A Banner Year For California Waterfalls: Campgrounds that Get You Close

A Banner Year For California Waterfalls: Campgrounds that Get You Close

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The entire state of California is drought-free for the first time since December, 2011, and it shows. The talk across the country has been of the massive wildflower bloom spurred by record winter snow thaws, but there’s another show going on in the Golden State — thundering waterfalls.

“Everybody thinks of Yosemite when they think of waterfalls, but there are actually more than 100 breathtaking waterfalls throughout California, many of which are accessible by taking short hiking trails,” said Debbie Sipe, CEO of www.Camp-California.com. Sipe reccomends visiting World-Of-Waterfalls.com to help find some of the best. Then you can check Camp-California.com to see which campgrounds are nearby.

We’ve rounded up some of the best below, along with nearby camping options:


Alamere Falls | NPS Photo

Alamere Falls: Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls along the Northern California coast, Alamere Falls is located in Point Reyes National Seashore. It cascades over a cliff onto a beach and then runs into the ocean. It can be accessed via the Palomarin Trailhead at the southern end of Point Reyes. Camp at Olema Campground in Olema, which has RV and tent sites.


Burney Falls | Jeff Crider

Burney Falls: Located inside McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Burney Falls is considered to be among the most scenic in the state. Nearby campgrounds include Hat Creek Resort and RV Park in Old Station (RV and tent sites as well as cabin, yurt and motel rentals) and Lassen RV Resort in McArthur.


Feather Falls | Ray Bouknight from Sacramento, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Feather Falls: One of the tallest waterfalls outside of Yosemite, Feather Falls is a 410-foot waterfall in the mountains roughly 40 minutes east of Oroville. Campgrounds to consider as base camps include Dingerville USA RV Resort (RV sites) and Riffle’s RV Park & Campground in Oroville (RV and tent sites).


Amatula11 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Waterfalls at Big Basin Redwoods State Park: This park, which is located in the greater Santa Cruz area, includes 70-foot Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls and Golden Cascade. Nearby campgrounds include Cotillion Gardens RV Park in Felton (RV sites, tent sites, cabins) and Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort in Felton (RV and tent sites).


McWay Falls | Brocken Inaglory [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Waterfalls in the Big Sur area: There are 13 waterfalls in the Big Sur area, including McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that plunges from a forested cliff onto the beach below. The fall is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and can be seen from State Route 1. Other noteworthy waterfalls in the area include Limekiln Falls in Limekiln State Park and Salmon Creek Falls, which is really a pair of 100-foot waterfalls that join together as they plunge. Nearby campgrounds include Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins (RV and tent sites, cabins) and Fernwood Resort (RV and tent sites as well as furnished “Adventure Tents”).


Cedar Creek Falls | Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Waterfalls in San Diego County: One of the county’s most spectacular waterfalls is Cedar Creek Falls near the picturesque mountain town of Julian, which has several campgrounds close by, including Butterfield Ranch Resort in Julian (RV and tent sites, rental accommodations) and Pinezanita RV Park and Campgrounds (RV and tent sites, rental accommodations).


Yosemite Falls | Jeff Crider

If you have your heart set on seeing Yosemite’s waterfalls and can’t get a reservation in the park, there are several privately owned and operated campgrounds just outside, including: Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging, (RV and tent sites, furnished cabins, yurts and retro trailer rentals), and Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland (RV, tent sites, cabin and yurt rentals), which is inside a 400 acre preserve five miles from the western entrance to Yosemite.

About author

Jason Epperson

Jason travels the country full-time with his wife Abigail, and three children in a converted school bus.

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