. Also available as a host your own retreat venue starting at 360 per night
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$60
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95%
(176)

San Diego Canyon Creek

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents1 acre · El Cajon, CA
As you enter into our little oasis, you'll see why we want to share the space. It is a great environment to get away from the city or pass through on your road trip. The driveway enters down to our creek-side camping where a hammock under a tree awaits a quiet reader or a bird watcher. We have multiple species of song birds. It's just a 30 minute drive to the beach, or mountains, a short walk to the neighborhood park- equipped with a playground, or a five minute drive to a local ecological reserve containing multiple trails. If you'd like to hang out on the property, we offer a table and chairs with each campsite to lounge in while enjoying the fresh air and nature. In addition, we have a propane-powered fire pit, an outdoor kitchen with full amenities, including, hot water, a two burner stove, a toaster oven and a BBQ area. The bathroom now includes a flush toilet, sink and shower. Fun Fact: Harbison Canyon was named after John Stewart Harbison - aka the King of the Bee Keepers. He arrived with over one hundred colonies of bees in 1874 and within 7 years he became the worlds largest honey producer. Today there are just a few bees in the area.
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$45
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98%
(384)

Trinity Outpost Wilderness Resort

13 sites · RVs, Tents100 acres · 122.928142, CA
Private Tent Camping: under the stars. Park at your campsite! Community areas, swimming holes, creek running through ALL campsites, shared lodge & rustic accommodations. No fee for children or dogs~ Follow for update tweets @ResortTrinity Trinity Outpost Wilderness is a private campground that is committed to the land-sharing ethos of Hipcamp preserving ecology and defending habitat for wildlife and pollinators. The mineral springs and trails are open to the public during the daytime. We also host with WWOOF, we have many cultural exchange volunteers helping us bring life back to this historic land building an organic farm and sustainable inclusive community. The campground is your to book but is also surrounded by National Forest Land which belongs to everyone. We expect zero exceptions to the leave no trace standards we have put forward for our private land share. Fall asleep stargazing under a dark sky, surrounded by trees, water and wildlife. Wake up to birds chirping then a 10 min hike to visit the Cold mineral springs bubbling out of the mountainside, attracting many types of wildlife along with people seeking out the healing properties of the sulfur scented spring water. Sacred healing mineral spring "Deadshot" named by the native peoples for its ability to cure all ailments with 'one shot'. Nipisum or 'health water' was later bottled by the California Medicinal Springs Co. after the land was homesteaded in 1886. This historic retreat rests at the foot of lower Chanchelulla 'black rock' Mountain. Bordering a Wilderness Area this land is pristine and wild inhabited by many animals and incredible bio-diversity such as Pileated Woodpeckers, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Blackhawk, Goshawk, Great Horned Owl, Flying Squirrel, Pacific King Snake, Salamanders and Protected Spawning Rainbow Trout. 100+ acres with private hiking trails along the stream for easy trekking, and summit trails (climbing up to almost 6,000 ft.) to the peak. Our aim is to restore the land from the last 100 years of habitation using innovation to renovate the campground and baths for the next 100 years. With your help we hope to revitalize the community of Trinity County, as well as educate and generate support for WILDERNESS, public forest lands and the agencies that manage them.
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$25
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94%
(222)

Next to the River

20 sites · RVs, Tents4 acres · Klamath, CA
We have been a family owned RV Park/Campground for over 40 years. This is a very rustic, old-fashioned campground located at the end of a neighborhood next to the river. As mentioned this is also a RV Park so there will be RVs on site. It is an open field campground dispersed with trees. Neighbors will be present. The river access is right over the levee just a few minutes walk from your campsite. Fishing on the river is allowed but you need a license. We are near the woods and river so wildlife is present. Please make sure your food is put away nightly to discourage critters from coming into camp. The campground is just a short drive from a selection of hiking or biking trails. As well as other attractions like the Jet Boat Tours and Trees of Mystery. Located at the end of a glen cell service in this area can be spotty or non existent depending on the carrier. Wifi is available near main house but is limited to emails, messaging and mapping your next adventure. We welcome people of all seasons. Just ask that you are kind and respectful to each other. Well Behaved Pets Are Allowed. Children and Laughter are Always Welcome. We look forward to your visit. August and September there will be fisher persons in the campground. So be warned of early morning engine noise as they head out to the river for fishing. Electric cars that want to charge there is a $10 fee at time of service. Must make arrangements ahead of a time because 50 amp services are limited. Plus you need to bring your own adapters.
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$50
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Mountainous camping in California guide

Overview

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.

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.

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