Mammoth Mountain Landscape Photo

5 Favorite California Camping Spots // Friday Five

If you know me, you know I absolutely love being in the outdoors as much as possible and camping with Huds is my favorite past time. As summer came to a close this week, the quick realization that camping season is over was a little sad. Reflecting back on how much camping we actually got to do due to this summer due to COVID cancelling the majority of my work was a nice realization though.

I’ve camped every summer my entire life and want to share a few of my favorite spots here in Northern California with you.

1. Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth is by far one of my favorite places and exploring it with Huds the last couple summers has been some of my favorite memories after working out there for years. We love camping up at the lakes, specifically at Lake Mary.

2. Big Sur

Kirk Creek is our favorite campground in Big Sur – for obvious reasons, the view!! It’s so peaceful here and we love going down to Sand Dollar beach (dog friendly) for the afternoon!

3. Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley is some of my first memories of camping, we camped there for many summers as a kid. While National Parks aren’t as dog friendly, we stopped at some spots throughout the valley and up at Glacier Point on our way home from Mammoth. With the limited number of guests due to COVID we sat up at Glacier Point in the afternoon with only a handful of people walking through the entire 2 hours we hung out.

4. Tuolumne Meadows

While I’ve seen Tuolumne Meadows get busier over the years, I still feel like it’s the hidden gem of Yosemite National Park. It’s quite a drive out the Valley, about an hour and a half but absolutely worth it. I remember camping here for 10 days one summer and every afternoon a thunderstorm would roll through – one of my favorite parts about the High Sierras. If you’re in the park in 2021 + 2022 while the famous Taft Point + Glacier Point area is closed to the public I highly recommend heading up to Tuolumne Meadows.

5. Truckee

Donner Lake is our family trip each summer for the last 5 years. I love the accessibility as it’s only a 2.5 hour drive from home and we love taking the kayak! This year we also explored some new rivers near by and downtown Truckee is always a fun afternoon activity.

Bonus! 6. Backyard Camping

Huds and I did A LOT of backyard camping since COVID hit, 2 of our trips also got canceled due to Corona + the Wildfires, which was a real a bummer but sleeping outside is always so refreshing. We also upgraded our tent at the end of the summer (I got it for my trip to Montana, my tent now fits in my backpack!!) so we’ve got a list already going for next year! We are definitely hitting up some new spots: Alabama Hills and Moab!