Discover Northern California Camping
In All its Variations!
Camping in Northern California is the best camping there is!
You've got your beaches, your mountains, your Redwoods, your rocky rugged coastlines, your wilderness, your lakes, rivers, and streams ... just about every environment you could imagine!
Do you have a favorite
From a family visit from years ago to something
you discovered last weekend,
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Discover the Northern California Camping
That's Just Right for You!
North Coast and Coast Range Camping
Along the North Coast and in the Coastal Mountain Range, you'll find everything from primitive camping opportunities to luxurious campgrounds with all the amenities.
You'll also find some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, with rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, lakes and waterways, grasslands, and the Redwood forests of Del Norte, Calaveras, and Mendocino counties.
Klamath Range Camping
Explore the Klamath Mountain Range in the far Northwestern corner of NorCal, which includes what's known as the Trinity Alps, and you'll discover some of the most primitive and secluded camping you'll find anywhere!
I remember my Dad telling us about the summers he and his brother spent in the Trinity wilderness as teenagers. They would hunt and fish the forests and streams for their dinner, seeing nary a soul for weeks. Amazingly, little has changed since those days!
Cascade Range Camping
Looking for Northern California camping that's lakeside? The greater Cascade Range area boasts Lake Shasta, Eagle Lake, Antelope Lake, Crater Lake, Medicine Lake, and countless more!
Besides beautiful lakes to camp around, the Cascades are home to snow-capped mountains, and an active volcano (Mount Lassen) with geothermal features that make this area one of the more unusual Northern California camping regions.
Central Valley Camping
Grasslands, farmland, and the Sierra Nevada foothills make up the Central Valley, and there are plenty of camping opportunities!
For things to see and do while you're camping here, choose between exploring gold rush towns, visiting Gold Country wineries, browsing the antique stores, camping at any of the many reservoirs for water sports, and discovering one of the most productive farming areas in the world.
Sierra Nevada Mountain Camping
This area encompasses such familiar and popular destinations as Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth, and Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Forests; but it also includes the Eastern Sierras where you'll find dramatic contrasts - mountains melding into deserts, the Tufa towers of Mono Lake, looming glacier peaks hovering above the alkali flats - it's breath-takingly beautiful!
Napa and Sonoma Camping
Because Napa and Sonoma are popular areas for residents and visitors alike, it's surprising there are so many isolated and secluded places to camp in the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country! You'll enjoy peacefully hidden worlds, old-growth Redwood, mist-covered forests, and peaks with sweeping views.
San Francisco Bay Area Camping
Another surprise when it comes to Northern California camping is the San Francisco Bay Area! A region that's so populated doesn't usually conjure up visions of camping, wilderness, and wildlife. But hilly San Francisco was built atop the Coastal Mountain Range, and you'll discover rolling hills and broad valleys within a hair's breadth of The Big City.
Central Coast Camping
One of my personal favorites for camping, of course, is the Central Coastal area.
Choose from camping in the mountains (Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a favorite of mine!) and the Forest Service campgrounds around Big Sur; campsites that overlook the ocean, and camping near or even on the beach - it just doesn't get much better than Central Coast camping!
We recently received this question from one of our readers: "We live in the Sac area and looking to head somewhere warmer in March to camp other than Southern California. Any suggestions?" You can see the answer here.
If you have a question for us, be sure to ask at FAQs.
Northern California Camping Alternatives
There aren't too many places left in California where you can just
pull off the side of the highway or down a fire road and set up your camp. But you won't find a shortage of camping opportunities, nonetheless!
National Parks and Forests
California has an extensive system of National Parks and National Forests, many of which are in Northern California!
Some of the National Forests that allow camping are Shasta-Trinity, Modoc, Sequoia, Tahoe, Sierra, Monterey, and Six Rivers forests.
California State Parks
California also has one of the most extensive State Park systems in the United States!
And though we're facing budget woes at the moment, hundreds of thousands of people are looking outside the normal box of funding tricks to find ways to save our parks.
You'll find State Beaches, and State Historic Parks; Protected Areas, and Reserves; plus the State Parks and Campgrounds.
You can't camp at all of them - for instance, you can't always camp on a State Beach. But there's usually camping of some kind around, so you can camp nearby and enjoy the non-camping portions of the California State Park system on a Day Use basis.
If that's not enough for you, there are literally thousands of private campgrounds throughout Northern California where you can park your tent or RV, rent a cabin, or stay at a lodge and enjoy the great outdoor adventures that come along with Northern California camping!
And if it's lodging you're looking for, compare prices and
ammenities, then book your choice at HotelsCombined:
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