Campground Reviews

Every campground listed here has been chosen as a favorite by myself or a member of Camping In Style Facebook. No matter how great a campground is overall some site numbers are better than others. For instance the three campgrounds listed for Lake Tahoe all are rated a 10 by "California Camping", however you will see that if you get the wrong location you could be spending your trip smelling auto exhaust from every trailer driving by your site or seeing a glaring light in your eye all night from the bathrooms.
The best advice I can give is to plan ahead by calling the Park first and asking them what sites numbers they like or don't like. Sometimes by viewing the layout map of the campground you can see what sites have more room and where they are located. Most but not all campgrounds use Reserve America to make reservations. See Location Location to find out more details about getting the best site and location for your next trip.

Tahoe, CA
Park 530-525-7277
CAMPSITE FAVORITES: 148, 156, 158, 143, 164,105, 103

Even though this park gets a 10 rating from most of the camping books, many campsites are on slops that are rocky or are congested. I would rate this place a 5 or a 10 depending on where you’re parking your tent. I love the beach access in this park and a few nice sites sit facing the water. No Dogs on Beach here, not even on leash. The beach is BEAUTIFUL and it’s the beach that makes this campground great. If you want to book a good site you will need to be on the ball and get it the day they open for sale, 7 months in advance. I always recommend calling the location to ask the ranger for their recommendations; they are usually good about giving accurate information, especially which sites NOT to choose. For best results make resurvations 7 months in advance.
Most of the other campsites are not very good in my opinion. Rocky, sloped, busy, too close to bathroom etc...

Tahoe, CA
Park 530-525-7982
CAMPSITE FAVORITES: 161, 165, 84/88, 95-98, 101/104/116

I love Sugar Pine for several reasons. mostly because the vibe here is relaxed and the campground feels spacious. There are many good to great sites so I would say site rate from an 8 to 10 overall with a few sites that are less than. Do come prepared to see bears here. And keep in mind on the weekends there is always noise from some greenhorn who left food out or in there car that the bear is into and freaking out the campers. This campground has a GREAT bike train esp. for kids, dirt or paved this is a family fun campground. The shower rooms are nice; however they are all in the same location for the whole campground. I tend to prefer the two loops closer to the showers and noted that sites 123&125 are awful.
They have a beach attached to this campground but it is across the street and no dogs allowed.

Tahoe, CA
Park 530-541-6498
CAMPSITE FAVORITES: 67, 66, 78, 48, 9

OK a few great spots but I must be honest I really don't care for the vibe here. The walk around the campground is beautiful as it overlooks Emerald Bay at a very high distance. Most of the sites are full sun or tiny in size. Dogs must be on leash and are not allowed on trails, no beach access here. Whatever you do, don’t camp on 1-3. I put this campground down mostly because "California Camping" rates it a 10 and we have been there for that reason, in the worst site I've ever camped mind you. Also because Tahoe has many places to camp and many just are not very attractive sites even though Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

23333 Scotts Flat Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
Reservation/Walk In
530-265-5302 note this campground is hard to reach by phone
CAMPSITE FAVORITES: GV- 8/9, GV-3 I don't see on map but a member says it's her favorite, 7-A, 2, 10, 223, 224, 226, 230, 236, T-13, T-15

OK so I had avoided Scotts Flat Lake year after year. It's really close to our house but for some reason it seemed no one locally talked about it. The website looks like yet another private campground that doesn't fit the requirements for my camping taste. One year we were ready to camp and had to switch camp locations last minute because of weather and ended up at Scotts Flat. Again the location is everything. I ended up in the absolute best site I have ever been in EVER. Sites GV-8/9 are both on the water with no public car access. They are huge and fully shaded. However I would only recommend them in spring when the water is high and your not camping mud side. Scotts Flat does attract the partier type so make sure to get a premium site that you pay more for to avoid the young kids. The park attendants don't drive around and make sure the riff raff is keeping it cool. Camping here can go either way as far as the crowd goes. However it has many sites that are better than a 10. And with so many sites you’re likely to find a great location last minute. Dogs are welcome here and they have a fun walk path and fishing that is family friendly. They also have a bait and tackle that sells ice cream. The water is a bit muddy shore side but great swimming the further out you go. We like water side campsites so we can bring our kayak to take runs on the lake with.

Donner, CA
First Come First Serve

Julie writes: I love Grouse Ridge - can't beat it for beauty. A little hard to get to on that road, but worth it! Grouse Ridge is up Hwy 20, left at Bowman Lake sign, then 8 miles of very, no I mean VERY rocky, bumpy road. The campground is on top of a ridge overlooking the buttes, with many tiny alpine lakes to hike to below. It is rugged camping, there are sites (1st come 1st serve), but you have to bring in your own drinking water. Toilets, no showers or potable water.

Big Sur, CA
Reservations Only
CAMPSITE FAVORITES: Most sites to the right of the gate are best : 8, 13, 16, 37

We love this place. We have planned many a group trips to the campground and love for the fallowing reasons. Beautiful on the right side of grounds, water running through it, staff is VERY friendly, playground, store, laundry.................... Love it. We Cruz the other campgrounds in Big Sur and none of them have the feel of this one. We think is way better than the State Park. I love that they have strict rules for quiet time; they make sure everyone is safe and has what they need. Close by there is lot's to do, too much to mention. From sight seeing, beach going with the dog to fine dinning. Definitely make a stop at Big Sur Bakery it's truly the best food and coffee. See the website for reservation and lot's of useful information. Oh yeah the best time of year to go is Aug-Sept.More to come, please send us your favorites

Capitola, CA‎
Reservations Year Round

The beach features picnic areas, swimming, fishing and a nearby forest of Monterey pine and Coastal Live Oak. The camping area is on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay.

Location - Directions
The beach is in the town of Capitola, just south of Santa Cruz. The beach can be reached by taking the New Brighton/Park Avenue exit off Highway One.

Member Writes: We love New Brighton State Park Beach in Capitola CA. It is soooooooo beautiful there. You are on a cliff looking over the beach and the Monterey Peninsula, the grounds are clean, bathrooms are fabulous (with showers!) and its very close to any where you might want to be or go for the day.

Sierra City, California

Wild Plum Campground is located in the North Yuba River area. This campground has 2 smaller loops that have paved site pads and interior paved roads. The larger upper loop has gravel site pads and roads. Some sites sit along the Hay Press Creek. Wildplum campground is located just one mile from the scenic and historic town of Sierra City. Fishing, hiking trails. One mile east of Sierra City on Wild Plum Road. Elevation: 4, 400 feet. 47 campsites. 21 campsites for trailers. Vault toilet. Piped water.

Member Writes: We love Wild Plum by Sierra City. Swimming hole in the creek with a rope swing, flat path around the campground is great for kids to bike on, nice and clean, well-spaced sites, such a beautiful area ... Enough to do with little kids that we didn't feel the need to leave the campground at all.

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