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Yosemite Escape Camping Tour (3 Days)

  • Departure May-Oct (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) June-Sept (Additional Sundays and Tuesdays)
  • Pick Up Location(s) 8:15 am pickup from a central SF hotel
  • Duration 3 days/2 nights
  • Transportation Eco-friendly, comfortable transport in a biofuel mini-coach (14 passengers max)

A winding road leading towards a prominent mountain peak with clouds above, inviting visitors on a captivating 3-day Yosemite Escape.

Escape to Nature on Our Guided Camping Trip in Yosemite

Are you ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for the natural serenity of Yosemite? Do you want more than a Yosemite day tour from San Francisco , so you can spend more time visiting the sights and sounds of this world-famous wilderness? This guided Yosemite camping tour is for you!

On this comprehensive three-day excursion, you’ll hike on fern-laden trails, look out from a cliff’s edge as you breathe in the fresh, earthy Yosemite air, and enjoy more than a glimpse of the dramatic, glacier-formed mountains. As you take in the landscape, our experienced guides will shepherd you through the unique park history, stop to explore the breathtaking vistas, and expertly point out the diverse wildlife. You may even see the tiny figures of climbers on their trek up the cliffside of Half Dome!

New to camping? No problem! We’ll supply all the necessary camping gear. Nervous about the hikes? Our guides will pick the trails that best suit your group. There’s plenty of time to make your way through the park over three days, hopping from one trailhead to the next. Experience the awe-inspiring sights, where you’ll hike, swim, and meander through many of the park’s most famous outlooks and tranquil spaces.

Do you have any questions about this Yosemite camping tour? Please just contact us for the information you need. And if you want even more options for adventure, check out our full range of Yosemite National Park Tours .

Parts of This Tour are Weather Permitting… Some activities are not accessible in extreme weather or due to road closures. Every attempt will be made to find comparable activities if these options are not available during your trip. This tour runs daily from May – October. See our Yosemite Winter Guided Overnight Lodging Tour (2+ Days) for off-season overnights in Yosemite.

Yosemite Guided Camping Tour Scheduling Tip

This is one of our top-selling tours; spaces fill up fast! We recommend that you make your reservation far in advance of your intended travel date to secure your space. If your intended date is NOT available, we will try our best to help find something for you.

Guided Camping Trip in Yosemite Highlights

  • Strap up your hiking boots and explore Yosemite Valley
  • Witness towering Yosemite Falls
  • Learn about the brave climbers of El Capitan
  • Witness the majestic Giant Sequoia Trees
  • Practice your photography at Tunnel View
  • Enjoy campfire chats and s’mores with your campmates

Price Includes

  • Complimentary pick up/drop off from the San Francisco Hilton hotel (Mason St. entrance)
  • Narrated guided tour by a full-time professional, knowledgeable guide
  • Yosemite Park entrance fee
  • 5 Meals Provided (D Day 1, BL Day 2, BL Day 3)
  • See El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Tunnel View, Giant Sequoias, High Country, and Yosemite Valley
  • Transportation to/from Yosemite in biofuel mini-coach

Price Excludes

  • Additional meals 4 Meals Excluded (BL Day 1, D Day 2, D Day 3)
  • Sleeping bags (available for rent)
  • Guide Gratuity (customary 15-20% of tour cost as per TripAdvisor tipping guide)

Yosemite Camping Tour Gear List

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Layered clothing – California’s weather can be unpredictable
  • Bathing Suit & towel
  • Sunscreen and Bug Repellent
  • Small day pack
  • Reusable water bottle

Why Guests Love This Guided Camping Trip in Yosemite

“My recent 3-day trip to Yosemite was nothing short of magical. The breathtaking landscapes, invigorating hikes, and stunning waterfalls created an unforgettable experience. Each day offered new adventures, from challenging hikes with incredible views to peaceful walks through ancient forests. The well-organized itinerary allowed us to fully enjoy the park’s diverse beauty without feeling rushed. Special thanks to our guide, Noah, whose knowledge and enthusiasm enriched our journey. Yosemite is truly a magical place, and this trip was unforgettable.”

Yosemite Guided Camping Tour Itinerary

**Sample Itineraries: Please note that due to rapidly-changing conditions beyond our control (weather, crowds, traffic) and the small size of our vehicles/groups, we allow our guides the flexibility to tailor your itinerary to best suit the needs of the group. While we guarantee that we’ll do our best to provide you with all of the highlights within this itinerary (conditions permitting), we do not guarantee them in this specific order.

Day 1 - Giant Sequoias

As we embark on our journey, we’ll pass by some exceptional San Francisco sights. Catch views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island and the incomparable San Francisco Skyline as we head east on the Bay Bridge. You’ll taste a piece of California’s rich agricultural hub as we pass through a slice of the Central Valley famous for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. Once we reach the park, prepare to dine among giants as we arrive at a grove of Giant Sequoia trees. You’ll take in the meditative views as next to trees that measure up to 300 feet tall, 30 feet wide, and older than one thousand years.

Are your cameras ready? The shuttle will climb the winding route 4,500 feet above sea level to the gorgeous vista at Tunnel View, which overlooks the expanse of Yosemite Valley and offers spectacular views looking east towards El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls. Depending on timing, the group may stop off at Yosemite Village or take a quick excursion down a beginner hike before settling into camp.

Once at camp, your guide will hand out camping gear and show you the local amenities. You’ll make the ultimate s’mores as your group shares drinks and stories around the campfire, but don’t forget to get some sleep for a full-day of exploring the park!

Day 2 - Yosemite High Country

The early bird gets the worm when it comes to exploring the park! We’ll whip together a quick breakfast, slap together some sandwiches for lunch, and head off in the van to start our full day in Yosemite High Country.

Are you ready for clear, sparkling lakes? Crisp, mountain air? Prepare to spend a full day exploring Yosemite’s picturesque lakes, hiking to mountain summits that overlook lush greenery, and passing through serene meadows. Your guide will make sure the group takes full advantage of the park, while making sure everyone is comfortable, by customizing the hikes around the groups’ needs.

If your group is not too wiped out by the day’s adventures, now is the time to swap stories and share drinks around the campfire with your new friends. Don’t forget to rest up before your last day at Yosemite!

Day 3 - Yosemite Valley

On the last morning, we’ll make a quick breakfast, prepare another brown bag lunch, make sure all the camping gear is put away before heading into Yosemite Valley.

Did you pass up a hike on the way to a vista? Have you been pining after a particular swimming spot? Are you ready to stretch your legs and have a new self-guided adventure? Day three is the perfect time to choose your own adventure in Yosemite Valley. You can hike to a waterfall, rent a bicycle to cruise around the valley floor, check out the visitor’s center, museum, and Ansel Adams Gallery, or relax in the shade by the emerald green Merced River. Regroup for one final group activity, a visit to the El Capitan Meadow to watch the daredevil rock climbers conquering the largest granite monolith in North America.

After a full day of exploring, we’ll make our way back to the San Francisco Hilton, arriving in the city around 8:30pm – 9pm.

About our Campsite

Our three day camping tour is designed to be comfortable for all levels of camping experience, from first time campers to veteran outdoorspeople. We stay at a campsite with modern facilities and we provide all the equipment necessary to ensure you are well taken care of and have a great time.

This tour offers the full camping experience where group participation is part of the fun! Camp set up is a snap with our easy set-up tents, sleeping pads, and camp stove. The cookout dinner is a group event where everyone helps out, campers take turns cleaning up after meals, and we swap stories by the camp fire.

Campsite amenities include:

On-site showers with hot water (don’t forget your towel and toiletries) Flush toilets Tents and sleeping pads Propane stove and cookware Fire pit for warmth/marshmallow roasting Use of indoor/outdoor pools and hot tub at lodge nearby Nearby store for incidentals Merced River across the road from camp (may swim in river) Sleeping bags available to rent (additional fee)

Book This Yosemite Camping Tour as a Private Trip

We understand how important quality time with your friends and family is. We also understand the hesitation some customers may have in sharing a vehicle with people they don’t know. While we love the ease of travel & new friendships that shared tours provide, we have adapted to bring our customers more options when it comes to booking a tour.

This tour is now available to book as a  private excursion   for up to 13 guests .  You’ll receive the same itinerary and inclusions that our typical tour would provide, plus personal one-on-one attention from your guide and the ability to choose exactly who you’ll bring with you.

Feeling like making some changes or additions to the itinerary?  Contact us  and we can create a quote for any custom experience you’d like to partake in anywhere in the 50 states.

Reserve your  Yosemite Escape Camping Tour  as a private excursion now!

Our rates are based on group size. After clicking below and choosing an available date, select how many travelers will be in your group.

Private tour for  1-13 guests : $4,819 total

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SF & International: (415) 642-7378 US & Canada toll free: 1 (800) 777-8464 [email protected]

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Guided Yosemite hiking tours

Hidden Gems of Yosemite: Backpacking Tours

June through September

Sacramento, CA, is 3 hours away

5 or 6 days

Intermediate to advanced

Camping (gear included in the price)

Things to know

Who’s down for an epic backpacking tour? We’re not talking about those same-old tourist attractions. We’re diving deep into the park’s hidden nooks—the kind of places that’ll make you feel like a true explorer. Take your pick: a 5-day journey through the refreshing 3,000-ft Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne or a 6-day alpine expedition in the untouched northern corners of Yosemite. Get all you’d expect from adventuring in the wild—the campfire stories, complete immersion into nature, and memories to last a lifetime. Best part? We’ve got it all sorted—experienced guides, delicious meals, gear, permits… All you have to do is show up to hike and…enjoy.

Explore the hidden areas of Yosemite and backpack in its wild northern areas or across the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 

From granite peaks and old-growth forests, to impressive canyons and rushing waterfalls—get surprised at every turn

Don’t worry about the gear, permits, or meals and just concentrate on hiking, skill-building, and making memories

camping tour california

Available itineraries

Explore the hidden beauty of Yosemite's Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne on this guided backpacking tour. Discover rushing waterfalls, tranquil pools, and the majestic Tuolumne Meadows. It’s a 5-day adventure, with all permits, meals, and equipment provided. Immerse yourself in nature, surrounded by granite domes and peaks, as the pure waters of the Tuolumne River carve through the 3,000-foot-deep canyon. This trip is perfect for water lovers and those seeking to visit a less-visited area of the park.

Meet your guide in the parking area in front of the White Wolf Lodge/Campsite at 4 pm. Get acquainted with the group and gear. If time allows before dinner, we’ll explore some of the area’s hidden gems, like the tranquil meadows or nearby trails. Enjoy dinner with the group and camp at the White Wolf Backpacker’s Camp at approximately 8,000 ft (2,438 m).

Tent in a forest, in Yosemite.

After breakfast, we’ll go on a long but mostly downhill 10.5-mile hike dropping over 3,500 feet (1,067 m) into Pate Valley (4,380 ft/1,335 m) on the western end of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. We’ll descend through diverse terrain, from dense forests to open vistas, soaking in the breathtaking scenery along the way. Once we’ve reached your campsite, we’ll set up our tents and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Meals: Lunch, and dinner Hiking : 10.5 mi (16.9 km) Elevation : +100 ft, -3,600 ft (+30 m, -1,097 m)

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne river in Yosemite, during sunset.

Today’s journey begins after breakfast, with a hike along the Tuolumne River, gradually ascending eastward. Our group will follow the river’s winding path, offering dramatic views of granite walls and cascading waterfalls. We’ll hike approximately for 7 miles (11.3 km) to a picturesque riverfront campsite nestled within the canyon’s granite walls, across from the captivating Cathedral Creek cascades into the Tuolumne. At the end of the day, we’ll enjoy another great dinner before retreating to our tents. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Hiking : 6.9 mi (11.1 km) Elevation : +1,600 ft, -350 ft (+488 m, -107 m)

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.

After the regular morning activities, we’ll continue our trek up the Tuolumne, passing famous spillways such as Waterwheel Falls, LeConte Falls, and California Falls. We’ll arrive at Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp (7,980 ft/2,432 m), where we’ll have time to relax along the beach below before witnessing a spectacular sunset from a nearby bluff. What a way to finish the day! 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Hiking : 6.5 mi (10.5 km) Elevation : +2,250 ft (+686 m)

Backpackers enjoying sunset in Yosemite while sitting on a bluff.

After breakfast and breaking down your tents, our group will start the last hike of the adventure — departing the Tuolumne River gorge and ascending into the expansive Tuolumne Meadows (8,600 ft/2,621 m). We’ll hike for 5,5 miles (8.9 km) with breaks at prime water holes and serene lakes. Upon reaching the Tuolumne Meadows, we’ll catch a shuttle back to the vehicles at White Wolf. Expected ending time is between 12 pm-2 pm. Say goodbye to your Yosemite hiking guide, fellow hikers, and Yosemite —or continue touring on your own. 

Meals: Breakfast and lunch Hiking : 5.5 mi (8.9 km) Elevation : +700 ft (+213 m)

Waterfall, Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, Yosemite.

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure through the hidden northern reaches of Yosemite National Park. This backpacking tour is a 6-day journey into untouched Yosemite wilderness, with its granite peaks and breathtaking scenery. We’ll camp beside pristine rivers and backcountry lakes, surrounded by deep canyons and dense forests. Led by experienced guides, this trip promises an authentic wilderness experience in one of the last true wilderness areas of the Sierra Nevada. All permits, meals, and equipment are provided for a hassle-free adventure.

Meet your guide in the parking area of the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Permit Center at noon. Get acquainted with the group and your gear while enjoying your lunch. Afterward, our group will go on a six-mile hike out of the Tuolumne Meadows, heading north towards the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne—a breathtaking glacier-cut river canyon. This mostly downhill hike meanders through alpine meadows and across massive granite slabs. We’ll set up camp at the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp (7,980 ft/2,432 m) next to a pristine swimming hole. 

Hiking : 6.3 mi (10.1 km) Elevation : -700 ft (-213 m)

We’ll get an early start and do the regular morning activities — breakfast and packing up. Today, we’ll continue hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail. We’ll trek seven miles through the Cold Canyon before reaching an amazing vista overlooking Virginia Canyon and beyond. Then we’ll descend until we reach a campsite near Return Creek at 8,500 ft (2,591 m). We’ll set up our tents and enjoy dinner in great company.

Meals: Breakfast, l unch, and dinner Hiking : 8.0 mi (12.9 km) Elevation : +1,700 ft, -700 ft (+518 m, -213 m)

Rugged terrain in Yosemite.

After a leisurely breakfast and packing up, continue your trek along the Pacific Creat Trail and into the Spiller Canyon. After that, your group will climb to Miller Lake. Enjoy time at this high alpine lake before setting up a camp. Spend another evening in great company, with tasty food and interesting conversations by the campfire. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Hiking : 4.5 mi (7.2 km) Elevation : +800 ft (+244 m)

Hikers on Miller Lake

Once we’re done with breakfast and packing up our stuff, we’ll ascend out of the Miller Lake basin before dropping into Matterhorn Canyon. We’ll leave the Pacific Crest Trail and continue deep into Matterhorn Canyon, surrounded by spectacular geological formations. We’ll continue hiking until we reach the camp for the night. Later, our group will proceed with regular evening activities.  

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Hiking : 8.4 mi (13.5 km) Elevation : +1,200 ft, -1,300 ft (+366 m, -396 m)

Miller Canyon in Yosemite.

After breakfast, we’ll climb over Burro Pass at 10,600 ft (3,231 m) before descending into the Slide Canyon. We’ll climb out of Slide Canyon and over the Mule Pass (10,440 ft/3,182 m) as we exit Yosemite. We’ll proceed about 1,5 miles more past the extraordinary eastern Sierra pinnacles to camp along the shore of Crown Lake (9,450 ft/2,880 m). This is our last evening, so we’ll take a chance to celebrate a little before going to sleep. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Hiking : 6 mi (9.7 km) Elevation : +2,200 ft, -2,000 ft (+671 m, -610 m)

Granite mountains in Northern Yosemite

After breakfast and breaking down our tents, it’s time to continue hiking. We’ll continue our descent through the Eastern Sierras, passing lakes, rivers, streams, and small waterfalls on our way to Annett’s Mono Village Resort on the east side of Twin Lakes at 7,092 ft (2,161 m). Once there, we’ll reward ourselves with lunch, cold beverage, and/or ice cream before catching the scheduled shuttle back to Tuolumne Meadows to retrieve vehicles. Say goodbye to your Yosemite hiking guide, fellow hikers, and Yosemite —or continue touring on your own. 

Meals: Breakfast Hiking : 7.2 mi (11.6 km) Elevation : +100 ft, -2,550 ft (+30 m, -777 m)

Backpackers in the hidden, northern part of the Yosemite National Park.

Meet your guides

Scott Gehrman

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I chose the Hidden Yosemite trip and joined two other Washingtonians that I hike with regularly. What an incredible trip. First and foremost, our guides Will and Bella were awesome. They kept us well fed, educated on the history of Yosemite. Who knew that the white powder on an aspen tree could be used as sunscreen? They made the whole journey memorable. I can’t imagine a better way to experience this amazing place. A sincere thank you to Lasting Adventures and to Will and Bella!

Lasting Adventures and more specifically our guide, Zachary Naegele, made my trip to Yosemite a dream vacation! It was stress-free because every detail was covered from food and transportation to clear meeting instructions and itinerary. Zachary was a joy to have on hikes because he was knowledgeable, competent and personable. He took a hike that would have been fun and made it magical by explaining the history and ecology of the area we were hiking. He matched our athletic pace and often let us lead so we didn’t feel “pressured” to keep up as all the people in my group were not used to the altitude. His calm and confident control of the situation when I got scared trying to summit Lembert Dome was priceless and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better when I panicked! I can’t say enough good things about Zachary and Lasting Adventures. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM!

We went on a trip with Nolan through the Grand Canyon on the Tuoloumne. This was an epic trip mostly because we were truly in the wilderness, and Nolan knew everything about it! We learned so much about “Leaving No Trace”, how to look out for wild animals, and how to protect yourselves from them if needed (we didn’t) and lots about John Muir. We were out for 5 days and only passed about 5 people. The hiking was strenuous, but the swims in the icy tuoloumne river were a perfect pairing. The scenery was like nothing I’ve seen before, truly a magical place. With no cell phone service, constant sound of running water, awe inspiring natural beauty and good company this trip will forever leave an imprint on my heart and soul! 

This is our second trip with Lasting Adventures. The two trips couldn’t have been more different, but both were amazing. I’d recommend going out with them anytime!!

Absolutely amazing trip, would recommend it to anyone who wants an adventure, very few other hikers and absolutely stunning views, a total back to the wilderness experience

The recent HIdden Yosemite backpack trip was my first Lasting Adventures experience and first time in Yosemite National Park. I couldn’t ask for a better initial immersion into place, with two outstanding guides, Bella and Will.

The route they chose offered daily wonders that kept my soul and spirit in awe. Bella and Will generously offer playful, positive energy, species and ecology information that heightened my reception of the Yosemite wonders, fresh cooked meals (unbelievable), and an ease of time together on the trail. If you’re looking for an outstanding experience in Yosemite, I strongly recommend you connect with Lasting Adventures.

What you get on this adventure:

  • Experienced, Yosemite hiking/backpacking guide(s) with extensive knowledge of the area
  • A 5-day or 6-day Yosemite hiking & camping tours (depending on your chosen itinerary)
  • Backpacking permits
  • Required Park Reservations
  • Meals during the adventure (as indicated in the itinerary)
  • Personal backpacking equipment — backpacks, single-person tents, sleeping bags, pads, trekking poles, eating utensils (upon request)
  • Group camping equipment
  • Overnights at camping sites
  • All transit during the adventure

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to and from the meeting point
  • Accommodation before and after the adventure — if applicable
  • Travel/medical insurance — recommended
  • Park entry fee
  • Personal expenses before heading into the backcountry
  • Guide gratuities

These Yosemite hiking tours require strong hiking experience and, preferably, some backpacking experience as well. These tours are open for people who hike regularly and are generally physically active. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne itinerary includes daily hiking covering between 5.5 and 9.5  miles (8.9-15.3 km)—with an elevation gain of up to 2,250 feet (685 m). Similar in difficulty is the Hidden Yosemite itinerary, with daily hiking between 4.5 and 8.4 miles (7.2-13.5 km), and an elevation gain of up to 2,200 ft (670 m).

During both adventures, all participants should be able to carry a 30-50lb backpack. Temperatures can get very high in the summer nights and it can also get pretty cold during the nights (due to high elevations). Your guides will always be by your side during hikes and will notice if it gets too strenuous for anyone in the group, making frequent breaks. They will also teach you all the necessary skills you need for backpacking.

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Camp sandals/shoes
  • Underwear/undergarments (synthetic preferred for hiking) and long underwear
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Light waterproof rain jacket, fleece/warm wool jacket, and warm synthetic jacket for mornings and evenings
  • 1-2 Pairs of lightweight hiking pants and shorts
  • Sunhat, beanie, bandanas/buffs, mosquito head net
  • Swimwear, camp pillow and towel
  • Personal medication
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Cards, small games, book and other things for entertainment at the camp — optional 

Backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, camp pillows, bowls, mugs and sporks are all included in the price of the trip . However, feel free to bring any of these items if you have your own. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast and adjust your packing list accordingly. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans. A comprehensive equipment list will be made available upon booking.

All dates listed for these itineraries remain tentative until your guides confirm trailhead permits, usually 22-23 weeks in advance. Although their success rate is high, should they not gain the exact dates through permitting, you will be contacted and offered choices including new dates and/or different itineraries. Should no alternative work, a full cancellation/refund will be granted.

Please refrain from making travel arrangements (that are unchangeable) until dates/permits are confirmed.

You can expect excellent backcountry cuisine throughout your guided Yosemite backpacking tour! Typical breakfasts might include burritos, oatmeals, pancakes, dried fruit, bagels, etc. For dinner, your guides will prepare a variety of pastas, risottos, beans, couscous, meats, vegetables, etc. Lunch will consist of trail food with fruits, vegetables, pita, bagels, salami, cheeses, hummus, trail mix, energy bars, etc. All special dietary requests (vegan, keto, gluten-free, vegetarian—you name it) can be easily accommodated , just let your guides know in advance!

Group sizes and prices:

  • For these group adventures, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. The number of participants in a group is usually between 4 and 8.
  • The cost does not decrease as the group grows

Yosemite hiking & camping tours can be arranged for larger or for private groups (with a custom date). Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • Minors younger than 18 are permitted to join, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian. Both adventures are family-friendly! 

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

To get to Yosemite, most people fly into Sacramento International Airport which is around three hours away from the park or the Fresno/Yosemite International Airport which is also three hours away. Another option is flying into the San Francisco International Airport , just over four hours away from the park. From here, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

You will meet your guide at the White Wolf Campground for the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne itinerary at 4pm on Day 1 and at the Tuolumne Wilderness Center for the Hidden Yosemite itinerary at 12pm on Day 1. If arriving the day before, we suggest finding accommodation in Curry Village, Yosemite Village, Foresta, or El Portal.

We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency in the wilderness, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. 

We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. 

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

Secure your early bird spot with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!

  • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
  • Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by paying another 20% of the total amount.
  • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.


Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

  • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
  • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
  • For cancellations 0-89 days before the trip, there is no refund.
  • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
  • For cancellations 60-89 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
  • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

Super Flexible

  • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
  • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.

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All-Inclusive Yosemite Half Dome Backpacking Adventures

Yosemite National Park Lodging Tour

Yosemite National Park Lodging & Hiking Tour

Yosemite National Park Camping Tour

Yosemite National Park Camping & Hiking Tour

Yosemite guided backpacking trip

Adventure of the Ten Lakes: Backpacking in Yosemite

Hiking Tours in Yosemite National Park

Hiking the Best of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Grand Traverse

Yosemite Grand Traverse: Backpacking Adventure

Guided Half Dome hiking tour

Backpacking the Iconic Half Dome in Yosemite

Yosemite Day Hikes.

Discover Yosemite on Private Day Hikes

All-Inclusive Yosemite Backpacking Tours.

All-Inclusive Yosemite Family Backpacking Tours

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Camping Tours & Trips in Northern California

Explore a wide diversity of camping tours through Northern California. We have 20 adventures that vary from 3 days to 13 days. With the greatest number of departures in July, this is also the most popular time of the year.

20 camping Northern California tours with 47 positive reviews

Hiking Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite Tour

Hiking & Trekking Active Camping Explorer +2

Hiking Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite

"Great itinerary and guide." Hitesh, traveled in May 2023

4 Day Death Valley Yosemite San Francisco Camping Tour

Explorer Active Family Camping Hiking & Trekking +2

4 Day Death Valley Yosemite San Francisco Camping

"Yosemite was a dream! The campgrounds were great and close to the parks." Kasey, traveled in April 2024
  • 5% deposit on some dates

Yosemite & Tahoe Sierras - 4 Days Tour

In-depth Cultural Active Family Camping Explorer Hiking & Trekking +4

Yosemite & Tahoe Sierras - 4 Days

"The tour is comprehensive, a lot of options, free time and surprises :)" Nemu, traveled in May 2021
  • 10% deposit on some dates

USA Road Trip- The Best of Cali Tour

Explorer Camping Hiking & Trekking +1

USA Road Trip- The Best of Cali

Yosemite Escape Camping - 3 Days Tour

Hiking & Trekking Family Camping Explorer Sightseeing +3

Yosemite Escape Camping - 3 Days

"3 Days aren‘t enough. If you‘re there everything is so peacefull and breathtaking!!" AndreasMller, traveled in June 2019

Yosemite National Park Hiking Tour Tour

Explorer Family Camping

Yosemite National Park Hiking Tour

High Sierra Loop Tour

Hiking & Trekking Camping Explorer +1

High Sierra Loop

John Muir Trail to Yosemite Valley Tour

Hiking & Trekking Camping

John Muir Trail to Yosemite Valley

California Dreaming: Yosemite, Death Valley & Coastal Camping Tour

Explorer Camping Mountain Hikes +1

California Dreaming: Yosemite, Death Valley & Coastal Camping

High Sierra and the Western Divide Tour

High Sierra and the Western Divide

Yosemite Classic Summits Half Dome and Clouds Rest Tour

Yosemite Classic Summits Half Dome and Clouds Rest

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River Tour

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River

Palisade Glacier Trek Tour

Palisade Glacier Trek

Wonders of Yosemite Tour

Wonders of Yosemite

Death Valley Basecamp Tour Tour

Hiking & Trekking Camping Explorer Christmas & New Year +2

Death Valley Basecamp Tour

"I enjoy the environment and the time that I spend with her and the group, thanks Jennie, i would like to go another trip with her in the future." Dian, traveled in March 2023

What people love about Camping Tours in Northern California

Great way to travel and meet new people! Changes were made to the itinerary due to road/trail closures but it worked out in the best way. CEO adapted meals for vegetarian travelers in the group. I would book with them again!
Yosemite was a dream! Yosemite was amazing! 3rd tour with Bindlestiff. Haley was a fun guide and got us from place to place safely. The campgrounds were great and close to the parks. Having a tour guide makes traveling so much more relaxing. You don't have to stress about planning anything or do the driving. Definitely recommend these tours.
Allen was a fantastic guide for an absolutely beautiful area. He struck the balance of being fun and welcoming with interesting facts about places we visited whilst allowing us independence and creating a relaxed environment in the van. I can’t thank him enough for one of the best trips I’ve been on!

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California's Great National Parks

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Californias Great National Parks Guided Tour

8 Day California Tour to Death Valley, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks

8 days, 1 country and 6 cities


7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

View day-by-day trip itinerary

Larger-than-life sequoias frame your path through the Land of the Giants - experience the natural wonders of California National Parks. Gain fascinating insight and MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® as you meet a climber within Yosemite National Park to learn first-hand about the world of climbing and important conservation efforts. Have lunch with a Local Specialist in Sequoia National Park and learn about the timeless nature that abounds and later admire the stars above in a guided stargazing experience. Bask in the beauty of Mammoth Lakes and see the stunning Death Valley National Park.

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8 days itinerary trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles visiting 1 country and 6 cities

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About this trip

Sightseeing highlights.

Visit Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley National Park, Giant Forest Museum, High Roller Las Vegas

View Zabriskie Point and Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park, General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park

See El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls

Scenic Drive Along Tioga Pass (seasonal)

Tickets Included Mammoth Mountain Scenic Gondola

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Specific transfer information can be found here:

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Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

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All transport and transfers shown

Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

Optional Experiences and free time

On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

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Every one of our tours includes at least one conscious travel experience that supports one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Look out for yours within the day-by-day trip itinerary.

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Travel knowing our 4-point climate action plan will ensure net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Your tour directly supports local communities by visiting family-run businesses, UNESCO sites and places of cultural significance.

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Every part of our business, from trip design to how we run our offices, aligns to our 5-year sustainability strategy which ensures a positive impact on people, the planet and wildlife.


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Our not-for-profit, the TreadRight Foundation, invests in nature-based solutions to address climate change.

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Yosemite Hiking Tours



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Famed for its giant sequoia trees, dramatic waterfalls, granite cliffs and abundant wildlife, explore this iconic National Park on a guided tour with MountainBased.

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Yosemite + Lake Tahoe | 5-Day Camping Trip

Yosemite + Lake Tahoe | 5-Day Camping Trip

Get up close and personal with the wonders of Yosemite Valley, including towering granite walls, giant sequoias, wildlife and waterfalls. Dip your toes in Lake Tahoe, one of the most pristine alpine lakes in North …

Yosemite + Lake Tahoe | 5-Day Lodging Trip

Yosemite + Lake Tahoe | 5-Day Lodging Trip

Explore towering granite walls, giant sequoias, wildlife and waterfalls in Yosemite Valley. Enjoy scenic views of one of the most pristine alpine lakes in North America - Lake Tahoe. Adventure in the wilderness without sacrificing …

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Why visit Yosemite with MountainBased?


Top-Rated Hiking Tours

MountainBased has received multiple TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for being a top tour hiking company. These awards reflect our commitment to providing excellent experiences for our guests. We are proud to be recognized as a premier tour company in the American West and are excited to take you on one of our award-winning adventures to Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Camping and Lodging

Quality Accommodations and Inclusive Camping Options

Our company is dedicated to offering affordable, high-quality tours. This includes curated lodging accommodations and all-inclusive camping options to maximize your Yosemite vacation! Our Yosemite camping tours provide you with a tent, sleeping bag, sleep sheet, and comfortable air mattress. We also provide fresh, healthy meals served family style.

Yosemite Small Hiking Group

Small Group Journey

We limit the number of guests on each trip to 6-12 people to provide a more individualized Yosemite experience. Your guide can give you more one-on-one attention and answer any questions you may have. You’ll have the opportunity to really get to know Yosemite National Park and its beauty up close, creating a unique and unforgettable experience with your small group. Click here to learn more reasons why to travel with us.

Expert Yosemite Guides

Expert Yosemite Hiking Guides

Our team of knowledgeable and experienced guides is dedicated to making your Yosemite National Park Tour both enjoyable and educational. They are well-versed in the native California flora, fauna, history, and culture. Happily share these insights as you discover the National Park’s many wonders. Our team knows the best times to visit Yosemite Valley to avoid crowds, and will handle all logistics, including transportation, gear, and meals, so you can relax and fully enjoy your tour. All of our hiking guides have received training in outdoor safety practices to ensure a safe and memorable trip! Click here to learn more about our team of guides.

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Why book a guided hiking tour to Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park is a stunning and iconic destination known for its breathtaking landscapes. Its renowned features include Half Dome, El Capitan, Vernal Falls, Mariposa Grove, and Yosemite Falls. To make the most of your time in Yosemite National Park, it’s important to go with someone who is knowledgeable about the park. They will have the necessary permits, can help you avoid crowds, and find more remote areas. This increases your chances of seeing wildlife such as black bears, mule deer, and peregrine falcons. A guided tour can also take care of the logistical challenges of visiting the park, such as finding parking and staying updated on trail closures. This way, you can relax and fully enjoy the beauty of Yosemite without worrying about the details. Let us help you have a smooth experience at Yosemite National Park!

Each tour is great for couples, families, and solo travelers alike

Yosemite Valley in the Spring

More Information about Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is a natural wonder located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States, including towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient forests. The park is known for its diverse wildlife and flora, as well as its rich history and geology.

The history of Yosemite National Park dates back thousands of years, long before it was officially established as a protected area. The land was originally inhabited by the Ahwahneechee Native Americans, who lived in the area for hundreds of years before the arrival of European settlers. The Ahwahneechee had a deep spiritual connection to the land and believed that the spirits of their ancestors lived within the park’s natural features. In the mid-1800s, the first European settlers arrived in the area, bringing with them a desire to exploit the land’s natural resources. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, which protected the land from development and allowed it to be used for public recreation. This marked the beginning of Yosemite National Park as we know it today.

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The park’s geology is as diverse as its history. It is home to a range of landscapes, including deep valleys, high peaks, and towering cliffs. The park’s most famous geologic feature is Half Dome, a granite monolith that stands nearly 5,000 feet tall. The park’s geology is also home to a variety of mineral deposits, including quartz and gold, which attracted prospectors during the California Gold Rush. In addition to its stunning geology, Yosemite National Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park is home to over 400 species of plants, including giant sequoias, oak trees, and wildflowers. It is also home to a range of animals, including black bears, coyotes, and mule deer.

Yosemite National Park is a truly special place, with a rich history and a diverse array of natural features. Its towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient forests make it a must-see destination for nature lovers from all over the world.

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camping tour california


Give us a call at  800-715-HIKE (4453)  to learn more about any of our Basecamp hiking tours!

A Wildland Trekking Camping Tour is an incredible way to have an adventurous outdoor experience of world renowned national parks and wilderness destinations while hiking with only a light daypack and sleeping soundly in comfortable, vehicle-accessible camps. Led by expert hiking guides, we set up camp in established campgrounds (with showers) and embark on a series of unforgettable hikes! We provide all the gear, meals, transportation, permits, fees and reservations so you can focus 100% on hiking and and enjoying your national park camping vacation.

Your only “job” on these trips is absorbing and enjoying everything the national park, or parks, of your choice have to offer – their breathtaking views, challenging and fulfilling hikes, awe-inspiring natural and cultural history, wildlife, and unique natural wonders.

All Camping Hiking Tours Trips ( 21 results)

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Wild Patagonia Explorer

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Grand Canyon Basecamp Tour

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Pacific Northwest Basecamp Tour

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Best of Lassen Volcanic Basecamp

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Zion Basecamp Tour

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Death Valley Basecamp Tour

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Yosemite High Country Basecamp Tour

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Red Rock Basecamp Tour

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Yellowstone Basecamp Tour

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Bryce and Escalante Basecamp

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Best of Utah Basecamp

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Best of Moab Basecamp Tour

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Backpacking Trips

Hike deep into the wilderness with everything you need in your backpack (provided by us). Experience breathtaking scenery, camp under the stars, enjoy fantastic backcountry cuisine prepared by your guide, watch for wildlife, learn about the fascinating natural and cultural history of the area you’re in, and challenge yourself physically. Trips include nearly all the gear, meals, local transportation and a professional backpacking guide.

camping tour california

Stock/Porter Trips

Experience the adventurous backcountry of America’s national parks and wilderness areas with the added joy of hiking with only a light day pack! Let porters, llamas or pack mules carry the gear so you can maximize your enjoyment while hiking and enjoy more elaborate backcountry meals! Trips include all camping gear, meals, a professional hiking guide, and porters, llamas or mules to carry the supplies.

camping tour california

Inn-based Tours

Hike your national park(s) of choice in style! Join us for an unforgettable hiking vacation featuring a variety of adventurous forays into the wilderness each day with cozy lodging and charming restaurant meals each night. Learn about the amazing natural and cultural history of the area and challenge yourself on exceptional hikes. Trips include local transportation, lodging, meals, park entrance fees and a professional hiking guide.

camping tour california

Day Hike Tours

Make the most of your day at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park on a guided day hike! Learn about the amazing natural and cultural history of the area, enjoy the peace of mind that results from hiking with a local expert, let us take care of the gear and food, and hear amazing stories that have taken place in the Park. All hikes include use of a backpack, trekking poles and crampons (Grand Canyon in winter); snacks and lunch; and a professional hiking guide.


What’s included on a wildland trekking camping tour.

Our signature basecamp tours are all-inclusive camping vacation tours to premier national parks and wilderness destinations. We provide local transportation, camping gear, wonderful meals, permits and fees, safety equipment including extensive first-aid kits and emergency communication devices, expert guides and more! One differentiating inclusion on our camping vacations is the natural and cultural intepretation the guides provide that help bring the national park(s) to life in a way that’s different from camping and hiking on your own.


There are many reasons our guests join our camping trips. Here are some common ones:

  • Many guests prefer hiking and camping with local, professional guides to increase the safety and enjoyment of their national park adventure.
  • Some guests are new to camping and don’t own the gear, so joining a tour makes practical and financial sense.
  • For many of our guests, a specific camping and hiking vacation (such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Utah’s national parks) has been something they’ve wanted to do for a long time, and they want to make the very most of it.
  • Some folks are most interested in the educational aspect of learning about the area they’re hiking through, which is a huge perk of joining a professionally guided tour provided by a reputable company.
  • Some guests join our camping tours for the ease and convenience of letting us handle the logistics so they can focus 100% on enjoying the hiking and camping experience.
  • For most of our guests it’s a combination of some or all of these points that they join our camping trips.


We offer basecamp tours in many mountain and canyon destinations in the USA, and internationally in Iceland. Mountain camping destinations include Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Pacific Northwest (Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks). Canyon destinations include Grand Canyon, Utah’s amazing national parks (Zion, Bryce and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument), Sedona’s Red Rock Country, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree. If you’re looking for a summer trip, we recommend the mountain national parks and the Grand Canyon, where we camp at high elevation. If you’re interested in a trip in the spring and fall, the best options are high desert destinations like Sedona and Utah. And winter trips are best in lower destinations like Joshua Tree and Death Valley. For more help choosing the right trip, feel free to call us  800-715-HIKE (4453)

When to Join a Camping Tour

One of the wonderful aspects of Wildland Trekking basecamp tours is that you can find an excellent option for any time of year. In the spring we have prime options in Utah, Arizona and California. In the summer months we offer amazing camping trips with incredible daily hiking adventures in Montana/Wyoming, Colorado, California, Washington, Utah, Arizona. In the fall you’ll find the same shoulder season destinations that we have in the spring again in their peak seasons. And, finally, in the winter we have desert hiking and camping trips in California (Death Valley and Joshua Tree) and in Patagonia, Chile that help Wildland guests make the most of the winter months.

The bottom line is that if you want to get out and explore the world’s amazing national parks and wild areas on foot, i.e. hiking and trekking, and would like an outdoor experience with some of the creature comforts of modern life (showers, cold drinks, cell service, great meals), then a Wildland Trekking basecamp tour is an excellent option year round. Deserts, canyons, mountains and seashores all have unique ecosystems that make year round, outdoor hiking vacations not just possible, but excellent!

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Ventana Big Sur tent glamping

The best camping in California

From sandy beaches to redwood groves, here are the best places to go camping in California.

Clara Hogan

California is stunning, period. People come from around the world to witness the Golden State's huge variety of natural landscapes, from towering coastal redwoods to cascading waterfalls to vast deserts. And the best way to experience the natural wonder in California is to ditch the hotels in favor of pitching a tent.

Wake up to views of dramatic cliffs, shimmering lakes, or even an active volcano (you heard us right). Once your cowboy breakfast is cleaned up, set out to discover hidden islands and wide-open beaches before retreating to your campfire under the stars. To help you plan your adventure, we've rounded up the absolute best camping destinations in California. 

RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in California 🍽️ The best restaurants in California 💧 The best hot springs in California 🌲 The best places to see California redwoods 🏖️ The best beaches in California

This guide was updated by San Francisco-based writer Clara Hogan . At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines . 

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Best camping in California

Yosemite National Park

1.  Yosemite National Park

Scoring a Yosemite campsite  is akin to winning the state lottery, both in odds and payoff. But plan ahead and you’ll be rewarded with the best camping in the state. First timers will appreciate the year-round Upper Pines  campground that eschews solitude for an enviable locale on the valley floor, within walking or shuttle distance to big ticket attractions. Outside of the valley, the 304-site Tuolumne Meadows campground sits at 8,619ft elevation with The Sound of Music scenery and trails to Elizabeth Lake and the Cathedral Lakes. At the park's southern end, Wawona features roomy sites spread along the Merced River with easy access to the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove. For the backpack-curious, book any of the five High Sierra Camps , which are strewn roughly 5-10 miles apart and provide hikers with tent cabins and family-style meals. East of the national park, at Inyo National Forest, Saddlebag Lake  campground has the highest drive-to campground in California at 10,000ft.

Ventana Campground

2.  Ventana Campground

While Big Sur’s redwoods-meet-the-sea landscape is legendary, nabbing a site at one of the area’s few campgrounds is absurdly difficult. Just down the road from the heavily trafficked Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you’ll discover the lesser-known and tent-only Ventana Campground tucked in a quiet redwood canyon. In addition to luxe amenities (like a hotel-worthy restroom and shower stations), there’s a sleek Airstream bar serving cocktails and snacks in a makeshift outdoor lounge beneath the redwoods. Big tip: splurge for the luxurious glamping tents and you’ll get access to the spa and pool facilities at  Ventana Big Sur , the posh resort next door.

Channel Islands National Park

3.  Channel Islands National Park

Reached via a 1.5-hour ferry ride, the five islands encompassing this offshore national park offer a glimpse of what the California coast looked like hundreds of years ago. Each isle features a small campground, with Santa Cruz’s Scorpion Canyon campground being the easiest to reach. You’ll need to lug your gear a half-mile from the dock, but your reward is a serenity and night sky rarely found on the mainland. From Scorpion Canyon’s sites, you can kayak or snorkel the turquoise waters of the protected marine area—book in advance via an onsite rental shop—and trek to the island’s peak, which offers sweeping views of the Pacific.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

4.  Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

While you won’t find many coastal redwoods at Elk Prairie Campground proper, the camp’s creekside sites offer quick access to California’s most striking redwood trails. From the park’s visitor center—a short stroll from the campground— follow the Prairie Creek Trail to the Cathedral Tree Trail, which loops through a primeval forest of the park’s most scenic redwood stands. Or, hop on the James Irvine trail that leads 4.5 miles to Fern Canyon, a dazzling, overgrown streambed bounded by towering walls of lush ferns and dripping moss.

Joshua Tree National Park

5.  Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park 's 800,000 acres include a surprising diversity of landscapes and campgrounds. Jumbo Rocks is the park’s largest campground with sites dotted with massive boulders—a rock climber's paradise—and an ideal locale for exploring the park’s otherworldly desert landscape of staggering rock formations (like the nearby Skull Rock). Situated at the park’s northern end, the 15-site White Tank is the park’s smallest campground yet offers the greatest solitude and darkest skies.

Los Padres National Forest

6.  Los Padres National Forest

For those who didn’t make it into Ventana, Kirk Creek Campground  is set along a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Open to the sea and stars, the space offers the type of outdoorsy beauty only Big Sur can offer; pitch a tent on a grassy lawn directly across the ocean and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. Feeling indulgent? Pack a cute outfit and shell out the money you saved on lodging to enjoy a prix fixe dinner at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar  restaurant. Then saunter back to your tent for a traditional s’mores nightcap. 

El Capitan State Beach

7.  El Capitan State Beach

Among a string of campgrounds along the Santa Barbara coast, El Capitan offers spacious campsites set on a coastal bluff. During the day, explore the driftwood-strewn beach with exceptional tidepools found toward the northern end. Pack a swimsuit and surfboard; the rolling tide provides the perfect setting to catch a few waves or just frolic in the surf. There’s also a camp store with beach essentials and hot showers to clean up before a BBQ dinner around the fire pit. 

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

8.  Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Traverse spiraling trails under ancient, old-growth redwoods and take your pick of four waterfalls when staying in the Santa Cruz mountains at Big Basin Redwoods . Out of 142 unique campsites, some are open year-round (like Huckleberry Campground), while others (like Sempervirens Campground and Wastahi Campground) are seasonal. There are also spots that can accommodate large groups of 40 to 50 (check out Sequoia and Sky Meadow), as well as tent cabins and a horse camp to bunk with your horses (no dogs, though, sadly). If you're looking for creature comforts, Little Basin has a kitchen, pavilion and recreation hall available to rent. 

Sequoia National Park

9.  Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park encompasses at least 40 distinct groves of redwoods, the most popular of which is the Giant Forest, home to the world’s largest tree: a 275-foot-high, 36-foot-wide giant sequoia tree known as General Sherman. Just three miles away, the seasonal riverfront Lodgepole Campground  is close to the visitor center with free shuttles and offers easy access to park attractions like the Giant Forest and the Wuksachi Lodge and restaurant.

Van Damme State Park

10.  Van Damme State Park

Set along the fern-blanketed banks of the Little River, Van Damme State Park's year-round campground immerses visitors in the lush environs of the wild Northern California coast. From the campsites, follow the aptly named Fern Canyon Trail that skirts the streaming river back into a jungle-like forest of sword ferns and Douglas fir pines, eventually reaching a bizarre pygmy forest of bonsai-like trees. Along the way, you’ll spot a handful of environmental camps tucked into a redwood grove, offering even more serenity. Across Highway 1, the park extends to a lovely, pebble-lined beach cove at the mouth of the Little River. During the summer, hook up with Kayak Mendocino, who sets up on the shore and offers guided tours of the many offshore kelp forests and sea caves.

Crystal Cove State Park

11.  Crystal Cove State Park

Set on a coastal terrace overlooking the Pacific, Moro Campground’s 57 family tent and RV-friendly sites aren’t as fetching as the view, but they offer immediate access to a world of water recreation. Whether you've opted to bring kayaks or surfboards, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to ride the waves at the park’s golden sand beach. Laguna’s famously clear waters also provide a refreshing cool down after hiking the inland trails into Moro Canyon’s undisturbed woodlands.

Russian Gulch State Park

12.  Russian Gulch State Park

Take in some of northern California’s most captivating, rugged coastlines just north of Mendocino at  Russian Gulch . The state park has stunning landscapes that include windswept headlands (watch as water surges through a collapsed sea cave at Devil’s Punch Bowl), a leafy canyon that spans three miles, a glittering beach and a 36-foot waterfall that cascades into a bower of redwoods. Campers can take their pick of 26 standard sites, one group site, and four equestrian sites (replete with corrals, staging areas and water troughs) on the northeast edge of the park. Take note: camping is available only in the summer. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park

13.  Lassen Volcanic National Park

Beyond its volcanic terrain, Lassen's impressive 160,452 acres feature stunning alpine lakes and meadows dotted with gushing waterfalls. Set up camp at one of seven seasonal campgrounds, like the popular Manzanita Lake , which includes tent sites and spiffy camping cabins, or Butte Lake , which offers the most seclusion. Summit Lake South Campground sits in the middle of the park, at the southern edge of Summit Lake, with picturesque views and access to the water. Don’t miss the 2.3-mile roundtrip trek to Kings Creek Falls —it traverses a lush meadow and leads to dramatic, 30-foot cascades. Sadly though, the park is currently closed due to the Dixie Fire .

Point Mugu State Park

14.  Point Mugu State Park

Want to pitch your tent directly on an oceanfront beach?  Point Mugu State Park  is exactly what you're looking for. Located off the Pacific Coast Highway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the park features RV and tent camping spots, including on the sand, where you can fall asleep listening to the waves mere feet away. Keep an eye out for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. This may be the peak California camping experience.

15.  Inntown Campground

In addition to traditional tent and RV spots, this is a thoughtfully modern campground in California’s atmospheric Gold Country. The snazzy campground  features 18 canvas glamping tents outfitted with real beds, electricity and hardwood floors. A host of cushy amenities—community kitchen, outdoor movies, swimming pool, and a camp store stocked with s’mores and wine—takes the sting out of roughing it. Better yet, you’re within 15 minutes of the crystal-clear swimming holes of the majestic South Yuba River.

Emerald Bay State Park

16.  Emerald Bay State Park

Strewn along a forested ridge overlooking the azure Emerald Bay , the seasonal Eagle Point Campground offers 100 sites with access to beaches and trails like the scenic Rubicon Trail. During the summer, a rental vendor offers kayaks to paddle out to Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe . For more adventure and solitude, load up your kayak with camp gear and head for the intimate, lakefront boat camp set on the bay’s northern banks. Do note though that kayak rental services are temporarily closed due to ongoing wildfires.

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

17.  Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Situated between St. Helena and Calistoga, in a stunning redwood and tanoak forest with rippling creek, this Napa Valley campground allows you to alternate between trails and tasting rooms. Get a workout on the 1.5-mile Coyote Peak Trail that climbs to a 1,170ft-high peak with sweeping vistas of the valley, or follow the 1.1-mile History Trail to a pioneer cemetery and working, historic grist mill (where you might be able to take home a sack of freshly ground flour). Don’t feel like pitching a tent in your Wine Country-chic ensemble? Snag one of the yurt tents or newly renovated, historic cabins.

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

18.  Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

There's nothing more magical than standing under a grove of giant Redwoods, except maybe sleeping under them. At Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park —located at the very top corner of California near the Oregan border—you'll be able to pitch a tent among old-growth forests and bountiful greenery that will make you feel like you're in a storybook. The park is also only a short drive to the beach.

Minaret Falls Campground

19.  Minaret Falls Campground

The Mammoth Lakes region is a very popular ski destination that’s arguably more stunning in the summer. Situated in the Reds Meadow Valley on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains, this scenic 27-site Minaret Falls campground is named after the nearby cascade of Minaret Creek that tumbles into the river. You can hike to an even more impressive display at Rainbow Falls, as well as the mesmerizing Devil’s Postpile, a rare geological formation that looks like a series of crumbling columns built into a cliffside. 

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The 25 Best Campsites in California

Your guide to the best camping in the Golden State.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

camping tour california

When it comes to natural beauty, accessibility, and ecological diversity, California may take the cake as the ultimate adventure destination. You'll find some of the most rugged mountains on the continent, pristine beaches, old-growth redwood forests, endless sand dunes, impossibly tall granite walls, and much more. 

You can only experience so much on a day trip to one of California's many incredible destinations. To really take it all in, spend a night spent next to the campfire. We've picked 25 of the best spots across the state to consider for your next camping trip. Whether you want to wake up with a view of giant redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we've got you covered.   

1. Algoma Campground - Shasta Trinity National Forest

camping tour california

Photo: Jake Young

Stay overnight for free by the Upper McCloud River and enjoy ample exploration of Shasta-Trinity National Forest . If you’re looking for some peace and solitude, this is a great spot as it attracts less traffic.

2. Wawona - Yosemite NP

camping tour california

Photo: Emily Schrick

Just 45 minutes south of Yosemite Valley , Wawona is the perfect place for a more quiet camping outing. This spot offers amenities including fire pits, food lockers, and picnic tables. Spend some solitude by the Merced River, easily accessible from most campsites. There’s also splendid hiking opportunities in the area and in the surrounding Yosemite Valley!

3. Mt. Tam’s Pantoll Campground - Mill Valley

camping tour california

Photo: Sarah Eichstedt

Check out this campground located approximately 45 minutes from San Francisco. Escape city life and reboot in nature at this first-come first-serve spot. Enjoy easy access to Steep Ravine Trail and Matt Davis Trail .

4. Ventana Basin - Big Sur

camping tour california

Photo: Masa Kato

This tent-only campsite is nestled into a canopy of redwood trees! The giants provide shade that keeps campers cool even in summertime. Enjoy parking spots, campfire rings, picnic tables, and clean restroom facilities with private showers. The site is pet-friendly and close to nearby hikes if you want to venture out.

5. Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs - Big Sur

camping tour california

Photo: George Miller

For a camping experience by the water, check out this picturesque cliffside campsite. There’s nothing quite like taking in the beauty of Big Sur with access to trailheads and a path directly down to the water. The site offers wooden tables and fire pits, perfect for gatherings with family and friends. Take a quick drive to the Esalen Institute for an unforgettable experience at their hot springs.

6. Gaviota State Park - Gaviota

camping tour california

Photo: Josh Currie

In the small town of Gaviota , just 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, is this scenic beachside camping spot. For a reasonable fee ($35-$45), you’ll get running water, bathrooms, picnic tables, a fire pit, access to great hiking trails, an overhead railroad, and stunning cliffside views. Note that it does get rather windy at night, so be prepared for the elements and bring the appropriate gear to keep your tent securely in place.

7. Alabama Hills - Inyo County

camping tour california

Photo: Mike O’Hara

Delight in incredible scenery for free for up to 14 days in this mountain and desert lover’s paradise. You’ll be surrounded by views of Mt. Whitney and some of the tallest peaks in the Sierra Nevada Range . This is also an excellent spot for night photography, so be sure to bring your camera!

8. Black Sands Beach - Lost Coast

camping tour california

Photo: Josiah Roe

If you’re looking for a remote coastline camping experience that’s sure to guarantee peace and solitude, this is the spot for you. Black Sands Beach is situated along the southern part of the famous Lost Coast Trail and its rugged natural beauty does not disappoint. Be sure to check the weather and tide charts if planning to stay overnight as some portions of the trail are impassable at high tide.

9. Andrew Molera State Park - Big Sur

camping tour california

This is a first-come first-serve state park campground right by the beach. Aside from easy access to the water, there are plenty of hiking trails around the park to choose from. Stay overnight in a wide open grassy field with a beautiful mountainous backdrop.

10. The Pots - Pioneer

camping tour california

Just off of Highway 88, this unique camping spot features stunning granite pools and slides of varying sizes and depths. Watch as the water glides down the granite rocks, creating small waterfalls. This is a great spot for a group of friends to explore the natural pools.

11. Hot Creek Geological Site - Mono County

camping tour california

Photo: Gregg Boydston

When camping on this great expanse of BLM land, be sure to follow rules regarding setting up camp an appropriate distance from the water. This spot is located in the Mammoth Lakes area and also features a Hot Creek geological site. Bring a bathing suit to wade in the warm waters (read signs to avoid scalding hot water temps)! Those interested in fishing should definitely bring a rod as the area is known for trout.

12. Gold Bluff Beach - Orick

camping tour california

Photo: Juan Moreno

This beach camping experience boasts beautiful bluffs, mesmerizing sunsets, fantastic night photography, and some nearby hiking trails. The site is located at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and has a fee of $35.00 per night. Note that it’s first-come first-serve.

13. Last Chance Creek - Plumas County

camping tour california

This campsite is located on the northernmost inlet of Lake Almanor and is considered more remote than the other surrounding campsites. Enjoy easy access to great fishing opportunities and serene scenery. Note that this spot is first-come first-serve.

14. Wild Willy’s Hot Spring - Mammoth Lakes

camping tour california

Photo: Greg Balkin

Just a short drive from Mammoth Lakes , this camping area features hot springs and incredible views of the Eastern Sierras . Soaking in the springs and taking in the surrounding terrain is an unforgettable experience. If planning to stay overnight, please make sure you are on BLM land and practice responsible Leave No Trace  ethics.

15. Mono Lake - Lee Vining

camping tour california

Enjoy this lesser known lakeside camping spot with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Bring a kayak or stand up paddleboard to explore the lake. Bring a waterproof camera case to take stunning sunset and sunrise photos from your watercraft!

16. Voyager Rock Campground - Shaver Lake

camping tour california

Photo: Jennifer Franklin

Check out this picturesque lakefront campsite featuring a private beach and nearby hiking and boulder climbing opportunities. The lake also contains an abundance of rainbow trout – perfect for avid anglers or those who want to give fishing a try!

17. Hidden Valley - Twentynine Palms

camping tour california

Photo: Nathan Chan

For a true Joshua Tree camping experience, spend the night under a magnificently dark starry sky. Aside from camping, Joshua Tree National Park is known for renowned rock climbing, impressive boulders, and its overall breathtaking landscape.

18. Wildrose Campground - Inyo County

camping tour california

Photo: Cameron Gardner

Located in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley offers a unique opportunity to camp in the desert among rolling hills. This campground offers access to beautiful wide open spaces and is only about an hour drive from Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes , a fun place to sand surf or just jump around. Come prepared with appropriate footwear as the sand can get quite hot during the day.

19. Nelder Grove Campground - Oakhurst

camping tour california

Photo: Matt Purciel

Get back to nature and retreat to this beautiful forest campground to spend a night or two surrounded by impressive sequoias, pines, and dogwoods. Let the fresh air rejuvenate you and allow yourself to be lulled by the calming sounds of the nearby creek.

20. Montana de Oro State Park - San Luis Obispo County

camping tour california

Photo: Nathaniel Polta

Just across the road from the famous Spooner’s Cove lies a stunning place to camp out by the beach. The views are gorgeous and the low light pollution makes for fantastic night photography. There are a number of nearby scenic trails to check out for some pretty breathtaking hiking experiences.

21. Catalina’s Two Harbors - Avalon

camping tour california

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

For an island getaway, take a 50 minute boat ride off the coast of Southern California to arrive at this picturesque camping spot. Here you’ll see stunning ocean views and access to plenty of hiking trails. Water activities include snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. Note that there is a general store and restaurant if you want to treat yourself instead of roughing it for an evening or two.

22. Sycamore Canyon Campground - Malibu

camping tour california

Photo: Jamie Fleck

Just a quick walk from Point Mugu Beach , this campsite features rocky cliffs, beautiful ocean views, and great fishing opportunities. This spot is located far enough away from Malibu to feel like you have found your own more private slice of paradise.

23. Limekiln State Park - Big Sur

camping tour california

This is a stunning beachside camping spot in Big Sur with easy ocean access and impressive cliffside views. The park gets its name from the lime kilns, tall furnaces once used to extract lime from limestone to create mortar and concrete. 

24. Angel Island - Tiburon

camping tour california

Photo: Brian Heifferon

This camping adventure is close to the city, but will feel like a special retreat. Take a hike down to the beach and absorb breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge . To get to Angel Island , you’ll need to ride a ferry, which can also be a great way to take in the sights.

25. Francis Beach Campground - Half Moon Bay

camping tour california

Photo: Austin Brizgys

Surf fanatics should pitch a tent and stay the night at this location! This camping spot is situated right on one of Half Moon Bay’s most consistent surf spots. There are also great hikes in the area to stretch out and get off the water for a bit. Amenities include picnic tables, grills, fire rings, and hot showers. Nothing beats waking up to the sounds of the ocean and being able to get right in the water with your board in hand.

Cover photo:  Josiah Roe

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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The 13 Best Backpacking Trips to Take in California

The 13 Best Backpacking Trips to Take in California

With incredible landscapes and stunning views, the Golden State begs to be explored. So, start with the best backpacking trips in California

March 02, 2021

The best way to welcome the changing season is by going out into nature and embracing it fully. Beat the crowds, cruise along roads less traveled, and let nature take its course this spring by going backpacking in California. Whether you’re spending your days by the SoCal coast or getting lost in the NorCal forests, the best backpacking trips in California await.

The Top Places to go backpacking in California

When it comes to outdoor recreation, the Golden State reigns supreme due to the biodiversity and sheer size of accessible terrain. Organizing a three-day backpacking trip in California is a piece of cake. You have 840 miles of coastline, nine national parks, 17 national forests, and 300 state parks at your disposal. 

But don’t feel overwhelmed just yet. Whether you’re heading for a last-minute winter backpacking trip in California or planning ahead for coastal trekking in the summertime, there’s something for everyone.

Backpacking in Southern California

camping tour california

Backpacking near San Diego

Thanks to its moderate climate, stunning natural scenery, and excellent cultural attractions, San Diego is a perfect city for backpacking any time of year. Explore the East Village and Little Italy to get to know the city. Then, head out to Mission Bay and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (one of the best state parks near San Diego ) to delve into the city’s nature. If you’re a history buff, make sure to add Balboa Park and Old Town San Diego to your itinerary.

As for camping in the great outdoors, Anza Borrego Desert State Park ’s campgrounds are perfect for spending the night under the stellar night sky. Overall, backpacking in San Diego is as universally appealing as it can be.

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Big Bear backpacking

Cougar Crest, Butler Peak, and Siberia Creek paths are some of the best backpacking trails in California near Big Bear City. Lose yourself in the lush meadows and enjoy exploring the varied terrain for a backpacking trip you’ll never forget. From wooded walks to sweeping vistas, there's something to marvel at on any hike or bike ride when backpacking in Big Bear. 

Despite having very rich wildlife, there is a slim possibility of facing any real danger while backpacking here . You may spot squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits on your trip, but hikers rarely run into bears, mountain lions, or rattlesnakes. The best way to prepare for all unforeseen difficulties is to brush up on your knowledge of the outdoors and come prepared with your remote camping essentials .

Backpacking near Santa Barbara

With Los Padres National Forest to the east and Channel Islands National Park a couple of miles offshore, Santa Barbara is abundant with backpacking and camping spots. Make the most of your next getaway to Santa Barbara by discovering the city sans luxuries and experiencing the best of the area through exhilarating adventures.

For backpacking on the California coast , head to the picturesque Carpinteria Beach. As for inland adventures, make Red Rock Pools your destination of choice. The private campgrounds along the Gaviota Coast make your overnight stay in Santa Barbara as scenic as can be. If you have extra time to spare, explore it all on a three-day backpacking trip in California; the memories of which you’ll cherish forever.

camping tour california

Backpacking near Los Angeles

From quick half-day adventures to full-on multi-day trips, backpacking in Los Angeles is fun for all types of travelers. Explore L.A.’s state parks , cruise down the iconic streets , and bask in the sun on its popular beaches for fun-filled adventures—you’ll have plenty of opportunities to mingle with other travelers passing through L.A.

Then,head over to Angeles National Forest for a remote backpacking experience near Los Angeles . Backpacking trails, scenic camping destinations, and other recreational activities will make you feel closer to nature.

Crystal Cove State Park backpacking

As any guide to Crystal Cove State Park would tell you, this backpacking spot near Orange County is a piece of heaven on earth. Hike the Crystal Cove Perimeter Loop, explore the historic district’s charming cottages, and unwind on the beach campground—you’ll be glad you made this O.C. gem your backpacking destination of choice.

The plethora of gorgeous trails at Crystal Cove allows you to easily escape the crowds to connect with nature. Take advantage of the rolling surf, white sandy beaches, and wooded canyons that make this the best backpacking trip in California .

Kennedy Meadows backpacking

Kennedy Meadows has been a go-to gathering destination for people of varied interests for more than a century. An ideal place to meet travelers, this Tulare County locale is heaven for those backpacking in Southern California. Another perk of this remote spot is its variety of outdoor recreational activities. 

Hikers, photographers, and nature lovers of all kinds enjoy Kennedy Meadows backpacking year-round. If hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has been on your bucket list for a while now, the meadow is in close proximity to the trail—another reason to keep it on your radar.

Backpacking in Northern California

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Big Sur backpacking

As one of the best summer backpacking destinations , Big Sur truly has something for everyone. The wildflower-covered hills, hidden swimming holes, and majestic Santa Lucia Mountains fill every Big Sur backpacking trip with secret treasures.

For a long adventurous weekend in Big Sur , trek the Pine Ridge Trail for 12 miles until you reach Redwood Camp. Though somewhat strenuous, this backpacking trip in Northern California takes you to places like Terrace Creek, Barlow Flats, and Sykes Hot Springs— a must-see Golden State hot spring .  

Backpacking in the Bay Area

Backpacking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Bay Area, but there’s a plethora of backcountry hiking and camping destinations that make it a prime spot for off-grid traveling.

If you’re just discovering backpacking in Northern California, consider making Angel Island your first destination. Here, you’ll find some of the Bay Area’s best hiking trails , prominent historic attractions, and scenic city views. 

If you have more experience under your belt, trek the 25-mile Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. The rewarding trail starts at Saratoga Gap off Highway 9 and travels through Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This hike offers striking backcountry views that’ll make the leg cramps worthwhile.

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Trinity Alps backpacking

Are you an experienced backpacker seeking a challenge and solitude? Explore the densely forested Trinity Alps Wilderness between Eureka and Redding. Camp, fish, swim, hike, and get a taste of remote living in Northern California on an old-school backpacking adventure you’ll never forget. Exhilarating adventures and breathtaking scenery await you on your Trinity Alps backpacking trip.

Plumas National Forest backpacking

There is no better way to enjoy Plumas County's beauty than to experience it first-hand. The Plumas National Forest attracts outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Its streams, lakes, meadows, and lofty peaks make for exciting adventures. 

Enjoy a Plumas National Forest backpacking experience by trekking the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which stretches approximately 80 miles. If you plan on spending the night, this NorCal destination features lakeside campgrounds and remote mountain stream hideouts.

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Mammoth Lakes backpacking

Mammoth Lakes is an ideal base camp for courageous souls venturing out to the Eastern Sierra. Hike, camp, cast a line, and discover a plethora of recreational activities on your getaway to Mammoth Lakes . You'll want to go on this California backpacking trip multiple times.

Backpacking in Mendocino

The Mendocino National Forest is one of the best backpacking trips in California for those who love hiking through lush forests and camping by glimmering waters. Take your time exploring the area and look out for gorgeous fir species along with indigenous wildlife such as owls, bears, and deer. 

You’ll find plenty of hiking trails here, as well as cool spots for overnight stays ranging from classic campgrounds to boutique seaside inns. Backpacking in Mendocino is an experience that everyone can enjoy.

Backpacking near Mount Shasta

Head out to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest for a magical escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend your days hiking the forest’s trails , biking along Bowerman Ridge , and climbing up the granite spires in the Castle Crags Wilderness. 

After spending an action-packed day, relax and inhale the fresh smell of pine trees at the Shasta-Cascade forest campgrounds . Whatever your goals are going into this trip, backpacking near Mount Shasta is an escape you’ll undoubtedly enjoy.

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5 Weekend Backpacking Trips in California to Do This Summer

Use these helpful guides to plan your next trip now, and find yourself among nature once the stay-at-home order lifts

5 Weekend Backpacking Trips in California to Do This Summer

When it comes to outdoor recreation, few states boast the biodiversity and sheer size of accessible terrain that California can. With 840 miles of coastline and over 14,000 designated areas protected by public agencies and non-profits—including nine national parks spanning over 6.2 million acres, 17 national forests covering over 20 million acres, and 300 state parks totaling 1.3 million aces—finding public land to explore is easy. It’s doing so while avoiding crowds that’s the real trick.

With this in mind—not to mention a nationwide urge to get out and explore more after being cooped up for two plus years now—it’s best to plan a ways ahead. The following five zones each offers a unique backpacking experience , whether going out for a weekend for an extended trek. Click through to access insider tips, 35mm film photography, and dos & font’s for visiting.

[Editor's Note: For adventures closer to home, check out our new guide to the best day hikes in Los Angeles and our favorite local's guide to camping in the Eastern Sieera .]


5. Taft Point, Yosemite National Park

Now, let's be real, it's not going to be easy to hike this trail alone. But as you'll see in this story, it's all about timing and getting proper permits—knowing a local wouldn't hurt either. If you make it out, hit up FM Contributor Andrew M. Upchurch , a talented film photographer and hiking guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Play your cards right and you might see the valley like few do. SEE GUIDE


4. Little Five & Big Five Lakes Loop, Sequoia National Park

This loop is everything one could ask for. It’s roughly 30 miles and has just under 10,000 feet of elevation gain. You find yourself winding through lush pine forests, up incredible switchbacks, dipping your toes into lakes and summiting two peaks right around 11,600 feet.

Once, on top of Blackrock Pass you get your first glimpse at Mount Whitney and a beautiful view of the Sierra Range . Trails like this are good at reminding you that the simple things in life are the best—each step on the long ascents are like a form of meditation. SEE GUIDE


3. John Muir Wilderness, Sierra Nevada

Nestled between Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, this wilderness area is one of California's most special landscapes. As a one-time favorite of renowned naturalist John Muir and oft-cited inspiration for photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams, the aptly named Ansel Adams Wilderness is worth doing your homework on. SEE GUIDE


2. Ansel Adams Wilderness, Inyo National Forest

A solid alternative to Yosemite National Park , this lesser trafficked area is full of deep lakes and towering craggy peaks, and offers some of the best star gazing just about anywhere. This one sits high on this writer's must-visit list, that's for sure. SEE GUIDE


1. Lost Coast Trail, King Range National Conservation Area

As any experienced outdoorist knows, often the campsites that take the most effort to reach turn out to be the best . And well, you're going to have to work for every single site on this trail—that includes walking on wet sandy, through rock fields, against battering wind, and maybe even through a bit of rain. But as you can see, the juice is worth the squeeze on Northern California's legendary Lost Coast. SEE GUIDE

Looking for more backpacking ideas elsewhere? Check out the Elkhorn Crest Trail in Eastern Oregon and Colorado's famed Four Pass Loo p.

Published 04-09-2020

Updated 05-02-2022

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The 29 best glamping resorts in the u.s..

Get off the grid in glamour and comfort.

The Best Glamping Resorts in the U.S.

Glamping tent with two chairs on the porch at Mendocino Grove.

Courtesy of Mendocino Grove

Glamping resorts offer both adventure and luxury.

If you're enticed by the idea of camping but don't want to deal with the inevitable grunt work that comes with it, glamping (or glamorous camping) is the perfect compromise. Read on to discover the most unique glamping resorts in California, Florida, Tennessee and other destinations across the U.S.

The Resort at Paws Up: Greenough, Montana

Exterior shot of snowy cabin at The Resort at Paws Up.

Courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

There's glamping, and then there's glamping at The Resort at Paws Up . One of the pioneers of modern-day glamping, The Resort at Paws Up offers six exclusive glamping camps (with prices to match), each one offering a different experience. Solo travelers and couples will love the two-story Tree Haus at the resort's adults-only retreat, called the green o. North Bank Camp – with three-bedroom, two-bathroom tents – is ideal for large families. You can book an individual tent or, if traveling with extended family and/or friends, even an entire camp. Guests can even bring along a furry friend, as this resort is dog-friendly.

Glamping guests enjoy a dedicated camping butler and, because this is an all-inclusive resort , three gourmet meals with alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages daily. Select activities such as mountain biking and snow tubing are covered in nightly rates. For additional fees you can also take advantage of the many unique guided activities and excursions you don't find at most resorts, from snowmobiling to hot air balloon rides. On-site transportation and shuttle service to and from Missoula Montana Airport, about 35 miles away, are also included in your stay.

While the lodging and amenities make Paws Up one of the best glamping resorts in the U.S., it's the staff members who have earned this resort rave reviews from previous guests. The Resort at Paws Up offers glamping mid-May through mid-October, while the green o is available for stays year-round.

Address: 40060 Paws Up Road, Greenough, MT 59823

Terramor Outdoor Resort: Bar Harbor, Maine

Interior of tent at Terramor Outdoor Resort. Two chairs in front of a bed.

Courtesy of Terramor Outdoor Resort

As KOA's first foray into glamping, Terramor Outdoor Resort offers luxury tent accommodations near Acadia National Park in Maine. All tents feature electricity, Wi-Fi, portable heaters and coolers plus other convenient amenities, though the types vary in capacity from two up to five guests and whether they have a bathroom. This family-friendly resort features an abundance of amenities that travelers love, including a pool and hot tub, lawn games, live entertainment, evening campfires, stargazing lectures, and an on-site restaurant and bar where guests can enjoy craft cocktails and regionally sourced beers. Pets are also welcome at Terramor, especially in the on-site dog park.

Terramor is a designated stop for the Island Explorer, a free shuttle service that transports visitors to Acadia National Park, downtown Bar Harbor and other areas of interest on Mount Desert Island. The Island Explorer operates seasonally, from mid-June to mid-October.

Address: 1453 Maine state Route 102, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Backland: Williams, Arizona

Interior of cabin room at Backland. Bed facing a large window on a sunny day.

Courtesy of Backland

Opened in 2022, Backland is a remote resort with four glamping options: Backland Suite, Grand Suite, Sky Suite and Grand Sky Suite. The latter two feature a view of the stars from a 16-foot skylight over the bed, but all four are fitted with panoramic windows for breathtaking views of the Arizona wilderness. These luxury tents accommodate up to either four or six guests, plus no more than two pets. Each features king-sized beds, a full en suite bathroom with a shower, luxury linens, electricity, automatic climate control, an outdoor patio, a coffee maker, a minifridge, housekeeping services and some toiletries.

Backland purposefully doesn't offer Wi-Fi in the tents – only at reception – as guests are encouraged to unplug during their stay. Instead of doomscrolling on social media, you can enjoy bird-watching, stargazing and roasting s'mores over a campfire. There's also a tented spa, a restaurant and a pond with a beach. Glampers at this resort say they appreciate the cozy accommodations and peaceful atmosphere.

Backland is located less than 15 miles from downtown Williams, Arizona, close to some of the best places to visit in Arizona , including Flagstaff (about 40 miles away), Grand Canyon National Park (less than 60 miles) and Sedona , which is a roughly 60-mile drive from the resort.

Address: 6929 E. Rosilda Springs Road, Williams, AZ 86046

Klarhet: Lutsen, Minnesota

Exterior shot of dome windowed tent at Klarhet.

Courtesy of Klarhet

Klarhet, which means "clarity" in Swedish, aims to bring just that to its glamping guests. The intimate property is located on the shores of Lake Superior and surrounded by a regenerative food forest, where an assortment of edible plants and animals attempts to mimic natural ecosystems – and where guests are invited to take a tour.

Klarhet offers just four domes – Raidho, Dagaz, Laguz and Berkanan – which all bring the outdoors inside with stellar views of the night sky and lush greenery. Each dome is equipped with king- and queen-sized beds; sustainably sourced cotton bedding; a large fan; a toilet; a custom rainfall shower; Public Goods bath amenities; Turkish bath linens, bathrobes and slippers; and a yoga mat. Amenities at Klarhet include a communal fire pit, board games and snowshoes to use in the local state parks, where you can also hike. Recent guests praise everything about Klarhet, from the accommodations to the staff.

Address: 233 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, MN 55612

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo: River Ranch, Florida

Exterior shot of cabins at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo.

Courtesy of Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

The Sunshine State is synonymous with theme parks and beaches , so you might be surprised to learn you can also go glamping in Florida.

At Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo near Kissimmee, you can spend the night in a variety of luxury glamping accommodations, each with a private bathroom and kitchenette: Choose one of the climate-controlled luxury tents or the Luxe Conestoga Wagon, which has space for up to six guests. Regular glamping tents with separate bathroom facilities are also available. Guests of all the glamping accommodations enjoy perks such as coffee and pastry deliveries each morning and access to a personal concierge; if you opt for one of the three luxury glamping options, another special amenity is a golf cart for roaming the property.

Not only is Westgate River Ranch considered a glamping resort, but it's also the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of this property's activities and amenities: airboat and swamp buggy rides, horseback riding, an archery range, a petting farm, a weekly rodeo, an on-site steakhouse and more. Resort activities, including VIP tickets to the rodeo, are covered in rates for glamping guests staying in one of the two luxe accommodations, making the experience nearly all-inclusive. Previous visitors agree this relaxed resort is a fun alternative to the nearby theme parks in Orlando .

Address: 3200 River Ranch Blvd., River Ranch, FL 33867

Bodhi Farms: Bozeman, Montana

Exterior shot of tent in grassy field at Bodhi Farms.

Courtesy of Bodhi Farms

Nestled beside the Gallatin Mountains, Bodhi Farms allows travelers to sustainably and authentically experience the beauty of Montana through immersive activities and amenities. The warmer months boast creekside yoga and spa services, farming projects such as gardening and caring for livestock, a wood-fired sauna, nightly campfires, and fly fishing both on- and off-site. Farm-to-table dining at the field kitchen restaurant – situated on an open-air patio during the summer – includes the opportunity to try the Cowboy Brunch. Complimentary breakfast is available to guests of the hotel's nine glamping tents, another highlight of this eco-resort .

Available for stays from May to October, each cone-shaped tent features either one king bed or two twin beds, plus plush pet beds for up two dogs. The accommodations are also equipped with a private porch, two lounge chairs, a hammock, plenty of natural light, and heaters and fans upon request. Luxurious bathrooms are shared yet still feel private, and Bodhi Farms provides eco-friendly toiletries and complimentary bathrobes.

Just south of Bozeman, Montana, Bodhi Farms' location makes a convenient base to visit some of the state's top attractions , including Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone National Park , one of the top-rated national parks in the U.S.

Address: 13624 S. Cottonwood Road, Bozeman, MT 59718

Camp Long Creek: Ridgedale, Missouri

Exterior shot of a bright tent at Camp Long Creek in the evening.

Courtesy of Camp Long Creek

Named for its location on Table Rock Lake at Big Cedar Lodge (created by the founder of Bass Pro Shops), Camp Long Creek offers glamping near Branson, Missouri . Its glamping units bring wood floors and chandeliers into a canvas tent, with each offering an outdoor bathtub, a fire pit, a table and chairs, a small fridge and coffee maker, and sleeping accommodations for two. These tents are scattered around the property, so views range from the lake to the forest. All units are dog-friendly and feature a private bathroom.

When you're not white-knuckling the roller coasters at Silver Dollar City (considered one of the best amusement parks in the U.S. ) or uncovering history at the Titanic Museum Attraction, take time to enjoy the resort's activities such as golfing, hiking, or boating and fishing on the lake. Other amenities include pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, and a canteen with grab-and-go bites and beverages. Previous guests rave about the setting and conveniences of glamping at this resort.

Address: 1358 Long Creek Road, Ridgedale, MO 65739

Alila Ventana Big Sur: Big Sur, California


Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

There are few destinations in California that offer luxury in a place where you would otherwise have to rough it. In Big Sur , a region that is only accessible via one road and doesn't always offer electricity, travelers will find a limited selection of five-star accommodations – among them Alila Ventana Big Sur .

The resort offers safari-style tents in a 20-acre redwood canyon, all equipped with plush beds, electric lamps, instant hot and cold potable water with sinks, and power outlets with USB ports. Glampers can also make use of amenities for enjoying the outdoors, such as Adirondack chairs, wood-burning fire pits and picnic tables. Restrooms and showers are available at a shared, well-maintained bathhouse.

Glamping guests can purchase the Spa Alila Day Pass, which includes one 50-minute massage or facial, one poolside entree and one nonalcoholic beverage, plus full access to the meadow pool, infinity hot tub and sauna. You also have the option to enjoy fine dining at The Sur House on-site. Some parts of the Alila Ventana Big Sur grounds are reserved for resort guests only, so glampers will not have access to certain facilities.

Address: 48123 California state Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Treebones Resort: Big Sur, California

Exterior shot of Treebones Resort overlooking the ocean.

Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood

If you want to glamp in Big Sur, you might also consider Treebones Resort, which offers yurts with king beds and modern furnishings, as well as accommodations you're not likely to find elsewhere. The Autonomous Camp Collection's twin units, which can best be described as a full apartment fit into a tent, take glamping to the next level; this solar-powered, upscale option is complete with a bedroom, en suite bathroom, lounge area and outdoor deck. For a more rustic but no less unique stay, the Human Nest campsite is exactly what it sounds like – meaning you'll need to bring your own bedding and tent for protection from the elements when you sleep on the futon pad inside this wood art.

Something else Treebones Resort has that you don't find at most glamping resorts? Sushi. The Wild Coast Sushi Bar features an omakase dining experience in which patrons sit face to face with the chef, who uses their reactions to craft the 14-course tasting menu. Previous guests say it's an absolute must when staying here. You can also dine at The Lodge Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and a three-course dinner.

Other on-site amenities include a massage studio and yoga. The rugged coastline views at Treebones Resort rival many in the area, and glampers may also choose to explore the beauty of Big Sur through guided excursions.

Address: 71895 California state Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Under Canvas: Multiple Locations


Bailey Made | Courtesy of Under Canvas

First-time glampers should consider Under Canvas, which offers a dozen glamping locations nationwide – including its newest outpost in Paradise Valley, Montana, near Yellowstone National Park.

Guests in the safari-style tents enjoy king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves, West Elm patio furnishings, and en suite bathrooms with organic bath products and hot running water. On-site cafe-style dining (including locally sourced ingredients) is available in addition to complimentary camp programming that spans yoga, guided hikes, live acoustic music, fireside chats and s'mores.

Other amenities vary by location. At Under Canvas West Yellowstone, there's a coffee bar and an event space just for kids, while at the Grand Canyon site, guests can sip cocktails at an outdoor bar. Under Canvas operates seasonally, with dates varying for each site.

ULUM Moab: Moab, Utah

Interior of glamping tent at ULUM Moab.

Courtesy of Bailey Made

An elevated experience by Under Canvas, ULUM Moab – which opened in 2023 – caters to travelers in search of the ultimate luxury-meets-camping experience. As such, all Suite Tents feature a plush king bed with Parachute linens; a living area with a queen bed and chairs; an en suite bathroom with a rain shower, Aesop toiletries and Turkish cotton bathrobes; and a private deck. All accommodations are pet-friendly.

ULUM Moab also offers on-site dining, three dipping pools, a yoga deck, sound bath meditation and more – making it the perfect home base for explorations in the nearby city of Moab as well as Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Reviews of the new resort are all positive, with many mentioning the location and staff among their favorite highlights.

Address: 147 Looking Glass Road, Moab, Utah 84503

Little Arrow Outdoor Resort: Townsend, Tennessee

Exterior shot of cabin at Little Arrow Outdoor Resort. Women on porch.

Courtesy of Little Arrow Outdoor Resort

Aside from Under Canvas' Great Smoky Mountains location, there are several individually owned resorts and rentals with glamping in Tennessee . Among the best options is Little Arrow Outdoor Resort, which in addition to its modernized cabins and tiny homes offers glamping tents.

These glamping accommodations come in three forms: the Luxury Glamping Lodge, Luxury Glamping Tents and Primitive Glamping Tents. All are equipped with plush bedding, heating and air conditioning, and a fire pit with a grill grate. The luxury options come with private bathrooms and kitchenettes, while the "primitive" experience means you'll have to venture over to the bathhouses.

An exhaustive list of resort amenities includes a lounge with coffee, games and books; a zero-entry swimming pool, splash pad and hot tub; outdoor spa services; a dog park (yes, the resort is pet-friendly); a playground; a community garden; sports courts; and food truck service. Don't forget to explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park , just minutes from the resort. Recent guests say Little Arrow Outdoor Resort is especially fun for families and groups.

Address: 118 Stables Drive, Townsend, TN 37882

Asheville Glamping: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is the best place to travel alone

Getty Images

Asheville Glamping stands out for the variety of accommodation options it offers across three sites near Asheville, North Carolina . In addition to traditional glamping tents, travelers can rent a treehouse or choose from a variety of domes, including options with indoor slides and space for up to eight guests – perfect for families.

Amenities vary by accommodation category. If you select the Safari Tent (which sleeps up to five guests with an additional cot), you'll enjoy a queen-sized bed and a futon; an outdoor propane grill, fire pit and picnic table; air conditioning; and a shared bathhouse with toilets and showers. Pets are welcome at Asheville Glamping, and you'll find plenty of local outdoor adventures to enjoy with your furry family members.

Read: The Top Hikes in Asheville, North Carolina

El Cosmico: Marfa, Texas


Nick Simonite | Courtesy of El Cosmico

If you're looking for a dog-friendly glampground with whimsy, consider the stylish El Cosmico in the small desert city of Marfa, Texas. One of the best glamping resorts in Texas , El Cosmico offers a variety of unique accommodations including solar-powered Jupe Tents, designed by a team from SpaceX and Tesla. In the future, it will offer the world's first 3D-printed hotel accommodations.

Travelers also have the option to stay in a vintage trailer, yurt or the Cosmic Kasita, a limited-edition bunkhouse. With the exception of some of the trailers and the Cosmic Kasita, most accommodations don't have private indoor bathrooms, so you'll use a communal bathhouse. El Cosmico also offers a communal outdoor kitchen and dining area, bike rentals, a provisions store, a hammock grove, an outdoor stage, and wood-fired Dutch hot tubs.

Address: 802 S. Highland Ave., Marfa, TX 79843

Collective Retreats: Multiple Locations


Courtesy of Collective Retreats

Did you know you can go glamping in New York City ? Collective Retreats, which has a location on Governors Island, also operates two other glamping resorts – in Texas Hill Country and near Vail, Colorado – with several others in the works.

Accommodations in every location are pretty cushy, with luxurious linens, panoramic views, electricity and upscale toiletries. Some tent types, such as the Outlook Shelter exclusive to the Governors Island resort in New York, feature an en suite bathroom, while others require you to use a shared bathhouse.

Collective Retreats offers an array of activities across its locations, whether you want to get a massage in New York, go wine tasting in Texas Hill Country or ride a horse in Colorado. You can also enjoy the on-site dining experiences, with globally inspired cuisine.

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Dunton River Camp: Dolores, Colorado


Courtesy of Dunton River Camp

Situated on 500 acres in the Colorado Rockies, this former cattle ranch is surrounded by verdant meadows and forests radiating a sense of adventure. Dunton River Camp is not only stunning but also intimate: It has just eight safari tents on-site. Each tent, sitting on a 640-square-foot wooden platform, comes equipped with luxe amenities including a king-sized bed, a gas stove, complimentary Wi-Fi access, two mountain bikes, a private bathroom with a 6-foot soaker tub and shower, and a towel warmer.

Guests can choose between glamping sites with views of the Dolores River or the mountains. Nightly rates, based on two guests, include all meals and beverages (including nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks at the resort's lounge, Barbara's Bar), making this an all-inclusive resort.

Keep in mind that Dunton River Camp is only open in summer, from June to October. You can find Dunton River Camp in southwestern Colorado , about 190 miles south of Grand Junction.

Address: 50014 Road 38, Dolores, CO 81323

Capitol Reef Resort: Torrey, Utah


Courtesy of Capitol Reef Resort

Capitol Reef Resort is among several places in the U.S. where glamping takes the form of a Conestoga wagon. The resort's Conestoga wagons can sleep up to six guests thanks to two twin bunk beds accompanying the king bed. They feature lighting, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and beautiful rustic furnishings. Additionally, guests have access to detached private bathrooms located a short distance away.

The resort also gives lodgers the option to stay in conical glamping tents, which sleep two adults and come with much of the same amenities as the wagons – plus flat-screen TVs. Both glamping options are available seasonally, typically from late May through September.

Capitol Reef Resort also offers on-site dining and an outdoor pool and hot tub with views of Utah's red rock cliffs. Previous guests say it's a convenient place to stay if you plan to explore Capitol Reef National Park, one of the lesser-known treasures in Utah .

Address: 2600 Utah state Route 24, Torrey, UT 84775

Sinya on Lone Man Creek: Wimberley, Texas


Courtesy of Sinya on Lone Man Creek

Experience the beauty – and the award-winning wineries – of Texas Hill Country at Sinya on Lone Man Creek, a property inspired by a trip to Tanzania and named after a baby elephant in Kenya. This glamping retreat is situated atop a ridge, making you feel as if you're in a treehouse overlooking the beautiful surrounding greenery and Lone Man Creek. The creek's name aptly sets the scene for this exclusive experience, since the property consists of only one tent – but it can accommodate two guests, so there's no need to be truly "lone" if you don't wish to be.

This singular tent is decked out in beautiful country-style furnishings and outfitted with a king-sized bed (not to mention goose-down pillows), a Nespresso coffee maker, a sofa, a kitchenette and a bathroom, which features a claw-foot tub, bathrobes and Turkish towels. Venture outside and you'll find the resort has five furnished outdoor spaces for lounging, including a deck with a hot tub and shower. Recent guests, many of whom visited with a romantic partner, appreciate the seclusion of this glamping resort.

Address: 428 Deer Lake Estates, Wimberley, TX 78676

Read: The Top Romantic Getaways in Texas

The Ranch at Rock Creek: Philipsburg, Montana


Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

This five-star dude ranch in western Montana, frequently lauded for providing one-of-a-kind travel experiences, also specializes in glamping. Like the rest of its property and offerings, The Ranch at Rock Creek takes its glamping to the next level.

Glamping accommodations start at nearly 800 square feet and are part-tent, part-cabin. With 10 such dwellings in four different styles – some of which are open year-round – options for amenities vary. Inside these "canvas cabins," you'll typically find spacious bedrooms, additional living areas, gas stoves, attached bathrooms, and outdoor spaces such as porches or decks. Guests can also sleep in a Conestoga wagon with a king bed and twin bunks.

What's more, glamping accommodations qualify for the resort's all-inclusive rate, which covers farm-to-table meals, drinks, transportation on the ranch and airport transfers, as well as resort activities like horseback riding and archery. Peak season at this property spans late May to early September, but the property is open year-round. The Ranch at Rock Creek exceeds expectations, according to previous guests.

Address: 79 Carriage House Lane, Philipsburg, MT 59858

Borealis Basecamp: Fairbanks, Alaska


Courtesy of Borealis Basecamp

If you've ever dreamed of sleeping beneath the northern lights in Alaska , it's time to plan a stay at Borealis Basecamp. Located less than 30 miles north of Fairbanks , Borealis Basecamp unfurls across 100 acres and offers igloos and cubes in lieu of tents, further elevating the one-of-a-kind experience.

These igloos feature cozy beds, Wi-Fi access, private bathrooms with showers and hairdryers, free toiletries, and skylights so guests can fall asleep admiring the aurora borealis when visible. The cube accommodations feature most of the same amenities, but instead of skylights, guests enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows and "treehouse" beds with viewing windows just for kids, plus an en suite bathroom. Not surprisingly, recent guests say staying at Borealis Basecamp was one of the most unique experiences they've ever had.

Address: 2640 Himalaya Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712

Little Raccoon Key: Jekyll Island, Georgia


Courtesy of Little Raccoon Key

Little Raccoon Key – a small, uninhabited island accessible by a short boat ride from Georgia 's Jekyll Island – stands out from most other glamping destinations in the U.S. for one reason: There's just one campsite available. Not only will you have the entire reef island to yourself, but you'll be pampered by staff from start to finish. In addition to your private-island accommodations and the short boat tour there that often passes dolphins, you can request chef-prepared meals, pre-arrival grocery delivery and a lesson on oyster reefs around the island at no extra cost.

Your campsite features most necessities, such as a luxury canvas tent, a memory foam mattress, a gas grill, a stove, a kettle, other cooking supplies, and an outdoor shower and toilet. You can also take advantage of the Adirondack chairs, board games and books. While Little Raccoon Key provides a cooler for ice, it's recommended to bring your own so you can store several days' worth of food, since there's no refrigerator. You also won't find running water or air conditioning at this solar-powered island camp, but you'll be provided with a battery-powered fan. Note that Little Raccoon Key requires a two-night minimum stay.

Address: 1 Harbor Road, Suite No. 1, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

Firelight Camps: Ithaca, New York


Sean Stalteri | Courtesy of Firelight Camps

Experience the natural beauty of upstate New York with a stay at Firelight Camps. This glamping site enjoys a scenic location in a wooded area that's not only minutes away from local state parks including Buttermilk Falls but also less than 4 miles south of Ithaca's popular Collegetown neighborhood, making this particular destination easier to reach than most.

Canvas drapes the natural wood beams of the tents, which come with either one king bed or two queens. Tents also feature hardwood floors, a private tented balcony complete with rocking chairs, lanterns with USB ports, and a writers desk and chair. Upgraded tents come with electricity, though it's important to note that none have private bathrooms; instead, there's a shared bathhouse with eco-friendly products.

Guests can also expect to enjoy artisanal spirits at the on-site bar as well as delicious (and complimentary) breakfast each morning, thanks to co-founder Emma Frisch, who was a top finalist on season 10 of "Food Network Star" and has her own cookbook. Previous guests praise the resort staff's hospitality.

Address: 1150 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850

Read: The Top Romantic Getaways in New York State

Sandy Pines Campground: Kennebunkport, Maine


Douglas Merriam | Courtesy of Sandy Pines Campground

Kennebunkport is known for its beaches and quaint downtown area, which often leaves the nearby green spaces overlooked by visitors. But Sandy Pines Campground offers travelers the chance to experience these underrated landscapes in Kennebunkport without sacrificing proximity to the water. Guests can choose from a variety of unique accommodation options, including Airstreams, Conestoga wagons, cottages, huts and traditional glamping tents.

The tents for couples are decorated to the nines – some with chandeliers – and outfitted with a king-sized bed, a seating area, a private deck, a mini-fridge, lighting, air conditioning and a small heater, and bath amenities. The family tent options have similar features but come with either a daybed in the main tent or a separate smaller tent with twin beds.

Guests can take advantage of glampground amenities such as bathhouses, a saltwater pool, the General Store and Snack Bar, laundry facilities, bike and water sports equipment rentals, and lots of activities for kids. Speaking of younger guests, previous visitors say Sandy Pines Campground is especially ideal for families.

Address: 277 Mills Road, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Mendocino Grove: Mendocino, California

Glamping tents in Mendocino Grove.

Find a serene glamping experience in one of California's most breathtaking small towns . Mendocino Grove sits within a forest bluff adjacent to the town, affording spectacular views of the camp's towering trees and the coast.

Most glamping tents sleep two guests, but some sleep up to four or six. You'll also find some options that are dog-friendly. Beds vary in size and come with down comforters and wool blankets; the adult beds also feature heated mattress pads. All tents come equipped with fire pits, picnic tables and limited electricity for powering lamps (which have USB ports) as well as other approved devices including CPAP machines. Private decks with leather butterfly chairs complete the glamping accommodations.

Other on-site amenities include two shared bathhouses with organic products (plus a dog wash), hammocks, a bocce ball court and yoga. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and cocoa at The Meadow Commons, which also offers Wi-Fi and lends out books and games.

Address: 9601 California state Route 1, Mendocino, CA 95460

Huttopia: Multiple Locations

Interior of cabin at Huttopia.

Courtesy of Huttopia

What started as a small campsite in the French Alps in 1999 has since expanded to more than 60 locations across three continents, including five U.S. sites in California, upstate New York, southern Maine and New Hampshire's White Mountains. Huttopia's goal is to provide travelers with comforts that go above traditional camping but aren't so comfortable that you'll stay in your tent rather than explore the beautiful surroundings of its properties.

All tents and cabins offer plush beds and electricity, while some have private bathrooms, kitchenettes or kitchens, and decks. Shared bathhouses are available to guests who don't have private toilets and showers. The company's newest U.S. location, Huttopia Wine Country, opened in 2023 in partnership with Northern California's Six Sigma Ranch and Winery. Overlooking the region's rolling vineyard hills, it features a swimming pool as well as French camping cuisine – from espresso to crepes to brick-oven pizza – at its on-site Café-Bistro.

AutoCamp: Multiple Locations

Exterior shot of van and grounds at AutoCamp.

Matt Kisiday | Courtesy of AutoCamp

If your idea of glamping is spending the night in an RV – but you don't have the budget or patience to buy one – it's time to explore AutoCamp. This glamping resort company specializes in Airstream accommodations, with six locations (and counting) ranging from national parks to beaches. Airstream amenities vary slightly by location, but you can expect plush beds (including dog beds upon request), spa-inspired bathrooms, heating and air conditioning, basic cookware, and fire pits with grills.

Families love the BaseCamp Mini Suites – an Airstream with an adjacent tent for kids – available seasonally at select resorts; another unique lodging option at some sites is the BaseCamp Suite, which is part-Airstream, part-tent. All locations offer traditional standalone glamping tents as well as accessible accommodation options.

Like the accommodations, some of the on-site programming varies by resort. For instance, AutoCamp Yosemite and AutoCamp Zion (the newest property) have pools, while the Cape Cod location has a playground. But all of AutoCamp's outposts are dog-friendly and offer complimentary cruiser bikes (first come, first served), Wi-Fi and coffee; they also promise on-site stores for provisions, including wine and beer, and an experience you won't soon forget.

Lakedale: San Juan Island, Washington

Shot of tent at Lakedale in the evening.

Courtesy of Lakedale

Off the coast of Washington state, Lakedale offers year-round glamping on San Juan Island, a picturesque place that can only be accessed by ferry or floatplane. Here, year-round glamping accommodations consist of yurts. Each comes with a king bed, full-sized sleeper sofa, an en suite bathroom, a wet bar, a fridge, a flat-screen TV, a skylight, seating indoors and outside, and private decks with hot tubs.

In the summer months, travelers also have the option to glamp in a canvas cabin or cottage, ideal for families with space for up to six guests. Complimentary on-site activities at Lakedale include lawn games, bike rentals and water sports on the resort's three spring-water lakes.

Address: 4313 Roche Harbor Road, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250

Read: The Best Weekend Getaways From Seattle

The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls: Logan, Ohio

Interior shot of a kitchen with red appliances inside cabin at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls.

Courtesy of The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Surrounded by the lush forests of Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is one of the most romantic getaways in Ohio . Choose from fully equipped cabins and cottages (some of which are pet-friendly) as well as yurts and geodomes. Each insulated yurt has a king bed or two twin beds, a full bathroom, a kitchenette that includes a gas log stove and microwave, a wood deck, and rocking chairs. The geodomes, outfitted with one king bed, have similar amenities to the yurts, plus a dining table and sofa.

All guests have access to a full-service spa and a restaurant, lauded by guests for its food (which includes complimentary breakfast); both are located in 1840s-style log cabins. Of course, you'll also find outdoor activities galore, from hiking to stargazing at nearby John Glenn Astronomy Park, named for the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Address: 21190 Ohio state Route 374, Logan, OH 43138

The Vintages Trailer Resort: Dayton, Oregon

Interior shot of a bright trailer at The Vintages Trailer Resort.

Courtesy of The Vintages Trailer Resort

The Vintages Trailer Resort offers 36 trailers in a variety of styles, nine of which welcome dogs and all of which make the perfect home base for those exploring Oregon's Willamette Valley, otherwise known as Oregon wine country. Trailer styles and designs vary, but all offer comfortable beds, bathrooms – or at the very least toilets – air conditioning and heating, and kitchenettes or outdoor grills. Separate shower facilities are also available. Pro tip: Book the 1956 Spartan Royal Mansion trailer in the warmer months to stargaze from an open-air soaker tub.

The on-site amenities at The Vintages Trailer Resort are almost as good as the trailers themselves – think: a seasonal swimming pool, fire pits, a general store and complimentary cruiser bikes for enjoying Dayton, the gateway to several local vineyards. Even better is the staff, whom previous guests praise in their glowing reviews of the resort.

Address: 16205 SE Kreder Road, Dayton, OR 97114

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Ucla bruins announce camp tour for football recruiting, share this article.

The Bruins are hitting the road this month, trying to get the best look at some future talent .

After an impressive 2025 recruiting class that only continues to grow, UCLA continues its search for future players and prospects. The Bruins visit seven colleges and universities to get a good look at promising potential recruits. Making stops at Wayne State University, TCU, SMU, Memphis, Redlands, Sacramento State, and San Diego State, the Bruins are casting a wide net across California, Texas, and even Tennessee.

Despite where the Bruins rank in the BIG 10 rankings , some solid additions on both sides of the ball in the class of 2025 hope to bolster their roster for the future and continue to build a buzz around the program.

Coming to a city near you! 🏈 #DoMore — UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) May 29, 2024

Going into his first season as head coach of the Bruins, the pressure is on for DeShaun Foster. By over-exceeding expectations in 2024, the Bruins could buy themselves more time to stay in recruiting battles and potentially win some against other BIG 10 schools.

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Early look at ucla bruins men's basketball 2024-2025 roster, every former ucla bruin currently on an nfl roster after 2024 draft, where every big ten men's basketball team stands in joe lunardi's early 2025 bracketology, deshaun foster and the 2024 ucla football coaching staff, best of the best bill walton quotes, john wooden-bill walton stories circulate after ucla legend's passing, ucla men's basketball transfer portal interest tracker.

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camping tour california

8 incredible California road trips

I was probably no more than 50 metres away from the shaggy lump skulking around the low-lying waterlogged meadow. Its sodden brown fur shimmered in the morning sun as I watched on in disbelief. Remarkably, I was tracking a black bear. My road trip from the Bay Area saw me traverse Sacramento, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley on a loop from San Francisco. At the time, Yosemite had experienced heavier than usual snowfall for February and March, and the national park had to be evacuated. When it reopened, I was one of the first back in.

California is versatile and holds a special place in my heart. Most of my fondest US road trip memories are in the Golden State — whether it was bear spotting in Yosemite, cruising along Highway 1 blasting The Beach Boys, or eating juicy peaches at family owned roadside fruit stalls in Modesto. Driving is not often the greenest method of travel, so I offset this by eating seasonal produce, buying local and getting around by public transport. I’ll also try to stay longer in one place to avoid driving daily.

Hiring an electric car across California is the obvious tip, but look for hotels with EV points to avoid wasting daylight hours charging. California’s roads are long and often winding, and depending on the season you’re never too far away from wintry or wet conditions — especially at high elevation beauty spots. Eating seasonally is easy too. California’s weather is comparable to the Mediterranean, and it’s these conditions that make it a favourable farm-to-table destination. Cities like Sacramento and Berkeley have long been flying the flag for fresh, seasonal produce, with locally grown almonds, pistachios, mandarins and tomatoes abundant on menus year-round, reducing food mileage. So with that in mind, here’s four alternative California road trips that incorporate those sustainable practices.

1. Highway 128

Start: Yolo County

End: Mendocino

Distance: 144 miles

Take it easy on this 144-mile road trip worthy of a long weekend, or more. You’ll start in Waters, among Yolo County’s bountiful wine country, and will head west towards the rugged Mendocino coastline, passing through four of California’s most fruitful states for wine, arts and outdoor recreation along the way ( ).

With vineyards and tasting rooms across all four counties it certainly helps if you like wine for this one, but don’t be put off if you’re not: Sonoma County, for example, is also known for its seasonal food offering, buzzy arts scene and boutique shops, while Mendocino County adds outdoor exploration, serene beaches and vegan restaurants. If short on time, or would like someone else to do the driving for the day, consider a wine tour of Napa and Sonoma in a luxury, all-electric Tesla via Healdsburg Tours ( ).

2. Bay Area to Yosemite National Park

From: San Francisco

To: Mariposa, via Yosemite National Park

Distance: 260 miles

There’s a few ways to do this one and while most will take the 580 and 120 across the Central Valley, it’s worth heading for Lake McClure in western Mariposa County for ample fishing and outdoor recreation activities. Then, take the John Muir Highway 132 directly into Yosemite National Park where it’s all about the trails, waterfalls and Valley views. After a few days exploring Yosemite, it’s then onto the historic gold rush town of Mariposa: home of the award-winning Mariposa County History Center, plus several craft breweries and independent restaurants spanning Mexican to Italian. ( ).

Yosemite offers a free bus service around the park, reducing the need to drive around — consider basing yourself somewhere like Autocamp Yosemite, near Mariposa, whose distinctive, sustainable airstream trailers are equipped with modern amenities and are great for couples and families ( ). To further your eco credentials, stop off in Berkeley on the way there or back for lunch at Chez Panisse, by chef Alice Waters, who pioneered the use of seasonal Californian produce (

3. Modesto Almond Blossom Cruise

From: Modesto (there and back)

Distance: 60 miles

For just four weeks from mid-February onwards, 120,000 acres of almond groves around Modesto burst into a majestic pink and white bloom. It’s here that a mammoth 80 per cent of the world’s almonds are grown, with a self-guided audio tour of this agriculturally-rich region available to download for $14.99 via . It includes local stories and tips on the best almond blooms, where to stock up on local produce, and general sightseeing advice.

You’ll stop at Rodin Farms, a family farm whose roadside fruit stand sells flavoured almonds, fruits, nuts and honey; Sciabica Olive Oil, the oldest olive oil producer in the US; and Roberts Ferry Gourmet, where no-one should pass without trying their almond butter milkshake.

4. SoCal: Mountain towns, beach camping and craft beer

From: Idyllwild-Pine Cove

To: Encinitas

Distance: 98 miles, or 248 miles

Pack a tent for this one which begins in the village of Idyllwild-Pine Cove in the San Jacinto mountains. There’s plenty of easy trails leading to sweeping vistas, like the 2.5-mile Devils Slide Trail. From here you could take a 140-mile detour to Palm Springs, passing through the otherworldly Coachella Valley towards the frankly bizarre abandoned holiday resort of Salton Sea, before heading west across the Borrego Badlands’ dramatic desert to the coniferous Palomar Mountain State Park.

To stick to the original 98-mile route, swing south from Idyllwild to stop at Elim Hot Springs, then sample local wines at one of the many vineyards surrounding Palomar. Here, a number of camp grounds welcome small groups. You’ll then swap deserts and mountains for sea air: take the 76 and 78 towards the Encinitas coast, where a craft beer scene and camping on state beaches like Moonlight or San Elijo await.

Four iconic California road trips

Imagine California Dreamin’ blasting out of your classic convertible and you’re almost there. Hugging the coast for 650 miles, this trip includes stop-offs in beach cities like Monterey, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, plus the dramatic Big Sur and Bixby Bridge.

This one needs little introduction but at an enduring 2,448 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles, it does need plenty of time. You’ll cross eight states and three time zones, so give yourself a couple of weeks to complete in full.

Highway 395

This offers everything from hot springs to mountains and deserts to skiing over a 557-mile route. Endless adventure awaits on this road trip which skirts the eastern Sierra, with Lake Tahoe, Bodie and Mt Whitney offering up highlights.

Los Angeles to Palm Springs

About 100 years ago, Hollywood bigwigs slipped a clause into actors’ contracts to ensure they were within a two-hour drive during all production. Coming in just 10 minutes shy of that radius, this is one of the most popular LA day-trips.

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California road trip

This MA campground made the list of the best places to camp in the Northeast. How to go

Thinking of camping this summer? Consider checking out a campground in Foxborough.

A Massachusetts campground was recently named one of the top 10 best places to camp in the Northeast.

The Dyrt , a website for camping and camping enthusiasts, recently compiled a list of the best camping spots, based on the campground reviews and ratings by their community.

Only three places in New England made the list, and one of those was in Massachusetts at the number three spot on the list: Normandy Farms Campground .

Why Dyrt likes Normandy Farms Campground

It doesn't get cozier than this near the great outdoors.

Here's what Dyrt said:  "With all the bells and whistles you could ask for, plus a reputation for being spotlessly clean, this longstanding RV resort just outside Boston gets rave reviews from campers. There’s a huge variety of types of site, from simple tent sites to RV pull-throughs to yurts and teepees. But the amenities are the real draw: four swimming pools, a spa, fitness center, laundry facilities, a playground, a dog park, a crafts building/rec center, snack bar, cozy fireplace in the main lodge, and all kinds of outdoor activities, from bocce to volleyball. The bathroom facilities have resort-level details. Nearby is a challenging mountain-bike trail network. Another perk is the woodsy yet convenient location, great for visiting Cape Cod or Boston."

The Dyrt community's Jay said the Normandy Farms Campground has so many amenities to offer like multiple playgrounds, pools and games available.

Hiking in MA: Take a walk or a hike through some of these idyllic locations in eastern Massachusetts

"Absolutely love this campground. It has so many things for the kids to do. Everyone is so friendly. Can’t wait to go back for the 4th of July," Mary P. of the Dyrt community said.

What to know if you go

If you're thinking about checking out the Normandy Farms Campground, they are booking for the summers.

Rates range from $82 to $154 for an overnight at a campsite, according to the website, with rates raising on the weekends. For an RV site, prices range from $77 to $151. The rates are based on having two people spending the night at the campground.

Rin Velasco is a trending reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Chick-fil-A charges $35 for controversial kids summer camp: ‘Yay!! Child labor!!’

Chick-fil-A sign.

A Chick-fil-A in Louisiana is raising eyebrows for its popular new kids program.

On June 5, a franchisee in Hammond, Louisiana, announced a unique experience for kids: Chick-fil-A Summer Camp. Admission for the camp is $35 and consists of one, three-hour session with team leaders (Chick-fil-A-speak for managerial employees) and is suggested for kids ages five to 12.

The camp comes with a kids meal, T-shirt, name tag and snack and consists of various activities like spending “some time with the Chick-fil-A Cow and Chick-fil-A Team Leaders” as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a franchise location.

“We are excited to announce our very first Chick-fil-A Summer Camp,” the Facebook post reads. There were initially three sessions offered at the West Hammond location, each with a capacity of 30 children.

The concept proved so popular — all sessions sold out in an hour — that the restaurant added three more sessions on June 6.

Still, this deep-fried summer camp concept proved to be rather divisive. In the comments section of the posts, some overjoyed parents and mostly apprehensive readers took to their keyboards to let their thoughts be known.

“Yay!! Child labor!!” wrote one Facebook commenter, with another saying, “THIS IS CRAZYYYY LOL.”

“This is super weird are these people trained in child care?” asked someone else, with a commenter adding, “Teach em nice and early how to be corporate wage slaves."

There were supportive comments, too.

“I’ll go against the grain here. Kudos to you, Chick-Fil-A Hammond,” wrote one commenter in support. “It’s nice to see an offer to teach young children about work ethic and responsibility, while having a little fun at the same time. I’ll ask my daughter if she’s interested in attending.”

“Sent! Can’t wait!!” wrote one parent who signed their kid up — another replied that they had as well.

A few folks simply tagged the U.S. Department of Labor’s Facebook page in the comments section.

“I don’t like the stage of capitalism we are in right now for so many of yall to think this is a great idea,” wrote another commenter. “If this wasn’t a ‘Christian’ company and say, a local McDonald’s, would yall be over the moon for paying for the exploitation of your child ?”

“Every person who thinks this is a good idea should be in jail,” added another.

“Making kids learning fast food instead of reading, crafting, playing music, discovering nature, sports and so many wonderful things a kid can learn is disgusting 🤮,” wrote one Facebook commenter. “Corporations taking over the education of children is very, very dystopian. It reminds me the movie Idiocracy.”

“Very healthy and normal country,” said one more. 

Chick-fil-A declined’s request for comment on the backlash and on specifics of whether campers will be taking and bagging orders as one commenter suggested.

Representatives for the brand did say, however, that campers are not doing the work of team members as part of this program, adding that Chick-fil-A employees serving as counselors will not engage in their usual tasks during camp and will instead do activities with campers.

This is not the first time the chain has hosted a summer camp. A Houston-area Chick-fil-A started its still-running experience six years ago with activities like bingo and trivia.

Although the Texas-area kids camp also sold out quickly this year, the chain’s national representative tells these camps do not turn a profit. Additionally, Chick-fil-A notes the camps are not part of a corporate program and that all of its restaurants are locally owned. Owners who live and work in the communities in which their restaurants operate create their own programs to engage with their neighbors.  

Still, some commenters appear genuinely concerned about child labor law violations. Children being overworked in the food service industry has been a growing problem in the U.S. for years. In 2023, more than 300 children, including two 10-year-olds, were found to be working at McDonald’s restaurants across four states in violation of federal labor laws. 

According to the Department of Labor, investigators found that three franchises in Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio were found to have children working at the drive-through as well as preparing food orders and other tasks.

camping tour california

Washington, D.C. native Joseph Lamour is a lover of food: its past, its present and the science behind it. With food, you can bring opposites together to form a truly marvelous combination, and he strives to take that sentiment to heart in all that he does.

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    California's Palm Springs & Joshua Tree Family Walking & Hiking Tour - 4-Day Getaway. National Park Wonderland of Rocks & Desert Oases. 4 days. Levels 1-3. Premiere Hotels. From $2,999 /person.

  19. The 13 Best Backpacking Trips to Take in California

    Big Sur backpacking. As one of the best summer backpacking destinations, Big Sur truly has something for everyone.The wildflower-covered hills, hidden swimming holes, and majestic Santa Lucia Mountains fill every Big Sur backpacking trip with secret treasures.. For a long adventurous weekend in Big Sur, trek the Pine Ridge Trail for 12 miles until you reach Redwood Camp.

  20. Reservations and Fees

    This is camping at California State Parks! Information about camping at California State Parks. Tour Reservations Visit Hearst Castle with 165 rooms and over 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. View massive 3-ton elephant seals battle for mates while females give birth to their young on the beaches. Bring your group for a tour ...

  21. Online Reservations

    Visitors to California's state parks have a new platform for booking reservations. The new reservation system, ReserveCalifornia™, will be easy-to-use and similar to booking hotels, airline tickets and other comparable services. ... Camping and lodging inventory will become available each day for a period of six months in advance. Bookings ...

  22. 5 Best Weekend Backpacking Trips in California

    When it comes to outdoor recreation, few states boast the biodiversity and sheer size of accessible terrain that California can. With 840 miles of coastline and over 14,000 designated areas protected by public agencies and non-profits—including nine national parks spanning over 6.2 million acres, 17 national forests covering over 20 million acres, and 300 state parks totaling 1.3 million ...

  23. Best California camping areas, according to thousands of reviews

    2. Hendy Woods State Park Campground. Philo. See on map. Rachel Bujalski/Special to the Chronicle. We could wax endlessly about Hendy Woods' prime location in Anderson Valley, where vineyards ...

  24. The 29 Best Glamping Resorts in the U.S.

    Just south of Bozeman, Montana, Bodhi Farms' location makes a convenient base to visit some of the state's top attractions, including Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone National Park, one of the top ...

  25. Timed Entry Reservations FAQs

    When calling, we recommend the following steps to reach an agent directly though the options may vary over time: Dial: 1-877-444-6777. Wait for the initial recorded message and menu options (about 1:30 minutes) Prompt: "To make a new reservation". Press: 3. Prompt: "For tours or timed entry tickets". Press: 2.

  26. UCLA Bruins announce camp tour for football recruiting

    UCLA Bruins announce camp tour for football recruiting. Jake Hamilton. June 9, 2024 6:40 am PT. The Bruins are hitting the road this month, trying to get the best look at some future talent. After an impressive 2025 recruiting class that only continues to grow, UCLA continues its search for future players and prospects. The Bruins visit seven ...

  27. 8 incredible California road trips

    You'll then swap deserts and mountains for sea air: take the 76 and 78 towards the Encinitas coast, where a craft beer scene and camping on state beaches like Moonlight or San Elijo await ...

  28. This Foxborough campground was named a top camping spot in Northeast

    Rates range from $82 to $154 for an overnight at a campsite, according to the website, with rates raising on the weekends. For an RV site, prices range from $77 to $151. The rates are based on ...

  29. Chick-fil-A To Host $35 Kids Summer Camp, Drawing Criticism

    A Chick-fil-A in Louisiana is raising eyebrows for its popular new kids program. On June 5, a franchisee in Hammond, Louisiana, announced a unique experience for kids: Chick-fil-A Summer Camp ...

  30. NYC Museum of Jewish Heritage Opens Auschwitz Virtual Reality Tour

    In 2020, two Orthodox women in Israel wanted to make a VR tour of Auschwitz, but the former Nazi concentration camp had never permitted the kind of access they needed to create the VR experience.