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The best camping near Stanislaus National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Stanislaus adventure.

93% (165 reviews)
93% (165 reviews)

An extensive network of lakes, rivers, streams, and trails delight at this Yosemite neighbor.

Popular ways to camp

Community favorites near Stanislaus National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Stanislaus National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds near Stanislaus National Forest


Yosemite Westlake Camp

33 sites 路 RVs, Tents6 acres 路 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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River Ranch Campgrounds

27 sites 路 RVs, Tents50 acres 路 Twain Harte, CA
At River Ranch Campgrounds, Tuolumne, CA we offer a wide range of activities to make your stay enjoyable. Take a hike on one of the many trails winding through the Stanislaus National Forest at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, or cast a line in the North Fork of the Tuolumne River or Basin Creek for some great native fishing. After a long day of exploration, come back to the campgrounds and relax by the firepit or enjoy a picnic in one of our many picnic areas. Activities in the campground include horseshoes and volleyball. We pride ourselves on blending nature and family camping in a safe, serene environment. We offer water hookups and centrally located restrooms with heated showers to make your stay comfortable and convenient.
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Diamond Gulch

23 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents824 acres 路 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鈥檙e 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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GaiaTree Sanctuary

4 sites 路 Lodging, Tents10 acres 路 Mountain Ranch, CA
Welcome to GaiaTree Sanctuary. We are a small organic farm and retreat center on 10 acres in the beautiful foothills of the Sierras. Enjoy a personal retreat in nature, a farm and garden tour, a dip in the swimming pond, or listen to the birds from our yoga deck. We have lovely outdoor showers, elegant composting toilets, 2 cute treehouses, rustic camping and Glamping options to choose from. There鈥檚 also a short hike to a 360 view accessible from our land!
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Bridgeport Reservoir Campground

33 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents1 acre 路 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 short 30-minute drive to Tioga pass will bring you straight into the heart of Yosemite National Park. Off-road enthusiasts will have a heyday will the plethora of 4x4 trails in the area as well as the famous trail that brings you right to the Bodie Ghost Town. Climate & 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 Chironomidae are harmless and do not bite. On the contrary, the mosquito presence is very minimal. Lake Levels: Due to this devastating drought across California and the Western United States, reservoir levels are low. As of August 1st, 2022, Bridgeport Reservoir is approximately 25 feet below normal. Swimming is not advisable at this time, but fishing and boating activities are still up and running.
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Yosemite's Colfax Spring

8 sites 路 RVs, Tents15 acres 路 Groveland, CA
Welcome to Yosemite's Colfax Spring! Home to a basecamp for river rafting trips during the summertime, we are located 15 minutes driving distance to the entrance to Yosemite National Park. If you are staying with us between May - September and want to come rafting, ask us about our river trips! Our camp sits on a ridge with views down into the Tuolumne River Canyon. The Tuolumne River begins at 13,000 feet of elevation in the High Country of Tuolumne Meadows and provides drinking water for over 2.7 million people in San Francisco. With cedar and pine trees, manzanita bushes, and wildflowers in the spring, enjoy the Sierras' flora and fauna. Our family has been operating our river rafting company for over 50 years, the last 11 of those years being here at Colfax Spring. Conveniently located off Highway 120, we are in close proximity to swimming holes, hikes, and more. Enjoy the privacy of our campsite and getting world-class views to yourself, with all of the amenities (flushing toilets, wi-fi, showers.) Make sure to check the Yosemite National Park website for information about reservations to visit the park!
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Sierra Circles Sculpture Garden

7 sites 路 RVs, Tents100 acres 路 Murphys, CA
Thank you Hipcamper's for another wonderful season. We will be closed for winter weather and new art installations till April 15, 2024. We look forward to hosting you next season. Michel and Pamela Historic Brice Station 100 acres hosts Master artist, Michel Olson's Sierra Circles Sculpture Garden. Born in Berlin, Germany, he has spent his life time travelling and becoming an accomplished artist in wood, stone and iron. Two of his gypsy rigs and several large art installations, are in the meadow next to the forested 6 site campground. Newest installation, 100 ft sacred circle, yin/yang, sun dial and calendar. 3 miles of hiking trails, with art, continue to be expanded. Site 1 is spacious with multiple tent sites, art TeePee, and nice shade oak.Site 2 is largest with multiple levels/tent sites and best sunset views. Site 3 is woodsy and cozy. Site 4 has iron TeePee with chandelier and several shaded tent sites. Site 5 has small grass meadow and wheel sculpture. Site 6 has burningman bicycle fence and 2 person swing. All sites have parking, tables, benches, and trees for shade, hammocks or slack lines. On site activities: 3 walking trail loops, each about 1 mile long Sun. morning YOGA 10am. Brice Station Winery, tasting room. Open Fri. - Sun. 12 to 6pm .Quyle Kilns ceramic art studio and classes,Open Wed.- Sun. 10am to 6 pm. Paul Quyle Blacksmith school. First and third Sat 9am. Seasonal concerts and Shakespeare. Equinox and Solstice celebrations. Simply put, nature/art camping at its best. Children are full price and must be attended to. No trailers over 14 ft. No campsite open fires June thru Oct. Communal kitchen/crafts area with large tables, BBQ and cook top available. Kitchen fire ring for summer fires. Counter top stoves allowed in campsite. Leashed dogs welcome, please pick up after. Please no extra loud music or voices.
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Booked 3 times

The Painted Lake

6 sites 路 Lodging, RVs20 acres 路 Copperopolis, CA
Explore BLM and Reclamation land along the shores of New Melones reservoir near Angels Camp. Horses, goats, sheep , and chickens await you on every fence line you come to. Kayak on the waters below us as you camp on our vineyard fenced 20 acre private scenery. Our land is surrounded by 100鈥檚 of acres of lake front - public Federal lands surrounded by our private acreage .
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Red Tail Ranch

9 sites 路 RVs, Tents90 acres 路 Pine Mountain Lake, CA
Concerned about getting into Yosemite with the new summer reservation requirements? We know all the details, including how to navigate and get through or around the system. Stay with us and we will show you how to access the park with or without reservations. Welcome to Red Tail Ranch (newly listed on Hipcamp), a stunning 90 acre property in the Sierra Nevada foothills, just 25 minutes from the Yosemite entrance gate. Among the oak woodlands, meadows and coniferous forest, there are numerous trails to explore the property and direct riding access to a developed mountain biking area nearby. Great birding, botanizing and wildlife watching opportunities abound. Use Red Tail Ranch as an ideal launching off point for Yosemite or stay on the property and enjoy all that it has to offer. We have RV sites with hookups, a four site drive-in campground and two walk-in campsites- all with clean, flush toilet bathrooms, hot outdoor showers, indoor camp kitchen and gathering space. Whether your pitching a tent, parking a campervan or rv, there are opportunities for everyone. We are 10 minutes from the small town of Groveland with a market and restaurants and just down the road from the put in for rafting on the Tuolumne river. Our pricing is a little higher than other places nearby and this is due to the property's great locations, incredible beauty, and all of the amenities added for a great experience.
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Squirrel Rock Campground

2 sites 路 RVs8 acres 路 Columbia, CA
Private RV campground in the Gold Country. Located in the historic townsite of Columbia known as the "Gem of the Southern Mines". There is 1 site so you'll have the campground to yourselves. There are 2 electrical panels so you can bring your family or friends if you like. If there are 2 RV's you can reserve the campground as a double site. We only accept fully self contained RV's & trailers. Campsite has 2 electric pedestals 50/30/110. Water hookups. No sewer. NO RESTROOMS AVAILABLE. Includes picnic table, camp fire ring, Weber BBQ, doggie station, horseshoe pit, corn hole, walking trails, and garbage/recycle bins. Winter camping dates subject to weather conditions. Located 0.6 mile to Columbia State Historic Park, parking and entrance is free and open year around. It is about a 15 minute walk. Close to Murphys, New Melones lake and Tuttletown recreation area, Moaning Caverns, Downtown Sonora, Mother Lode Escape Rooms, Columbia Airport, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Black Oak Casino, Chicken Ranch Casino, Indigeny Reserve, Inner Sanctum Cellars Basecamp with other wineries and breweries nearby. About a 50 minute drive to Big Trees State Park and Pinecrest Lake. Yosemite National Park is about 1-1/2 hour drive to the Yosemite valley floor. Check for YARTS for transportation from downtown Sonora to Yosemite valley. There are several rafting outfitters in the area. Restaurants in the immediate vicinity include Mandy's Breakfast-Lunch, Columbia Frosty, El Jardin, St. Charles Saloon Pizza, Kate's Tea House and Bakery and Columbia House Restaurant. Gas, diesel mini mart, market store nearby.
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Sonora Foothills Getaway

3 sites 路 RVs, Tents5 acres 路 Sonora, CA
We are located in the charming town of Sonora, CA! 馃尣馃彏锔 Our property is the perfect place to camp, or park your RV or van for overnight stays. We have one RV site with full hookups (supports 50 amp & 30 amp), as well 1 campsite available. There is plenty of room for parking your camper van as well if you don't need any hook ups! Our price includes access to several shared amenities to make your stay comfortable and convenient, including potable water, electricity, toilet, and wifi. Also included is a firepit, plenty of outdoor seating, an outdoor play structure for kids (under the age of 7), ladder ball, horseshoe pits, bocci ball, and corn hole. A large gazebo provides plenty of shade on hot days, and has power and a mounted bluetooth speaker. ***For an additional fee, you can upgrade your experience with access to our outdoor grilling area, indoor shower (w/private entrance), and laundry amenities. Pricing and details for each of these are found under "extras" and MUST be added during booking process*** Our property is surrounded by nature, and is close to Yosemite, Columbia State Park, Old Town Sonora, Melones Lake, Pinecrest Lake, Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, and many other beautiful places to explore! Our property is not polluted by a bunch of light, giving you the chance to experience tranquil evenings under the stars. Sonora is a beautiful town that is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of hiking and biking trails nearby. It's also an ideal location for those looking to explore the historic Columbia Gold Rush Town. A lot of family friendly activities within a short drive! We take pride in providing a clean, safe, and welcoming space for travellers. We are on site and available for anything you may need, even if it's last minute. Book your stay with us today and experience the best that Sonora has to offer!
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Wondernut Farm

4 sites 路 Lodging37 acres 路 Big Oak Flat, CA
Wondernut Farm is an upstart, entirely off grid, working farm-stead being built from the ground up. We breed milking goats and sheep, heritage pigs, and are in the process of converting to a grade A dairy and creamery! We use organic practices, management intensive rotational grazing, and dryland pasture management. We sell our animals locally so that others can have their own milking and meat animals. Our 110 year old hay barn and the roof of the former lumber mill were all we had to work with in getting off the ground. Being first and foremost a functional farm, we can't help but offer a somewhat warts-and-all look into everything it takes to be working to our goals. Our hearts are, and always will be, educational and local community focused, and we work closely with farmers and friends alike in better understanding our innovative animal husbandry, power, pasture and water systems. Whenever we have time, we'll afford the same time and opportunities to interested hip-campers. Our location is stunning and historic, and the beauty of the wild, natural landscape is powerful, yet offers easy access to both Yosemite Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. The area features excellent road and mountain biking in the immediate vicinity, vast access to hiking and backpacking trails, a huge variety of rock climbing in the area, the best whitewater rafting in California on the Tuolumne River, with some tasty places to eat or drink coffee in the nearby town of Groveland, just 10 minutes away. Accommodations at the farm are certainly rustic, and private but not secluded, with occasionally heavily project-exploded shared kitchen and living space, showers, and a composting toilet. Do be advised that animals are pooping, hammers are hammering, sometimes we need to look into a health or animal injury related issue. Sometimes there is blood in an animal birth or slaughter, and our working guardian dogs have been known to be noisy some nights. Water and electricity are both very limited (though we reuse all our water), waste must be carefully sorted into a number of different categories, and there is always evidence of ump-teen projects unfolding at once. The most difficult condition during much of the summer are nuisance flies, which are always gone at night. We have almost no mosquitoes or ticks. Depending on the exact situation and time of year, guests may have the opportunities to snuggle with baby animals and run our herd to or from pasture, and maybe even get their hands dirty picking veggies in the garden.
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The best camping near Stanislaus National Forest guide



You must know about Stanislaus. Must. It is absolutely epic. With virtually the same appeal as the nearby Yosemite minus the crowds, Stanislaus is perched up in the high Sierra landscape. It stretches across 4 counties, has 78 lakes, 800 miles of rivers and streams, instagram-worthy swimming holes and waterfalls, lava tubes, caves, granite walls, and of course the amazing mountainscape. Sound cool yet? Yeah, you should probably pack your bags. We certainly are.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for amenities and families: The Pinecrest Campground at Pinecrest Lake offers plenty of amenities, including bike rentals and a sandy beach.
  • Best for water access: The Utica/Union Reservoirs Campground offers four campgrounds across two lakes ideal for paddling.
  • Best for large RVs and accessibility: The Lake Alpine Campgrounds offers space for RVs up to 50 feet and ADA-accessible sites.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Most campgrounds are first-come, first-served. Arrive early to grab a campsite.
  2. For campgrounds that can be reserved, reserve a site as soon as possible, up to six months in advance for regular campsites and 12 months for groups.聽
  3. Be sure to check on seasonal opening and closing dates, which vary by campground.

When to go

Most developed campgrounds are open from May to October and fill up early over the summer, especially on weekends. Visit in the spring for wildflowers. Although some lakes are open for year-round fishing, trout season generally runs from late April to mid November. Some OHV trails are only open from April 15 to December 15. All floaters and rafters must have a permit between May 1 and October 15. Winter activities at the two ski resorts and four sno-parks in the forest are snow dependent.

Know before you go

  • Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips into the Emigrant, Carson-Iceberg, and Mokelumne wilderness areas. Online permits are only available for certain trips and at certain times of the year.
  • Campfire permits are required outside of developed campgrounds. Campfire wood is available for free below 9,000 feet. Be aware of fire restrictions.
  • Permits are required for forest products, such as firewood for home and mushrooms. Christmas trees may not be cut from the forest.
  • Anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license. Additional regulations apply for wild and scenic rivers.

Nearby attractions

Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting and relaxing fishing sessions when camping near聽Tuolumne River. With ruggedly beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife, the Tuolumne River camping experience is truly one for the outdoor enthusiast鈥檚 bucket list.

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