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
For over 30 years, Tom Stienstra‘s full-time job has been to capture and communicate the outdoor experience. This has led him across California – fishing, hiking, camping, boating, biking, and flying – searching for the best of the outdoors and then writing about it.

Tom is the nation’s top-selling author of outdoors guidebooks. His documentary on the Tuolumne River received an Emmy in 2017. He has been inducted into the California Outdoor Hall of Fame and has twice been awarded National Outdoor Writer of the Year, newspaper division, by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He has also been named California Outdoor Writer of the Year five times, most recently in 2007. Tom is the outdoors columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle; his articles appear on sfgate.com and in newspapers around the country. He also broadcasts a weekly radio show on KCBS-San Francisco.

Tom lives in Northern California. You can contact him directly via the website tomstienstra.com. His guidebooks include:
Moon California Hiking
 (with Ann Marie Brown)
Moon California Fishing
Moon Northern California Camping
Moon Northern California Hiking
 (with Ann Marie Brown)
Moon Oregon Camping
Moon Pacific Northwest Camping
Moon Washington Camping
Moon West Coast RV Camping

Community Review

  • Tom writes so well that his books are worth reading even if you aren’t planning a camping trip. He writes from a deep knowledge of outdoor adventures. If you are going camping in California, this is the guide book that you need.
  • There are many people who have thought about going camping for years, but have failed to do so because they don’t know anything about camping. If you are one of these people, then don’t worry. There is enough camping information in the following article that can have you in a tent in no time.Before you head out on your long-awaited camping trip, make sure the area where you plan to camp doesn’t require a camping permit. If you happen to camp in a place that does require one and you didn’t get one, then you could be facing quite a hefty ticket or fine from a local forest ranger.If you are going on a camping adventure, make sure you have enough time to set up camp before dark. It can be extremely difficult to set up camp in the dark and possibly unsafe. You need to be able to scout the terrain, prepare bedding, and possibly build some temporary shelter prior to the sun going down.Always take a fully stocked first-aid kit when you venture out on a camping trip. You can put together your own kit with bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, scissors, anti bacteria cream and antiseptic wipes in a sturdy container. You can also buy one of the many excellent ready-made kits to save time.As a courtesy to other campers, don’t leave your lighting on overnight, if you are close to others. Pack a timer that you can attach to your lights that will automatically shut them off after a certain time. Leaving lights on overnight is a popular complaint among most American campers!Now that you know enough about camping, you should have no problem going on your first camping trip. You can finally stop wondering about camping and actually go outside and experience it. Just use the camping information you’ve read to guide you every step of the way and you should be fine.

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