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Home » Best RV Camping In California (Top Spots & Best Locations)

Best RV Camping In California (Top Spots & Best Locations)

Best RV Camping In California

California’s vast landscapes are an open invitation to RV enthusiasts seeking adventure and natural beauty. We’ve rounded up some of our best spots for RV camping in California.

From the rugged cliffs of the Pacific Ocean to the towering trees of the redwood national parks, the state offers a diverse array of settings for motorhome escapades.

RV campgrounds in California cater to a variety of preferences, whether it’s beachside relaxation, forest retreats, or desert exploration.

With an abundance of hiking trails, wine country tours, and warm weather, California is a year-round haven for those who travel by RV.

For those seeking the quintessential California RV camping experience, destinations like Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains provide unforgettable scenery and outdoor activities.

RVs find a home amidst these iconic backdrops, with creek campgrounds, lake campgrounds, and even opportunities for tent camping. Meanwhile, amenities like dump stations ensure a smooth and clean journey.

The allure of places like Lassen Volcanic National Park and Pinnacles National Park beckons adventurers to explore further, with the Pacific Crest Trail offering an epic journey for the ambitious traveler.

Introduction to RV Camping in California

With its medley of national parks and forests, California presents an RV camping paradise and make it among the best places in the United States for camping.

Los Angeles serves as a cultural gateway and is one of the top cities to live, while the natural splendors of Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Death Valley National Park invite exploration.

RV campers and travel camper vans can traverse the Pacific Ocean’s coastline, hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, and marvel at the towering presence of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

California campground offerings range from the shores of South Carlsbad State Beach to the tranquility of a creek campground in Kings Canyon National Park.

Embracing the best RV camping in the state, including the best parkups in Northern California, means having a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the world.

The Allure of The Golden State for RV Enthusiasts

The Golden State’s allure for RV enthusiasts lies in its endless sunshine, diverse terrain, and the freedom to roam.

With an RV, the entire state becomes accessible, ranging from the vineyards of wine country to the solitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

California’s natural beauty is not just a backdrop for adventure; it’s a playground for the spirit, inviting RVers to explore, relax, and create memories in some of the most stunning settings on Earth.

Understanding the Variety of RV Camping Experiences in California

California RV camping experiences are as varied as the state’s topography. You can wake up to the serene silence of a lake campground, spend your day trekking hiking trails in national parks like Joshua Tree National Park, or explore the volcanic wonders of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Each RV campground offers a unique slice of California’s natural tapestry, from the arid deserts to lush forests managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

For those who love to hike, the Pacific Crest Trail presents an epic journey that cuts through much of the state’s wilderness. RVs serve as the perfect basecamp for day hikes or longer treks.

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During peak season, finding lodging can be a challenge, which makes the convenience and comfort of an RV even more appealing.

With a range of RV campgrounds in California, from the simplicity of BLM land to full-service resorts, there’s something to fit every traveler’s needs.

Top Picks for RV Camping Destinations

With such a rich selection of destinations, choosing the top picks for RV camping in California is a delightful challenge. Each location offers its unique blend of amenities, natural wonders, and opportunities for adventure.

The following destinations are must-visit spots for any RV camper looking to capture the essence of California’s outdoor lifestyle.

Joshua Tree National Park – Starry Nights and Desert Hikes

Joshua Tree National Park captivates with its otherworldly landscapes and clear night skies. This desert haven is a paradise for stargazers and hikers alike, offering a range of RV-friendly campgrounds.

By day, explore the park’s nature trails, and by night, gaze up at an unobstructed view of the cosmos. Vault toilets and picnic tables add a layer of convenience, while the park’s remote beauty offers a sense of escape from the bustle of everyday life.

The park’s rugged terrain is dotted with the park’s namesake Joshua Trees, which stand as sentinels over the landscape. RV campers should be prepared for the extremes, with hot days and chilly nights being the norm.

The absence of hookups in most campgrounds encourages a more self-sufficient style of camping, but the natural splendors and tranquil solitude more than make up for the rustic conditions.


  • Incredible stargazing opportunities
  • Abundant hiking trails
  • Unique desert landscape


  • Limited RV hookups
  • Extreme temperature changes
  • Remote location may not suit all travelers

Yosemite National Park – Majestic Peaks and Waterfalls

Yosemite National Park is an emblem of natural grandeur, with its majestic peaks and thundering waterfalls. The heart of Yosemite is home to campgrounds like Upper Pines, where RV campers can sleep beneath a canopy of stars, with the comforting crackle of a fire ring nearby.

The park’s extensive network of trails leads to breathtaking vistas and the iconic features of Yosemite Valley, while convenient storage lockers keep food safe from wildlife. Campgrounds in Yosemite provide a perfect balance of wilderness experience and accessible amenities.

Whether you’re looking for the rush of waterfall mist or the quiet awe of ancient sequoias, Yosemite’s rich tapestry of landscapes offers something for every RV camper.

The park’s popularity, particularly in the warmer months, means planning is essential. Yet, even during peak season, the sheer scale of Yosemite ensures a sense of solitude is never far away.


  • Proximity to Yosemite Valley’s iconic landmarks
  • Access to a wide range of hiking trails
  • Fire rings and storage lockers at each site


  • High demand for campsites, especially in peak season
  • Wildlife precautions necessary
  • Some areas may have limited RV-size accommodations

Kirk Creek Campground – Los Padres National Forest

With stunning ocean views from the bluffs, Kirk Creek Campground offers an exceptional RV camping experience.

The campground provides direct trail access to the wilderness, making it a hiker’s paradise. However, RV hookups are not available, so campers must come prepared for a more rustic stay.

The nearby creek campground is a short drive away, offering refreshing swimming holes for a dip on a hot day. While there’s no shortage of natural beauty, the lack of amenities may not appeal to all RVers.


  • Exceptional ocean views from campsites
  • Direct access to hiking trails
  • Nearby swimming holes for cooling off


  • No RV hookups, not ideal for those seeking full amenities
  • Potentially limited activities for non-hikers

Furnace Creek Campground – Death Valley National Park

Furnace Creek Campground stands out as an oasis in the stark landscape of Death Valley National Park. The campground accommodates RVs, making it a convenient base for exploring the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in North America.

It is important to note, however, that temperatures can be extreme, particularly in summer, and the arid environment may not suit everyone’s taste.

Creek campground areas provide some respite from the heat, and the proximity to park amenities and attractions is unbeatable.

For those fascinated by geology and extremes, Furnace Creek offers a unique experience. With educational programs often held at the visitor center, RV campers can deepen their knowledge of this unique ecosystem. It’s a place where memories are made, surrounded by the surreal beauty of the desert.


  • Unique desert camping experience in a national park
  • Close to park amenities and attractions
  • Educational programs available for campers


  • Extreme temperatures, especially in summer
  • Dry conditions may not appeal to all campers

Alabama Hills Rec Area – Bishop, CA

Alabama Hills Rec Area offers a stunning landscape of rock formations and natural arches, making it a favorite for photographers and adventurers alike.

Dispersed camping is allowed here, providing plenty of space for RVs to find a secluded spot amidst the hills.

The freedom to camp outside designated campgrounds appeals to those seeking a more solitary experience. However, the lack of structured facilities means RVers must be fully self-contained and leave no trace.

The Alabama Hills recreation area blends the thrill of the wild with the comforts of RV camping. It’s a place where you can gaze at the stars without the intrusion of city lights and enjoy the serene desert ambiance. The raw beauty of the landscape is a draw for those who love the great outdoors.


  • Dispersed camping offers a wild and private experience
  • Plenty of space for RVs to spread out
  • Unique rock formations and natural beauty


  • No amenities must be self-contained
  • Leave-no-trace camping requires careful planning

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – A Coastal Haven

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a sanctuary for RVs amidst redwoods and rivers. The park offers a blend of nature’s tranquility and convenient amenities.

RVs are welcome, but the park’s popularity means securing a spot can require planning. The rugged beauty of the coastline is just a short drive away, providing endless exploration opportunities.


  • Lush surroundings with redwoods and rivers
  • RV-friendly campsites with amenities
  • Proximity to Big Sur’s iconic coastline


  • High demand for campsites; reservations needed
  • Potentially crowded during peak seasons
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Kings Canyon National Park – Sentinel Campground’s Quiet Solitude

At Sentinel Campground in Kings Canyon National Park, RV campers find a quiet retreat surrounded by towering cliffs and verdant forests.

Unlike the bustling RV campgrounds in California’s Yosemite Valley, Sentinel offers a more peaceful experience. RVs can comfortably settle in, but the remote location means fewer services and a break from connectivity.


  • Serene atmosphere away from crowds
  • Natural splendor with scenic vistas
  • Spacious sites suitable for RVs


  • Limited amenities and services
  • Remote location with less connectivity

June Lake Campground – Mirror-like Lakes and Fishing Spots

June Lake Campground, nestled in the Eastern Sierra near Inyo National Forest and Crowley Lake, offers picturesque lakeside RV camping. With RV hookups, fire pits, and walking distance to the lake, it’s a haven for anglers and nature lovers.

The campground’s proximity to the quaint town of June provides additional conveniences, while still being enveloped by the tranquility of the mountains.


  • RV hookups available for convenience
  • Proximity to fishing and water activities
  • The scenic beauty of the Eastern Sierra


  • Can be crowded during peak fishing season
  • Weather can be unpredictable in mountainous regions

San Diego’s Beachfront Retreats

San Diego’s beachfront retreats offer sun, surf, and sand for RVers looking to soak up the coastal vibe.

With state beaches like Imperial Beach, recreational vehicles have the opportunity to park alongside the Pacific, making beach days a breeze.


  • Direct beach access for the ultimate beachfront experience
  • Vibrant local community with plenty of amenities


  • Potentially crowded, especially during the summer
  • Beachfront spots can be premium-priced

McArthur Campground – Burney Falls State Park

Nestled within Burney Falls State Park, McArthur Campground offers visitors a serene setting with plenty of room for RVs to spread out.

The majestic Burney Falls provide a stunning backdrop for campers looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation in the great outdoors.


  • Beautiful scenery with direct access to Burney Falls
  • Spacious campsites accommodating various RV sizes


  • Can become crowded during peak seasons
  • Limited connectivity for those requiring internet

Pinnacles Campground – Nature’s Sculptures at Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles Campground is a haven for nature lovers, featuring large, sculpted rock formations. Each site comes equipped with a shade structure to provide relief from the sun, and RVs are welcome. Flush toilets are available, adding a touch of convenience to the rugged landscape.


  • Unique geological formations ideal for hiking and climbing
  • Amenities like shade structures and flush toilets enhance comfort


  • Hot temperatures in the summer months
  • Limited RV sites with hookups

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – Among the Giants

Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a renowned tourist destination within California state parks, famous for its giant sequoias.

Campers are treated to plenty of space beneath the towering trees, creating a peaceful and awe-inspiring camping experience.


  • Stunning views of ancient sequoias
  • Ample space for RVs and outdoor activities


  • May have restrictions on RV length due to tree growth
  • Popular park that can get busy

Essential Resources for RV Campers

For those traversing the diverse landscapes of RV campgrounds in California, having access to essential resources is key.

This guide ensures a smooth journey, providing everything from campsite amenities to maintenance tips.

California RV Dump Stations – Keeping Your Journey Clean

California RV dump stations are critical for maintaining hygiene and comfort on the road. Strategically located throughout RV campgrounds in California, these facilities help ensure that your RV remains a clean and pleasant home away from home.

Campground Reservations – Planning Ahead for the Perfect Spot

Securing a spot at RV campgrounds in California often requires planning and reservations. By booking ahead, you can guarantee your ideal campsite, whether you seek solitude in the mountains or a beachfront view of the sunset.

Free California RV Camping and Boondocking – Adventure Without the Price Tag

For the budget-conscious adventurer, free California RV camping is available through creek campground and lake campground sites, as well as lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management across the United States.

This allows for a variety of lodging options for RVs, from dry camping to boondocking, without the expense.

Why California is a Premier RV Camping Destination

California stands out as a premier RV camping destination for its diverse landscapes, world-class campgrounds, and unique experiences. It’s a place where memories are made, with every sunrise promising a new adventure.

California is a treasure trove of natural wonders, offering RV campers a tapestry of landscapes to explore. From the sun-baked deserts with their rugged beauty to the serene majesty of coastal redwood forests, the state is unmatched in its ecological variety.

The campgrounds are equally impressive, ranging from luxurious resorts with all the amenities to spots of primitive camping where one can connect with nature in North America’s raw wilderness.

This blend of diverse scenery and top-notch facilities places California at the forefront of the RV camping experience.