Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite National Park, CA

Central California Campgrounds

California's Best Camping

map of camping regions of central California Lake Oroville area campgrounds Central SAn Joaquin Valley campgrounds Nevaa County campgrounds Truckee, Donner, Jackson Meadows campgrounds Lake Tahoe Campgrounds Crystal Basin campgrounds Carson Pass campgrounds Ebbetts Pass campgrounds Mother Lode lakes campgrounds North Bay campgrounds South Bay campgrounds Santa Cruz Mountains campgrounds Stana Cruz and Monterey coastal campgrounds Sonora Pass campgrounds Yosemite National Park campgrounds Sierra lakes campgrounds Northern Inyo County campgrounds Eastern Sierra campgrounds
map of camping regions of central California Lake Oroville area campgrounds North Bay campgrounds Nevada County campgrounds Donner, Truckee, and Jackson Meadows campgrounds Lake Tahoe Campgrounds Crystal Basin campgrounds Carson Pass campgrounds Ebbetts Pass CAmpgrounds Sonora Pass campgrounds Yosemite National Park campgrounds Mother Lode Lakes campgrounds Eastern Sierra campgrounds Sierra Lakes campgrounds Morthern Inyo County Campgrounds Santa Cruz and Monterey coastal campgrounds South Bay campgrounds Santa Cruz Mountains campgrounds Central Valley Campgrounds
map of camping regions of central California Lake Oroville area campgrounds Nevada County campgrounds Donner, Truckee, Jackson Meadows campgrounds Lake Tahoe campgrounds North Bay campgrounds Crystal Basin campgrounds Mother Lode Lakes campgrounds Carson Pass campgrounds South Bay campgrounds Ebbetts Pass campgrounds Santa Cruz Mountains campgrounds Central San Joaquin Valley campgrounds Sonora Pass campgrounds Yosemite National Park campgrounds Eastern Sierra campgrounds Northern Inyo County Campgounds Sierra Lakes campgrounds Santa Crus and Monterey coastal campgrounds

Central California's Most Popular Camping Regions

  • Lakes, mountains, and beaches - Central California campgrounds offer a spectacular array of choices to match everyone's interests.
  • Choose a region to narrow your choices and we'll guide you to the best camping spots in Central California. Discover the adventures that await you.

Note: To enhance continuity between maps, we have included some overlap with our northern and southern California maps.

Lake Tahoe Campground Highlights

Campgrounds along Lake Tahoe's western shore range from quiet little gatherings tucked back among the trees to grand state parks with lake views and desirable amenities.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, Central California campgrounds
  • D. L. Bliss State Park - The premier campground along western Lake Tahoe's shore. Great campsites, many with lake views, good amenities, and sandy beaches.
  • Sugar Pine Point State Park - A popular campground with many campsites set back from the lake. Day use area along the shore.
  • Fallen Leaf - Spread between Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. Nice campsites, close to Emerald Bay and South Lake Tahoe.
  • Other campgrounds - Find campgrounds along the Truckee River (popular for rafting and fishing) and all the way south to a city run campground with full hook-ups in South Lake Tahoe.

Crystal Basin Campgrounds

The beautiful Crystal Basin off Highway 50 a short distance east of Placerville is a wonderland of lakes and trails.

Wrights Lake, Central California campgrounds
  • Union Valley Reservoir - A favorite for camping, fishing and waterskiing. Campgrounds nearly encircle the lake.
  • Wrights Lake One of the most beautiful lakes in the Sierra. With no water skiing, it attracts paddlers of kayaks and canoes as well as anglers. Trails lead out to the Desolation Wilderness.
  • Loon Lake - This scenic mountain lake is a popular place for those who want a little more solitude
  • Ice House Reservoir - Ice House is known for good fishing and boating
  • Sly Park Campground and Jenkinson Lake - Operated by the El Dorado Irrigation District, Sly Park has great amenities for those who want a little more comfort in their camping.

Carson Pass Campgrounds

Campgrounds are sprinkled all along Highway 88 over Carson Pass, usually at scenic lakes.

Caples Lake, Central California campgrounds
  • Lower Bear Creek Reservoir - Fishing, waterskiing, and hiking.
  • Silver Lake - A favorite destination for boaters, anglers, hikers, and mountain bikers.
  • Caples Lake - Famous for excellent fishing and a trailhead for hiking up the emigrant trail over West Pass.
  • Woods Lake - A quiet, beautiful lake tucked up against the high peaks.
  • Blue Lakes - Fishing and boating, not to mention hiking and horseback riding.
  • Grover Hot Spring State Park - Soak in the mineral hot pool or swim in the larger pool.
  • Indian Creek - A scenic reservoir popular for fishing.

Ebbetts Pass Campgrounds

Less crowded than other areas, Ebbetts Pass is home to some outstanding campgrounds.

Ebbetts Pass area, Central California campgrounds
  • Calaveras Big Trees State Park - Wonderful family camping. Hike along easy trails among Giant Sequoias. Fish, star gaze, enjoy campfire programs.
  • Lake Alpine - Camp at one of several top-rated campgrounds around the lake. Enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and campfire programs.
  • Spicer Meadow Reservoir - Great fishing and boating. Head over to Union and Utica reservoirs for excellent kayaking water.
  • Wakaluu Hep Yoo - Spend relaxing days at this campground along the Stanislaus River. Fishing is good, swimming in late summer, and campfire programs

Sonora Pass Campgrounds

Sonora Pass campgrounds are among the best in the Sierra Nevada. Find great family campgrounds all up and down the pass.

Sonora Pass, Central California campgrounds
  • Pinecrest Lake - Camping at its best. Camp near the lake. Enjoy bike paths, a swim beach, summer movies and ranger programs, trails, boat rentals and more.
  • Fraser Flat - A park-like setting along the Stanislaus River. Wonderful fishing, relaxing days in the mountains.
  • Niagara Creek OHV - Head out on OHV trails and roads in Eagle Meadow.
  • Kennedy Meadows - Camp along the river near the resort. Excellent fishing, trail rides, the convenience of stores and restaurant nearby, hike into the Emigrant Wilderness.
  • Clark Fork - Known best for its fishing, but a great place for horseback riding, hiking, and cycling.

Santa Cruz Mountains Campgrounds

The beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains are rich with redwood forests and fern lined streams. The crown jewel is Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Central California campgrounds
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park - A wonderful family camping destination. Groves of huge redwoods, dozens of trails along meandering creeks, wonderful programs for children, and all the amenities of a first-class state park.
  • Henry Cowell State Park - Easy access of Highway 17 to redwood groves, wonderful camping, and scenic hiking trails.
  • Memorial County Park - A favorite family destination frequented mostly by locals in the know. Redwoods, beautiful Pescadero Creek with a swimming hole, and nature trails.
  • Sam McDonald Park's Jack Brook Horse Camp For groups as small as 10 and as large as 40. Wonderful amenities such as horse paddocks, tie post, horse wash-rack, and an outdoor kitchen.

Sierra Lakes Campgrounds

Outstanding lakeside destinations for family vacations. Beautiful mountain lakes surrounding by forests, expanses of water for boating, waterskiing, and fishing. Hiking trails and horseback riding nearby.

Huntington Lake, Central California campgrounds
  • Bass Lake - Wonderful Sierra lake with marinas, boating, waterskiing, fishing, and plenty of other activities for all ages.
  • Shaver Lake - All kinds of recreation around a beautiful mountain lake. Outstanding campsites at Camp Edison. Boating, fishing, waterskiing, and everything else that makes for a perfect vacation
  • Huntington Lake - High Sierra camping around a great fishing lake. Marinas, boat rentals, nearby hiking and horseback riding. Campsites right on the lake's shore.
  • Lake Thomas A. Edison - Deep in the Sierra Nevada, a beautiful lake. Camp close to the shore and enjoy quiet days of fishing and hiking away from the crowds.
  • Pine Flat Lake - Low elevation lake accessible year-round, great fishing, boating, and camping.

Lake Oroville Area

Sprawling Lake Oroville along with nearby reservoirs such as New Bullards Bar provide visitors with great facilities for lakeside camping.

Lake Oroville, Central California campgrounds
  • Lake Oroville - Good lakeside campsites for boaters and anglers. A wonderful equestrian campground. Boat-in and unique floating campsites around the lake.
  • New Bullards Bar Reservoir - A smaller, quieter lake with excellent fishing and waterskiing. Well-organized campgrounds.
  • Collins Lake - For family fun camping, it's hard to beat.
  • Englebright Lake - All the camping is at boat-in campgrounds along the shores of this long, winding lake.

Nevada County

Lakes around Nevada County offer some of the easiest to reach camping destinations from the greater Sacramento area.

Greenhorn Campground, Rollins Lake, Central California campgrounds
  • Rollins Lake - Easy access off I-80 at Colfax. Four campgrounds with RV and tent sites, all with boat launch ramps and marinas. Waterskiing, fishing, swimming.
  • Scotts Flat Lake - Tucked away in the mountains east of Nevada City, Scotts Flat Lake is a favorite with locals. Sailing, waterskiing, fishing.
  • Inn Town Campground - The newest camping destination in Nevada County, with tent and RV sites, along with Glamping (tents on platforms).

North Bay Campgrounds

Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Yolo, and Marin counties - wine country, lakes, coastal mountains, and beaches - campgrounds north of the San Francisco Bay Area have a wide variety of offerings.

Sonoma coast, Central California campgrounds
  • Lake Berryessa - Over 18,000 acres of great fishing. Campgrounds in transition as new management takes over, but sites like Putah Canyon and Pleasure Cove are available.
  • Lake Sonoma - A smaller lake with 97 campsites at Liberty Glen
  • Clear Lake - California's largest freshwater lake entirely within the state. Camp at Clear Lake State Park.
  • Sonoma Coast Beaches - Enjoy the wild and rugged Sonoma Coast. Camp right next to the sand at Wright's Beach or close to the bay at Bodega Dunes.
  • Salt Point - North of Sonoma Coast beaches is Salt Point State Park with two great campgrounds.
  • Sonoma Regional Parks - Great beach camping at Gualala, Doran, and Stillwater.
  • Pillsbury Lake - Find adventure at more remote lakes such as Pillsbury and Letts Lake.

Mother Lode Lake Campgrounds

For waterskiers, boating enthusiasts, and anglers, it's hard to beat a campsite on the shore of one of California's foothill lakes.

New Melones Reservoir, Central California campgrounds
  • Folsom Lake - Close to Sacramento, famous for water sports and good fishing, a family favorite.
  • Camanche Lake - Find open water for wakeboarding and fishing, campgrounds on both north and south shores
  • New Hogan Reservoir - Pretty setting among the hills with scenic campgrounds, horseback riding trails, good fishing and boating.
  • Don Pedro Lake - Long twisting arms, shoreline camping, great marinas, several developed campgrounds
  • New Melones - Quality campsites and good resources, waterskiing, boating, fishing, family fun.
  • Lake McClure - Camp at McClure Point or Barrett Cove right on the lake, sites with partial hook-ups, swimming lagoon.

Yosemite National Park Campgrounds

Few camping experiences can compare with Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, Central California campgrounds
  • Yosemite Valley - Three great family campgrounds on the valley floor put visitors within walking distance of most of the main attractions there.
  • Tuolumne Meadows - Discover Yosemite's high country by camping at Tuolumne Meadows. Set out on scenic day hikes to waterfalls, lakes, and smooth granite domes.
  • Secluded campgrounds - Yosemite has a number of lesser known campgrounds that can serve as great bases for exploring the park
  • Wawona - Camp away from the center of Yosemite at beautiful Wawona. Enjoy horseback riding, golf, fine dining, and history.
  • Glacier Point - Half-way out Glacier Point Road is Yosemite's best campground - Bridalveil Creek Campground.

Eastern Sierra Campgrounds

The dramatic eastern side of the Sierra Nevada provides one amazing camping destination after another.

Mammoth Lakes, Central California campgrounds
  • Twin Lakes - Camp near two rewarding fishing lakes with spectacular views of jagged Sierra peaks.
  • Lee Vining Creek - Comfortable campgrounds within easy reach of Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows
  • June Lake Loop - Four great fishing and boating lakes, beautiful scenery, camp right on the shore of Gull Lake
  • Mammoth Lakes - Find it all at Mammoth - wonderful kayaking and fishing, hiking trails to a dozen picturesque lakes, and all the amenities of the local community.
  • Devils Postpile - Camp at the edge of the wilderness, fish the streams and lakes, tour the geologic wonders of Devils Postpile

South Bay Campgrounds - Santa Clara & Alameda Counties

County parks and Henry W. Coe State Park in Santa Clara and Alameda counties offer wonderful camping destinations nestled in scenic oak and grassland foothills.

Joseph Grant Park, Central California campgrounds
  • Henry W. Coe State Park - 87,000 acres and 250 miles of trails to explore on foot, mountain bike, or horseback.
  • Santa Clara County Parks - Hike along redwood trails at Sanborn Park, fish and waterski at Coyote Lake, or explore the waterfall trails in Uvas Canyon .
  • Lake Del Valle - Camp in a comfortable setting next to Lake Del Valle, one of the East Bay Regional Park's most popular destinations. Enjoy swimming, fishing, and hiking.

Santa Cruz & Monterey Coast Campgrounds

Along the Santa Cruz and Monterey county coasts are a string of nice beach campgrounds as well as a couple popular inland destinations.

Garrapata Beach, Central California campgrounds
  • Santa Cruz Area Beaches - Enjoy New Brighton's popular bluff-top sites or Seacliff's beach-front RV campsites.
  • Big Sur - South of Monterey the Big Sur coast's rugged shoreline is famous around the world. Settle into comfortable sites at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park's inland campground or head farther south to less-often-frequented Limekiln and Kirk Creek campgrounds.
  • Pinnacles National Park - Explore caves, hike among massive rocks, watch rock climbers scale vertical walls, and keep your eyes open for giant condors.