Where to Camp in CA: Part 2

It's not easy getting the good stuff for camping, but with some planning ahead, or some luck with first come, first serves, it can be a magical experience. Here's our recommendations on where to sleep under the stars, and near the water, in California.

Week: 07.10.2024
Regions: Northern & Southern CA

Sleeper Hit

Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest
It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.
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What's Shaking?

Experience California Academy of Sciences's Shake House

What’s shakin’? California Academy of Science’s Shake House, that’s what! Experience the Shake House and much more at California: State of Nature, a new exhibition at California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Experience California: State of Nature

Sur Bet!

Camp along the Big Sur coast at Kirk Creek Campground

kirk creek campground big sur
kirk creek campground big sur
kirk creek campground big sur
You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.
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All the Wright Stuff

Camping at Wright's Beach on the Sonoma Coast

Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.
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Gulls Getaway

Wildlife Trip to Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park

The Anacapa wildlife spectacle begins almost as soon as you pull away from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. First up are playful common dolphins, and if you’re lucky, humpback and migrating gray whales. As you approach, you’ll see (and hear) noisy California sea lions and harbor seals.
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Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

Camping at Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!
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Trending Stories NorCal

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  1. Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.

    View
  2. Wapama Wows

    Hetch Hetchy can be overlooked in Yosemite National Park because of its more remote location and limited facilities. But this is where you’ll also find one of the best day hikes in the park: Wapama Falls.

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  3. Sheep Tight!

    You’re not going to have to count sheep to get a good night’s sleep at Sheep Dung’s beautiful property in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Four modern cottages—tucked far apart from each other among 500 acres of rolling hills—are designed for blissful solitude. And it’s dog-friendly!

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  4. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

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Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. All the Wright Stuff

    Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.

    View
  2. kirk creek campground big sur

    Sur Bet!

    You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.

    View
  3. Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

    Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!

    View
  4. Three Falling

    Three waterfalls, and fewer people. McCloud Falls might be the best waterfall hike in Northern California. There are bigger waterfalls in the state, but it’s the whole package that makes this 4-mile (round-trip) hike truly memorable.

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