How To Camp In California

California is one of the best places in the United States to camp. The diversity of the landscapes as you travel the state offers up all sorts of climates and experiences for those who love the great outdoors. Regardless of your interests, be it long hikes, wine tasting or photography, you’ll find what you need among the many campgrounds throughout California. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your California camping trip.

What do you want to sleep in?

California caters to campers at all levels of camping. You can backpack into the backwoods and sleep in a lightweight tent, or you can rent a full-size campervan with all of the modern comforts. At some campgrounds, you can even rent log cabins, yurts or teepees. If you want to get the most out of California’s campgrounds, a long road trip is the way to go, and that means a campervan. There are plenty of places throughout the state to rent one, and if you’re bringing family along who aren’t exactly the outdoors type, you’ll appreciate the touch of modern comforts.

Book your campsite ahead of time.

Campsites sell out, so it’s recommended that you book your site ahead of time. However, there are many different government and private organizations that run campgrounds, so here’s a list of the most popular and their links:

Do your research.

Before you book your campsite, do some research to make sure you’re getting the best site for your personal needs. Sites vary from primitive, with no road access or running water, to full-facility, which are designed to accommodate RVs and campervans. Sites in higher elevations may be prone to heavy snowfall and might not be open during certain times of the year. Also, many campgrounds will have minimum stay requirements, especially if you’re booking a cabin or other such facility.

Choose your season wisely.

California definitely caters to campers year-round, but depending on your personal preferences, there may be better times of the year to go than others. California’s peak camping season is definitely in the summer. From June to August, when school is out and the vacation crowd flocks to California, you can bet that the campgrounds will be crowded. Spring and fall see fewer crowds and some beautiful weather, so these months may be your best bet. The winter months still offer some great camping (with the smallest crowds), but you should be prepared for cold and sometimes severe weather depending on where you’re going.