Moon California Camping: The Complete Guide to More Than 1,400 Tent and RV Campgrounds (Travel Guide)

20 million acres of forest, 1,200 miles of coastline, and countless wilderness areas: find your perfect campsite with Moon California Camping.
  • A Campsite for Everyone: A variety of campgrounds and RV parks, from secluded Sierra hike-ins to convenient roadside stopovers, including dog-friendly, family-friendly, and wheelchair accessible options
  • Ratings and Essentials: All campsites are rated on a scenic scale and marked with amenities like restrooms, trailhead access, picnic areas, laundry, piped water, showers, and playgrounds
  • Recreation Highlights: Discover nearby hiking, swimming, fishing, water-skiing, whitewater rafting, hot springs, and options for winter sports
  • Maps and Directions: Easy-to-use maps and detailed driving directions for each campground
  • Skip the Crowds: Moon California Camping contains many secluded spots and campgrounds that aren’t available in the state’s online reservation system
  • The Top RV and Tent Sites for You: Pick the right campsite for your travel style with lists like “Best for Families,” “Scenic Campgrounds,” and “Best Island Retreats”
  • Trailhead Access Campgrounds: Find sites that offer access to the John Muir Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and more, plus essential information on hiking
  • Trusted Advice: Expert outdoorsman Tom Stienstra knows his stuff; he’s hiked 25,000 miles in and around these campgrounds for over 30 years
  • Tips and Tools: Information on equipment, food and cooking, first aid, and insect protection, plus background on the climate, landscape, and history of the campgrounds
Whether you’re a veteran or a first-time camper, Moon’s comprehensive coverage and trusted advice will have you gearing up for your next adventure.
Narrowing your search? Try Moon Northern California Camping. Hitting the road? Check out Moon California Road Trip.
Full coverage of: The Redwood Empire, Shasta and Trinity, Lassen and Modoc, Mendocino and Wine Country, Sacramento and Gold Country, Tahoe and the Northern Sierra, the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey and Big Sur, the San Joaquin Valley, Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego (and their surrounding areas), and the California deserts, including Death Valley and Palm Desert

Community Review

  • I use this book every time I camp in California. Tom Stienstra is the ultimate expert and offers a range of camp options to suit every skill level, from family car camping to backpacking the JMT. Thank you Moon & Tom for this new edition!
  • Are you thinking about going camping? No matter whether you just want to go for a day hike or spend weeks outdoors, you need to plan ahead. The ideas presented in the following paragraphs are going to help you have a camping trip that is fun for all.

    When you are camping, a necessity for your gear is a survival knife. This is the most important part of your camping gear. Buy a high quality survival knife, not just the cheapest you can find, your life may depend on it. These knives are all very similar; they have a long blade serrated on one side and a hollow handle. Inside the handle you can carry fishing line, hooks, a compass, and matches as a small survival kit.

    Look up activities to engage in prior to getting to your destination. This will allow you to check for any deals that may be offered. Also, it will help you be more prepared when you actually get to your destination. You can find trails that may be appropriate for everyone in your family or restaurants that you would enjoy.

    Bring a plastic garbage bag and put all of you family’s dirty laundry in it. This keeps the items from mixing in with your clean clothing. It also makes things convenient for you when you return home. You can simply dump out the bag in your washing machine and begin working on it all immediately.

    Take only photos and leave only footprints. That is the rule of thumb when camping. Only use the natural resources that you need and do not leave any traces that you were camping when you leave. Pick up all trash, extinguish and cover any fire pits, bury all human waste, and make the area where you camped look exactly as it did when you found it.

    While camping, cook easy dinners like “hobo stew”. Simply bring potatoes, ground meat, and veggies. Cut the veggies and potatoes at your campsite. Using tinfoil like a bowl, put the ingredients inside and fold the foil over until the food is covered. Place foil on hot rocks or the coals of the campfire, and eventually you will have a tasty “stew”.

    If you think you’ll miss the luxuries of home, bring along a liitle something. Bring a lightweight, easy-to-carry item like good chocolate, cream for coffee or another reminder of home with you. A small luxury that reminds you of home can be uplifting.

    When preparing for a camping trip, people often fail to bring enough clothes. Remember that there will be no washing facilities, and you also need to think about how the weather can call for certain specific attire as well at times. You always want to be prepared, so pack accordingly.

    If your intended camping destination is known for its prowling wildlife, take more than enough precautions to secure food. You must wrap everything up tight, store it away from your tent and do not take certain types of food with you. This can reduce the chances of wildlife coming near you on your trip.

    In this modern age, there is no excuse for being in the woods without some form of communication ability. Of course, no one likes to receive phone calls when they are relaxing, so leave your phone off but fully charged, just in case there is an emergency, and you need to contact someone.

    Hopefully, reading these ideas has made you well prepared for planning your trip. You should have noticed that many of the things that need to be planned for a week long stay must also be planned for the overnight adventure. When you start your planning this very day for your next trip, you will camp then appreciating your preparations.

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