Category Archives: California Camping

There are hundreds of California campsites to choose from. The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages over two hundred and seventy different campgrounds in the state. You can find a diverse range of camping scenery including miles of beaches, rugged high deserts, beautiful rolling hills, the exiting gold country, and the pine forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Click the links below for information on the best campgrounds in California as well as recreational resources, and campsite reviews.

Yosemite Lower Pines Campground

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Yosemite lower pines campground is located on the east end of Yosemite Valley. Many of the campsites in Yosemite Valley are quite close together and are situated among tall pine trees in several different loops. However you can find a few sites with some privacy. The scenery of the Yosemite Valley definitely can’t be beat. And its close proximity to great hiking trails, Curry Village, and the Merced River make this a great spot for someone who wants to be in the heart of the action that Yosemite offers.

You may be surprised to learn that bears and deer’s do often frequent the lower pines campground. For this reason it is essential that you store all food in the bear locker situated on the site. Each site comes with a picnic table, food locker, and fire ring. There is also nearby bathrooms with flush toilets and potable water. The sites are open from March through October depending on the weather. There are approximately 60 tent campsites. Each campsite costs $20 a night and up to six people are allowed per site. Unfortunately no pets are allowed.

There are several wheelchair accessible campsites. These are numbers 7,13 14, 18 and 20. In addition there are two group campsites that can accommodate 7 to 12 people as well as a double campsite that holds up to 12. You can find showers nearby at the Housekeeping Camp or in Curry Village. If you have an RV or trailer you can find a dump station in camp. RVs up to 40 feet in length as well as trailers up to 35 feet are welcome at Lower Pines Campground.

Reservations for campsites are available online and are recommended for about five months in advance.

Number of Campsites: 60 + 3 group sites
Location: Yosemite Valley, close to Curry Village
Elevation: 4000 ft
Max People Per Site: 6 people per site
Facilities: Yes
Dump station: Yes
Grocery Store: Yosemite Village & Curry Village
Showers: Housekeeping Camp & Curry Village
Pets: No pets allowed
Trailers and RV’s: Up to 35 ft  in tent sites for trailers, RVs up to 40ft
Open: Approx. March through October
Reservations: Required
Cost: $20 tent sites
Phone: (209)372-0200

Have you stayed at Lower Pines Campground? If so let other readers know what you think by sending in your comments and campsite reviews below.

 

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Tuolumne Meadows Campground Yosemite

The Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite is located on the Tioga Road at an elevation of 8600 feet. The high elevation of this campground means it’s only open from July through late September. The opening and closing date is approximate and depends on the weather. To find the campground you can drive the last 7 miles from the Tioga Pass entrance on the Tioga Pass Road also known as California Highway 120.

The campsites at Tuolumne Meadows are bigger than most Yosemite campsites and have beautiful surroundings. Most sites are shaded by pine trees. You can see popular Cathedral, Lembert and Unicorn peaks nearby. There are multiple hiking excursions available from the campground including a climb up to Lembert Dome. This hike goes to an altitude of 9450 feet and takes about 3 miles round trip. There is also a gentle hike to nearby Parsons Lodge, as well as a hike to Elizabeth Lake.

Half of the Tuolumne Meadows Campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. The other half of the sites are online reservation only. Tuolumne Meadows campsites cost $20 per night with a maximum of six people per site. Seven group campsites are available for 13 to 30 people at a cost of $40 a night. There are also four horse sites available at a cost of $25 per night. In total there are 304 campsites available plus the group and horse sites. Every campsite has a picnic table, bear locker, and fire ring. There’s also potable water nearby as well as bathrooms with flushing toilets.

While visiting this campsite I’ve had many bear sightings. I’ve personally witnessed bears tearing campsites apart in their search for food. It’s very important to always store your food in a bear locker to avoid unwanted bear aggression and loss of property. I’ve noticed this site can also have a big mosquito problem. Make sure to bring clothing that can protect you from mosquitoes, as well as bug repellent to help ward off the bulk of them.

Map of Tuolumne Meadows

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Tuolumne Meadows Campground
Number of Campsites: 304 (plus 7 group sites and 4 horse sites)
Location: Tioga Road at Tuolumne Meadows
Elevation: 8,600 ft
Max People Per Site: 6 people per site
Facilities: Yes
Dump station: West of Campsite
Grocery Store: Tuolumne Meadows store
Showers: In Yosemite Valley
Pets: Allowed in regular sites
Trailers and RV’s: Up to 35 ft  in tent sites, no trailers in group sites, 27 ft limit for horse sites
Open: Approx. July through late September
Reservations: Yes for 1/2 the sites
Cost: $20 tent sites, $25 horse sites, $40 for group sites
Phone: 877/444-6777

Have you stayed at Tuolumne Meadows Campground? If so let other readers know what you think about this campsite by submitting your comments and reviews in the form below.

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White Wolf Campground Yosemite

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White Wolf Campground in Yosemite is one of my favorite campsites. It’s high elevation of 8000 feet means it’s only open between July and early September. The opening and closing times vary depending on the weather.

The White Wolf campground is around 30 miles north of Yosemite Village. It has 74 tent sites. The cost per night is $14 with a maximum of six people allowed per site. The campground can accommodate RVs up to 27 feet in length and trailers up to 24 feet. White Wolf frequently offers ranger campfires for kids and families, as well as ranger walks to nearby Indian grinding rocks.

There are two main trails leading from White Wolf to nearby lakes. One trail leads East over 4 miles to Lukens in his late. Another trail is approximately 5 miles long leading to Harden lake. There is also a trail that goes to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne to the north which can reach in excess of 30 miles in length.

To get to White Wolf from Yosemite Village it’s about a 1 hour drive. To get there you turn on to big oak flat road and drive 9 miles until you reach the intersection of Tioga Pass Road which is also California Highway 120. Take Tioga Pass Road for approximately 14 miles and turn left onto the White Wolf campground access road. The campsite is 1 mile down.

The black bears have been very active at White Wolf in the past. I’ve sighted bears around camp numerous times. So if the thought of bears lurking around makes you squeamish, this may not be the place or you. With that said it is an exhilarating experience to be up close with wild bears.

Map of White Wolf Campground
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White Wolf Campground
Number of Campsites 74
Location: Off of Tioga Pass Road 1 hour to the North of Yosemite Valley
Elevation: 8000 ft.
Max People Per Site: 6
Facilities: Fire ring, picnic table, and bear locker
Bathrooms: Yes with flush toilets
Potable water: Yes
Dump station: No, nearest is at Tuolumne Meadows or Yosemite Valley
Grocery Store: Yes
Showers: No
Pets: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Call
Trailers and RV’s: RV’s up to 27 ft, trailers up to 24 ft
Open: Approx July through Early Sept (varies by weather)
Reservations: No
Cost: $14 a night

 

  • Take a hike to Lukens Lake – Trail is 4.6 miles round trip from White Wolf Lodge round trip. Trail difficulty 4/10. Time needed – 2-3 hours.
  • Take a hike to Harden Lake – Trail is approx 5.8 miles round trip and begins from White Wolf Lodge. Trail difficulty is moderate and is rated at 4/10. Time needed – 2-4 hours.

Have you stayed at the White Wolf Campground? If so let other readers know what you think about this campsite by submitting your review and comments below.

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Bridalveil Creek Campground Yosemite

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Bridalveil Creek Campground in Yosemite is located in a wooded area along the Bridalveil Creek. The campground itself accommodates 110 tent campsites, as well as three horse sites and two group sites. One of the main draws to the Bridalveil Creek Campground is its location to several excellent trails, as well as its closeness to the glacier point overlook.

One of the closest trails is the McGurk Meadow Trail. The trail begins a quarter of a mile west from the campground turnoff. It is an easy hike of approximately 2 miles that leads to an old log cabin belonging to one of the original pioneers.

The Meadow itself is beautiful and often covered in dozens of varieties of wild flowers. If you visit in June or July you’re likely to see a lush green meadow with tons of flowers. The hike itself should only take you 30 to 60 minutes.

Another popular hiking trip from Bridalveil Creek is Ostrander Lake Trail. This trail is approximately 12.7 miles round trip. The the trail begins approximately 1 1/2 miles east of the Campground. It leads to an alpine Lake with views of the Yosemite Valley Mountains.

Glacier point is about 6 miles north east of Bridalveil Creek Campground and is an excellent place to take in the beautiful views of Yosemite. From the Outlook you can see a panoramic view of many of Yosemite’s domes and a view of Yosemite Valley.

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Bridalveil Creek Campground
Number of Campsites: 110 tent, 2 group, and 3 horse sites
Location: From Wawona Road (Highway 41) drive approx 8 miles east on Glacier Point Road. It is about a 45 minute drive going south from Yosemite Valley
Elevation: 7200 ft
Max People Per Site: 6
Facilities: Picnic table, fire ring, and bear locker
Bathrooms: Yes
Potable Water Yes
Dump station: No, Nearest are in Wawona or Yosemite Valley
Grocery Store: No, Nearest are in Wawona or Yosemite Valley
Showers: No
Pets: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Call
Trailers and RV’s: Up to 35 ft
Open: July through early September (approx)
Reservations: No, site available first come, first served
Cost: $14 a night for tent, $25 horse, and $40 for group
Phone: 877/444-6777

 

Have you stayed at the Bridalveil Creek Campground? If so let other readers know what you think about this campsite by leaving a comment and review below.

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Wawona Campground Yosemite

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The Wawona Campground in Yosemite is located at the southern end of the National Park. There are 93 Wawona campsites available. The campsites are spread out along the the South Fork of the Merced River. Many sites offer beautiful views and immediate access to the river. You can swim and fish from many of the campsites.

Each campsite contains a picnic table, their locker and fire ring. There are nearby bathrooms with flushing toilets, potable water, and a small grocery store close by. Showers can be found in Yosemite Valley. There is also a dump station located on Forest drive east of water during the summer. The Campground can accommodate RVs, or trailers up to 35 feet in length.

Wawona campgrounds is open all year, and they accept reservations online from around April through September. Campsites are on a first come first served basis from October through March. There are also horse site reservations available around April through September depending on the weather.

The cost of a Wawona campsites is $20 per night with a maximum of six people per site during the peak season. From October through April the campsite costs $14. Group campsites of 13 to 30 people are available for $40 per night. There are one group and two horse campsites available.

Overall, Wawona Campground is a beautiful spot with access to some great nearby hiking locations. The Mariposa Grove is an area of giant Sequoia trees which can be hiked to from Wawona on a 6 mile trail. Many of the trees are over 2000 years old and absolutely massive. There’s also a nearby hike to Chilnaulna falls which is a secret spot and not widely known.

The elevation of Wawona Campground is 4000 feet. You can make reservations by calling 877/444-6777. You can also get more information on the Yosemite National Park Service website located here.

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Wawona Campground
Campsites: 93 tent, 1 group, and 2 horse campsites
Location: 25 miles to the south-west of Yosemite Village
Elevation: 4,000 feet
Max People Per Site: 6
Facilities: Bathrooms with flush toilets, potable water, picnic table, bear locker, and fire pit
Dump station: Located in nearby Forest drive (summer only)
Grocery Store: Located in nearby Wawona
Showers: No
Pets: Allowed
Wheelchair Access: Yes (campsites #69, and 70)
Trailers and RV’s: Yes under 35 feet
Open: All Year
Reservations: Needed April-September. Oct-Mar first come
Cost: $20 a night April-October – $14 off season, group site $40
Phone: 877/444-6777

Have you stayed at the Wawona campground in Yosemite? If so please leave your review and comments below to let other readers know what you think about these campsites.

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Clifford Kamph Memorial County Park

Located near the Oregon border the Clifford Kamph Memorial County Park has a great oceanfront location. The campsite sits on a sandy beach with additional campsites on a nearby hill. The campground features some trees and excellent fishing. Fishermen can commonly catch perch, rockfish, and cod fish.

There are a total of 12 tent campsites with a fee per night of ten dollars. Clifford Kamph Memorial County Park is located on the West side off U.S. Highway 101, 3 miles south of the Oregon border, and 4.8 miles North of Smith River. Pets kept on a leash are welcome.

For more information about this campground contact Dell Norte County Parks Department at:

707-464-7230
840 9th Street, Suite 11
Crescent City, CA 95531

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Bear River Campgrounds in Colfax CA

The Bear River Campgrounds is located in Colfax California and is a great place to go gold panning, hiking, swimming, fishing, whitewater paddling and hiking.

Location: 2500 Campground Rd. Colfax, California 95713
Contact Info: 530-346-8891

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Directions: Exit West Weimar Crossroads from Interstate 80 and drive north 1 1/2 miles. Then turn right on Placer Hills Road to Plum Tree Road 2 1/2 miles. Turn left on Plum Tree Road and follow it until you reach the Bear River Campground.

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