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Camping is one of the most enjoyable things one can do with friends, family, or even alone for those brave and daring adventurers out there! Perhaps in the US especially, the frontier spirit that rests deep inside many still seeks to discover the unknown.

There can’t be many better places to go camping in the US (though there are many!) than the glorious area of Northern California. This is an area rich in beautiful and diverse flora and fauna, with spectacular beaches, breathtaking Redwood forests, and incredible mountain ranges.

Northern California has a wealth of options when it comes to camping, and this article will take a peek into the best camping in the area.

DL Bliss Campground, South Lake Tahoe

This stunning location on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe can be easily accessed thanks to being only twenty minutes from Tahoe City. It is also not far from other popular destinations such as Meeks Bay Resort and the Emerald Bay State Park.

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Campers here gain access to the sublime waters of Lake Tahoe, whilst they can camp nestled amongst the scenic pine trees. The park has a whopping selection of 250 campsites, each containing fire rings, and a picnic table.

Many of these are booked up throughout the summer, so be sure to book ahead if you intend to go in peak season.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

The park is located 130 miles north of Sacramento, and it is quite a sight to behold. At over 160,000 acres in size, there’s something for everyone here.

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The area’s geology is diverse and fascinating, with active volcanoes, volcanic terrain, mysterious caves, endless meadows, boggy mudflats, and breathtaking alpine lakes.

There are seven campgrounds to choose from when visiting, though only the Southwest Campground is open throughout the year. Manzanita Lake is the biggest park there and incredibly popular due to it being on the shores of the stunning lake.

Here guests can enjoy all sorts of activities including hiking and kayaking, whilst the campground also supports both RV and tent camping.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

“To walk in a redwood forest is to enter nature’s cathedral.”

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The redwoods are one of the most iconic symbols of California, with this popular expression being both poignant and in reverence to the majesty of nature’s beauty.

Walking amongst these giants of nature is sure to give hikers a deep sense of introspection and perspective as they wander through this luscious landscape.

Jedediah Smith is in the proximity of Crescent City, which is less than ten miles away, whilst it is also the most northern located state park within the Redwoods National Park.

Guests can take a thrilling drive or ride along the famous single lane Howland Hill Road or visit the wonderful Smith River.

Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino Coast

The Mendocino Coast is absolutely mesmerizing, so it’s no surprise that there are numerous campgrounds located along its length. One of the most popular to visit is the Russian Gulch State Park Campground which is located only a couple of miles north of Mendocino village.

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This area is packed with awe-inspiring natural attractions, incredible ocean views, and exciting hiking trails. Guests can take a long stroll along the Fern Canyon Trail, during which they can view the spectacular 36-foot waterfall.

Both RV and tent camping is available, although here they don’t provide any connection to mains electricity, so spare batteries are advised.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park spans over 53,000 acres, 17,000 of which is made up of old-growth redwood forest. This is the largest collection of ancient redwoods left anywhere on the planet.

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The Burlington Campground is the only campground that operates throughout the year, nestled in the forest, with facilities such as flushing toilets and showers making the stay more pleasant. Here, visitors can travel along the Avenue of the Giants, a 32-mile road amongst the giant Redwood trees.

A popular spot along the trip to stop at is viewing the fallen 363-foot Dyerville Giant, at Founder’s Grove. Visitors can enjoy great fishing, boating, and swimming in the Eel River or take a hike along one of the many trails. There are over one hundred miles of trails to choose from, as well as over 250 campsites.

Castle Crags State Park

Visitors to Castle Crags will be blown away by the more than 170 million years old granite spires that can be found on the northwestern edge of the park.  These spires are an immense 6000 feet tall.

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The area is surrounded by the lush Shasta-Trinity National Forest, whilst the Sacramento River runs through it. This makes it a great destination for camping, fishing, and hiking, with there being over 28 miles of hiking trails to choose from.

There are 76 camping sites with amenities and there is running water and showers nearby each site.

What Is The Weather Like In Northern California?

The area typically has a moderate oceanic climate, with higher levels of rainfall than Southern California. The summer is hot, dry, and clear whilst the winters are cold, wet, and rather cloudy. The temperature can vary throughout the year from 39 °F to 94 °F, and is rarely below 31 °F or above 103 °F.

Are There Dangerous Animals In Northern California?

There is an incredibly diverse range of creatures of all sizes and shapes in the region. Some of these, such as black bears or North American Cougars, could be dangerous in some situations. However, most animals will look to avoid human contact and would mostly act out of defense.

To keep yourself and your family safe, pay attention to ranger announcements and learn the basics of how to deal with animal confrontation.

Final Thoughts: When Should You Visit Northern California?

Although the summer is incredibly popular due to the stunning weather and the school summer holidays, many feel that Autumn is the perfect time to go camping in Northern California.

At this point, the busy summer tourism has died down, the weather is still warm without being too arid, and the nights are cool enough without being freezing. Perfect for setting up a roaring campfire, eating s’mores, and singing songs.

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