Damme Good Camping

Camp at the environmental campground in Van Damme State Park in Mendocino

River otters and redwoods blend smoothly in the charming hamlet of Mendocino. And while many visitors head for convenient drive-in campgrounds, just a few miles south of town is one of the best hike-in (or bike-in) campgrounds on the California coast. Van Damme State Park follows Little River inland from the ocean, and the nine first-come, first-served environmental campsites can be reached only via the partially paved and mostly flat Fern Canyon Trail.

kids on the beach van damme state park

cliffs at van damme state park

redwood forest trail van damme state park

You can hike to the campsites but we recommend bringing your bike to ride the 2 miles in. Each site has a picnic table and all are nestled among coastal redwoods in a fern canyon along the Little River. Beautiful. Spend some time exploring.

Hike a couple of miles from camp to a pygmy cypress forest where 100-year-old trees reach just one foot in height. Or hang out on the large and delightful beach at the mouth of Little River (a popular entry point for scuba and abalone divers). Damme good time!

TIP: Van Damme has plenty of drive-in campsites and you'll need a reservation if you're booking anytime in spring through autumn.

More information on Van Damme State Park’s hike-in (environmental) campsites. No dogs at the environmental campsites.

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