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Top 10 River Camping Spots In California - Updated 2019

Top 10 River Camping Spots In California - Updated 2019
Katie
Katie
Updated

With literally hundreds of rivers running through California, picking a great camping spot can be hard… but well, considering we like you so much we’ve given it a shot. This list covers a number of river camping spots from the luxurious “glamping” sites to the bare-basics there is sure to be a spot to suit your needs and budget!

1. Fraser Flat Campsite at Stanislaus River



Open from April through to November this beautiful campsite is located on the south fork of the Stanislaus River, an area known for its beauty. There are 25 sites offered on a first come first served basis, each with picnic tables and access to hiking and fishing spots. It’s worth noting that this campsite cannot be booked in advance and accepts cash only.

Fraser Flat Campsite

Address: 24695 CA-108, Mi-Wuk Village, CA 95346

Website: Fraser Flat Campsite

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2. Auto Camp at Russian River




Just 90 minutes north of San Francisco is this luxury airstream camp ground in the heart of Sonoma’s Wine County. This camp is surrounded by awe-inspiring Redwood trees and offers canvas tents, suites and airstreams for those looking for a more glamous way to camp. There are excellent on site facilities including a clubhouse which is always stocked with local food and drink, a fire pit for late night fun and a connected adventure booking desk for the thrill seekers.

Auto Camp

Address: 14120 Old Cazadero Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446

Website: Auto Camp

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3. Salmon Creek Camp at North Yuba River

A post shared by Nic Lauten (@niclauten) on Jun 26, 2017 at 5:30pm PDT


A post shared by Michelle Marguth (@michizzle) on Aug 8, 2016 at 12:51pm PDT


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There’s lots to do whilst staying at Salmon Creek Camp, from the extensive network of over 30 miles (48 km) of walking trails to swimming, boating, fishing and even canoeing. The site only offers 5 tent spaces in total so be sure to arrive early to snatch the best view! There’s not much luxury here so be sure that you want a rough and ready style camping experience.

Salmon Creek Camp

Address: Calpine, CA 96124

Website: Salmon Creek Camp

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4. American River Resort on the American River



This campsite offers an all encompassing experience, a hark back to the old style camping trip with in-house entertainment, bookable adventure tours and clubhouses. There are RV sites that are more than just a space with electricity hook up - they have picnic tables and even a fire pit! The tent spaces are varied in location styles, if you want a “glamping” experience then check out their cabin tents which offer a luxurious camping option. Our favorite thing is that they even offer onsite cooking for you - no longer do you have to sit over a fire pit waiting for your bacon to cook - now someone else will do it for you!

American River Resort

Address: 6019 New River Rd, Coloma, CA 95613

Website: American River Resort

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

5. D.L. Bliss State Park Campground at Lake Tahoe



One of our favorite spots in the summer but you’ll need to book in advance, this camp isn’t the type where you can just “turn up and hope for the best”; slots go quickly! So what is it that makes D.L. Bliss State Park Campground so popular? Firstly it is right on the shore of Lake Tahoe and so has beach access, it provides excellent facilities, is a hub for plenty or adventures and has an all-round great atmosphere.

D.L. Bliss State Park Campground

Address: 9881 CA-89, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Website: Bliss State Park Campground

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6. Schoolhouse Canyon Park at Russian River


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Nestled in an ancient Redwood forest this small campsite has everything you need for a simple camping trip. It doesn’t have high tech facilities so expect to play some traditional games such as charades and boardgames, making it great for families.

Schoolhouse Canyon Park

Address: 12600 River Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446

Website: Schoolhouse Canyon Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

7. Island Acres at Colorado River State Park



Island Acres offers basic camping and RV spots along the Colorado River. There are a number of locations to choose from so be sure to have a look around and find the perfect spot for you! On site facilities include coin operated showers, and in the summer months laundry. Perfect as a no-frill camping holiday.

Island Acres

Address: 361-32 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81504

Website: Island Acres

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

8. Wakalu Hep Yo Campground at North Fork Stanislaus River



The Miwuk people have lived in this area for over 2,000 years and so in their traditional language Wakalu means river and Hep Yo describes an unstoppable force of nature. This site is also offered on a first come first served basis and so with not many spots available we would recommend getting there early.

Wakalu Hep Yo Campground

Address: Arnold, CA 95223

Website: Wakalu Hep Yo Campground

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

9. River Ranch Campground at North Fork Tuolumne River



This camp site, which is situated on a meadow near the confluence of Basin Creek and the North Fork Tuolumne River, is part public and part private so make sure to double check where you can and can’t set-up. Sites are offered on a first come first served basis and are fairly basic. You can have a campfire for cooking food and staying warm but it is recommended that you get a permit ready just in case.

River Ranch Campground

Address: 20900 Fish Hatchery Rd, Twain Harte, CA 95383

Website: River Ranch Campground

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

10. Buckhorn Campground at Three Rivers




Here 38 campsites nestle into a forest of pines and cedars. There are a plethora of hiking trails to choose from including the popular Buckhart Trail. At 6,300 feet (1,920 meters), be careful of bear activity during the hours of dusk and dawn!

Buckhorn Campground

Address: Angeles Crest Hwy, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Website: Buckhorn Campground

See our full list of recommended Hotels in California and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in California

Just around the river bend...

Californian Rivers

Whichever spot you choose, maybe it’s from this list or one that you’ve found yourself, camping by rivers can be such a relaxing activity. Grab a few friends, a few snacks and get ready to get back to nature.

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A full-time global wanderer and volunteer. Strong compass leading to random and remote pockets of Earth; exploring jungles, abandoned villages and the open seas. Passionate about documenting on my...Read more

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