7 Extraordinary Tenting Spots On California’s Mendocino Coast


When somebody says, “Let’s go tenting,” do you A) air out the sleeping luggage; B) verify the RV tire strain; or C) develop a sudden chilly?

Tenting is evolving to incorporate everybody from devoted wilderness backpackers to those who want a comfortable mattress, sizzling bathe, and flush services.

Tenting is pervasive on the Mendocino Coast. The number of campsites and types is likely to be shocking. You’ll be able to camp amongst redwood giants, on a riverbank, a secluded Pacific seashore, below a bridge, or glamp in fashion surrounded by forest and woodlands. You’ll be able to camp along with your horse, or sleep on a working coastal farm.

There’s lots to do whereas coastal tenting. You’ll be able to take pleasure in peddling, paddling, mountain climbing, whale watching, birding, browsing, boating, and fishing, in uncommon and spectacular settings.

California redwoods on the Mendocino Coast
Photograph Credit score: Mary Charlebois

1. Camp With Giants

Navarro River Redwoods State Park presents two very extraordinary tenting spots. Select between the redwoods alongside the Navarro River or on the seashore the place the Navarro enters the Pacific.

Driving from east to west by means of Anderson Valley, alongside Hwy 128, you’ll undergo a “redwood tunnel” 11 miles lengthy. It’s known as a tunnel as a result of the redwood giants are so tall they solely enable dappled daylight to succeed in the highway. Don’t hurry by means of the drive. There are pull outs for stopping and smelling the redwoods. Get to know among the oldest timber on earth.

Camp amongst redwoods at Paul M. Dimmick Campground. It’s on Freeway 128, 6 miles east of CA Hwy 1 and Hwy 128 junction.

It is a small, quiet tenting space amongst redwoods with entry to a creek. Tents and RVs (as much as 30 ft) are welcome. Group and ADA websites are supplied. Every website has a picnic desk and a hearth pit with a grill. Bogs can be found.

Water is offered however could also be turned off throughout droughts. So be ready and convey some with you. Refuse receptacles are offered, however the park asks you to pack out your trash whenever you depart.

Reservations will not be all the time wanted, nevertheless it’s greatest to name the park forward to make a reservation.

Professional Tip: Irrespective of the time of 12 months, plan to decorate in layers. Even in summer season, it may be cool and damp at night time, whereas it’s sizzling and humid within the daytime. Winters listed below are delicate however might be foggy.

Driftwood structure in Navarro River Redwoods State Park on the Mendocino Coast
Photograph Credit score: Mary Charlebois

2. Camp With Driftwood Sculptures

Navarro Seashore Campground can also be positioned in Navarro River Redwoods State Park. From Dimmick Campgrounds, proceed the 6 miles alongside Hwy 128 till you attain the junction of CA Hwy 1. Flip west throughout the bridge. The tenting space is lower than a mile from there.

This park space is the place the Navarro River empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Navarro River deposits numerous driftwood into the ocean. It was as soon as used as a logging freeway, delivering felled timber to lumber mills downstream. As well as, timber and branches fall into the river through pure means. So that is what locals name a driftwood seashore. The wooden is taken out to sea the place it could drift for years till the appropriate tide returns it to shore, grey and clean.

Driftwood sculptures are ubiquitous with the sandy seashore. I’ve seen every part from small picket artworks to very large multiroom condos. Gather some wooden and construct your personal. Take images as a result of the subsequent excessive tide might return your creation to the ocean.

A sandy seashore, sand dunes, and wetlands are part of the panorama. Simply offshore are small rocky islands that have been as soon as part of the mainland. Additionally, you may fish and kayak within the river and ocean.

There are 26 primitive websites. Potable water shouldn’t be accessible, so convey your personal. Chemical bogs are offered. Campsites can be found on a first-come-first-serve foundation.

Professional Tip: Wander by means of Anderson Valley on Hwy 128. Cease and go to farm stands, cheesemakers, and wineries to fill your picnic basket and cooler for an genuine style of Mendocino.

Camping on a beach on California's Mendocino Coast
Photograph Credit score: Mary Charlebois

3. Camp On A Seashore

Pitch your tent the place the surf lulls you to sleep. Kayak, SUP, surf, fish, comb the seashore, spearfish, snorkel, scuba dive, or sit round a night hearth ring — all on a secluded seashore.

The sand seashore is extensive and compact. First, get nature’s pedicure by strolling within the sand and saltwater. Then, get a volleyball or horseshoe match began. There’s a playground for the little ones and restricted WiFi for all.

Westport Seashore & RV Park Campgrounds has seashore or wooded tent websites, RV websites, and ocean view cottages. As well as, you’ll discover WiFi, a well-stocked retailer, rental gear, sizzling showers, restrooms, playgrounds, and laundry.

Professional Tip: Westport Seashore is a well-liked place for teams. Secluded and quiet, it’s usually the location of vacation spot weddings. The park house owners even have comparable campgrounds nearer to Mendocino Caspar Seashore & RV Park Campgrounds.

Trail at Russian Gulch State Park
Russian Gulch State Park (Lucy Autrey Wilson / Shutterstock.com)

4. Equestrian Tenting

Russian Gulch State Park Equestrian Camp has staging areas, corrals, and water troughs offered for “equestrian solely” trails and campsites.

Experience the paths by means of the forest. Tents and RVs are welcome. Solely 4 campsites can be found; reserve early. Make reservations by calling the District Workplace at (707)-937-5804.

Professional Tip: Different equestrian trails can be found within the space. One of the common is Large River Path, a couple of miles away.

Flowers at the Oz Farm on the Mendocino Coast of California
Flowers on the Oz Farm (Photograph Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

5. Farm Tenting

Yurt, geodesic dome, and cabin tenting are hosted at Oz Farm on the Garcia River. Take pleasure in Oz Farm’s bounty, hike the forest, swim the river, or discover the coast simply minutes away. 

Oz is one hundred pc off the grid and totally sustainable. The working farm and cidery all the time welcome further assist you probably have a thoughts to get your fingers within the filth whereas visiting.

Professional Tip: The Level Enviornment Lighthouse and Level Enviornment-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal Nationwide Monument are 7 miles away. The 152-year-old lighthouse continues to be guiding the best way for maritime vessels. Stornetta’s lands are a geological surprise. You’ll be able to see the San Andreas Fault the place it opens above floor.

Albion River Campground & Marina on California's Mendocino Coast
Photograph Credit score: Mary Charlebois

6. Camp Below A Bridge

The Pacific Ocean, Albion River, and wetlands border the campgrounds. The picket Albion River Bridge looms excessive above, wanting a bit prefer it’s standing on stilts. Launches, docks, and marinas can be found for every type of watercraft.

Albion River Campground & Marina is surrounded by water on three sides. It sits on the backside of the steep and slender Albion River Gorge, crossed by a 150-foot-high wooden bridge.

It is a water world. Fishing, kayaking, and canoeing are common with entry to the Pacific or the quiet and calm Albion River. The marina has room if you happen to’d prefer to convey a ship.

Tent and RV tenting sit collectively community-style. RVs can be found to lease. Carry your meals and libations; the 28-foot trailer has every part you’ll need, together with cable TV and WiFi. A well-stocked retailer, snack bar, showers, restrooms, and laundry can be found for campers. Kayak and canoe leases can be found as effectively.

Professional Tip: Planning on an prolonged go to? Weekly and month-to-month charges can be found for websites and boat births.

Mendocino Bay, bluffs, and forest
oliverdelahaye / Shutterstock.com

7. Glamp In A Forest

On a bluff overlooking Mendocino Bay, surrounded by forest, luxuriate in safari tents with wooden floors, actual beds, down comforters, and sundown decks. Take pleasure in sizzling showers stocked with plush towels and natural tub merchandise. Wi-Fi and electrical energy can be found. Breakfast is included. This comfy camp is household and pet-friendly.

Mendocino Grove is trendy tenting with luxurious creature comforts to boost your commune with nature. Within the 36-acre property, there may be lots to do. Bocce ball, horseshoes, guided nature hikes, hammocks, yoga, barbecues, campfires, and essentially the most wonderful sunsets you’re more likely to see.

Seashores, rivers, and parks are lower than 2 miles from the grove. Mendocino Village is the middle for eateries, libations, galleries, and procuring.

Professional Tip: The Ford Home Customer Middle and Museum and the Kelley Home Museum will fill you in on this historic village and the encircling space.

Getting To The Mendocino Coast

You will have a automobile on the Mendocino Coast. If you happen to’re arriving in an RV or auto, convey alongside or lease a bicycle for touring.

The Mendo Coast is 3 hours north of San Francisco or 4 hours south of Eureka. Comply with Hwy 101 to Willits and switch west on Hwy 20. Hwy 20 ends at Fort Bragg, CA Hwy 1, and the Pacific. Head north for Fort Bragg or south to Mendocino.

Spending time open air is extra common than ever. Immersing in nature has a constructive impact on everybody. Some say it soothes the soul and makes spirits mild. The Mendocino Coast has many excellent parks and camps. All have spectacular settings, whether or not ocean-side or deep forest.

The laid-back way of life of the world makes the coast an ideal place to unwind and unplug. Expertise native life at eateries, outlets, galleries, and museums. Ask an area the place they prefer to eat, or the place their favourite sundown spot is positioned. Head to Noyo Harbor and take a look at a whale watching tour, then replenish on seafood recent from the boat.

It doesn’t matter what your tenting expertise or necessities, on the Mendocino Coast, you’ll discover a campsite to like — actually.

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