Camping Recommendations

Finding and Reserving a Campsite

DirtyBoyBikingSmallUse one of the following to research camping options and/or reserve a campsite.

  • California State Parks: Go to the California State Parks Website then use their Find A Park tool to enter criteria, pick a geographic area, or search for available dates. Each campsite that accepts reservations has a link to www.reserveamerica.com and a calendar to show available dates and sites. Read park descriptions carefully – some campsites are walk-in (non-reservation) only.
  • National Park Service: Go to the National Park Service Website then use their Find A Park tool to enter criteria, pick a geographic area, or search for availability. There are links to www.recreation.gov for reservations. Read park descriptions carefully – some campsites are walk-in (non-reservation) only.
  • U.S. Forest Service: Go to the US Forest Service Website then click the link for Web sites of the National Forests of California, parks of interest, then Recreational Activities and Developed Campgrounds. Reservations can be made through links to www.recreation.gov. Read descriptions carefully – some campsites are first-come (non-reservation) sites.
  • Private Campgrounds through California Travel Parks Association (Camp-California): Go to the California Travel Parks Association Website then search through the lists provided. Usually direct communication with the campground is the only way to make a reservation.
  • Search county websites for the county you are interested in. Parks and Recreation Services for the county may provide a list of parks and associated facilities. Calling the parks of interest may be the best way to get information about campsite availability, but many parks do not reserve sites – they are available on a walk-in basis.
  • Search a detailed map or a camping book for the area of interest.
  • Enter an Internet search with your region or county, and “camping.”
  • Contact the Chamber of Commerce in the area you would like to camp in and ask for recommendations.

Keep in mind that even sites that take reservations may offer some first-come campsites as well. Call the ranger at the site to ask about this!

In all camping cases, call a ranger and mention that you will have an infant or toddler camping with you – rangers will know what areas are not safe for little ones, be it due to steepness or proximity to water hazards.

Camping Recommendation Chart

Use this chart to find a location that meets your needs. Got a great site that you’d like to recommend? E-mail a recommendation.

Location Address Contact Information Facilities Reservations
Uvas Canyon County Park
8515 Croy Road, Morgan Hill
408-779-9232
Uvas Canyon County Park Website
Tents, flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash.
408-355-2201
Reservations for County Parks
Sanborn-Skyline County Park
408-867-9959
Sanborn-Skyline County Park Website
Tents with 100 foot walk in, RV hookups, American Youth Hostel, flush toilets. No dogs allowed.
408-867-9959
American Youth Hostel: 408-293-3787
Camping Reservations
Memorial County Park (near Pescadero/Loma Mar/La Honda)
9500 Pescadero Creek Road, Loma Mar
650-363-4021
Memorial County Park Website
Tents, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets. No dogs allowed.
650-363-4021
County Park Reservations Site
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek
831-338-8860
Big Basin Redwoods SP Website
Tents for car camping and walk in, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets, store. Dogs allowed on leash in developed areas only.
800-444-PARK
Reserve America Website
Portola Redwoods State Park
9000 Portola Redwoods SP Road, La Honda
650-948-9098
Portola Redwoods SP Website
Tents, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets. Dogs on leash allowed on pavement only.
800-444-PARK
Reserve America Website
Anthony Chabot Regional Park
9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley
888-EBPARKS
Chabot Webpage
Tents, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash.
888-EBPARKS
Henry Coe State Park
9000 E Dunne Avenue, Morgan Hill
408-779-2728
Henry Coe SP Webpage
Tents for car camping and backpacking (1+ mile hike)
Reserve America Website
Olema Ranch (Point Reyes)
10155 Highway 1, Box #175, Olema
415-663-8001
Olema Ranch Website
Tents, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets, coin laundry. Dogs allowed on leash.
800-655-CAMP
Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Marin/San Rafael)
Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Lagunitas
415-488-9897
Samuel P Taylor State Park Website
Tents, RV hookups, flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash.
800-444-PARK
Reserve America Website
Pantoll Campground (Mount Tamalpais State Park)
Panoramic Highway and Pan Toll Road, Mill Valley
415-388-2070
Mount Tamalpais SP Website
Tents with a 100-foot walk in.
First come only (no reservations)
Steep Ravine Rustic Cabins and Campsites (Mount Tamalpais State Park)
Highway 1, 1 mile S of Stinson Beach
415-388-2070
Mount Tamalpais SP Website
Tents, Barren Cabins. No dogs allowed.
Reserve America Website
China Camp State Park (Marin/San Rafael)
N San Pedro Road, on San Pablo Bay
415-456-0766
China Camp State Park Website
Tents with a 150 to 900 foot walk in, showers, flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash.
800-444-PARK
Reserve America Website
Sunol Regional Wilderness
1895 Geary Blvd, Sunol
925-862-2244
888-EBPARKS
Sunol Webpage
Primitive camping with 3+ mile walk in. Very hilly.
888=EBPARKS
Reserve America Website
Del Valle
7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore
925-373-0332
888-EBPARKS
Del Valle Webpage
Tents, RV hookups, showers, flush toilets. Dogs allowed.
888-EBPARKS
Reserve America Website
Butano State Park
Cloverdale Road, Pescadero
650-879-2040
Butano SP Website
Tents for car camping and walk-in, RV hookups, flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash.
800-444-PARK
Reserve America Website
Mount Madonna County Park
7850 Pole Line Road, Watsonville
408-842-2341
Mount Madonna Website
Tents, RV hookups, group areas, and yurts. Flush toilets. Dogs allowed on leash at camp only.
408-355-2201 (call for groups and yurts)
Reserve through Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Marin Headlands
Marin Headlands Visitor Center at Fort Barry Chapel at intersection of Field and Bunker Roads, Marin
415-331-1540
Marin Headlands Website
Golden Gate/National Park Service Webpage about Camping and Backpacking
Tent camping, from carside to about 3 miles in (backpacking).
Hawk Camp (~3 miles in) has no water, so you have to pack your own.
415-331-1540
Recreation.gov
Point Reyes
Bear Valley Visitor’s Center
Bear Valley Road, Olema
415-464-5100
Point Reyes Camping Information

Point Reyes Campgrounds

Hostel and backpacking camps
877-444-6777
Recreation.gov
Black Mountain
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road, Palo Alto
Monte Bello Website
Backpacking (about 2 miles in, or more, depending on route)
Permit Information

Making the Decision to Camp


Packing and Reservations

Social Share Toolbar