Top 15 Places to Camp In and Around Sac

RV driving through CA forest.

Top 15 Places to Camp In and Around Sac

March 20, 2024 | By The Railyards

Sacramento may have traded its moniker of "The City of Trees" for a new brand as the "Farm to Fork Capital," but it's no stranger to encapsulating forests and enchanting campgrounds. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a novice, the region offers a variety of options to suit every taste and budget. Here's our curated list of the top 10 camping spots around Sacramento based on price, amenities, reservations, and much more!

1. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

A Water Lover's Paradise

Just a short 25-mile hop, skip, and a jump east of Sacramento, in the scenic Sierra-Nevada foothills, you'll find the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. It's a real outdoor paradise with a smorgasbord of activities to choose from. Fancy a bit of camping or picnicking? You're covered. More into horseback riding, water skiing, boating, or hiking? They've got it!

The park is dotted with multiple campgrounds, many cozily tucked near the lake. Beals Point Campground is your go-to for year-round camping, offering 69 campsites, some even equipped with RV hookups. If you're planning a summer adventure, the Peninsula campground is open from April through September and boasts 100 campsites. And don't worry about roughing it too much—both campgrounds come with restrooms and hot showers.

2. Lake Camanche

The Angler's Dream

Lake Camanche Recreation or sprawling outdoor playground? Whether you're into camping, boating, fishing, or hiking, there's something here for everyone. With over 550 campsites to choose from, including tent sites, RV sites, and even cozy cottages, there are options for everyone.

The campsites are spread out over two main areas: the North Shore and the South Shore. If you're after a bit of solitude, the North Shore's secluded campsites are perfect for you. But if you love waking up to a lake view, you'll want to snag a spot on the South Shore, where the campsites are just a stone's throw from the water. And don't worry; both areas come equipped with restrooms, showers, and RV dump stations so you can be comfortable the whole way through. 

3. Brannan Island State Recreation

A Bird Lover's Locale

Nestled in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Brannan Island State Recreation Area is any camper's dream come true. From boating and fishing to swimming, this park has got you covered. And it's not just about water activities. The park boasts several campgrounds with over 140 campsites, so whether you're a tent camper, an RV enthusiast, or looking for a group site, there's a spot just for you.
But that's not all! The park also features a visitor center, perfect for learning more about the area, picnic spots for those lazy afternoon lunches, and hiking trails for when you're ready to stretch your legs. And for all you bird watchers out there, you're in for a treat. The park is home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for bird watching. So, grab your binoculars, and let's go birding!

4. Fallen Leaf Lake Campground

You'll Never Want to Leaf!

Located just ¼ miles from Fallen Leaf Lake and near South Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Campground is a must-visit for all. The campgrounds sit around a mature forest full of pine, fir, cedar, and aspen trees, providing perfectly shaded campsites throughout the area. 

There are 205 campsites that can be reserved, including 6 yurts with electric lights and heaters for those seeking a more glamping experience. All campsites will accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers, though some roads are narrow, so be mindful of the areas you plan on reserving. 

While you're in the area, there are tons of fun activities, from water sports activities to hikes up and around local mountainous waterfalls to even a scenic gondola ride through Heavenly Valley. Book a site today!

5. Cal Expo RV Park

RV Ready to Rumble?

Welcome to the Cal Expo RV Park, a little slice of recreational heaven right in the heart of Sacramento. This RV park is fully equipped with all the hookups you need for your RV and offers 30—and 50-amp service.

But that's not all! The park is packed with amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Want to bring your furry friend? Visit their newly constructed dog park! Need to do some laundry? No problem, they've got laundry facilities. And, of course, there are restrooms with showers and a convenience store for all your needs.

And the cherry on top? You're just a stone's throw away from some of Sacramento's top attractions. You can take a trip back in time at the California State Railroad Museum and other Old Sacramento Waterfront events and attractions or have a fun-filled day with the family at the Sacramento Zoo. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure at Cal Expo RV Park!

6. Juniper Campground

Perfect Blend of Shade & Shine

Right in the heart of Mount Diablo State Park, you'll find Juniper Campground, the largest campground in the area. This place is a real treat for the eyes, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Diablo Valley and the greater Bay Area. 

The campground offers a variety of campsites to suit your preferences. If you're a shade fan and don't mind trading a bit of the view, they have a spot. But if you're all about those jaw-dropping vistas, grab a spot on the western edge of the grounds. There's a bit less shade, but the views will more than makeup for it. For just $30 a night, you can secure your spot in this paradise. With 36 tent/car sites available, there's plenty of room for everyone.

7. Wakaluu Hep Yoo Campground

History, Heritage, Heaven…

Tucked away along the banks of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River, you'll find the Wakaluu Hep Yoo Campground. This spot is a dream come true for trout fishing and whitewater rafters. But it's not just about the outdoor activities. This area is steeped in history, serving as an important cultural site for the Miwuk people, who once occupied the area for over 2,000 years.

Today, it's an incredible campground that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. For just $20 a night, you can secure your spot in this historical haven. With 49 tent/car sites available, there's plenty of room for everyone. So why wait? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable camping experience at Wakaluu Hep Yoo Campground!

8. Pantoll Campground

Ferns, Firs, and Fresh Air

Say hello to Pantoll Campground, a gem tucked away in Mount Tamalpais State Park. Pantoll operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so you'll want to get there early to snag your spot.

All the sites at Pantoll are under a stunning Douglas Fir forest, providing plenty of shade and a wonderfully secluded feel. It's like having your very own secret hideaway in the heart of nature.

For just $25, plus a $10 State Park Fee, you can secure your spot in this woodland wonderland. With 16 tent/car sites available, there's plenty of room for everyone. So, pack your camping gear and get ready for a magical camping experience at Pantoll Campground!

9. North Grove Campground

The Sequoian Haven

If you're a tree-lover, you're in for a treat at North Grove Campground in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This campground is a true paradise for nature lovers, as it's right next to some of the oldest and most majestic trees on earth - the giant sequoias.

For just $35 a night, you can secure your spot in this forested haven. With 74 tent/car sites available, there's plenty of room for everyone. So why wait? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable camping experience at North Grove Campground.

10. Live Oak Campground

Get Into Sandstone Formation

Welcome to Live Oak Campground, another standout spot in Mount Diablo Park. Perched halfway up Diablo's southern slopes, this campground offers stunning views of the gorgeous sandstone formations of the Rock City area. The campground itself is a cozy little haven, with sites set around a loop. It's the perfect spot for those seeking a more intimate camping experience.

For just $30, plus a $10 State Park Fee, you can secure your spot in this scenic sanctuary. With 22 tent/car sites available, there's plenty of room for everyone. So, pack your camping gear and get ready for a memorable camping experience at Live Oak Campground!

11. Bootjack Campground

This Ground Was Meant for Campin'

After over 40 years of closure, Bootjack Campground reopened its newly renovated area in 2013. Near Pantoll Campground, the area features 15 campsites within Tamalpais State Park, two of which meet ADA standards. In addition, the campsite also features grills suspended over rock fire rings and picnic tables in certain areas ready for you to get your grub on anytime. 

For just $25, plus a $10 State Park Fee, you can put boots on the ground and explore the forested trails leading to Muir Woods National Monument or travel to Pantoll station, which has connections to tons of other trails. 

12. Meeks Bay Campground

Creaks, Peaks, and Meeks, Oh My!

Located on the horseshoe-shaped bay on Tahoe's west shore, Meeks Bay is a great place for lake activity lovers or for those who want to relax and soak in the sun on the sand. The campground features 40 sites and a southern and northern marina, both a short walk from the Meeks Bay Resort. 

The campground opens on June 3rd. – Sept. 15th and costs $27.50 per site and $22.50 off-season. If you're looking for things to do, there are tons of paddleboard, small-boat, and even waterskiing lessons and rentals all around the shore.

13. Sky Camp

Trailhead in the Clouds

Connected to Point Reyes National Seashore Park, and after a quick 2-mile hike from the Sky Trailhead on Limatour Road, you'll find Sky Campground soaring at an elevation of 1,025 ft. The area features 11 campsites, including one large group site. Each has a grill, picnic table, and even food storage lockers to keep your things safe.

Campsites are about $20 and available nearly all year round, depending on local weather. Campers warn that poison oak does grow in the area, so be weary when hiking through or near brush. 

14. Wild Plum Campground

Status: Gone Fishing

About 2 miles east of Sierra City, Wild Plum Campground sits at an elevation of 4,400 ft. If you want to cast your line while camping, you have easy access to both Haypress Creek and several other sites along the North Fork Yuba River. About half of the sites lay on the shore of Haypress Creek, which has gorgeous views of the Sierra Buttes peaks above. 

Their 46 sites cost about $21 to rent and are open for rental from May to October, weather-permitting. Sites also contain the usual fire pits, picnic tables, and food lockers for you to use at will.  

15. Donner Memorial State Park Campground

NOT Open in the Winter

As the perfect blend of morbid and majestic, the campground at Donner Memorial lies close to gorgeous swimming beaches, pine forests, and, oddly enough, the location where the Donner Party endured the storm of 1846. You can visit the memorial park from  May to mid-September. Enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing areas, and explore the mountains and forests of Donner Pass.

The area boasts over 150 campsites for about $35 per, but as the largest and one of the most popular campgrounds, spots can fill up very fast, so make sure to plan ahead.  

Sacramento's surrounding area is rich with diverse landscapes and outdoor activities, making it a camper's paradise. Whether you're looking for a quiet retreat, a family-friendly campground, or an adventurer's playground, there's a camping spot for you. So pack your gear, pick your spot, and get ready to explore the great outdoors!

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