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21 Unforgettable RV Camp Spots in California (Both Parks and Rustic)

Published on April 1st, 2019 by Camper Report

California has it all, from a beautiful coastline to sprawling cities, and even massive forests. California is still considered one of the biggest tourist states in the United States, and because there’s so much beautiful land, there are countless RV camps and campgrounds that make for the perfect getaway for a weekend or a month!

From the top of California with the Redwood forests and dramatic Pacific Coast Line, the middle of Cali with stunning national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia, and down to the beautiful SoCal with its beaches that are on the next tier.

From deserts, forests, mountain, beaches, and more modern parks, California will have your dream campground. It’s not called the Golden State without reason!

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#1. Yosemite

The first campground we have here is a personal favorite. A place that will truly let you experience some of the elegant sights of the world. Yosemite National Park. The RV parks are very basic. The only thing that they include is the space to park your RV.

There are no hookup locations, so no running water, or electricity. If you have a generator, then make that you only use it during the allowed hours.

There are dumping locations around the Yosemite Valley, but these places will not be very close to the park.

There are no hookup locations, so no running water, or electricity.

The things to do here are near limitless. Fishing is a popular thing to do, even with the limit on barbed hooks and a ban on bait fishing. Hiking is another great activity allowed.

There are many marked trails throughout Yosemite, but the most famous is probably Half Dome. The hike to the top of Half Dome and back is around 16 miles and is tough, to say the least. The view from the top, however, makes it all worth it.

The camping sites are mostly first-come-first-serve, but there is a cost to get into the park. For RVs, there is a cost of $35 to get into the park.

#2. Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove is located on the Coast of Southern California and is known for the insanely clear water. There are many small beaches separated by sheer cliffs with rocks to play on. The water is usually warmer during the summer, and the weather is always wonderful.

There are spots for complete RV hookups and there are also dumping locations close to the park. While there are no dumping locations at the actual campgrounds, there is one fairly close to it. This puts a limit on how days you can stay at one place without driving your RV around.

The roads are wide here, meaning that navigating an RV will be as easy as it can be.

The RV Park is very close to the beach. You can easily walk to the beach in 5 minutes or less from their furthest inland RV camping spot. There is running water, bathrooms, and even a laundry mat.

The roads are wide here, meaning that navigating an RV will be as easy as it can be. The spots are a bit narrow, but there is enough room in the spots to be comfortable.

There are fees to enter the park, but they are minimal. For RVs, the cost is $15 upon entry. There is no additional costs for the number of people in the vehicle.

#3. Malibu Beach RV Park

Down south to Malibu, the beaches here are absolutely gorgeous. White sandy beaches stretching openly for miles and miles, with palm trees just adding to the enchanting allure.

The Malibu Beach RV Park is as close as you can get to the sand without being on the sand. The walk is under a minute from your RV, but space is very packed. This makes it the true California experience.

The beaches here are absolutely gorgeous.

If you’ve never lived in Cali, especially SoCal, everyone is close. It actually doesn’t bother you as much as you would think. There isn’t much room around your RV to spend time, but you’ll want to spend more time either on the beach all day, or having a fire in one of the designated pits around the beach.

The Malibu beaches are amazing and are an experience to remember. If you’re looking for a beautiful sunset to watch every night, there are few places better to go.

The cost per night is $55 for a 30 amp full hook up site. But for a primitive site, the cost is lowered by $15 down to $40.

#4. Red Rock Canyon State Park

This is a place that brings back memories. When I was younger, a lot younger, my father would take my brother and I to Red Rock Canyon and take us hiking and mountain biking on some of the thousands of trails that run throughout the park.

The sights here are eerily beautiful. Almost like the surface of Mars, this park has insane rock structures which are the most beautiful color of red. There are also some seasonal waterfalls that have trails varying in difficulty. From trails that are under a mile to hikes around 25-miles, this place has a trail for everyone.

This park has insane, beautiful red rock structures.

The actual RV parks are good, not anything to be overly impressed with. They have public bathrooms and running water, but besides that most people come for the rocks, not the RV campgrounds.

They are not bad by any means, though. They have fire pits, picnic tables, public bathrooms, water spigots, and barbecues.

The RV sites are all $20 a night without a limit on how long you can stay. There are no hookup sites, however, so the limit is how long you can make with what you have.

#5. Leo Carrillo State Park

Recently, Southern California experienced a very bad fire that burned thousands of acres of land, including Leo Carrillo State Park.

I remember as a child coming here for a weekend getaway to sleep just seconds from the beach with the rest of my family. The campgrounds are very well-maintained and have a fairly high quality of amenities.

The bathrooms and public showers are very clean for a campground and are regularly maintained. There are many water spigots and running water is not in short supply. The walk to the beach is very safe. My mother trusted the route to allow me, as a child, to walk to the many tide pools as she finished getting ready.

The campgrounds are very well-maintained and have a fairly high quality of amenities.

The tide pools hold many sea creatures, from crabs to starfish, and even octopus and sea cucumbers. There is a stretch of the beach, especially during high tide, that is very sandy and open.

But low-tide is the real reason that you would go to Leo Carrillo. There are many shells during extreme low tide. If you time it correctly, you can get very big shells that are 15+ feet lower than regular shoreline.

Leo Carrillo has an overnight cost of $12 per RV and an entry fee of $10 per vehicle.

#6. California Big Sur

One of the most interesting natural feature of the beach in Northern California, to me at least, is how the trees can come right up to the water or beach. I love the contrast of the blue ocean right next to a deep green forest on tan rocks and sand.

About 90 miles of incredible coastline, California’s Big Sur is a must see that calls me back every day. The Pacific Coast Highway is made even better by the views.

This is one of the most photogenic places in California.

Within a few miles of the campground, there are waterfalls, bridges, forests, hiking trails, amazing places to fish, biking trails, zip lining, local restaurants with some of the best burgers and fries I’ve personally ever had, and a lot of other things to do.

This is one of the most photogenic places in California. The water around some of the cliffs is more of a light turquoise than straight dark blue like the rest of California. The trees are an amazing shade of green, a color not usually seen in California these days.

The campground itself is good. The bathrooms are clean, and there are many places that have running water, both drinkable and meant for washing. The space for the RVs are wide and give good room to enjoy being outside.

The rates for overnight stay start at $85 a night for primitive RV spots to $95 for a full-hookup site.

#7. Redwood State and National Parks

One of the greatest wonders of California, but really in the world, the Redwood National Parks have some of the most beautiful trees. These massive trees, both in height and in width, they are a must see at least once during your lifetime.

If you have the opportunity to see the Redwoods, you’ll be able to die happy.

There are many activities to do here. If you’re a fan of hiking, there are all levels of difficulty here. There are very short flat ones meant for children and elderly seniors who still want to experience the beauties of the forest, but there are also trails that are 5+ miles long that take you snaking around trees and towards waterfalls and other beautiful natural structures.

If you’re a fan of hiking, there are all levels of difficulty here.

The RV parks are big and have a lot of outside room. Depending on which camp you go to, there might be a fire pit and/or a picnic table.

The rates start at $50 for the off-season, but once the season starts, prices rise to $60 a night. These prices are for a full hookup site. For a primitive site, the rates start at $32 and raise to $40.

#8. San Francisco RV Resort

This is the first urban RV Park. It is right next to San Francisco, which makes it a perfect little home-away-from-home location as you experience one of the most interesting cities in California, the City on the Bay. It is located just outside of San Francisco and is close to the beach.

If you have a different car, traveling to the city or beach will be easy and fun. If not, there are many places to park an RV in San Francisco or close to the bay.

The showers, bathrooms and the roads of the campsite are very clean.

Even if you don’t want to take a vehicle, there are still a ton of shops and things to do very close to the campgrounds.

The campsite itself is very clean, both the showers, bathrooms and the roads. There isn’t that much room to navigate around, though, so be careful when trying to get into a spot.

Staying in San Francisco will not be an experience easily forgotten. The rates for this campsite is $80 a night for a full hookup site.

#9. Sequoia National Park

Back to Central California, Sequoia National Park is another beautiful place. This is another place where hikes can be the best thing that you can do.

There is Mount Whitney, and while you will need an overnight permit to climb to the peak, I would strongly recommend this hike. The view from the top is absolutely stunning.

Sequoia is a national park because of the dazzling trees, so it just wouldn’t be right to visit the park and not spend a while gazing at the massively tall trees. General Sherman Tree is a must-see, as are the other giant trees.

Sequoia is a national park because of its dazzling trees.

The campgrounds around are pretty standard. A lot of the site is under gradual construction, and as such experiences can vary from being normal and enjoyable, while other days can be bad smelling and somewhat disrupting. The bathrooms are decently clean on those good days, as are the rest of the facilities.

The prices depend on how long you stay, and if your request for a site is accepted.

#10. Saddleback Butte State Park

Located in the middle of the desert, many people mistake the barren landscape as featureless and attribute this spot of being view-less and boring. They could not be more wrong.

The trees of the Saddleback Butte SP are small, but the forests of Joshua Trees is still a very interesting sight. There is a lot of sand here, and as such, there is a constant chance of seeing some of the desert’s animals and reptiles.

The camp host here has great hospitality.

The campgrounds are very open and give a lot of room for each spot. There is a small outhouse on the campgrounds and running water. There are also fire pits and barbecues for public use.

Many people speak of the great hospitality of the camp host, as well as the great trails and the cleanliness of the bathrooms. At such a beautiful spot, there are sure to be memories ready to be made.

The rates are very low. For only $10 a night for a primitive site, and another $10 to dump a tank, this makes it one of the lowest costing campgrounds to go to.

#11. Sheep Canyon Primitive Campground

If you’re really trying to rough it, try staying at the Sheep Canyon Primitive Campground. There is no running water or a clean bathroom system.

There are a few vault toilets, but those are kind of nasty. The cost per night is an extremely high… zero dollars. That’s right.

This area is very interesting. The desert around this location is different than the Saddleback Butte SP. There are many hills and mountains that would be great for exploring. There are wild sheep around the parts, which are always very exciting to see.

It is free to stay here.

The trails were recently redone, smoothed over, much to the 4×4 drivers who wanted more of the challenge they posed before the renovations. There are hiking trails throughout the campgrounds and the areas around that are easy to get to on foot.

#12. Camp Williams Resort

Camp Williams is located right next to the San Gabriel River, and every RV spot opens up to have a beautiful view of the river. Nestled in between a beautiful collection of hills and mountains, nature is the focus of this resort.

Despite it being a decent distance from LA, the closest city, there are still all of the necessities an RV camper would want to live comfortably. There are full hook-up sites, meaning there is electricity, running heated water, and sewage pipes able to connect directly to the camper without ever the need of leaving the campsite.

Every RV spot here opens up to have a beautiful view of the river.

Something that is unique to this campsite is the opportunity that customers have to stay there permanently. There are mobile houses for and mobile house spots for sale.

Because it is such a nice place to live, there are mobile communities off in a different part of the park that is for people that enjoy loving there.

Rates start at $40 for a primitive site, and a 50 amp full hook up site starts at $50, but depending on the location in camp can be a little cheaper.

#13. Cedar Bluff Campgrounds

The Cedar Bluff Campground is a camping site that does not have the specifics for RV camping, but still has spots for RVs. There is plenty of room on the roads that works well for getting in and out of the campgrounds and into your spot.

The sites are either very far apart, or all very close together. This means that if you’re going with someone else and they’re in a different RV, either the two-plus groups will be very far away from each other, or there will be many people around you at all times.

There is plenty of room on the roads in this campsite.

There are flush toilets, which can replace the need for sewage hookups for dump locations. There is drinking water as well as washing spigots, but there are no hookups to get running water to the systems in your RV, as well as no electricity lines running to your RV. There also generator hours, like most other campsites.

The primitive sites have a cost of $65.77 a night with an additional fee of $4 during holidays.

#14. Del Valle Regional Park

This is a park that exists because of tourism related to the lake it surrounds. The Lake Del Valle can be freely used for any water sports or activities. You are able to fish, drive boats, and any other water activity you can think of.

The campsite is fairly close to the lake, the main attraction of the park. There is also wilderness surrounding the park and lake that can be explored and hiked. The main attraction is the lake, but the hiking trails are nothing to be scoffed at.

This campsite has a curfew and full hook-ups for RVs.

The campgrounds have full hook-up sites, with running water, electricity, and sewage pipes for your RV. There are even public flush bathrooms and showers that are cleaned regularly.

There is a curfew of 10 PM, and although people are allowed to leave after 10 PM, the camper will not be able to enter until 8 AM the next day.

Overnight fees are $30 for a primitive site. For a full hookup site, the cost is $40.

#15. Eagle Campground

Eagle Campground is located next to Eagle Lake, a beautiful lake that allows boats and other motorized vehicles on the lake. There is a very big fishing community here, as the lake has some very nice species of trouts living in the lake.

The actual campgrounds are very nice. They are very well maintained with clean bathrooms, running water spigots, and electricity hook-ups. The only thing missing for RVs are dumping locations, but those can be found just outside of the campgrounds.

The campground is close to the lake!

The area surrounding the campgrounds is very nice. The forest is beautiful and is definitely a place to remember, even once you leave.

The campground is close to the lake, so getting to your boat or getting your rod and line in the water is very easy and can be done in a timely manner. All motorized vehicles are allowed, which can make for some great summer fun.

Eagle Campground charges $40 a night for a primitive site. There are also tent sites that allow RVs for $30, however.

#16. June Lake Campground

The June Lake Campground has somewhat of a deceiving name. The campgrounds are not on the lake. They are located inside the town and is walking distance from many restaurants, stores, and parks.

The campground is somewhat in walking distance of the lake as well, so fishing is close enough, but it is a walk.

The campground is fully equipped to make sure that you have a very comfortable trip. The RV spots all have full hookup locations, getting running water, electricity, and sewage pipes to your RV.

Despite its name, June Lake Campground is not on the lake, but in-town.

Yosemite is very close as well, so even though it would be nice to be staying in Yosemite, you can be close and still have all of the luxuries the primitive camping spots of Yosemite don’t allow. There are also less fishing restrictions on the lake than in Yosemite.

The cost of this campsite is just over $40 after a bed tax is taken into consideration. This is a lot more expensive than camping straight in Yosemite, and to get in you will have to pay the entrance fee.

#17. Mountain Oak Campground

Just Northwest of Los Angeles, the Mountain Oak Campgrounds are the perfect getaway from civilization without being too far away from the city. The views here are amazing with the diversity in the trees and coloring that can be found here.

The campground is small; it only has one loop. The campgrounds are covered in trees and pine needles are densely packed into the ground. There isn’t much privacy here, as the trees don’t block out the side view, but there is a lot of shade.

The grounds are within walking distance of the Jackson Lake, where fishing, canoeing, and kayaking is allowed and promoted on the small lake.

The views here are amazing, but just remember that no generators are allowed.

The campgrounds do not have any electricity, but there is running water available as well as flush toilets.

Generators are not allowed, but fires are. There are fire pits on site, as well as picnic tables. There is a limit of two vehicles and a fee for any above two.

The primitive RV sites do not come with any hook-ups, but there are dump sites that charge only a few dollars. The campsite charges $26 a night to stay.

#18. Orange Grove RV Park

The Orange Grove RV Park picked one thing to focus on and went all out. The picked running an RV Park, and no one could do better. The spaces for the RVs are very wide and all include an orange tree. Each spot has a personal orange tree with fresh oranges on it.

Each site has a completely full hook-up system. Electricity, hot water, cold water, and an onsite sewage system. Besides this, there is a lobby building where you check in. There are pools and a billiards room to spend your time relaxing.

Each spot has a personal orange tree with fresh oranges on it.

The park is pet-friendly, equipped with three dog parks, and has free WiFi. The roads in between spots are wide and very easy to maneuver in. There are a complimentary laundry mat and a fully equipped gym.

If your travels resulted in your RV getting dirty, don’t worry, there ‘s an area specifically designed to clean your RV.

The sites start at $54 a night, but the ones with a little less space cost $44.

#19. Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park

Located in Southern California in the middle of Santa Cruz, this RV park is one of the best home bases to explore the wonders of Santa Cruz. While the main attraction is outside of the Park, the actual park is a great place to stay.

The campgrounds are located only a mile from the beach.

Each RV spot has a full hookup system. Electricity, running water, and sewage systems, all for your RV right at the site. The campsite has free wifi for those who decide to spend a day inside the grounds. There is even a pool that you can hang out at.

The campgrounds are located only a mile from the beach, and the walk is very enjoyable. Santa Cruz Boardwalk is an experience to be had. The city is very nice and has good vibes to it.

The prices at this campsite start at $72 a night. The prices rise once there are more than 6 adults.

#20. Refugio State Beach

While there are no utility hook-up sites at this beach, there is still an insanely high demand for staying here in both the tent sites and in the RV sites.

Be sure to plan and order your camping trip at least 6 months in advance. Reservations fill up very fast because it is in such a beautiful place in California.

The beaches of El Capitán are only a few miles away, and the sands of these clear open beaches seem to be never-ending. Beach camping could be one of the best things that you could end up doing for a camping trip.

This camp spot fills up fast, so book ahead of time!

The campgrounds do not have a dumping station on site, so the closest one is located at a gas station not too far away from the camping grounds. The sites are a step away from the sands of the beaches, so you’ll be falling asleep to the sound of the ocean all the nights of your stay.

The beaches have very cool rock formations that can be searched for shells and other sea creatures. The price per night varied depending on the time of year you’re looking at staying here, but is generally around $100/night.

#21. Yucaipa Regional Park

This final destination is no small campground. There are a lot of things to do inside the grounds, such as going to the water park, equipped with slides and a pool, or fishing on three lakes.

This campsite has a water park.

The area around the park is full of hiking trails and great fishing hikes full of great views and wonderful trails.

This campground contains 42 RV spots that all have full hook-up systems. They all are able to give electricity to your camper, as well as running water and access to a sewage system.

A site with no hookup options is $30 a night, while a full hook up site is $40 a night.

RV Camping in California can be very cheap if you know what to do. If you’re willing to sacrifice a few of the luxuries of daily life, then the only thing that you’ll be paying for is gas and food.

Although California is known as one of the most expensive states to live in, by using an RV, you can experience all of California’s beauties without paying more than you need to.

Related Questions:

Are dogs allowed in the Redwoods or Yosemite? Dogs are allowed on a leash less than ten feet in the Redwoods, but they are usually banned from a lot of the trails and other facilities. It is the same for Yosemite. They are allowed for paved roads, but not much else.

Can I drive my car on the beach in California? It depends on the beach and where you are in California. There are some beaches that allow you to drive your car as long as you stay at a certain distance from the water. There are other beaches that will only allow you to drive if you have a true 4-wheel drive vehicle.

4 thoughts on “21 Unforgettable RV Camp Spots in California (Both Parks and Rustic)”

  1. Thank you for the details on Red Rock Canyon State Park – we are planning a trip there this summer and now I am even more excited! Good to know in advance that the sites do not have hookups.

    • California rules change for long term living in RV parks. It costs much more to a park owner and the state or county can declare that the RV park is actually a mobile home park. So most RV parks say you can only use a site for some months then you have to leave for awhile.
      There are RV parks where you can buy a lot. Each county might be different.


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