The 25 Best Campsites in California

Your guide to the best camping in the Golden State.

When it comes to natural beauty, accessibility, and ecological diversity, California may just take the cake as the ultimate adventure destination. You'll find some of the most rugged mountains on the continent, pristine beaches, old-growth redwood forests, endless sand dunes, impossibly tall granite walls and much, much more. But you can only experience so much on a day trip to one of California's many incredible destinations. To really take it all in, a night spent next to the campfire is the way to go. Of course, California is a big state with hundreds - if not thousands - of campsites. That's why we've picked 25 of the best spots across the state for your next camping trip. Whether you want to wake up with a view of giant redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we've got you covered.   

1. Camp at Algoma Campground in the Shasta Trinity National Forest

Photo: Jake Young

2. Camp at Wawona in Yosemite NP

Photo: Emily Schrick

3. Camp at Mt. Tam’s Pantoll Campground

Photo: Sarah Eichstedt

4. Camp at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Photo: Jason Hatfield

5. Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs in Big Sur

Photo: George Miller

6. Camp at Gaviota State Park

Photo: Josh Currie

7. Camp in the Alabama Hills

Photo: Mike O’Hara

8. Camp at Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast

Photo: Josiah Roe

9. Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

Photo: Josh Currie

10. Camp at the Pots

Photo: Jake Young

11. Camp and Photograph Hot Creek

Photo: Gregg Boydston

12. Camp at Gold Bluff Beach

Photo: Juan Moreno

13. Camp at Last Chance Creek Campground

Photo: Jake Young

14. Camp at Wild Willy’s Hot Spring

Photo: Greg Balkin

15. Camp at Mono Lake

Photo: Gregg Boydston

16. Camp at Voyager Rock Campground

Photo: Jennifer Franklin

17. Camp at Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree

Photo: Nathan Chan

18. Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground

Photo: Cameron Gardner

19. Camp at Nelder Grove Campground in Sierra National Forest

Photo: Matt Purciel

20. Camp at Montana de Oro State Park

Photo: Nathaniel Polta

21. Camp at Catalina’s Two Harbors

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

22. Camp at Point Mugu’s Sycamore Canyon Campground

Photo: Jamie Fleck

23. Camp at Limekiln State Park

Photo: George Miller

24. Camp on Angel Island

Photo: Brian Heifferon

25. Camp at Francis Beach Campground

Photo: Austin Brizgys

Stay energized with CLIF:

Cover photo: Josiah Roe

Published: October 3, 2016

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