Ancient redwood trees. Highway 1 winding along the rugged coastline. Pristine mountain lakes high in the Sierra Nevadas. The options for RV camping in the northern portion of the Golden State are endless, whether you want to spend a weekend in the high desert or a week near the Pacific Ocean. The choice is yours.
Many traditional tent campsites around the region take RVs as well, and there are also parks dedicated solely to RV camping. If you plan on staying in a national or state park, there are usually limited sites that are reserved for RVs, often with minimal amenities. The trade-off is you are in the park and have easy access to all the hiking trails and sights.
Whether you are looking to take a road trip with multiple stops or just have one destination in mind, here’s the best Northern California RV camping that should be on your radar.
- prepare for bear country – keep your eyes out for black bears (which range in color from black to blonde, cinnamon brown being the most common color). The majority of the state’s bear population is in Northern California. It’s important to pack all food away for the night in your RV and dispose of trash in a provided animal-proof dumpsters to ensure that you don’t get any visitors in the middle of the night.
- pack layers – prepare for all the microclimates you may encounter – it could be 80 degrees and sunny inland and then 55 degrees and foggy by the coast.
- download all maps – not all remote RV campgrounds have strong wi-fi.
- National Parks Service App – download this free app for access to interactive maps, self-guided park tours, activities, amenities, and downloadable content for offline use.
Map of RV Camping Sites in Northern California
When is the best time to go RV camping in Northern California?
Seasonal weather between Northern and Southern California differs, and up North, it is not always sunny as it is down south. In the north, it rains a considerable amount during the cooler months and this can trigger mudslides on the highways, so make sure to check road closures before you go. September through October are some of the hottest and driest months and this is wildfire season, which can also close down large areas of the state, including national/state parks.
Summer is the busiest time, but if you don’t mind the crowds it can be a great season to travel around. Late spring is a good alternative, with less crowded sites and milder temperatures, especially in the mountains. In winter, not all parks are open, but those that are can provide a base for seasonal activities like skiing and snowboarding nearby.
Top Nor Cal RV Camping
San Francisco (Bay Area)
Located just a short drive from the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin RV Park in Greenbrae is the closest RV park to the city. This is the ideal location for calling home with its pristine grounds and safe location. Besides offering easy access to SF, this park also is close to Muir Woods, Mount Tam, as well as the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge that goes to the East Bay.
Amenities/features: 87 RV spaces, full hookups, dump station ($30 fee), laundry room, restroom/shower facilities, free wi-fi and cable TV hookup, seasonal swimming pool (solar heated), and pet-friendly with an on-leash walking area that has scenic views of the SF Bay. Open year-round.
Address: 2140 Redwood Hwy, Greenbrae, CA 94904
For a convenient place to stay, the Napa Valley Expo RV Park is a little over a mile away from downtown Napa if you walk or bike. On property, there is the Bingo Emporium which is open 5 days a week for games, as well as the Napa Valley Model Railroad. The Oxbow Market, Napa Valley Wine Train, and the Napa Valley Wine Trail along the Napa River are also close by. If you want to experience some thrills, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is 11 miles away in Vallejo.
Amenities/Features: full hookups, pull-through and back-in sites available, concrete spaces, restrooms/showers, laundry. Open year-round.
Address: 606 CA-121, Napa, CA 94559
Bodega Bay (Sonoma County)
Family-owned since 1967, Bodega Bay RV Park is the perfect place to call home by the water on the iconic Highway 1. The park offers a quiet and clean space that has plenty of activities nearby, including horseback riding trails, boat launch areas, fishing, wineries, and hiking trails. Depending on the time of year, you could be treated to whale watching in the winter, or crab fishing from mid-November through June.
Amenities/Features: 71 RV sites (26 are pull-through), full and partial hookups, dump station, restrooms/showers, laundry, fire ring rentals, free wi-fi, free cable TV hookup (limited), two group clubhouses, recreational games, and fenced dog run. Open year-round.
Address: 2001 Highway One, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Redwood National Park
Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground & RV Park is located in Crescent City on the wild Northern California coast, under a canopy of towering redwood trees. The park is minutes away from Redwood National and State Parks (Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, Del Norte Coast State Park, and Prairie Creek State Park). The Smith River is also nearby, which is known for its dramatic landscape and is ideal for swimming, river rafting, and fishing (Chinook salmon and Steelhead are abundant here).
Amenities/features: full hookups, pull-through, large back-in, and big rig sites; private fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms/showers, laundry facilities, children’s playground, and a scenic walking trail. Open year-round.
Address: 6701 Highway US-101 North, Crescent City, California 95531
Lassen and Shasta
Situated between Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta in Fall River Valley, Lassen RV Resort provides a beautiful place to call home among its 68 forested acres. Local attractions in the surrounding area include Lassen Volcanic National Park, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Lava Beds National Monument, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Hat Creek, Pitt River, Fall River, and Ahjumawi State Park (only accessible by boat).
Amenities/features: full hookups, pull-through and back-in sites; fire pits, picnic tables, bathrooms/showers, laundry, free wi-fi (premium is available for a fee), group meeting space for rent with propane grill and covered pavilion, seasonal swimming pool, dog-friendly, recreation games, and private walking trails with views of Mount Shasta. Some RV sites allow tents.
Address: 548-335 Old Highway Road, McArthur, CA 96056
Mt. Lassen/Shingletown KOA is a popular destination for those who want to be close to the entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park, amid the quiet natural setting of a higher elevation at 3,900 feet. There is a wide range of amenities as well as seasonal camp-wide activities, including ice cream socials, outdoor movies, and pancake breakfasts. Lake Shasta and McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park nearby make for great day trips.
Amenities/features: full hookups (pull-throughs and back-in sites available), restrooms, fire pits, picnic tables, wi-fi, children’s playground, heated pool, dog park with obstacle course, birding area, basketball court, beach volleyball court, and tree swing. Open April 1 to October 31.
Address: 7749 KOA Road, Shingletown, CA 96088
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite NP has ten campsites in and around Yosemite Valley that can accommodate RV camping. Reservations are required and there are no first-come, first-serve sites available. Reservations usually fill up between the busy season of April through September and it’s recommended that you make one as far in advance as possible. Please note that reservations are required to get into the park during peak hours (6 am – 4 pm) between May 20 through September 30, 2022.
Amenities/Features: water, sewer, and electric hookups are not available in the park, though fresh water is accessible in Upper Pines Campground year-round, and near Wawona Campground (summer only). The use of a generator is allowed, but only between 7 am and 9 am, noon and 2 pm, and 5 pm to 7 pm. RV length is 40 feet and maximum trailer length is 35 feet, with limited sites that accommodate this size.
The Inn At Benton Hot Springs is a resort property located in the historic mining town of Benton. Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake (stunning during autumn with its yellow foliage), and Inyo National Forest are all within an hour’s drive or less. The town is known for its natural hot springs and this resort features a private hot tub with barriers at each campsite to enjoy in the solitude of the high desert.
Amenities/Features: picnic table, fire pit, restrooms, pet-friendly (maximum two per site). No hookups are available. Generator use is allowed from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. No firewood is available on the property, must bring your own. Open year-round.
Address: 55137 Highway 120, Benton, California 93512
Santa Cruz Mountains
There is nothing more quintessential Northern California than the location of Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort, which is nestled among the redwood giants and next to the scenic San Lorenzo River. Henry Cowell State Park is in the resort’s backyard, where you can spend a day hiking among the old-growth redwood groves. University of California Santa Cruz is a 20-minute drive from the resort, and downtown Santa Cruz is a 15-minute drive.
Amenities/Features: full hookups, pull-through and big rig sites; firepit rental, restrooms/showers, laundry, free wifi, cable TV, spacious clubhouse, children’s playground, and pet friendly. Open year-round. Please note that Highway 9 north from Santa Cruz is NOT a recommended route for RVs and Trailers.
Address: 4980 Highway 9 Felton, CA 95018
Sequoia National Park
Only eight miles away from the entrance to Sequoia National Park, Sequoia RV Ranch is a great place to stay when you come to the area. Located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, the settling itself is breathtaking, with many of the spacious campsites located on the tranquil Kaweah River. There is plenty to do on-site, including a spring-fed swimming hole and fishing hole. Nearby Kaweah Lake offers numerous boating options, as well as water-skiing.
Amenities/Features: full hookups, pull-through sites available, pit toliets/showers, laundry, free wi-fi, and dog park. Open year-round.
Address: 43490 North Fork Drive, Three Rivers, California 93271
If you prefer to stay within Sequoia National Park, there are campsites in the park that allow RV camping but do not have any hookups, shower, or laundry facilities available. Reservations should be made well in advance (available one month before your stay). Some sites are open year-round.
South Lake Tahoe
The south shore of Lake Tahoe has some great options for RV campsites that sit right on the water and are close to downtown, and hiking trails. Here are two of the best places to call home:
Camp Richardson RV Village is a great spot for those who want to be centrally located and have access to a full-service marina. The Camp Rich Marina offers everything you need for a day out on the lake, including boat rentals, kayaks, SUPs, paddle boats, and beach chairs. The resort is close to Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm Castle, and a quick 10-minute drive to downtown Lake Tahoe.
Amenities/Features: full hookups/partial hookups, picnic table, fire pits, restrooms/showers, general store and deli, ice cream parlor, coffee and confectioner; and a lakeside restaurant. Open year-round.
Address: 1900 Jameson Beach Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Zephyr Cove Resort RV Park is a family-friendly destination situated on Tahoe’s southeastern shore, with RV sites located among the pines. The resort is within walking distance to the Zephyr Cove Marina, which includes the Sunset Bar & Grille; the Zephyr Cove Restaurant, the historic M.S. Dixie ll paddlewheeler, beach access, and is only a 15-minute drive from downtown South Lake Tahoe. Airstream camping is available as well, with fully equipped interiors.
Amenities/Features: 93 RV sites, full hookups, cable TV hookups, picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms/showers, laundry, and several sites allow tent camping. Open year-round.
Address: 760 U.S. Hwy 50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
Sierra Nevada Mountains (Plumas County)
Located in the charming mountain town of Quincy (3500′ elevation), Pioneer RV Park is a favorite with guests that often come back year after year. The location offers plenty to do, including in the warmer months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, biking, OHV, horseback riding, and fishing; and boating and jet skiing in Lake Almanor or Bucks Lake. In the winter months, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling opportunities abound. Lassen National Park makes for a great day trip nearby.
Amenities/Features: 62 RV sites, full hookups, pull-through and extra long sites available, dump station, restrooms/showers, laundry room, free wifi, clubhouse, and dog wash station. Open year-round.
Address: 1326 Pioneer Rd, Quincy, CA 95971