The best camping near Castle Rock State Park

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

97% (19 reviews)
97% (19 reviews)

Hikers and climbers love Castle Rock State Park.  

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Community favorites near Castle Rock State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Castle Rock State Park

97%
(387)

The Ranch at Cross Road

11 sites · RVs, Tents84 acres · Livermore, CA
Welcome to the ranch at cross road! We are a family owned organic farm in the heart of Livermore wine country. We have 10 camp sites spread across the property for you to choose from. The property is minutes from Lake Del Valle and some of the best wineries and breweries California has to offer. Settle in and enjoy amazing sunsets every night with us! We accommodate tents,Travel trailers, Fifth wheels, Toy haulers, Pop-up campers, Class A RVs, Class B RVs, Class C RVs, Campervans, and Cars. Our guests love us too! "I had a wonderful stay at Matt’s ranch! It was easy to find even as it was starting to get dark, and the campsites were well lit and easy to find. The ranch is beautiful. It was such a treat to stay here. I would definitely stay again."
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$50
 / night
96%
(201)

Elkhorn Ranch

6 sites · Tents11 acres · CA
Five minutes from the beach, Elkhorn Ranch is home to goats, sheep, wild chickens followed by their baby chicks, and a couple of cows, dogs, and sheep. In addition to the animals there is a greenhouse and an acre of pumpkins, corn, and beans. A small fruit orchard borders the chicken coop. Anybody who enjoys small farm life and activity will find this place enchanting. Norris and Roberta are incredible hosts and inclusive to any guests that want to participate in farm life. Close to restaurants and the cute harbor town of Moss Landing, 30 minutes from Carmel and Santa Cruz, Elkhorn Ranch can be a place to relax or a gateway to explore Big Sur and all the amazing hidden gems of the Central California Coast.
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$75
 / night
97%
(71)

Up Shit Creek

7 sites · Lodging, Tents12 acres · Boulder Creek, CA
12 Acres in the Redwoods. Creekside. We have a private driveway with lots of secluded Space. lots of chickens usually an endless supply of eggs for breakfast. Small campfires available. Cabin renters have access to Hot showers, wood-burning stove, kitchen amenities and running water. Porta potty only The cabins are located Away from our living area. Main cabin is overlooking the creek and the tent sites, creekside cabin is down near the swimming hole and tent sites. Tent sites are located next to the creek or up near the community fire pit. This is our home, it is private, eclectic and filled with natural beauty. That being said, it is by no means pristine. We have the occasional junk pile like most off grid homesteaders do. We do not throw out some things that others would. We try to find a use for old and weathered equipment and materials. Our cabin is built completely with recycled and reclaimed materials. Like I said, we do not like to waste anything, so you may notice a few parts and pieces laying around.
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$65
 / night
91%
(164)

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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$55
 / night
93%
(308)

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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$45
 / night
96%
(88)

Peace, Love and Sunset Ranch

11 sites · Lodging5 acres · Watsonville, CA
Your cooking supplies, stoves, barbeque and dinnerwares are inclusive! Located in a serene oakwood grove area, our private campground offers a peaceful getaway with an abundance of bird varieties and occasional wild turkeys passing through. Take a stroll around our 5-acre property and catch a breathtaking sunset from the hillside. We're only 11 minutes away from Mount Madonna State Park and just 10 minutes from a local healthy grocery store and yoga studio. The beautiful Pajaro Dunes coastal area is just a 15-minute drive away, and the Santa Cruz Fairground is only two minutes away. Our location is surrounded by family friendly farms such as Gizdich ranch and nurseries, hence why it's considered the salad bowl of the United States. The Santa Cruz beaches are only 15-25 minutes away, while Monterey Bay Aquarium is just 30 minutes away and Gilroy Gardens is about 25 minutes away. The wine trail is also nearby. There are plenty of activities to enjoy nearby, including horseback riding at Mount Madonna Stable, Mount Madonna Retreat Center, hiking at Mount Madonna State Park, wine tastings at various wineries with stunning views, kayaking at Elkhorn Slough or any beaches, yoga at Watsonville Yoga or onsite, swimming, scuba diving in Monterey, visiting the Hanoman temple at Mount Madonna retreat center, and attending any events at the Santa Cruz Fairground. Julie, our campground manager offers horse lessons for anyone starting at age 8 + but not heavier than 180 lbs. The property has 3 stalls for hot showers, 1 hand washing sink, 3 flushable toilette, 1 communal outdoor kitchen with supplies of cookwares, dishes, mugs, glasses, utensils, pots and pans, coffee mugs, and 1 sink with hot water, 3 fire pits (2 of them is fire burning and 1 of them is propane), camping stoves, 1 gas barbeque and there is an electricity in the communal kitchen area. Propane for fireplace is included and Firewoods are available for sale. No need to bring your cooking utensils. Salt and pepper are provided. No need to bring your own cooking supplies and dinnerware unless you prefer to do so. Board games as well as drawing paper and easel are provided as well. Your parking spot is within a very short walking distance and there is a wagon for you to use to haul your belongings to your camp site.
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$95
 / night
Booked 22 times

Shiima koh

3 sites · Tents3 acres · Aptos Hills Larkin Valley, CA
Shííma koh is a beautiful space nestled in the aptos hills. We are 15 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from town, all whilst being surrounded by redwoods. It’s a quiet place with a beautiful view of the valley and natural spring water. We are a family with a few dogs and livestock who live here. And welcome you to our shííma koh château (cabin). Includes your own parking space, kitchenette, bathroom and WiFi.
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$50
 / night
94%
(48)

Bella Foret (beautiful forest)

8 sites · Tents2 acres · Portola Valley, CA
Bella Foret, “beautiful forest” A Gem Nestled along La Honda creek between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay . Dog and other friendly, attached hiking trails to waterfalls, creek from property. Owner lives on site. some sites allow fires in permitted fire pits. (local wood only!) All inclusive campsites including toilet, outdoor shower and kitchen. Electricity and potable water provided. Sites limited to 2-3 person tent and quiet hours are strictly adhered.
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$85
 / night
97%
(464)

Redwood Retreat: Camping & Cooking

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Watsonville, CA
Located on 16 acres, Redwood Retreat is nestled among majestic redwood trees. It is a cool relief from hot temperatures elsewhere! We have a cottage, a tent cabin with a queen air mattress, 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 6 (w/ host approval). Enjoy the owls, ravens, doves, hummingbirds, and salamanders and NO WIFI. Our common area includes bbq's, propane burners, picnic tables, dish-washing area and all cooking must be done here during fire season which is NOW. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO USE ANYTHING THAT HAS AN OPEN FLAME IT WILL NEED TO BE DONE HERE where there is less danger and plenty of fire extinguishers. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO HALT ALL ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE FLAMES AT ABSOLUTELY ANY TIME. The terrain on our property is NOT hikeable but we provide you with links to many trails as well as recommendations for lots to see and do in the area. 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. PLUS, Chef Mima has a host of things to offer in terms of culinary temptations like a whole line of SENSATIONAL SKILLETS or the more upscale 3 COURSE DINNER. Menus are sent when you book. Why not line up a 3 hour COOKING WORKSHOP that includes DINING ON THE DECK with your new culinary creation? 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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$85
 / night
83%
(20)

HMB Highway Overnight Rest Stop

2 sites · RVs1 acre · Half Moon Bay, CA
WELCOME PLEASE READ! Overnight parking and Rest Stop on South Highway One. Private road and picnic area. Walk to beach bluffs 10 minutes. Potable water. Bathrooms. Fire pit and wood and picnic table (shared area) Tents okay. An abundance of seasonal wildflowers and wild berries Year round. Observe rare. Species of birds Close walk to town for shopping and festivals. ********************************************* Next to FARM horses and chickens. Ocean may be loud. Highway may be heard. No pets please. Noise curfew is sundown. No parties in this location. Check in after 2pm Check out is noon.
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$53
 / night
99%
(104)

Whiskey Hill Barn and Camp

4 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Watsonville, CA
Stay within minutes of Manresa, Sand Dollar, and Sunset State beaches. There are excellent biking and hiking opportunities on the Watsonville and Elkhorn sloughs, or commune with the redwoods in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The air is amazing here, between the salt sea and redwood forest. We welcome you to relax and refresh on the Monterey Bay coast.
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$75
 / night
99%
(119)

Mission Ranch "Mi Querida"

8 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · CA
Known to many in the Bay Area as the "Nearby Getaway" is a quick and easy 60 minute drive from the SF Bay Area. Come to relax in peace and quiet, pleasant outdoor. A short drive away but far from troubles you've left behind! Relax and rejuvenate. The weather is always temperate, sometimes the evening marine layer lavishly blankets the rolling hills like cotton. Evening campfires are cozy and safe. For the ultimate Nearby Getaway book the entire property and bring along your own selected guest list of friends or family. We invite private groups to exclusive use of the property for Getaways, family & friends picnics, celebrations, reunions, even weddings. Day use or overnite facilities. Groups of 1-100. Easy access to Highway 101 for "Nearby Getaways" or convenient stops along your travels. NEWS FLASH: Skip the long stopover at urban EV charging stations. Charge your EV overnite! Special rates for stopover charging! Easy off and on to Highway 101, 129. 156 and on your way! Come to your "Nearby Getaway" at Mi Querida - an easy drive from the SF Bay Area - for great sky views, and pleasant country walks, or step back in time to the Mission-era town of San Juan Bautista without commercialism! Well, we do have a gas station, a market, the active mission, of course, a step back in history, a few quaint restaurants, craft beer and local wines in our "one-horse" historical town. Host is a well-experienced event and tour planner. Simply ask for recommendations. Learn more about this land: This is a large flat site with rolling hills, lovely rural views, rolling oak studded pastureland, open views, lovely sunsets and beautiful mornings. Very quiet, private, peaceful and serene. Afternoon breezes while red tailed hawks ride the thermals, and woodpeckers work on their treasure hoarde. Spot the breeding pair of Bald Eagles who swoop down almost low enough to touch! Wildlife abounds. Easy access from Highway 101, yet private and secluded. Historic San Juan Bautista Mission and town nearby. Monterey/Carmel 30 minutes. Santa Cruz/Beaches 20 minutes. Hollister, Salinas, or Gilroy 20 minutes. Site will accommodate RV, Sprintervan, or trailer 50/30/20 amp service. Tents welcome too! Water. Ranch "outhouse" with flushable composting style toilet, running hot & cold water, shower and electricity. Bunkhouse rustic accommodations available. Contact Host for details. Tent and Car Top Tent sites also available. Contact Host for details. Beautiful peaceful historic San Juan Bautista. Quaint historic mission town nearby with restaurants. Hiking trails nearby Horseback riding woods & beach. Equine Facilities available. 20 min to beach or redwoods. Beautiful rural area. Weddings, anniversaries, celebrations of life; event camp; event site. Family groups and events always welcome! Call for more information. NOTE: This property is located in a very private country area. It is approximately 10 minutes from the small historic town of San Juan Bautista. We meet our first time guests at the Park & Ride as a welcome courtesy so you can easily follow us in and around the potholes on our rural roads! Let us know if we can assist you with any special interests or attractions in the Monterey Bay and Central Coast Area. As your hosts, our goal is that you will rest easy, enjoy the relaxation, peace and harmony for your "getaway."
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$115
 / night

The best camping near Castle Rock State Park guide

Overview

About

Tucked into the Santa Cruz mountains lies a sandstone paradise full of dramatic views, excellent hiking, and coastal redwoods. Bonus: it's just an hour's drive from the Bay Area.

Hikers will love the endless trail options. There are 34 miles of trails in the park itself. These trails also connect to a wider network in the adjoining Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Portola Redwoods State Parks. It’s way more than you can see in a day. Fortunately, there are two walk-in campsites where you can spend the night. 

Just 2.6 miles from the parking lot on the Saratoga Gap trail, Castle Rock Trail Camp offers 20 sites perched on a ridge. If you camp here, be sure to walk around a bit to find an epic sunset view after you set up camp. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want a guaranteed spot, head to Waterman Gap Trail Camp. It’s a lot further (nine miles) but the sites are reservable. Waterman Gap is also the first stop on the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. A three-day trek that takes you from Castle Rock all the way to the sea at Waddell Beach (highly recommended).

Rock climbers will find plenty to do here. The area’s sandstone is riddled with honeycomb-like features called tafoni. These unique features make for some interesting climbing. The climbing here is mostly sport and bouldering but there are a few trad climbs. A lot of routes can also be top roped, making this an excellent area for beginners. If you’re looking for a challenge, try the runout but classic waterfall route. It’s 100 feet of heady leading.

There is no cell service in the park so plan ahead. Dogs are also not allowed. If you want to bring doggo climbing, try nearby Indian Rock, it’s right outside the park boundaries.

The Bay Area’s temperate climate makes any time a great time to visit. It never really gets too hot during the summer. It’s often gorgeously sunny during the winter. Escape those winter doldrums and soak up some vitamin D. Your body will thank you.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Book early, as reservations can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons.
  • Check the park's reservation system regularly for cancellations to snag a spot.
  • Consider visiting during the off-season for better availability and a quieter experience.
  • Explore nearby camping options if Castle Rock is fully booked.

When to go

The best time to visit Castle Rock State Park is during spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural beauty is at its peak. Summer offers longer days for exploration, though it can be warm. Winter may bring closures due to weather, so always check ahead.

Know before you go

  • Prepare for no cell reception; plan your visit and communications accordingly.
  • Trail conditions can vary; check with park staff upon arrival for the latest updates.
  • Bring cash for the $10 vehicle day-use fee, as card facilities may not be available.
  • Remember, dogs are not allowed in the park, ensuring the preservation of local wildlife.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations are available, so eco-friendly travel is welcome.

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