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Northern California still plays host to some of the best campsites around. Facilities include hiking trails, fishing spots, swimming areas, the place to park the fancy RV or a spot to pitch the tent.
The choices range from rustic to fancy, and I am here to share my own experiences of my top campsites:
3 Best Places To Camp In Northern California
Redwood National and State Parks
What you will see: 3 of the 4 campsites are open the whole year. The other one, Mill Creek, only opens during summer.
This park has Redwood trees, rivers, woodlands, prairies, and beach coastline.
Activities you can do: Camp, hike, bicycle, kayak along the river, enjoy the wildlife, horseback ride.
They also have free programs to encourage young ones to learn about and protect the environment. These are the Redwood Junior Ranger and the Ranger-Guided Program.
Fees: You can enter the parking area itself for free. If you are here to camp or use a developed area of the day, there can be fees charged.
My family tried out this campground for a few days, and we did a lot of hiking. The trees are beautiful and majestic, and it feels like a different world when they surround you. Because of the trees, it was cool and refreshing.
My 11-year old nephew enjoyed the trip so much that he signed up for the Redwood Junior Ranger program. There’s a booklet with activities that he can do at his own time, and when he is done with everything, he can turn it in and get a badge. It is a great way to learn about wildlife!
Lassen Volcanic National Park
What you will see: This is a huge park with 8 campgrounds and an estimated 500 campsites. What differs Lassen with other parks is its elevation.
From Lassen Peak, you can enjoy great views, and the weather tends to be cool. At night, though, it can get rather chilly. There are also bubbling mud pots and hot springs, because of the volcano. You have lakes and beautiful wildflowers to enjoy.
Activities you can do: Hike, ride a boat, and enjoy wildlife. Hikes are from easy trails to more difficult ones with the elevation. If you want to know more about the volcano, you can visit the Devastated Area Interpretive Trail.
Fees: There are fees for the entrance of guests and vehicles.
My nephew actually spent a birthday in this park. Along with a few adults, we hiked and learned about the volcano.
Even for non-hikers, the trail is easy, and it has signed all around. It also has talking signs, where you press a button if you can’t read the written warning.
The outdoor activities in this campsite pose you many challenges. You need to be well prepared for your adventures. New adventure camping is where you should visit when you need to learn about essential items and useful tips for your camping trip.
Sonoma Coast State Park
What you will see: 17 miles of beautiful coastline, with the Pacific Ocean and the ragged rock formations.
Activities you can do: Walk along coastline or hike along with prairie lands, picnic, fish, enjoy the view. The coast itself does not allow swimming, even surf play or climbing of nearby rocks as it can be dangerous.
Fees: There are fees for vehicles and the use of campgrounds.
We discovered this park quite accidentally while traveling, and we could not resist the beautiful coastline. We had an impromptu picnic and took photos, especially during sunset.
Nature has gifted us with beautiful mountains, refreshing lakes, majestic trees, dramatic sunsets along the coastline, and we can have a taste of this when we visit these accessible campsites.