Why is it so hard to find campsites in California?

Hipcamp staff
A scenic view of California

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.

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