Free Camping California Style

Are you looking for amazing free camping sites in California? If so, you’re in luck!

There are so many free camping places in California you can enjoy without the hassles of having to pay admission fees, permit fees, and other associated payments. We’ve done the hard work and research and bring you the top seven most beautiful places in California to go camping without paying a dime.

1.Rocky Point West

If you want a place to camp in the north of California, look into Rocky Point West. This camping ground sits high up at 5,100 feet which means it has great views but can also get very cold at night. It’s also home to nesting ospreys – the few remnants of an almost extinct species in this part of the country. If you’re a keen wildlife watcher, you’re going to love this place. There is no camping fee but donations to the agency looking after the land are always welcome.

2. Modoc National Forest

This is one special place if you’re after peace and quiet. It’s not a highly frequented area making it a neat place to enjoy a getaway. Look for camping sites around the Devil’s Garden Ranger area for awesome free land. If you go camping around spring, you’ll be in for a treat because of the breathtaking wildflowers that blanket the area.

3. Cole Creek Camping Area

Cole Creek is ideal if you’re looking for free summer camping ground in an idyllic setting. Surrounded by oak trees and located right next to the meadow, you’re spoilt for choice with the ability to select from over 20 sites. The road to get to Cole Creek is paved so you shouldn’t have much difficulty getting there from Highway 88. Turn into Cole Creek Road to reach the camping area. There is a parking stall as well as a bear box for your safety. Also note that you can only take advantage of the free offer in summer and fall only because in winter the camping area is closed off.

4. Dog Valley

Perhaps this place is named a little too aptly! This place is as rough and primitive as they come, but if digging your own toilet is your ideal camping experience then perhaps this is the place for you.  Dog Valley is easy enough to access but will require a bit of expert skill to setup your tent and basics. It’s not a place for rookie campers lest you end up hating the entire camping experience for good. Also, you need to bring your own water as there is no access to clean drinking water. However, the upside is that there are plenty of gorgeous views, raw natural beauty, and seclusion.

5. Gould Mesa Trail Camp

Gabrielino National Recreation Trail in the San Gabriel Mountains

There aren’t a lot of camping sites here, just three to be precise, so it’s a first come, first served system. This place offers the basics such as fire pits, benches and access to bathrooms. It’s not exactly the quietest place, but if you also don’t fancy being out in the wild by yourself you might derive comfort knowing that there are other campers around. A cautionary word to include is that some campers have experienced a few break ins over the last couple of years, so keep doors locked at night. Apart from the obvious safety concerns all seems fine with Trail Camp.

6. Lumsden Bridge

This secluded and remote camping ground offers 15 sites with gorgeous oak and pine views. There’s a river nearby for fishing expeditions. To get a really great site you’ll need to go there mid-week. If you wait until the weekend, you might not get as great a place to setup base camp.

7. Mud Lake Trailhead

Camping in Mud Lake Trailhead is awesome and provides campers with exquisite, untouched beauty. This is camping northern California style. The camping ground offers outdoor lovers the chance to follow the Pacific Crest Trail and see incredible wildlife. It’s one of the most cost effective camping destinations in California.

Something for Everyone

Whether you are looking for free camping near San Francisco, the best camping in southern California, or California beach camping, you’re bound to find something. There is literally millions of square miles of land that you can camp in free of charge. A quick way to find out which areas are designated for free camping is to ask your local US Forest Service or check the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

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