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Best Camping Spots in Northern California

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Northern California offers a variety of camping destinations that showcase the diverse landscapes of this adventurous region. Discover campsites in redwood forests, volcanic areas, sandy beaches, fern valleys, and more. Some of Northern California’s most popular camping spots are in state or national parks. These include the beautiful Redwoods National and State Parks, which protect some of the world’s last remaining old-growth coastal forests. Redwoods National and State Parks also have amazing wild coastlines with campsites by the sea.

There are many other great places to camp in Northern California, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Mount Shasta. Experience camping at places like the Mendocino coast, which never disappoints. For lake camping, you can choose from several natural and artificial lakes on the north side of the state.

1. D.L. Bliss State Park Campground, South Lake Tahoe

D.L. Bliss State Park Campground, South Lake Tahoe is one of the best camping spots in Northern California
Image: Hipcamper, 2023

This campground is located on the Southwest shore of Lake Tahoe. It’s an excellent place for swimming, fishing, scuba diving and hiking. It’s also a good option for more casual outings, such as enjoying the view from the nearby Inspiration Point.

D.L. Bliss is a top choice for camping near South Lake Tahoe. It’s only 13 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, less than 32 kilometres south of Tahoe City. This area is highly desirable with D.L. Bliss being a popular choice. Other notable locations, like Emerald Bay State Park and Meeks Bay Resort, are also nearby, so there’s plenty of space to explore.

D.L. Bliss has over 250 family campsites, often full throughout the summer. Usually, campsites have enough room for one vehicle. Fire rings and picnic tables are available at each campsite and access to water and coin-operated showers. Making it one of the best camping spots in Northern California.

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2. Indian Well Campground, Lava Beds National Monument

Indian Well Campground, Lava Beds National Monument is one of the best camping spots in Northern California
Image: Lolo’s Extreme Cross Country RV Trips, 2023

Lava Beds National Monument is in Northern California, less than  24.1402 kilometres south of the Oregon border. It has a landscape that is scarred by volcanic activity and lava tubes. Lava Beds offers rare adventure experiences in the state, even if you are not into geology.

The National Monument has only one campground, Indian Well Campground, with 43 sites available. The sites are on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be used by tents, SUVs, and small camper vehicles. A few sites can fit motorhomes up to 9 metres long.

Each campsite has a stunning landscape to enjoy. A big tourist attraction is also nearby, mainly on Cave Loop Road. Here, visitors can explore underground lava tubes on their own. Interested cavers must register with the visitor centre before going underground. Making it one of the best camping spots in Northern California.

3. Castle Crags State Park Campground

Castle Crags State Park Campground, Castle Crags State Park is one of the best camping spots in Northern California
Image: The BLT Guidebook, 2023

Castle Crags State Park is near Mount Shasta, within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The park is named after the ancient granite peaks that rise from its land. Hiking, camping, and fishing in the Sacramento River are popular activities at the park.

The campground at Castle Crags has over 60 standard sites with running water and showers. All 60 traditional sites can be reserved, which is highly recommended during summer. The park also has 12 more sites at the Riverside Campground on a first-come, first-served basis. The Riverside Campground is on the south side of the Sacramento River and Interstate 5.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is another popular state park near the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, an hour east of Castle Crags. The park has a spectacular waterfall feature and a similar camping appeal. The campground has over 100 family sites for tents or RVs. Both state parks and their campgrounds have hiker/biker sites often used by hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Making it one of the best camping spots in Northern California.

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4. Graham Hill Campground, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Graham Hill Campground, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is one of the best camping spots in Northern California
Image: Beautiful Brown Adventures, 2023

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has one of the best campgrounds near Santa Cruz, the Graham Hill Campground. It has over 100 campsites 8 kilometres from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and is surrounded by a lush forest and towering trees. These significant surroundings make you feel like sleeping in a forested wonderland.

Graham Hill has sites for both RVs and tents. There are no hookups, and RVs can only be up to 9.4 kilometres long. Overnight guests can use potable water, coin-operated showers, and a bicycle path near all the sites. Campers can also hike the nearby Eagle Creek Trail to the park’s famous Redwood Grove Loop Trail. Making it one of the best camping spots in Northern California.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest state park in California, has more redwood camping less than 32 kilometres northwest of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Big Basin has almost 150 standard campsites in four different campgrounds. Backcountry camping is also common in Big Basin, and many hikers use these primitive spots while hiking the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail.

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Explore the Best Camping Spots in Northern California!

Are you seeking a wonderful time of adventure in nature with camping spots? Then you should visit these amazing camping spots in North California to fulfil your craving for a magical experience in nature. Tourists can bond with nature in a comfortable environment for an intimate time with just nature. You can Read about hiking trails in California here.

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Greetings! My name is Kevin Bakango , an adventurous soul who thrives on new challenges. My passion lies in crafting vivid narratives about the worlds most daring escapades. Through my words, readers embark on exciting journeys to remote corners of the globe, expereincing the thrill of exploration from the comfort of their own minds.