Basically, what is Camping?
An overnight stay out-of-doors. Sleeping out under the stars.
Air bed, camping cot, tent… or just a tarp on the ground.
Perhaps a luxury Cabin Rental in the mountains or on the coast. Your choice.
From a luxurious cabin in the mountains, to a small clearing in near a meadow with a stream nearby – with just a backpack, the idea of “camping” is always a bit different for each person. Roughin’ it for free – in the wilderness, or on the back roads; Or pay dearly for the price of real amenities, while on vacation.
Various types of Camping in California:
cost per night
|brief description – what to expect
|modern cabin||$300 – $600||better than a hotel room, full kitchen, phone, internet, TV, real furniture and maybe a hot tub|
|rustic cabin||$90 – $299||bare minimum, beds, kitchen sink, electricity. maybe a bathroom|
|tent cabins / yurts||$60- $150||wood floors, canvas walls, sleeping cots. reservations accepted. (very popular) may be open seasonally|
|camper vans, motorhome,
|rentals, or own it||all creature comforts on wheels, lots of luxury. camp the back roads.
|camper shell||own it||mini motorhome on the back end of a pickup truck. smaller than RV|
|RV campground||$35- $80||50+ sites, lots of facilities & families w/ RVs. reservations accepted
|developed campground||$20- $50||usually 30 – 100 sites, paved loop, facilities. toilets, piped water. plenty in our camping section (most popular)|
|small campground||$12- $27||less than 25 camp sites, pit/vault toilets. plenty small campgrounds listed in our camping section|
|primitive car camping||free||way-out-there camp spots w/ dispersed camp sites, for the rugged self-contained, self-sufficient camper; access usually via dirt back roads.|
|SUV/ 4×4 camping||free||remote spots on long, steep, bumpy dirt roads; dispersed camp sites in secluded areas. 4 wheel drive may be needed|
|low cost or free||camp sites that require you to physically haul your camp gear from a parking area to the camp spot, ranging from 1/8 mi. walk to a 1-3 mile hike|
|backpacking||free w/ wilderness permit||ultimate in seclusion, bring it all on your back, on foot into the wilderness & enjoy trail camps|
SO CAL CAMP FIRES – Yellow Post Campsites are remote camping spots in secluded areas, in a designated fire safe clearing. No facilities such as toilets or showers. Maybe a picnic table & fire rings, if you’re lucky. Southern California forests have these kinda spots. Required campfire permit & you must double check on local fire restrictions.
These structures are half way between ‘roughing it in a tent on the ground’ & having a ‘mountain cabin’. Tent cabins have wooden floors w/ canvas walls and roof; Dismantled annually for winter rain/snow, they are usually only available in mild, coastal climates or during summer months in the mountains.
Rentals typically include sleeping cots, but you’ll need to bring your own bedding (sleeping bags, sheets, pillows). Some rentals include shaded porches, wooden decks, minimal furniture, kitchenettes and/or wood burning stoves. Electricity may be available, or maybe not. Ask ahead of time, if you really must have that particular luxury when on vacation.
Yurts are a ’round version’ of this canvas cabin – which need to be aired out, often (to prevent mold). Yurt rentals are very popular and in high demand in California.
Find these type of rentals at yoga retreats, hot springs, beach canyons, remote lakes, redwood forests, high sierra camps, fishing camps and at certain RV parks.
National Forest Fire Lookouts
& Historic Cabins