Best Camping in California

Best Camping in California

California, the sunshine state. Like most of you, we love taking the roads off the beaten-track. There are hundreds of places to camp in California that make it easy to have an adventure-packed weekend no matter the occasion or the company. If you haven’t been to see Yosemite Falls Trail yet, well then you haven’t lived! It is not for the faint-hearted, but it is crazy spectacular. But plan that trip. Summer can get super hot early in the day and well fall is where the water dries up and the falls lose their splendour. But isn’t that the beauty of the adventure! 

Camping in California is a bucket list item for many of you and us alike. So we have put together a list of the best camping spots in California that you should explore and enjoy with family, with friends or in your own company. 

At Crua we are always trying to think of new ways to make our tents more suitable for you, so that you can camp when you want, wherever you want. We want to make your outdoor camping experience the best that it can possibly be, so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your time in nature! 

Best Camping Sites in Southern California

If you are looking for an adventure packed camping trip, which is suitable from late spring into fall, Big Bear Lake, which is in Southern California, is a good option and the perfect escape. The lake and mountain offer a variety of activities including fishing (the lake is home to trout, catfish, and bass), kayaking, hiking and mountain biking, that will make an unforgettable camping trip. There is also a variety of wildlife in the region including coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, and snakes, so look out and see if you spot any of these! In the evenings, why not build a campfire, cook up a delicious meal and enjoy a family or friends games night. Big Bear Lake allows RVs, or you can camp on the ground. Whether you would like to camp in the lakefront RV park, or standard tent camping, Big Bear Lake has a variety of campsites to suit all outdoor lifestyles. There are free campsites which are located deeper into the forest, as well as pet friendly campgrounds. 

  • San Diego to Big Bear Lake: 145 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes by car
  • Los Angeles to Big Bear Lake: 96 miles, 2 hours by car
  • San Francisco to Big Bear Lake: 470 miles, 7 hours 30 minutes by car


In our early camping years, we struggled with the elements and this was really the first time we thought about making tents better by making better tents. We ensure that our tents can be used for a variety of purposes and scenarios. If you can’t decide what you want more from a hiking tent: insulation or portability, we made the tents with you in mind. 

The Crua Duo is a tent for two people: ideal for hiking, backpacking, mountaineering or fishing. This tent is waterproof and lightweight and has been designed to withstand any weather condition or destination where you plan to go, making it an ideal tent to take with you to Big Bear Lake.

Beach Camping California

If you are looking for a new camping destination, then look no further than Pismo State Beach, which has a pleasant year-round climate. The shoreline can accommodate lots of visitors at any one time, without being overcrowded, meaning that you can enjoy your own thoughts without too many headaches and if it does get too noisy (or hot), drop into your inner Cocoon (if you haven’t got one yet, best go check them out!) Noise reduction, light reduction and that cooling effect. Some of the best parts of beach days are listening to them rolling waves. 

The vast sandy beaches and soothing sound of water make it a prime destination. There are loads of water activities as well as fishing, bird watching and walking trails, suitable for most of your family regardless of their love of fitness :) 

Both campgrounds within Pismo State Beach offer a variety of amenities such as restrooms, pay-operated showers, picnic tables and a ring to set up a campfire.

  • San Diego to Pismo State Beach: 300 miles, 5 hours
  • Los Angeles to Pismo State Beach: 177 miles, 3 hours
  • San Francisco to Pismo State Beach: 245 miles, 4 hours

If you are looking for a tent that is quick and easy to pitch using air frame beams, then the Crua Core is ideal. It can be used as a standalone tent which has enough space to fit up to six people in the extra-large sleeping compartment.The Crua Core is part of our modular series of tents which can have up to 3 additional rooms attached to the Core system called the Clan.

Additionally, there is a large porch area where you can keep your gear. This beast can also provide shade from the heat or allow for shelter during rain or more difficult weather conditions.

State Park Camping California

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is one of the oldest and most popular state parks in California, due to its unique ecosystem of redwood trees. With over 18,000 acres of land, this park is a fantastic option for a family camping trip. Big Basin has a variety of camping options including standard campsites, group camps, tent cabins, horse camps and backcountry trail camps. If you are interested in hiking (the park has more than 80 miles of trails), bicycling, horseback riding, and backpacking, then this state park is for you! 

There are also spectacular waterfalls to visit, making it an adventure-filled family vacation. If that isn’t enough, the park is also home to a variety of habitats and many animals (deer, racoons, bobcats), which you should look out for on your trip. Spending the weekend or week with your family in this park will allow you to escape from your daily routine!

  • San Diego to Big Basin Redwoods State Park: 480 miles, 8 hours 15 minutes by car
  • Los Angeles to Big Basin Redwoods State Park: 366 miles, 6 hours by car
  • San Francisco to Big Basin Redwoods State Park: 75 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes by car

If you are looking for something that can accommodate larger groups, such as friends and family of up to 6 people, The Loj is something to look at. With its unique insulation technology, the Loj is a little oasis of calm. This is completely unique to us.  

Moreover, Crua’s patented TT insulation has a thermal conductivity of 0.03 W/(m.K), which is excellent to keep the proper temperature inside the tent which helps you stay warm in winters and cosy during hot summers, whilst blocking noise, and regulating the temperature within. As a result, you get a fantastic sleep and wake up feeling revitalized and ready to take on any outdoor activity that you've planned.

If you are looking for something slightly smaller that fits on top of your car, the 2-3 person Crua AER is a rooftop tent that’s like no other. It has the ability to connect to other Crua tents, it can be used as a ground tent, and it has an anti-wind noise feature. By adding the Crua Culla Haul, a tailor-made inner tent, your Crua AER will have a temperature regulating insulated interior. The Cura Culla Haul is made from premium grade insulation for those extra cold nights and offers supreme temperature regulation. Additionally, it prevents light from entering the tent and minimizes sound. Our unique skylight windows make star gazing a prerequisite. 

Find any camping spots you like the sound of? We think that these California camping locations would make an ideal trip with friends or family so that you can check it off your bucket list and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you are camping by the beach or in a national state park, take advantage and enjoy an adventure-filled trip. If you would like to stay up to date on Crua’s latest offers, product launches & much more, then subscribe to our newsletter via the homepage of our Crua outdoors’ website.

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