Staying at madrone tree hill was fantastic. We were stoked to enjoy the campground all to ourselves. We load in the meadows one night and watched the falling stars. The host was very receptive to questions via text, and he stopped by one of the days to check in. I had cell service which was helpful for me since I went during the middle of a work week. I would definitely go back :)
My friend and I hiked the Skyline to the Sea trail starting at Castle Rock State Park and ending at Waddell Beach. This took us 32 miles over 3 days and 2 nights. We camped at Waterman Gap Trail Camp on our first night there. It was peaceful and quiet. We actually went in January so the forest was wet and happy. On the third day of the hike we passed the waterfalls known as Berry Creek Falls. I would do again in a heartbeat :)
Nice little campground that was perfect weather and not too busy in late September. The sites are tiered so most of them are overlooking the lake. There is a hiking trail that loops around the lake that we didn't get to try, but definitely will be back. It's perfect because it's right outside of the east entrance to Yosemite.
This flat campground can accommodate a ton of people and was full when I was there in September. There are all kinds of people, some of who are waking up for early adventures so it's best not to bring a rowdy late-night crowd to this campground.
Arroyo seco is an awesome hidden gem off of highway 101. It can have a good amount of water after a wet winter. Along the same lines, it can also have very little and stagnant water after a dry winter. Flies can be bad and temps can reach 90+ so I would recommend fall to spring as the best time to check it out.
We camped here in early march with a group of 15+ and got a group site. It was a nice big, flat grassy area with a few other group sites in range. The ranger was a stickler and gave my friend a ticket for having his dog off the leash. We also got rained on which was eventful, luckily most of us were prepared. If you want to explore the park make sure to drive in early (the campground is about a 5-6 minute drive from the trail heads) otherwise you'll have to wait for a shuttle.
This place was lovely. We went in summer and it was not crowded at all. The sites are private and secluded, as well as cool because we were under the redwood canopy. We went on a nice hike and it was a serene experience.
Make sure to check out the waterfalls and feel free to explore the path less traveled. With beach access as well, this is a great spot. It's a big campground and the campsites are pretty close together.