campgrounds in Northern California

15 Best Campgrounds in Northern California

Getting outdoors and enjoying the great weather is a beautiful way to spend your time. One of the best ways to do that is by camping in Northern California!

Northern California is a camping enthusiasts’ dream. With lakes, rivers, and forests in abundance, it’s easy to find an ideal spot for your next adventure.

There are so many unique campgrounds in Northern California to choose from that it can be challenging to decide which one you should go to.

The best Campgrounds in Northern California are those with the most breathtaking views and natural beauty.

It is crucial to find the best campground in Northern California for you because everyone has different camping needs.


Best Northern California’s Campgrounds

best campgrounds in northern california

Northern California is magnificent, and there are so many campgrounds that it can be hard to pick which one you should go to.

It has the most amazing views, seclusion, peace-you name it!
There are so many unique campgrounds that deciding which one you should go to can be challenging.

There are campgrounds in both mountains and the ocean, from green wooded hillsides to golden sand beaches.

If you want a secluded and rugged campground, then look at our list of Top Fifteen!

Suppose you’re looking for something more on the relaxing side with lots to do; look no further than these Top Seven campgrounds.

No matter what you’re looking for in a campground, Northern California has something for you.

We’ve compiled a list of the 15 Best Campgrounds in Northern California where you can enjoy the outdoors and make memories with friends or family all summer long!


Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground

Jedidiah Smith Campground

Redwood forests and Jedediah Smith Campgrounds provide visitors with an outdoor adventure that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Jedidiah Smith Campground is a hidden treasure in the remote northwest corner of Yosemite National Park.

The campground offers scenic views and many opportunities for exploring nature, making it perfect for backpackers or those who enjoy hiking to their campsite.

With 86 sites available that can accommodate up to eight people each, Jedidahi Smith Campground is a great place to explore the wilderness for any length of time.

The trailhead starts just across the street from the campground and leads hikers through meadows filled with wildflowers in all seasons, down into deep woods where they may spot deer or bear, ending at Yosemite Creek Campsite on Upper Pines Loop Road.

In the winter, Jedidiah Smith Campground offers a quiet retreat from the snow, with many opportunities for cross-country skiing.

Campground: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Map

Address: 1461 US-199, Crescent City, CA 95531


Antlers Campground, Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Antlers Campground, Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Antlers Campground is an excellent spot to camp with your family, as they offer lots of activities for the kids.

They have 13 picnic tables and grills onsite, perfect for cooking up some dinner before you head out and explore Shasta Lake.

The campsites are clean, and each one has its fire ring, which makes it easy to keep your campfire going.

Two group camping areas can accommodate 30 people each. From your campsite, you’ll be able to see waterfalls from Mt. Shasta and enjoy the mountain scenery.

This best Campground in Northern California is perfect for those who love to explore the outdoors, nature lovers, hikers, and more!

Campground: Antlers Campground Map

Address: 20682 Antlers Rd, Lakehead, CA 96051


Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park has long been one of America’s favorite outdoor vacations.

The park is located 30 miles east of Redding, CA and its features include cinder cones, hydrothermal areas with boiling mud pots and steam vents, and two lakes.

There are also many different trails for both day hikes and overnight hiking.

One of the most famous attractions in Lassen Volcanic National Park is called The Devastated Area.

This area was devastated by eruptions that happened between 1914 and 1917. 

Visitors can explore this desolate landscape with a short but strenuous hike along the Devastation Trail, which takes you to an overlook at the site where molten lava once flowed.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a fantastic place to camp with the family. You can hike, swim and fish in Lassen’s many lakes or you can picnic in one of its many scenic areas.

The park has various sites for your RV or tent, so it doesn’t matter what type of camping experience you’re looking for.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a visitors’ favorite because it offers many different opportunities for outdoor activities, such as backpacking and camping in the High Sierra Campground or exploring the Devastated Area on short hikes along trails that lead to overlooks at lava flows.

Campground: Lassen Volcanic National Park Map

Address: California


Rocky Point Campground, Lake Almanor

Rocky Point Campground, Lake Almanor

Rocky Point Campground is a great option for campers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Located in Lake Almanor, this campsite offers beautiful views on its waterfront lakeside location with plenty of room for boating, fishing, and swimming. Rocky Point also has an RV park that is perfect for families with RVs.

Rocky Point Campground is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a campground with amenities.

They offer modern camping cabins and RV sites, as well as an indoor heated pool that’s open all year round!

Rocky Point also has an onsite restaurant, gas station, convenience store, and boat rentals. So, if you forgot anything on your camping trip, it’s available at Rocky Point.

The campground has many campsites and is open year-round for travelers exploring Northern California in the winter months.

Rocky Point Campground offers over 110 RV sites shaded by trees and plenty of space for tents. It also has 30 primitive campsites for campers who want to give back and enjoy the natural beauty of Northern California.

The views are breathtaking from this waterfront location so that you won’t feel homesick at all!

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended camping trip, Rocky Point Campground is worth checking out if you’re looking for the best campgrounds in Northern California.

Campground: Rocky Point Campground Map

Address: Westwood, CA 96137


D.L. Bliss State Park Campground, South Lake Tahoe

D.L. Bliss State Park Campground

D.L. Bliss State Park Campground is located less than two hours from Yosemite National Park.

This is an excellent destination for those looking to get away on short notice without sacrificing the beautiful scenery of Northern California.

The campsites are spacious and well-spaced, with lots of trees between sites that provide plenty of shade for those hot summer days.

The campground also offers an 18-hole disc golf course at the entrance that provides hours of fun for all who dare to try it.

Amenities include a swimming pool, showers with flush toilets and sinks, an amphitheater for evening programs or movie nights, boat rentals, and a bait shop.

There are also hiking trails and biking paths available for those who want to explore the park on foot or by bike.

Campground: D.L. Bliss State Park Campground Map

Address: 9881 CA-89, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150


Burlington Campground, Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Burlington Campground, Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Burlington Campground is a family-friendly campground located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

The Burlington Campground is named after James John Burlingame, the United States ambassador to Japan, for over 30 years.

It offers up to 58 campsites with open, shaded, and sunny tent camping areas. The sites are on grassy rolling hills overlooking the Eel River and redwood trees.

Additional amenities include drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers, a dump station, and a camp store.

The campsite has picnic tables and fire rings at each site with grill tops that can be used on propane or wood fires-properly contained in designated fire pits.

Campers can hike the nearby redwood forests or go to Bear Harbor Marina and see a gray whale migration in season.

The campground also offers such activities as fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and swimming in the Eel River-the latter being seasonal after Memorial Day weekend in May due to water temperatures.

Burlington Campground is open year-round. Reservations are accepted and can be made up to six months in advance via the Reserve America website.

Campground: Burlington Campground Map

Address: Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571


Donner Memorial State Park, Donner Lake

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Memorial State Park is a beautiful and accessible spot for camping, with plenty of options for tents or RVs.

The park has something to offer everyone from those looking to explore the area’s history (with over 20 miles of hiking trails) to families who want easy access to activities like fishing on the Truckee River, boating and paddleboarding on Lake Donner, or fishing in the park’s many ponds.

The park is open year-round, but the busiest seasons are summer to early fall.

This section of California has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and dry summers, reflecting its location on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range.

The campgrounds have a variety of options for those looking to stay longer (seasonal camping is available), with sites that offer electric hookups and rustic tent-only campsites.

The park also offers amenities such as group camping sites that can accommodate up to 250 people and an amphitheater.

Truckee’s closest town (about eight miles away), where grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more.

Reservations must be made in advance for the group sites.

Campground: Donner Memorial State Park Map

Address: 12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161


Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument

The Lava Beds Campground is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s one of the most remote campsites in Northern California.

It provides stunning views and also has some cultural sites to explore if you have time before or after your camping adventure with your family.

The Lava Beds Campground has 43 sites that are operated by the National Park Service open year-round.

The campgrounds offer tent sites for those who enjoy camping and RV hookups for travelers looking for a more comfortable stay.

The park offers both days trips such as guided hikes or bike rides and extended trips such as the long-distance backpacking trip at Tule Lake.

There are flush toilets, showers, and potable water available for those who need them on site.

There is also a dump station for those campers with RV hookups or sewage disposal systems to make life more manageable while staying at the campsite. Other amenities include laundry facilities and cable TV access in some of the yurts.

The campground is a great place to bring the entire family and enjoy an outdoor vacation.

They have many activities available, such as fishing in the nearby lakes or hiking along with one of the trails on site.

There are also pavilions for those who would like some shade while they explore Lava Beds Campground. With campsites available starting at $10 per night, this is a great spot to stop and enjoy for the weekend.

Campground: Lava Beds Campground Map

Address: 1 Indian Well, Tulelake, CA 96134


Camp Edison, Shaver Lake

Camp Edison (Shaver Lake)

Camp Edison– Shaver Lake is one of the most stunning campgrounds in Northern California. The views overlooking this area are breathtaking, and it’s a place you will never forget.

Camp Edison is a small campground in Shaver Lake located on Highway 168 near Shaver Lake. Many campsites spread throughout various terrains, including open meadows with shade trees, wooded forest settings, and close access to trout streams bordered by massive old-growth Sequoias.

The campground is dog friendly with a new, sizeable onsite pet area, and children are welcome at this family-friendly location.

While camping at Camp Edison, there is plenty to do, including hiking or biking on trails with incredible mountain vistas, fishing for trout in local rivers, or exploring the challenging trails that lead to some of California’s best fly-fishing.

One downside to this location might be that it’s difficult to find, even if you know where you’re going. However, once there, Camp Edison is a great place to be.

It’s also worth noting that Camp Edison has no running water, so you’ll need to pack in your supply or fill up at the nearby lake before setting out on your camping adventure.

With more than 250 sites, the campground is open for RV and tent sites year-round with vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and bear bins.

Campground: Camp Edison- Shaver Lake Map

Address: 42696 Tollhouse Rd, Shaver Lake, CA 93664


Russian Gulch State Park, North of Mendocino

Russian Gulch State Park, North of Mendocino

Russian Gulch State Park is a rustic campground with gorgeous views that can’t be found anywhere else in Northern California.

This park offers tent campsites and three hiking trails to explore, so you’ll never get bored at this spot.

If you’re looking for an adventure close to the ocean without actually being near the coast, this campground is a great option.

Russian Gulch State Park offers views of the Pacific Ocean, and it’s just an hour’s drive to Mendocino with its beautiful beaches.

Russian Gulch also has restrooms, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and limited RV site water access.

Russian Gulch State Park offers restrooms, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and limited water access for RV sites for campers who need them but no other modern conveniences like electricity or wifi.

If you’re looking for natural beauty in Northern California, this is the campground for you.

Campground: Russian Gulch State Park Map

Address: CA-1, Mendocino, CA 95460


Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, North of Boulder Creek, is an excellent getaway for anyone looking to be immersed in nature.

The park has various hiking trails that explore the beautiful redwood forest and old-growth coastal fog forest.

Visitors can also enjoy camping on some sites or day-use areas where they have access to barbecue pits, picnic tables, and toilets.

The campgrounds offer easy access to hiking trails, spectacular views of Big Basin’s redwood forests, and plenty of opportunities to explore Northern California’s beautiful natural landscapes.

If you’re looking for a place with modern amenities, this isn’t the best option because Big Basin has no showers, electricity, or other amenities.

But if you’re looking for a rustic campground with fantastic views and plenty of outdoor activities (like exploring the redwoods!), it’s perfect!

The park is also home to the Roaring Camp Railroads, which offers visitors an opportunity to take a scenic train ride through Big Basin Redwoods State Park on one of their vintage trains.

Visitors can choose from various packages such as Old-Fashioned Day Out (train ride for adults and children and pancake breakfast), Classic Day Out (train ride for adults only, tea with cookies), or the Big Tree Tour (train rides to two different locations within Northern California in addition to lunch).

Big Basin is open year-round so that you can enjoy Northern California in all four seasons. If camping isn’t your thing, Big Basin also offers cabins, yurts, and tent campsites.

Campground: Big Basin Redwoods State Park Website

Address: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA 95006

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is one of the most popular camping destinations in Northern California because it’s one of the few that has both electric and non-electric campsites.

McArthur-Burney Falls is a state park in Northern California. It’s located on the McCloud River, and it features some beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls that are popular for swimming.

In addition to these natural attractions, there are also plenty of campgrounds with sites available year-round for tents or RVs as long as you’re willing to reserve a spot ahead of time.

The McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is a great camping spot, but not if you’re looking to escape crowds.

If you want peace with few people around, this may not be the place for you. However, electric campsites make it an attractive destination for those who still need power for their gadgets.

The park has various campsites available, from primitive backcountry to modern RV sites with full hookups.

The campground features nature trails; many are also accessible for wheelchair users and strollers. Camping at this location also offers naturalist-led programs and events.

Campground: McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park Website

Address: 24898 CA-89, Burney, CA 96013


Indian Well Campground, Lava Beds National Monument

Indian Well Campground, Lava Beds National Monument

Indian Well Campground is a small, shaded campground with close access to the Indian Wells and other natural resources in Lava Beds National Monument.

The campsite offers scenic views of juniper trees and cool pools for fishing during warmer months or relaxing all year round.

Indian Wells also has fantastic hiking opportunities, including lava tubes and the Gower Gulch.

The campground has a small number of campsites and is best for tents or RVs under thirty feet in height.

The sites have picnic tables, fire rings, bear boxes, shade structures that can be used to keep your camping gear dry during rainstorms, as well as vault toilets with running water nearby.

Onsite facilities include hot showers, flush toilets, tables with fire rings (no grills), bearproof food storage boxes, and potable water.

The campground gets busy on the weekends but is usually relatively empty during the weekdays. All sites are first-come, first-served, and there’s a 14 day limit per stay.

Indian Well Campground offers plenty of opportunities for exploring this unique landscape. There are plenty of trails right from your campsite, making this a great basecamp.

Campground: Indian Well Campground Map

Address: Lava Beds Campground Rd, Tulelake, CA 96134


Castle Crags State Park Campground, Castle Crags State Park

Castle Crags State Park Campground, Castle Crags State Park

Castle Crags State Park may be one of the best-kept secrets in Northern California.

Though tiny at only 16 sites, the campground is always packed and ready for visitors to explore its wild beauty during their stay.

This state park has a waterfall that pours down from the cliffs above it; this beautiful site is perfect for a picnic lunch.

Campsites vary in size, and the surrounding trees shade some while others offer more open views of Castle Crags State Park’s natural beauty.

There is also an area set up with tables, grills, and fireplaces where visitors can gather to eat or socialize; this space offers a perfect way to enjoy your stay at Castle Crags State Park.

The campsites offer picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads with space for two tents per site. They also have restrooms and potable water available onsite.

The park also offers various recreational activities for visitors ranging from hiking, mountain biking, and fishing in the creek below to horseback riding through the meadows that surround the campground.

Castle Crags gives its visitors unparalleled beauty and peace during their stay, unlike anywhere else in Northern California.

Campground: Castle Crags State Park Campground Map

Address: Dunsmuir, CA 96025


Beal’s Point Campground, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Beal's Point Campground, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Beals Point Campground is located on the southeast shore of Folsom Lake. The campgrounds offer shaded campsites, vault toilets, and potable water from a hand pump at each site.

This family-oriented campground has plenty for kids to do with their parents, like fishing, hiking, or playing in the dunes just to the east of the campground.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is located in Sacramento and Placer Counties on the eastern edge of California’s Central Valley, about 45 minutes northeast of downtown Sacramento.

The park was created by a dam across the American River, creating Folsom Lake – one of California’s largest artificial lakes.

The park offers more than 151,000 acres of scenic beauty with a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including boating and fishing on the lake, mountain biking in the hills, hiking along nature trails, and taking in breathtaking views from one of many watchpoints.

Beal’s Point Campground is a small campground that provides access to the Sacramento River and Folsom Lake.

Beal’s Point has both tent sites and RV hookups for your camping needs, as well as showers, restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings with grills available on site. Beals point is open year-round.

The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is a park for exploring the natural beauty of this region.

Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, and water skiing in the summer months or snow sports like ice skating, cross-country skiing, and sledding on the frozen surface during winter.

A variety of these activities are available near Beal’s Point Campground.

Campground: Beals Point Campground Map

Address: Beals Point, Granite Bay, CA 95746


Suggested Packing List

  1. Backpack
  2. Backpacking Tent
  3. Personal Items
  4. Sleeping bag with liner
  5. Sleeping pad
  6. Flashlight
  7. Matches and lighter fluid for firestarters
  8. Camping Gear

Additional Resources

  1. Northern California Camping Map
  2. Northern California Parks Website
  3. Reservation
  4. Current Condition

Conclusion

This article has given you a guide to some of the best campgrounds in Northern California. You can now find out which location is suitable for your needs and interests, whether it’s hiking or fishing that excites you most.

Hopefully, this post was helpful! Please let us know what campsite will be your next destination by commenting below.


FAQ


Q. How much does it cost to camp in the redwoods?

This is tough because it depends on how many campsites you want and what time of year you go. You can spend as little as $30 for a camp or well over $100 per night if you stay at the most popular campgrounds during peak months.

Q. Can you bring a tent to the beach in California?

According to Caltrans, there are no restrictions on tent camping on State Beaches. Lots of campgrounds around here let you take your trailer in, but if you don’t want that hassle, bring a big pop-up tent and sleep in the sand if you’re going to.

Q. How long does it take to drive through Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Driving times vary depending on traveling through Lassen Volcanic National Park during peak or off-peak seasons. Visitors can expect an average drive time of 2 hours and 30 minutes if they visit the park during non-peak months. During the high summer season, this increases to a trip that will take about 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Q. How long does it take to drive around Lake Almanor?

Visitors can expect an average drive time of 2 hours and 12 minutes if they visit the lake during non-peak months. During the high summer season, this increases to a trip that will take about 3 hours and 27 minutes.

Q. What can you see at the Donner Party Museum?

The Donner Party Museum was created to help keep the history of those who made it to California and the fate of those whose dreams ended at the summit. The displays in the museum offered a grim picture of life when covered wagons were new technology, unknowns were filled with hope, and traveling west meant braving the wilderness, crossing mountain ranges, and dealing with raw nature.


What do you think are the Best Campgrounds in Northern California. Let us know in the comment section below.