Grab a bike, a kayak, climbing gear, or a saddle to enjoy the serene beauty of Northern California’s favorite camping ground. Lake Tahoe’s campgrounds are located lake-side and in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada surrounding the lake. Sandy beaches and beautiful hikes leading to panoramic views and hidden lakes abound, so be sure to check out which campground will best suit your needs. During summer months, ski resorts like Squaw Valley and Heavenly are open as hiking trails and if you’re in South Lake Tahoe, don’t miss the chance to take a gondola ride up to Monument Peak or hike up Eagle Lake Trail for some high-elevation swimming. Check out D.L. Bliss State Park for a spot by the lake with showers, toilets, and in convenient proximity to Tahoe City and Truckee River, which makes for exciting river rafting. Alternatively, opt for the unique boat-in camping offered at scenic Emerald Bay; Rental boats are available if you don’t have your own.
Ever gone to the beach and wished you could just stay there? Big Sur campgrounds provide the perfect stretch of coast, caught in between the Saint Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Step outside your tent and enjoy sunrise over the ocean, spot the California Condors, go for a hike, or climb down to get your surf on. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a favorite of the area, located among ragged granite cliffs, an 80 ft. waterfall that drops dramatically into the sea, beautiful trees, and diverse marine life. Restrooms and phones are available to the public as well as RV or tent-only sites.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 47555 CA-1, Big Sur, CA, USA, +1 831 667 2315
Sleep under the protection of the pines and wake up to fresh mountain air every day at Big Bear, with an exciting day packed with fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, hiking, and biking to look forward to. The Big Bear Campsites are lined along Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, just secluded enough to get close to nature but within close enough proximity to the nearby towns to stock up on supplies. Serrano Campground is the most popular spot because it’s right on the lake’s edge, but other campgrounds scattered through the forest are just as beautiful and all include running water, toilets, showers, firewood for sale, and a friendly camp host to help with any questions. RV spots right on the shoreline are another popular option for those looking for a little bit more luxury from their camping.
Sequoia National Park encompasses glacial-cut valleys and idyllic groves of ancient Sequoias. Beautiful vistas on granite and shale cliffs reveal panoramic views of the park and the adjacent Kings Canyon Park making hikes worth the trek; swimming holes offer relief on hot days and the fishing is plentiful (with a permit). The Sequoia National Park campsites provide picnic tables, food storage and varying toilets, some with vault toilets and others with flush. There are no full bathrooms, but you can head over to Silver City Mountain Resort for showers at the cost of parking.
Sequoia National Park, California, USA, +1 559 565 3341