Great Places to Go Camping Near Fresno, California

Camp right along the Kings River in Fresno, California
Camp right along the Kings River in Fresno, California | © Bon Koo / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alice Johnston
Food Editor6 October 2020

There are few things in life that feel as idyllic as camping. The mountain breeze, the sound of a babbling brook and the tickle of grass between your toes… If you’re looking to get back to nature in Fresno, we’ve assembled the best places to go camping in and near this central Californian city – from Pine Flat Recreation Area to Club Royal Oak. So grab your tent (or RV), and let’s go.

Pine Flat Recreation Area

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If you’re after peaceful isolation while still being within a stone’s throw of the city limit, Pine Flat Recreation Area is the place for you. With the Kings River flowing right through the center of the site, it’s ideal for the fisherman among your party. Oaks, sycamores and black walnuts provide plenty of shady patches to while away a lazy afternoon, and you can rest assured that you won’t be jealous of your neighbor’s pitch because all the campsites are perfectly uniform. Both tents and RVs are welcome.

Blackstone North RV Park

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Fans of Japanese gardens and zoos would do well to camp here, as the wonderful facilities of Woodward Park are only 2mi (3km) away, making it easy to enjoy the playgrounds, the lakes and even the amphitheater that the park has to offer. This site is very RV-friendly with 47 RV-specific paved sites with patios, electrical connects and pull-through access. The ample facilities include bathrooms, showers, laundry, a self-serve RV washing station and a dump station.

New Horizons Mobile Home and RV Park

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One to check out if you’re looking to camp out for a while, the New Horizons Mobile Home and RV Park is very well provisioned, with a swimming pool, recreation hall, bathrooms, showers, laundry and even a library on site. You’ll want for nothing here. Shady and quiet, this campsite just might give you that peace you’ve been looking for. With 11 RV spots with electrical connections, it’s a good all-rounder choice.

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  • Hidden View Campground

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    Hensley Lake Corps of Engineers Campground, Madera CA
    © Len Wilcox / Alamy Stock Photo

    Open year-round, this campsite is for the water lovers. You can camp along 24mi (39km) of Hensley Lake shorelines. Don’t tell anyone, but we think that the best spot is at Buck Ridge. You must make a reservation at least three days in advance before coming here. The lake allows campers to enjoy jet-skiing, swimming, water-skiing and fishing. After all that activity, relax and enjoy using the campsite’s swimming pool, playground, bathrooms, showers, laundry, picnic tables and boat ramp.

    Hauli Huvila

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    A wild card option, but one that might just suit you down to the ground, Hauli Huvila is a private campsite that is only open to you if you have Finnish connections. So if you’re from Finland, are Finnish, are married to a Finn or come with a Finnish friend, welcome! Found right on the Kings River in the beautiful San Joaquin Valley, Hauli Huvila helps visitors to reconnect with their Finnish roots. Finnish is spoken widely around the site, and there is a large number of daily Finnish activities, including egg tossing and boot toss contests.

    Club Royal Oak

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    Club Royal Oak is a labor of love, established from the remains of the Royal Oak Park, a resort that went out of business in 2004, by a family who invested time and money to purchase the property where their dying mother had spent summers as a child. With a secure, family feel, there are 95 grassy sites here just waiting for your tents and RVs – 36 of which directly face the river. Make sure you bring ingredients for s’mores, because there are fire pits a-plenty here.

    These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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