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Guide to Camping in Sonoma County

The stunning coastline is one of many areas where you can camp in Sonoma County.

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Camping in Sonoma County is amazing, perhaps in part because the county is so big — 1,768 square miles, to be exact, with 55 miles stretched along the Pacific Ocean. It’s also a gorgeous, geographically-diverse paradise, home to steep mountains, broad valleys, lakes, rivers, marshes, sandy beaches, flower-filled meadows, and groves of redwood trees. 

Campgrounds anywhere tend to be located in beautiful, activity-laden locations, and Sonoma County is no exception. On a camping vacation here, your tent or RV will be set in one the most beautiful spots on earth.

As for camping options, they run the gamut from roughing it in an undeveloped back-country site to chillin’ in your super-comfy RV (with stops along the way for tents or simple-to-luxe camping cabins).

Camping is fun, budget-friendly, and a great way to build adventurous memories with loved ones. You’ll catch fish, take a hike, add new birds to your life list, photograph rare wildflowers, explore tide pools, paddle a canoe. At night you’ll gab into the wee hours around the campfire or take a walk on the beach with stars blazing above.

Just one problem: In a county so big, beautiful, and incredibly varied, how do you even begin to figure out where to throw down your sleeping bag or park your camper?

Easy. Just read this guide. Find our complete Sonoma County campground listings here.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.

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Sonoma County's State Park Campgrounds

With redwood forests, mountains, streams, lakes, rivers, beaches, and other natural wonders, Sonoma County’s 11 state parks capture the county’s beauty and diversity. Four state parks offer camping.

Austin Creek State Recreation Area

With nearly 6,000 acres and 20 miles of trails running through meadows, woodlands, and across rolling hills, Austin Creek is a recreational dream (it’s also next to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve with its majestic groves of redwood trees). Austin has 23 campsites on a secluded pond available on a first-come, first-served basis for tent- or car-camping (no hook-ups or trailer sites). Three primitive back-country campsites with table and fire ring, but no potable water, are also available after a three- to five-mile hike (also on a first-come basis). For more camping information, visit the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods.

Salt Point State Park

Located on the county’s far northern coast, Salt Point has 20 miles of hiking trails, more than six miles of rugged coastline, a pygmy forest, and an underwater park. The many recreational activities here include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and skin/scuba diving. There are two main campgrounds, as well as sites for group camping and those who hike or cycle in:

Gerstle Cove atop bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, contains 30 family campsites.

Woodside Campground on the east side of Highway 1 holds 79 sites.

Group camping on the ocean side of Highway 1 accommodates a maximum of 40 people.

Hikers and Bikers can use 10 sites located behind the ranger office.

Overflow camping for self-contained vehicles is available in the day use parking lot below the Gerstle Cove campground.

To learn more about Salt Point’s campsites and/or to reserve a site, make a reservation online at Reserve California or call 1-800-444-7275. 

Sonoma Coast State Park

is a series of beaches, separated by rock bluffs and headlands, that stretch north along the coast from Bodega Head to four miles past Jenner (a total of 17 miles). This park offers some of the most beautiful campsites you’ll ever find anywhere. Campsites are in three locations.

Wright’s Beach has 27 developed campsites adjacent to the beach. Maximum trailer length is 27 feet; no hook-ups available. Reservations recommended.

Bodega Dunes offers 98 campsites with hot showers, flush toilets, and a trailer sanitation dump station. Maximum trailer length is 31 feet; no hook-ups available. Campfire and Junior Ranger programs held during the summer. Day use area includes a disabled-accessible boardwalk out to a classic sandy beach. Reservations recommended.

Willow Creek Environmental Campground, closed in winter, offers 11 primitive campsites with fire rings, pit toilets and tables, within one-quarter mile of the parking lot. No running water. First-come, first-served.

To learn more about the campsites or make a reservation, visit Reserve California or call 1-800-444-7275.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Nestled into the majestic Mayacamas Mountains between Sonoma and Napa valleys, Sugarloaf Ridge holds the headwaters of 33-mile-long Sonoma Creek, a 25-foot seasonal waterfall, and 2,729-foot Bald Mountain.

The nearly 4,000-acre park is known for fabulous hiking through tree-covered ridges and a canyon redwood forest. Sugarloaf has 47 family campsites in a large meadow; sites accommodate RVs up to 27 feet long and campers up to 23 feet. Each site has a table and fire ring; flush toilets and drinking water are nearby. A group campsite, capable of handling 50, is available. Download Sugarloaf park maps; to learn more or make a reservation visit Reserve California or call 1-800-444-7275. Note: Sugarloaf bounced back after the October 2017 wildfires, and is open for both camping and day use. Most of its trails are either open or opening soon; see current park status at sugarloafpark.org.

To learn about all of Sonoma County’s 11 state parks, read our “Guide to Sonoma County State Parks.”

Sonoma County’s Regional Park Campgrounds

Sonoma County’s thriving regional park system consists of more than 50 parks — including trails and open spaces — and encompasses nearly 60,000 acres. Parks run the length and breadth of the county, stretching north from Bodega Bay to The Sea Ranch and Gualala, and east from the Pacific Ocean to Sonoma Valley.

Six of the regional parks offer more than 250 campsites.

Doran Regional Park

Just south of Bodega Bay, Doran is situated on a lovely two-mile-long sandy beach; it’s a popular spot to picnic, build sand castles, fly kites, surf, fish, and stroll. The campground is open year-round, with 112 reservable, first-come campsites and one hiker/cyclist group site. Restrooms with electrical outlets, flush toilets, and coin-operated showers; no RV hook-ups. A free EV charging station is located in the Cypress Day-Use parking lot. Download a Doran campsite map. 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay, 707-565-2041

Gualala Point Regional Park

Located on the far northern coast, where the Gualala River enters the Pacific Ocean, the campground nestles under redwood trees beside the river within walking distance of the crashing surf. There are 18 reservable campsites, as well as non-reservable sites intended for hikers and cyclists. Amenities include flush toilets, electrical outlets, coin-operated shower, dump station; no RV hook-ups. Download a map of Gualala Point Regional Park. 42401 Highway 1, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497, 707-785-2377

Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

With nearly 2,000 acres on the northern end of Sonoma Valley, Hood Mountain offers 19 miles of hiking trails with sweeping views as the trails ascend (the view from Gunsight Rock is often written about). Camping here, with four environmental campsites reachable after a two-mile hike from a parking lot, is geared to backpackers. One site is for groups, with three tables and room for seven tents. Sites contain tables, food lockers, and tent pads, with primitive toilets nearby. You must carry in drinking water. Campfires not allowed; cooking stoves are permitted. Please pack trash out. Download a Hood Mountain map. 3000 Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa, 707-539-8092.

Spring Lake Regional Park

North of Sonoma Valley and located on the bucolic outskirts of Santa Rosa, Spring Lake is the most-used regional park in the county, thanks to its beautiful setting, swimming lagoon (with a floating water playground), seasonal café, small boating lake, hiking trails, and other activities. The park’s 30 individual campsites are available daily from May 1-Sept. 30 (the rest of the year it’s only open on weekends and holidays). A group campground is available, by reservation only, throughout the year. Download a map of Spring Lake Regional Park. Three sleeping cabins are available; each includes sleeping platforms with bare mattresses (no bedding provided), decks with seating, porches, a picnic table, prep table, fire ring, charcoal grill, and food locker. For camping or cabin reservations, call 707-565-2267 or go to SonomaCountyCamping.org393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, 707-539-8092.

Stillwater Cove Regional Park

Located on the Pacific Ocean in Jenner (near Fort Ross State Historic Park), Stillwater offers fabulous ocean-view hiking, a beach launch suitable for kayaks and other small boats, and immensely popular abalone diving. Stillwater has more than 20 reservable campsites available (two with disabled access), as well as a hiker/bicyclist group site. Amenities include coin-operated showers, flush toilets, a dump station, and electrical outlets; no RV hook-ups. Download a Stillwater Cove campsite map. 22455 Highway 1, Jenner, 707-847-3245.

Westside Regional Park

On the north side of Bodega Bay, this campground is tucked away from crowds in a beautiful setting. It offers a boat ramp and both a boat-rinsing and fish-cleaning station, and is near stores and tackle shops. Westside has nearly 47 trailer/camper sites available (two are configured for disabled access), along with restrooms that have electrical outlets, flush toilets, and coin-operated showers; no RV hook-ups. Download a Westside campsite map. 2400 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-3540.

 

Tips for camping in regional parks

Most campsites offer a fire ring and picnic table, with showers, flush toilets, and potable water are nearby. You can see a chart of individual park amenities and/or make reservations with Sonoma County Regional Parks.

All campgrounds have a certain number of sites with disabled access.

Individual sites cost $32 (off season) to $35 (Memorial Day weekend to Thanksgiving weekend) per night. Rates include one vehicle and one tow per site. Get one free night of camping with a Regional Parks membership.

For a comprehensive overview of Sonoma County Regional Parks, read our “Guide to the Sonoma County Regional Park System.”

Lake Sonoma Campsites (managed by US Army Corps of Engineers)

Geyserville’s Lake Sonoma — with 2,700 acres of lake surface and 50 miles of shoreline — was created by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1983 during construction of Warm Springs Dam. The lake, surrounded by steep hills and vineyards, offers extensive opportunities for recreation, including hiking, swimming, horseback riding, archery, fishing, hunting, boating and camping.

Lake Sonoma has two different types of campsites:

Boat-in Camping

There are 106 boat-in campsites scattered along the lake’s two lengthy arms. Each “primitive” camp site has its own fire ring, picnic table, and lantern holder, and chemical toilets are available. However, you’ll have to bring your own drinking water or a dependable filter device for purifying lake water.

Reservations for boat-in camping sites required. If you don’t have a boat, Lake Sonoma Marina rents anything from a one-person kayak to a double-decker patio boat for 12. Download a boat-in information sheet and/or campground maps.

RV/Tent Camping

Liberty Glen Campground at Lake Sonoma has 97 drive-in campsites for RVs and tent campers (no electrical or water hook-ups available). Reservations for campsites are required. During the summer there are many campfire programs and special events. Download Liberty Glen Info and Campground Map3333 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, CA 95441, 707-431-4533

See Sonoma County's safety tips for water activities here.

Glamping (luxurious camping)

AutoCamp Russian River: Choose between a custom-designed Airstream trailer or a luxurious canvas tent with a plush, modern interior in this glamping (glamorous camping) destination under the redwoods along the Russian River. The trailers include spa-inspired bathrooms with walk-in showers; both trailers and tents offer luxurious hotel bedding, linens, towels, and bath products. 14120 Old Cazadero Road, Guerneville, 707-532-3021

boon hotel + spa: This popular hotel in the quirky riverside town of Guerneville also offers plush tent cabins from Memorial Day through September only, with the hotel's usual luxuries: platform beds, organic linens, great bath products, terrific breakfasts, and more. The tent cabins come equipped with lanterns and have shared bath facilities. 14711 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, 707-869-2721

Chanslor Ranch: Stay in a tipi or a canvas platform tent on this beautiful 378-acre working ranch with stables, with awesome ocean views. (Tent and RV campsites and lodging rooms are also available.) Top off your stay with a trail ride. 660 N. Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-589-5055

Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort: This Cloverdale campground offers luxury and deluxe lodges with central heating and air conditioning, a front deck with wide-ranging views of Alexander Valley, a large fire pit/barbecue, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Bring your own linens or purchase a linen package for your stay. 1166 Asti Ridge Road, Cloverdale, 707-894-3337

Safari West: Tour this 400-acre animal preserve in an open-air vehicle, and then spend the night in a luxury tent with pale green canvas walls that enclose plush beds, hot showers, and rustic but elegant trappings. More than 700 animals reside in this wildlife preserve, and in conditions close to their natural African habitat. 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, 707-579-2551

San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA Campground: A variety of deluxe cabins allows you to “camp” in the style that suits your needs. Loft Lodges have a master bedroom and a separate sleeping loft; Bunk Bed Lodges are pet friendly; Wine Country Studio Lodges are perfect for a couple; Buddy Lodges mean you can vacation with friends but have your own space; and the Accessible Loft Lodge is handicap accessible. 20 Rainsville Road, Petaluma, 707-763-1492

Other Private Campgrounds

Alexander Valley RV Park & Campground: Located just north of Healdsburg, near the Russian River in scenic Alexander Valley, this property offers nearly 60 RV sites equipped with picnic tables and fire pits. Electricity and water are available, but no sewer. Amenities include a convenience store, wireless Internet, fishing/canoe/swimming access. 2411 Alexander Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-431-1453.

Bodega Bay RV Park: Located in Bodega Bay near the beach, this full-service RV park offers 72 sites with various levels of hook-ups, in a wind-protected area. Amenities include a laundromat, hot showers, restaurant, RV supplies, and group facilities. Business services (fax, copying, etc.) available. No tent camping. 2001 Coast Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-3701.

Burke’s Canoe Trips and Campground: Located on the Russian River, Burke’s has long been famous for its self-guided, 10-mile canoe trips from Forestville to Guerneville — but it also offers riverfront camping near the river or in the redwoods. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Tents, trailers and RVs accommodated; restrooms and hot showers on site. 8600 River Road, Forestville, 707-887-1222. 

Casini Ranch Family Campground: Situated for one mile along the Russian River — just four miles inland from the Pacific Ocean — Casini Ranch has RV and tent sites, as well as guest cottages, cabins, and rental RVs. Campground activities include outdoor movies, beach bonfires, duck feedings, guided hikes, summer ice cream socials, hayrides and a convenience store on-site. Download a campground map. 22855 Moscow Road, Duncans Mills, 800- 451-8400.

Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort: In oak-laden hills overlooking Alexander Valley, this 60-acre campground offers tent and RV sites with full hook-ups, plus fire pits, barbecue pits, and picnic tables. Amenities include: wireless internet, country store, hot tub, video arcade, lakeside piers and picnic areas, gymnastic playground, miniature golf course, and a weekend café serving coffee drinks and waffles. Seasonal activities include outdoor movies and paddle boat races. 1166 Asti Ridge Road, Cloverdale, 707-894-3337. 

Johnson's Beach: Located on the Russian River in downtown Guerneville, Johnson's offers tent campsites and rustic cabins and a lodge, all built in the 1920s. Guests have access to a game room, laundry, and barbecue area. The beach below the campground has a snack bar plus canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. Note: Johnson's Beach is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. 16241 1st St., Guerneville, 707-869-2022. 

Ocean Cove Campground: Situated around a sheltered cove, this scenic Pacific coastal campground offers oceanfront sites on the bluff or secluded camps tucked in the trees. A group campsite is also available. Amenities include fire pits, hot showers, chemical toilets and a boat ramp.A store is nearby, as are Stillwater Cove Regional Park and Salt Point State Park. This is a great place to watch a sunset. RV and tent sites available from April 1-Nov. 30. 23125 Coast Highway 1, Jenner, 707-847-3422. 

Porto Bodega Marina & RV Park: Located in Bodega Bay, Porto Bodega has 56 waterfront or water view RV sites, most with hook-ups (no tent sites). Amenities include a picnic table and burn barrel at each site, hot showers, sanitary dump station, boat launch, bait and tackle shop, and a lend-out video and book library. Download a park map. 1500 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-2354.

River Bend Resort: On the Russian River, this RV and tent camp offers riverfront sites; it can handle 40-foot motorhomes or small tent camping trailers. A separate tent camping area can accommodate RVs, but has no drains. Amenities include Internet access, coin laundry, dog walk area, children’s play area; tent campers have hot shower facilities, fire ring, picnic tables, electricity, and water. 11820 River Road, Forestville, 707-887-7662. 

San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA: Situated on 70 rural acres, the Petaluma KOA offers more than 300 tent and RV sites, and numerous cabins from basic to deluxe. All sites have a fire ring. Amenities include wireless Internet, snack bar, bike rentals, hot tub and sauna, swimming pool, waterslide, and a mega playground. Guided tours to San Francisco and Wine Country are available for a fee. 20 Rainsville Road, Petaluma, 707-763-1492.

Schoolhouse Canyon Park: Tucked into a redwood grove with 30 acres along the Russian River, this family-run campground is part of a pioneering ranch dating from the 1850s (and still in the same family). This is geared to tent camping, but small RVs are allowed, primarily on weekdays. Reservations can be made, but first-come sites often available. Bathrooms and showers available. 12600 River Road, Guerneville, 707-869-2311

To learn about our many other wonderful campgrounds, go to our complete Sonoma County campground listings.

See Sonoma County's safety tips for water activities here.