The Golden State covers a lot of ground along the West Coast—offering some amazing locations.
While you could easily spend months traveling around California in your RV hunting down all the perfect little gems the state has to offer, many people don’t have months to explore and can only escape for a fun road trip. That’s when you hit some of the more well-known, must-see destinations.
Although these RV destinations in California will be teeming with tourists during the busy season, they’re worth braving the crowds—or plan your visit in the offseason.
Yosemite National Park
With almost 750,000 acres of land, there’s plenty of space to roam in Yosemite National Park, located in Central California. Sights such as Glacier Point, Half Dome Cables Route, and Tuolumne Meadows are considered life-changing by some travelers, but they’re just a few of the trails and lookouts that you can experience while in the park.
If you’re not sure what to see, consider booking a tour and letting a pro show you around. As far as ease of use for RVers goes, the park has 10 different campgrounds that allow RVs. Length restrictions and amenities vary between campsites, so make sure to reserve a spot ahead of time—especially if you want to visit during the busy season.
Six Rivers National Forest
Looking for something larger and more remote than Yosemite? Check out Six Rivers National Forest. Located in the northwest corner of the state, this national forest offers over 1 million acres of land perfect for camping, fishing, hiking, and a whole lot more.
The forest offers four campgrounds with RV access. From there, you can take your family out and enjoy any of the numerous attractions of the park—from Horse Mountain’s beautiful views and landscape, to the botanical wonderland that is North Fork Smith River, to Bear Basin Butte, which offers views for miles in all directions. If you’re up for a more adrenaline-pumping adventure, consider taking a rafting trip down the Salmon River. No matter what you do, you’ll be sure to have a memorable trip.
Tahoe National Forest
Between Yosemite and Six Rivers National Forest sits numerous other national parks and forests. One you must hit if you’re in California is Tahoe National Forest. Tahoe National Forest and the famous Lake Tahoe, which is just southeast of the forest, extend into the state of Nevada, but much of the forest lies in The Golden State.
Within the forest, you’ll find scenic vistas, hidden waterfalls, meadows full of wildflowers, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and so much more. RVs are welcome at 11 different campgrounds, and you’ll want to scope out the campground ahead of time to make sure you can hit all the sights you want to reach. You can travel down The Donner Camp Trail and learn the history of the Donner family at Alder Creek, check out the Kentucky Mine, which opened in 1850, or see the views available from any of the historic fire lookouts.
Highway 1 is as much a destination as it is a way to travel from one end of California to the other. The scenic highway starts in Orange County and leisurely makes its way up the coast, offering some of the most drama-filled coastal views you can find anywhere in the country.
When done right, traveling the length of this highway should take days. You’ll want to stop at the beaches, parks, and cities along the way. There are plenty of RV parks along the coast, and all you need to do is decide how long you want to drive between exploration and relaxation.
Along the way, it’s always smart to keep track of construction and closures and have a scenic alternative route preselected.
Death Valley National Park
Do lush Californian forests and beautiful beaches not do it for you? Two words—Death Valley.
This national park sits at the lowest point in North America and is one of the hottest and driest places you’ll find in California. Although that might sound unappealing, once you see it, you’ll understand why it’s a must-see destination. It’s breathtaking.
The National Park Service runs several campgrounds in the park, but the sites with RV hookups fill up fast, so be sure to make a reservation. There are also private campgrounds within the park that allow RVs. Much of Death Valley can be visited by driving around, though you’ll undoubtedly want to hike the barren and beautiful area. If you have longer hikes in mind, visit between November and March as temperatures can climb to uncomfortable heights otherwise.
Looking for the best way to see all these beautiful sights? Nothing beats traveling in a new RV!