SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bartell’s Backroads top 15 California Camping spots
Bonus: not a fan of camping? Scroll to the bottom of the article.
Camp on a volcano at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Bumpass Hell is in Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of California's volcanic hot zones, but its unique beauty makes it a must-see place for adventurous day-trippers. Enjoy camping along the many lakes at the park. For the more experienced outdoors person, there are several hikes and camp spots for a more secluded experience.
Sleep under the ancient trees at Sequoia National Park
Travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in Tulare County to get a phenomenal glimpse into California's natural beauty. See the world's largest trees and explore the massive caves that take you deep inside the Sierra. Tent camping and RV hook ups are available but reserve your spot early!
Star gazing in the Eastern Sierra
The month of June is a rare chance to get an up-close and personal look at planet Jupiter. But don't worry if you miss it, Bartell's Backroads takes us to Owens Valley, one of the darkest places for the perfect stargazing adventure. When you are ready for bed, climb in your “Shift POD” — a high-tech geo-dome style insulated tent.
Hike through Fern Canyon Prairie Creek state park
In Humboldt County, you can visit this California rainforest located at the Redwood National and State Park. In the corner of the park, make sure to visit Fern Canyon, a natural wonder that you won't find anywhere else and the perfect place for a dreamy hike. Whether you like tent camping, an RV spot or cabins, this park has it all.
Soak up the minerals at Grover Hot Springs
Once a hidden hot spring, Grover Hot Springs is now a popular tourist attraction. Located just outside Markleeville, Calif., families have headed to Grover Hot Springs in Northern California's Alpine County for over a century to lounge in natural hot waters. Enjoy any one of the 76 family camp sites, but make sure you lock up your food in the parks bear boxes. There are hungry bears around!
Explore the odd rocks in the Alabama Hills
Hikers and photographers love the Mobius Arch Loop Trail in Lone Pine, Calif. ABC10's John Bartell journeys to the Alabama Hills of Inyo County to visit one of the great hidden pit stops that you can make on your next road trip. The Tuttle Creek Campground offers more than 80 sites for tents, RVs and trailers.
Go Glamping at Yosemite Pines Resort
This is not the covered Conestoga Wagon pioneers slept in. This is luxury camping equipped with refrigerators, coffee makers and cell phone chargers. The resort is near the gateway to Yosemite National Park and is a great place to come back to after exploring.
Pinnacles National Park
Thanks to ancient volcanic eruptions some 23 millions years ago, travelers can visit Pinnacles National Park to see how the dramatic geological features have taken shape. Today, the park protects over 26,000 acres and is open year-round for epic hiking and rare wildlife watching. It's also home to the endangered California Condor, one of North America's biggest birds. Water, bathrooms and a coin-operated shower is available as are several RV hookups. Plus, oak trees offer nice shade at the campground.
Cozy up in the Calpine Fire lookout
During fire season, the lookout is staffed with people who spend weeks at a time looking for lightning strikes or smoke from a campfire. The lookout in the Tahoe National Forest features some of the most spectacular views in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is one of several you can rent for camping across California.
Pick your adventure at Death Valley
Death Valley is home to the lowest elevations in the nation. It's balmy waters of Salt Creek lives a school of pupfish, Death Valley's largest fish. On the east end of the park is a Scotty’s Castle which was built by a con man at his fake gold mine.
Discover Lake Almanor and Paul Bunyan's hometown Westwood
Paul Bunyan, one of America's biggest tall tales was born in Westwood, California. Come in July and celebrate the Paul Bunyan Mountain Festival where you can watch several logging competitions. The fishing and boating on Lake Almanor is also legendary. Camp at one of the may lake side resorts and enjoy the views of Mt. Lassen in the background.
Search for slimy banana slugs at Henry Cowell State Park
Get the full nature experience by sleeping in this redwood forest. Marvel under the massive redwoods and search for the slimy Banana Slug at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park. There’s plenty of hiking or take the steam train at roaring camp. There are 107 campsites close to the trails and it's not a far drive from the ocean.
Tahoe underwater trail
There's a new trail in Emerald Bay State Park in Lake Tahoe. Bring your snorkel or scuba gear because this one is underwater. Instead of mountains and trees, you'll see sunken boats. For all the land lovers, camping in Tahoe offers spectacular views and endless hiking. Campgrounds surround the lake but reservations fill up fast.
Go on a ride at Kennedy Meadows
Saddle up and drive deep into the Emigrant Wilderness at Kennedy Meadows Resort. The pack trails are world famous with cowboys and rodeo stars. Choose a tent or cabins but put away your cell phone, there’s no service or WIFI here.
Saddle up at the V6 Dude ranch
At the center of the San Andreas Fault lies Parkfield, a small, rural town that routinely gets big earthquakes. Also, on the shaky ground is the V6 Dude Ranch where you can learn to ride horses and enjoy a camp fire under the stars like a cowboy.
Don’t like camping? Try these hotels and cabins.
Located in San Luis Obispo, this 110-room hotel attracts vacationers of all kinds because each one of the rooms has a different theme. It's also known as the Madonna Inn and is a landmark for road trippers on California's 101 freeway.
Love trains? Got a thing for cabooses? This might be the ultimate romantic getaway for you. Located on the banks of Clear Lake, you can enjoy a unique experience in the comfort of your own themed railroad caboose.