Top 4 Camping Destinations In California

These camping sites span from deserts to snowy mountains, from redwoods to seashores.


As a California native, I’ve been privileged to grow up in a state with so much natural beauty. Although living in the city is always fun and full of life, I definitely need a break from the chaos every now and then. Luckily, there are plenty of unbelievable destinations to enjoy whenever I’m in need of a getaway from my day-to-day life. From deserts to snowy mountains, from redwoods to seashores, here are four of my all time favorite camping spots to set up tent in the Golden (best) State:


It is difficult to find words to adequately describe the beauty that is Yosemite. With its magnificent granite glaciers, spectacular waterfalls, and  Yosemite is truly one of the most magical places on Earth. Even the light in Yosemite shines in a different way, making the earth around you feel saturated down to its purest form.

There are so many breathtaking views, lakes, and hiking trails, that Yosemite can easily be a week-long camping trip. Although reservations are not required to enter, be sure to book your campsite in advance because Yosemite is a hotspot for people across the globe.

When in California, Yosemite truly is a must-see destination. No matter how high definition your camera lens is, photos simply cannot do this place justice!

As Ansel Adams said, “You have to live it and breath it, let the sun bake into you.”


Located in the Western Sierra Nevadas, this glorious national park has an incredible amount of campgrounds and various trailheads for unlimited camping and exploration. Nearly every mile of this park is essentially untouched wilderness, packed with massive sequoia trees measuring at nearly 400 feet tall. Be sure to check out “General Sherman”, the world’s largest tree on earth! While Spring through Summer is the best time to see the sequoias, December through April provides great opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. From mountains, meadows, and wildlife, this park is a fantastic place for an escape into wilderness.

Joshua Tree

Completely surrounded by nothing but wide open desert, Joshua Tree is a perfect place to clear your mind and fill your soul with the beauty of nothingness. The environment is otherworldly with its massive, sand-colored boulders and beautiful, gnarled joshua trees that perplexingly bloom out of barren land. After a long day of hiking, climbing, and bouldering, there’s nothing better than laying down around a campfire in Joshua Tree and watching the stars light up the night sky.

Big Sur

Located along the ridiculously scenic Highway 1, Big Sur is a perfect combination of sea and land. There are tons of spots to pull off the road and set up tent along the sand, or make your way to one of their campsites. My favorites are Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground, and Andrew Molera. From ocean cliffs and rivers to hot springs and forests, Big Sur’s got it all.

Gillian Rose

Contributing Editor

Since graduating from Berkeley with a degree in international development, Gillian has lived in four continents and currently calls Tel Aviv home. She speaks five languages and is an avid traveler, foodie, and lifelong student. As a yoga, breathwork, and meditation teacher, Gillian has a deep passion for somatic healing.

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