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The best camping near Año Nuevo State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Año Nuevo State Park adventure.

Spot elephant seals basking on Pacific Ocean sand dunes at this California gem.  

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Community favorites near Año Nuevo State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Año Nuevo State Park


Redwood Paradise

3 sites · Tents40 acres · Santa Cruz, CA
40 Acres of majestic redwoods bordering Wilder Ranch State Park gives you access to thousands of acres of excellent hiking and mountain biking right from your campsite. Miles of single-track and fire roads in this world-class mountain bike destination lead you through the redwoods to sunny meadows with sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Conveniently located above the westside of Santa Cruz, our site will give you easy access to scenic Westcliff Drive, downtown Santa Cruz, quaint Felton Henry Cowell Redwoods state park and remote North Coast beaches.
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SMR Carmel Camping

34 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents89 acres · Del Rey Oaks, CA
Welcome to Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV and Campground! We are located on 89 acres of forest land off Carmel Valley Road, just 5 miles from HWY 1. Nestled within oaks, Monterey pines, and redwoods, Saddle Mountain offers a great family friendly getaway for those seeking a break from the bustle of life. PLEASE NOTE, our RV and tent sites are pet friendly but YOU MUST ADD THE PET FEE EXTRA WHEN MAKING YOUR BOOKING. Our glamping stays are NOT pet-friendly aside from one of our luxury tents. We charge $5 per pet and you can bring a maximum of 2 pets. On site seasonally heated pool (Mid May through Oct). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: *Please continue reviewing/monitoring California Travel guidelines as they may change and affect your reservation* On site seasonally heated pool (seasonally), private hiking trail, playground, Foosball table and more. No refund for inclement weather during the Winter months. We provide complementary Wi-Fi in designated areas of the park. We ask that there is no streaming at the Park so we can share Wi-Fi with all our guests. Thank you!
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Hidden Spring Ranch

6 sites · Lodging, Tents6 acres · Santa Cruz, CA
Magical 6 acre permaculture ranch just a few minutes to town, beaches and restaurants. Take a bath under a clear night sky, enjoy the morning birdsong and take a stroll on or off the property. We have free ranging chickens, a hidden spring surrounded by two creeks and wild plums. Happy Valley is a secret little gem of Santa Cruz. Plenty of space for relaxing, and amazing location for both convenience and adventures. (2 of the 3 sites have the tubs please read individual descriptions to find out if the one you chose has one)
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Fern Ridge Flats - Private Camping

2 sites · Tents9 acres · Aptos, CA
Nestled in a canopy of redwoods, less than 10 miles from the beach sits a private and cozy campground. Fern Ridge Flats combines the best of Santa Cruz county. Abundant trees and misty mornings await you at our property in Aptos. Equipped with electricity, water, and a picnic table for your convenience. There are trails on the land for you to explore, animals, and nature to dive into. *************** Smoking and the use of drugs are strictly prohibited. This is a safe and quiet neighborhood with many families including my own. Please do not request to book if you have the intention of partying or using illegal substances. If these rules are violated, local authorities will be called and you will be removed from the campsite. *************** The campsite is less than a 5 minute walk from the parking spot but is relatively steep. Although it is paved it is not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. *************** As an added precaution to protect the lush landscape, the firepit at the campsite utilizes clean burning propane. We chose a burner that closely replicates the size and heat of a wood to enhance our campers' experience.
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Felton Open Space Camp Sites

10 sites · RVs, Tents14 acres · Felton, CA
Next to Historic Winery in the heart of Santa Cruz Mountains in the quaint town of Felton. Located between two state parks, Henry Cowell and Fall Creek. Just 6 miles, up in the mountains, from the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Half a mile from the famous Roaring Camp Railway. Wine & Cider tasting next door at Hallcrest Vineyards; Dine in Felton, hiking, biking and local shops to explore. Please note when booking that each of the sites are limited to two adults only. Children are welcome.
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The Enchanted Forest Retreat

54 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents45 acres · Los Gatos, CA
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest Retreat! We are a meditation retreat center with 45 acres of some of the most gorgeous redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains to enjoy hiking, creeks and small water fall exploration, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, star gazing, relaxation, meditation and more. Our campground has running water from a natural spring, Men and Women's Restrooms each with 2 toilets and 1 hot water shower, laundry shed with sink and hot water, and an outdoor amphitheater, (the kitchen and washer/dryer is Staff Only not for campers). We have meditation teaching at the amphitheater and campers are welcomed to attend for free. 4-6 guests maximum with 1 car included in the nightly rate. Each additional vehicle is $15 per day and will be added at checkout once you add the correct number of vehicles you will be bringing. You can bring a maximum of 2 cars. PLEASE NOTE, we do not have a trash service on site, we require all campers to PACK OUT THEIR GARBAGE with them! Pets are $10 per day, 1 pet per group ONLY. Please add this as an extra at the time of booking, you will see the option to add extras once you begin the checkout process. Dogs must be on leash at all times! Quiet hours are 10pm-8am. No drugs of any kind including marijuana allowed. No loud music allowed. This is a private property so no visitors are allowed, only paid guests. Our onsite staff will go around and enforce the rules. NOTICE REGARDING RVs and TRAILERS: While we can not offer hookups, theoretically we have no problem with RVs, the road is steep in a couple of places getting down to the campground and VERY narrow in one spot (10ft). If you feel you're willing to take this risk (we won't be held liable), you're welcome to reach out to us and we can see if the site is good for RV/trailers. Only sites 8, 12 and 5 are good for trailers. No vehicle can drive into Site 7, 9, 10 and 11 (the parking area is separate). Other sites may be ok with small trailers. Check with the host. Any trailer larger than 20ft, take your own risk, there is a narrow point only 9ft wide.
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9 sites · Lodging, Tents23 acres · Boulder Creek, CA
With 23 gorgeous acres, Skyview is the perfect place to enjoy nature and the elements. You can hike our ridge trail for spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz mountains. You can relax in one of our Skypods and take a nap or read a book beneath a 200 year old oak tree. Go swimming in our huge pond and do yoga/meditate/journal on the adjoining beach. There's a grandmother (old-growth) redwood tree to visit plus a wonderful diversity of wildflowers and native plants to study and appreciate. Birds soar in the skies above (hawks, ravens, vultures) while the calls of morning doves and owls gently fill the air at dawn and dusk. And our sunsets...wow!!
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Redwood Retreat: Camping & Cooking

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Watsonville, CA
Located on 16 acres, Redwood Retreat is nestled among majestic redwood trees. We have a cottage, a tent cabin with queen bed, and two camping sites for up to 4. Sites 1 & 2 combine nicely for a group of up to 8 and site 3 can accommodate a group of up to 6. Enjoy the owls, doves, hummingbirds, and salamanders. Corralitos is ideal for biking, hiking (unfortunately, the terrain on our property is NOT hikeable), wine tasting, and the beach is 30 minutes away. We are equi-distant between Monterey and Santa Cruz (also approximately 30 minutes but depends on traffic) for all of your more "touristy" desires. Under 2 hours to San Francisco. We will send a very comprehensive list of recommendations for things to do, places to go, and things to see & do in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area when you book, as well as specific directions to get here. PLUS, chef Mima has a host of things to offer in terms of culinary temptations like a whole line of SENSATIONAL SKILLETS. Menus are sent when you book. Why not line up a COOKING CLASS ($85. per person plus ingredients) for a 3 hour class and DINING ON THE DECK with your new culinary creation. Scroll to bottom of photo gallery for latest photos. Ask for the current list of classes. Mima spent 6 years at renowned Chez Panisse restaurant before starting a career as a caterer in the food industry. SEE EXTRAS! Imagine a peaceful, serene neck of the woods with NO WIFI. Feel the restorative power of nature building resilience and buffering tomorrow’s stress. Welcome to Redwood Retreat. in the mountains above the sweet town of Corralitos, approximately a half hour to either Santa Cruz or Monterey and 20 minutes to nearest beach. If you are the type of camper that likes to play music or be loud, this is not the camp for you. This is a refuge from that. When multiple sites are reserved, this spot is perfect for family vacations, company retreats, small celebrations etc. It is strongly recommended that you book all three sites if you wish to entertain. No amplified noise. A noise curfew is in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. for anything but talking. Sound carries and we must respect neighbors and other campers.THX!
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7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents64 acres · Los Gatos, CA
WindTree is an awesome retreat perched high on top of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, over looking the entire Monterey Bay and Santa Clara Valley. WindTree is sacred land used by many over the past 30 years for retreat and ceremony. It has also been a working "Wwoof" -ing farm for volunteers from all over the world to come and learn about organic gardening in a fun, beautiful, nurturing community restoring our sense of interrelatedness and encouraging planetary sustainability by our choices and concerns for the wellness of the environment. You can make your experience apart of this community or enjoy a quiet private camp site away from any activities. We are off the grid with solar power and our own well. We have small organic gardens with chickens and goats. You will love it up here under the stars. Note: RV's over 21 feet will have difficulties on our driveway.
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Redwood Basin Portal

1 site · Lodging10 acres · Soquel, CA
Family-owned since the 1960's my parents chose this ridgetop location on 10 acres for its beauty, serenity, bio-diversity, and amazing peaceful healing energy. The main house is called Rainbow Ridge where a double rainbow appears across the skyline on occasion. We have decided to share this land with conscious folks who want to retreat to the woods from the hustle and bustle but be close to all the action and have all the creature comforts of home with a camping vibe.We have one private site with a glamorous bell tent and a modern tiny home. The site comes as a single package and is exclusive to you and your group!  Nestled on its own private 3-acre redwood and oak forest, leading down to a creek. The site is located just 4 miles (10 min drive ) from Soquel Village and just 5 miles from the beach at Capitola.  The site offers:  - A 20ft modern container home with one queen sofa bed, large screen with Apple TV, kitchen, patio, fridge, microwave, cooktop, shower, and toilet. - A custom, outdoor kitchen, and bar for entertaining with gas BBQ, fridge freezer, sink with hot and cold filtered water, Sonos sound system.   - Large gas fire pit and seating area.  - One large glamping bell tent with queen bed and option for one or two singles to be added on request. The tent has electricity, fan and heating for colder nights.  - Space for 1-2 additional tents. For groups of 8 or more and special events please contact us so we can discuss the possibilities.  - Onsite you should find all the basic amenities from home including all bedding, towels, kitchenware, cooking utensils, dining ware, herbs and spices, cleaning products, gas for the BBQ and fire pit is included etc. There are a few things you should bring: Food, drinks, ice and fun!  The site looks down into a private and secluded redwood and oak forest with trails for small hikes into the redwood fairy circles or all the way down to the creek. The glamping site is on a sunny flat area surrounded by steep terrain up to a ridgeline and down to the creek. The creek is accessible although the final route requires a rope down so may not be suitable for everyone. Within 15-20 min drive you will find almost all major attractions in the Santa Cruz area including The Mistery Spot, Nisene Marks State Forest, Capitola Pier, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and many famous surf breaks from Capitola to The Point, The Hook, Steamer Lane and many more., as well as many amazing mountain bike trails. There are also several Santa Cruz Mountain wineries to explore in a 3- 5 mile radius. Further afield you will find Monterey Bay Aquarium and the coastal beaches north up to San Francisco Bay ( 1 hour 30 mins north) and down to Big Sur about 1 hour 20 mins south. We ask all our visitors to be respectful of the environment, our wildlife, and our neighbors. Please drive slowly and respect the quiet times: between 9.30 pm and 8.30 am. We check all our guests in and provide a quick tour. We can offer a number of additional amenities and services including shopping, stocking up on your favorite supplies, catering, romantic packages and special picnics on the Rainbow Ridge, and much more, so please just ask about all the possibilities.
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2 sites · RVs, Tents37 acres · Santa Cruz, CA
Purchased from the original owner in 1998. Doug has been clearing and improving the ranch for over 20 years. After surviving the CZU Fire in the summer of 2020, the clearing is continuing and the green growth is thriving all over the ranch. Come revive and energize your soul as you experience the the magic of this private redwood forest. Feel the soothing sound and atmosphere of the pristine creek and its' endless flow as it meanders through the ranch. The seclusion and calmness of this place is addicting! PITCH YOUR TENT UNDER THE MAJESTIC REDWOODS ON THE OLDTIMERS SKID LANDING AND ENJOY THE PRIVACY, SERENITY AND THE SOUNDS OF NATURE ALL AROUND YOU. EASY WALKING ON OUR PRIVATE LOGGING ROADS. SEE THE RESULTS OF THE CZU FIRE AS YOUR HIKE DOWN TO THE PRISTINE AND BEAUTIFUL YEAR ROUND CREEK THAT RUNS THOUGH THE RANCH.
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Peace Mountain Retreat Center

4 sites · Lodging, Tents5 acres · Scotts Valley, CA
This location is a private home, turned retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We are cradled by Mother Nature, in the middle of a Redwood forest, with fresh air and California sun, work together to create an environment that will insulate you from the chaos of today’s hectic lifestyles. Besides camping or overnight stays, we offer retreats to soothe your weary soul. The rooms for rent are part of the home, where I live. We will be sharing space. I have two dogs that live on the property - a British Labrador and a Goldendoodle. Please do not book if you don't like dogs. They are the sweetest dogs you'll meet. They serve to exuberantly welcome you, as well as guard, protect and warn me about unruly UPS drivers and the very scary turkeys that roam the mountains. This property is proudly woman-owned and operated. I love hosting women travelers and have built my tent sites, rooms, cabins, retreats and experiences to cater to women. That is to say, women want a little more comfort, a little more care, a little more thoughtfulness and little more bougie. If that's what you're looking for, this is it! Of course I welcome men too. In fact, there are quite a few men’s’ retreats hosted here. All will be comforted with the smells of the redwoods outside and the smells of fresh baked bread, inside. Come and join me for a night in the woods. Welcome to Peace Mountain, ~Daisy
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The best camping near Año Nuevo State Park guide



Set in the San Mateo County town of Pescadero, about an hour south on Highway 1 from San Francisco and half an hour north of Santa Cruz, Año Nuevo State Park is known for its large population of elephant seals, though it’s also a great spot to see California sea lions, otters, and cormorants. Park features include a visitor center with a theater and interpretive exhibits, hiking trails, and picnic tables. The park is open for day use only, but campsites can be found nearby at Butano State Park and Half Moon Bay State Beach.

When to go

The weather at Año Nuevo is generally pleasant year-round, with highs in the 60s in winter and in the mid-80s from June through September. Summers tend to be dry, while late fall through early spring can be rainy. Northern elephant seals are present in the park all year long, but you’ll see the largest number during the breeding season, which runs from mid-December until late March. Molting season starts in April and runs into autumn.

Know before you go

  • Always stay at least 25 feet away from seals for your safety.
  • If visiting from December through March, you'll need to join a docent-led guided tour to enter the natural preserve and see the seals.
  • If visiting between April and November, you'll need a visitor permit, available Thursday through Monday between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.
  • Accessible features include restrooms, a picnic area near the parking lot, the Equal Access Boardwalk Trail, and the Marine Education Center. There's also an Equal Access Guided Walk Program from mid-December through March.

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