California campgrounds offer a diverse experience thanks to the region’s stunning landscapes that include snow-capped mountains and turquoise-colored lakes, ancient redwood groves, and beautiful hiking trails in the High Sierra.
If you’re planning an RV camping trip, why not consider the High Sierra, which is a beautiful mountain range that borders eastern California and Nevada? Rent your travel trailer from Adventure in Camping, an RV rental company known for having the largest and newest fleet in the region.
Our top 5 California campgrounds
First things first: The best RV campground depends on your preference, the outdoor activities you want to try, and your level of physical fitness (are you looking for a beginner-friendly trail or something with a more challenging terrain?). The campsite’s amenities and facilities and its proximity–or lack thereof–to destinations and downtown are other factors you should also consider.
Meanwhile, our top 5 California campgrounds are based on their camping experience and landscape and the RV-friendliness of their facilities and surrounding areas.
- Yosemite National Park
Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this national park is known for its 3,000-year-old giant sequoia trees, the towering Bridalveil Fall, the captivating view of the granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan, and the “Tunnel View,” which is a scenic viewpoint on State Route 41.
If you enjoy outdoor adventure, Yosemite is the perfect place for you with its diverse landscapes, beautiful hiking and biking trails, calm and crystal-clear lakes and rivers, and several campgrounds ideal for wildlife exploration and bird watching.
The park’s rivers and streams are also excellent for fishing and swimming, although you need to secure a fishing license and be careful if you decide to take a dip because there are no lifeguards nearby (or better yet, wear a life jacket to err on the safe side).
Devils Postpile National Monument
This beloved national monument is located near Mammoth Mountain in Eastern California and is mostly known for its out-of-this-world rock formation called Devils Postpile, which is a dark-colored cliff of columnar basalt. At a glance, it looks like a pile of geometric columns stacked up by a giant.
The eerie-looking rock formation is actually created by a lava flow and its cracking and cooling, a process that occurred around 100,000 years ago, according to scientists who conducted radiometric dating.
While the national monument offers countless outdoor adventures–from mountain biking and wildlife exploration to horseback riding and fishing–you should never miss the beginner-friendly 0.8-mile hiking trail that takes you to the base of Devils Postpile.
Another beginner-friendly hiking trail takes you to Minaret Falls which cascades into a river and lies just outside the park’s boundary. But if you’re looking for something more challenging, you may want to try the rolling 5-mile hike to Rainbow Falls.
This is a town near the Devils Postpile National Monument, making it a great RV campground if you’re planning to visit the columnar basalt rock formation.
If you’re into bird watching, make sure you visit Mono Lake, an oasis in the dry Great Basin where you can find millions of migratory birds that are using it as their stopover to breed and nest.
Mono Lake is a large saltwater lake known for its “tufa towers,” which are calcium-carbonate spires rising from its bed. Because its water is two-and-a-half times saltier than the ocean, it offers a unique swimming experience.
To reach Mono Lake, use the South Tufa Trail, which is an easy 1.5-mile round trip walk that offers you a breathtaking view of the “tufa towers,” the calm, sapphire-colored waters, and the diverse bird species.
Boating or kayaking on this saltwater lake also offers a unique experience, although it’s not permitted between April and August 1 to protect the birds’ nesting areas.
Death Valley National Park
Don’t let its name scare you–Death Valley is a unique camping ground known for its arid and harsh landscape perfect for stargazing. Because it’s miles away from civilization, it has clear night skies that attract thousands of constellation aficionados every year.
The best time to schedule your RV camping in Death Valley is around October when the weather has cooled enough to make daytime exploration tolerable. Also, choose a high-elevation campground to ensure a comfortable camping experience.
Because of the park’s extreme environment, you won’t find mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Located around 4 miles northeast of Arnold, California in the Sierra Nevada, the park consists of two groves of giant sequoia trees, namely, the North Grove and the South Grove, which have a total of seven hiking trails of varying terrains. Meanwhile, try the path that goes in and out of the Stanislaus River Canyon if you’re into a more challenging hike.
If you want to take your dogs on your RV camping trip, the park is an excellent option. Just make sure that you have them on leash all the time in “developed” areas like picnic sites, paved roads, campgrounds and dirt roads.
RV camping not just allows you to recharge and relax close to nature, but it also gives you immense freedom and flexibility because you can stop anywhere you want, visit the local town’s top restaurant and other destinations, and explore hidden gems.
To learn more about RV camping and California campgrounds, visit Adventure in Camping, an RV rental company known for having the largest and newest fleets of travel trailers in the High Sierra.