Big Sur Camping - 15 Campgrounds in Big Sur for Your Next Trip

Big Sur Camping – 15 Campgrounds in Big Sur for Your Next Trip


Big Sur is among the greatest locations to go to in California, and it is filled with wonderful seashores and climbing trails. You’ll additionally discover redwood timber galore, so if you wish to stand up near the tallest timber in the world, then Big Sur is a should-go to spot. Big Sur is filled with nature and is a perfect vacation spot for a vacation spent open air.

We’ve established you must undoubtedly go to Big Sur, however what about going tenting in Big Sur? What do you must know, and the place do you have to keep? Whether you like glamping, staying in an RV, or hike-in tenting, Big Sur State Park has plenty of choices. This Big Sur tenting information will cowl all the perfect campgrounds, together with some further important particulars. Ready? Let’s get began.

Best Camping in Big Sur

best camping in big sur

Big Sur has many accommodations and locations to remain from luxurious accommodations to boutique lodging, but it surely additionally has loads of campgrounds to select from. We breakdown the perfect Big Sur campground to go well with each want.

1. Ventana Campground

big sur camping ventana
Inside our Glamping Tent at Ventana Resort, Big Sur.

Ventana Campground is among the most stunning campgrounds in Big Sur and we extremely advocate staying right here. We cherished exploring the Big Sur coast from Ventana because it gave quick access to most of the high sights. The campground is located on 40 acres of redwood grove and is well accessible off of the Cabrillo Highway. And the principle draw? Ventana Campground has unimaginable glamping amenities. If you fancy a glamping expertise, Ventana’s tent cabins are among the best locations to remain in Big Sur. The lodging is safari-type and a romantic option to spend an evening underneath the redwoods. See critiques on TripAdvisor

Ventana Campground has many facilities, together with two bathhouses, sizzling showers, picnic tables, a fireplace ring, and proximity (strolling distance) to cafes, eating places, and reward outlets. Guests have quick access to Big Sur and its neighborhood. Ventana Campground additionally has some extra upscale amenities, resembling swimming swimming pools, health studios, and eating venues. You might also like: The Complete Guide to Visiting Redwood National Park

Big Sur Campgrounds: Hike-In Campsites

If you desire a tent-solely campground, hike-in campsites are an ideal choice. These websites additionally provide tent tenting that’s accessible after only a brief stroll, not like backcountry tenting which requires lengthy hikes to achieve every web site. Hike-in campsites are a improbable compromise.

Hike-in campsites have so many advantages. You’ll be extra secluded, have extra wildlife sightings, and sometimes beautiful views of the Big Sur Coast. This part is devoted completely to hike-in tenting alternatives. We’ll cowl the highest three hike-in campsites, good for tenting in and round Big Sur State Park.

2. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

big sur camping julia pfeiffer state park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is definitely a area reasonably than a campsite. It is positioned 12 miles south of Big Sur State Park. The park is famend for its coastal surroundings, with granite cliffs and dramatic ocean views, and forests of redwood timber that develop all the best way to the cliff edges. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is actually a sight to behold and a very good base from which to discover the coast.

The park options two hike-in environmental campsites on the west aspect of Highway 1. Saddle Rock and South Gardens Environmental Campgrounds are only a brief stroll from the Cabrillo Highway. Don’t fear about being marathon-match, however be ready to hold the whole lot you carry, as there is no such thing as a automobile entry to both web site.

The campsites function hearth rings, a picnic desk, and restrooms. You might want to carry your personal water and firewood; cease by at a water station or outlets beforehand. Speaking of retailers, as a result of there are restricted native outlets, it’s best to plan a purchasing journey earlier than coming into Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

So, why keep right here? In brief, the improbable surroundings and site. From Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park’s campgrounds, you possibly can spot migrating grey whales, hike beautiful trails like Ewoldsen Trail, and take a look at waterfalls like Mcway Falls (extra on that later). You’ll have a central location to discover the perfect of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and be shut sufficient to expertise all that Big Sur gives. Read: The Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary

3. Vicente Flat Camp

big sur camping views of ocean

Vincente Flat Camp is a bit more remoted and positioned on the junction of the Stone Ridge and Vincente Flat Trails. It is roughly 5 miles from Vicente Trailhead, so permit round two hours to achieve the campground and pack accordingly because you’ll have to hold all of your gear. The campground is ready in an atmospheric forest canyon. It is barely a brief stroll from the panoramas of the Californian shoreline.

You’ll discover a freshwater stream (pack a water filter) and a fireplace pit on the campground. However, don’t anticipate some other important amenities. Vicente Flat Camp is good for those that need to ‘rough it’ slightly, and it’s a enjoyable spot to check your wilderness limits.

So, why keep in Vicente Flat Camp? The journey. If you need the joys of a barely longer hike-in expertise, the campground is an thrilling place to remain and among the best stroll-in campsites. You received’t discover restrooms or perhaps a picnic desk or dump station. But it’s the good campground to channel your inside Bear Grylls.

3. Andrew Molera Trail Camp

big sur campgrounds andrew molera state park
Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park is a way more undeveloped state park positioned simply north of Big Sur State Park. It is legendary for its distant and various climbing and seaside entry. If you desire a base simply outdoors of Big Sur, Andrew Molera Trail Camp is a improbable alternative. Campers simply park in the parking zone after which hike round 0.25 miles to achieve the campground. It is a handy hike-in campground and never as strenuous as reaching Vincente Flat.

The camp has hearth pits, a meals storage locker, picnic tables, water, and restrooms. You’ll should do and not using a bathe, however the campground’s facilities are useful for a number of nights. The campground has simply 22 normal tent websites and two hike-and-bike websites (24 tent websites in complete), so make sure that to guide in advance.

Andrew Molera Trail Camp is improbable if you wish to keep off the crushed monitor and expertise a much less-developed a part of the area. At the identical time, the campground additionally gives a few of the greatest amenities – a win-win should you ask us. You can discover close by sights like Highbridge Falls and Cooper Cabin or drive simply ten minutes down the highway. The alternative is yours.

Big Sur Campgrounds: Car Camping and Glamping

camping in big sur glamping

Not so eager on hike-in campsites? Perhaps you desire a spot with tent and RV websites. RV tenting is a well-liked option to discover the US wilderness, and Big Sur has many improbable places the place you possibly can pull up for the night time. RV and tent tenting each have their advantages.

Of course, it’s your decision extra luxurious than a primary tent or RV tenting. In that case, maintain your eyes peeled for the glamping campgrounds in this part. Some of those glamping websites even include a sizzling tub or two.

This part will cowl the perfect Big Sur campgrounds for RV tenting and glamping. Let’s dive straight in. You might also like: Top 10 Best Places to Camp in California

4. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park South Camp

campgrounds in big sur pfeiffer beach

This Big Sur campground is among the greatest on this record. It is positioned throughout the boundaries of Big Sur State Park – very best in order for you a central location. South Camp is an enormous, spacious campground with over 100 tent websites. It is well accessed off Pfeiffer Big Sur Road and has loads of facilities. Yet, it is usually vastly in style with wildlife, and even deer wander onto the location. It doesn’t get significantly better for RV and tent tenting.

You can eat breakfast at a picnic desk after your morning bathe, unwinding with a morning espresso made out of the campground’s water provide. South Camp is Big Sur tenting made straightforward – what’s to not love? Big Sur State Park South Camp is the most suitable choice for anybody wanting a central location contained in the park and loads of amenities and facilities for a straightforward tenting expertise. Read: 24 Of The Best Beaches in California

5. Prewitt Ridge Campground

camping in big sur dave with marshmallows

Prewitt Ridge is among the most beautiful campsites round Big Sur. Set excessive upon a ridge, you’ll fall asleep and get up overlooking among the best views in the park. Prewitt Ridge has unimaginable views of Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean. For ocean-view tent campsites and RV tenting, look no additional.

Getting there may be straightforward, and also you simply drive to the location on Prewitt Road. The monitor is slightly tough in sections, so a 4WD is advisable. Just take your time although, and also you’ll be advantageous. In phrases of facilities, be ready to tough it. Prewitt Ridge has no restrooms, showers, water, or dump station, so carry the whole lot you want.

The better part about Prewitt Ridge Campground is, by far, the views. It is slightly farther from the middle of Big Sur (permit round an hour and twenty minutes attributable to windy roads). Still, if you’re planning a highway journey, it’s properly value basing your self at Prewitt Ridge for an evening.

6. Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV, and Campground

where to camp in big sur near carmel by the sea

Saddle Mountain Ranch blends the whole lot collectively – RV and tent tenting and glamping. It is well accessed off Carmel Valley Road and is only a forty-minute drive north of Big Sur. If you need to keep close by Big Sur, Saddle Mountain Ranch is superbly positioned in the serene Carmel Valley. You’ll spend your downtime amongst Monterey pines and redwoods. See availability and extra critiques on TripAdvisor

Saddle Mountain Ranch has unimaginable amenities, together with a big outside swimming pool. It additionally has heated showers, restrooms, wi-fi, and a playground. Whether you need glamping or RV tenting, it’s a improbable luxurious base and is conveniently positioned close to Big Sur. Read extra: Things to do in Carmel by the Sea, California

7. Arroyo Seco


Arroyo Seco is among the greatest Big Sur campgrounds. Described as ‘semi rustic’, the campsite gives RV and tent tenting and is well accessed off Arroyo Seco Road. Arroyo Seco is positioned inland, and entry is slightly restricted. Be ready to drive almost two hours since you must drive all the best way across the park to re-enter the east. It is a particular spot although, and the serenity of Arroyo Seco will likely be value it. The campground is surrounded by lakes, forests, and mountains – the right recipe for an escape to the good open air.

Each campsite in the campground has its personal hearth ring, grill, and picnic desk. The campground additionally has accessible flush bathrooms, ingesting water, and showers. Arroyo Seco has hike and seaside entry. It is positioned proper subsequent to Arroyo Seco Trailhead and The Lakes Beach (a small seaside space on the shores of a freshwater lake). You can fish, swim, hike, and even go horseback driving once you aren’t exploring Big Sur.

Arroyo Seco is a improbable place to remain in inland Big Sur State Park. You don’t should miss out on water-aspect tenting since The Lakes are proper subsequent to the campground.

8. Kirk Creek Campground

camping in big sur rv camping
RVs can park in Kir Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground is round a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur. It is positioned off Cabrillo Highway, simply south of Lucia. Kirk Creek Campground is a surprising spot with ocean views and direct seaside entry. Kirk Creek Campground must be on the high of your record in order for you a campground for RV tenting with ocean views.

Kirk Creek Campground has a mixture of tent and RV tenting spots. The campground has a fireplace ring, vault bathrooms, BBQ amenities, and firewood for sale. There’s no ingesting water or showers, so maintain that in thoughts when packing. The campground is greatest for those that need to be close to a seaside and surrounded by nature – it’s not unusual to identify mountain lions and deer simply outdoors the campground. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

10. Riverside Campground and Cabins

camping in big sur riverside

Riverside Campground and Cabins is among the greatest spots for RV tenting and glamping. It is positioned simply south of Big Sur, off the Cabrillo Highway. The campground gives rooms, cabins, and RV websites with electrical energy and water hookups. You can ‘glamp’ in type with stunning wood cabins that includes snug queen-sized beds and non-compulsory personal decks. Otherwise, park your RV and quiet down amongst all of the campground facilities.

Riverside Campground and Cabins has hearth pits, picnic tables, restrooms, sizzling showers, and laundry amenities. As its title suggests, you even have entry to the river. You can reap the benefits of the campground’s tube leases to drift down the river – appreciating the surroundings as you go. Right on the riverside, you even have unequalled seasonal fishing to take pleasure in.

This campground is nice if you wish to be near the river and the middle of Big Sur. You aren’t removed from the neighborhood environment, outlets, and hospitality venues. However, Riverside Campground and Cabins nonetheless have a secluded, peaceable really feel. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

11. Treebones Resort

camping in big sur redwoods

Fancy a very upscale and weird glamping expertise? Treebones Resort is the place to remain. Treebones Resort is positioned an hour south of Big Sur, close to the hamlet of Gorda. The resort gives a collection of oceanfront yurts, the place you camp in luxurious with beautiful views over the Pacific Ocean. Guests even obtain a complimentary breakfast and yoga.

The amenities embrace an out of doors swimming pool with additional ocean views and a number of on-web site eating places. Each yurt comes with complimentary wi-fi, and you’ll benefit from the vary of resort actions that Treebones gives. Treebones is greatest for those that need the comfiest, most luxurious tenting expertise obtainable. See extra on TripAdvisor

12. Limekiln Campground

camping in big sur california limekiln

Limekiln State Park is a forty five-minute drive south of Big Sur and can also be located alongside the Californian coast. Limekiln Campground is the park’s predominant lodging choice and gives tent and RV websites. Limekiln Campground is well reached off the Cabrillo Highway and has a big parking space.

Facility-wise, the campground has restrooms and showers. It is primary however snug, and you might be inside driving distance of retailers for emergency provides. When it involves close by sights, your choices are even higher. You can take one of many climbing trails to Limekiln Falls or Old Limekiln Ruins, virtually instantly from the campground. There’s even seaside entry.

Limekiln Campground is a spectacular place to remain. It is great if you wish to be close to a seaside, have nice climbing trails, and never be too removed from Big Sur. Check out: 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors

13. Ponderosa Campground

camping tips for big sur california

Ponderosa Campground is located proper in the center of the Los Padres National Forest amongst the mountains of Big Sur. It is round an hour and twenty-minute drive from the middle of Big Sur. It is good for those that need to expertise RV tenting on a extra mountainous aspect of the area.

Ponderosa Campground is handed by the Nacimiento River, offering swimming and freshwater alternatives. Drinking water can also be offered (should you don’t have a filter), plus a dump station, vault bathrooms, and a fireplace ring at every web site. Ponderosa Campground has the whole lot you may want for a brief keep, and it’s the good base to wander, bike, or trip across the dramatic surrounding panorama.

14. Fernwood Campground and Resort

campgrounds in big sur california
Coffee by the hearth. Best option to begin the day

Fernwood Campground and Resort is the last word glamping keep in Big Sur. Situated in the guts of Big Sur Valley, you might be only a twenty-minute stroll or two-minute drive into the middle of Big Sur. Fernwood includes a combination of cabins and canvas, safari-type ‘tent cabins’, and ‘adventure cabins’. If you desire a glamping expertise, we’d advocate the journey cabins, primarily upgrades from normal canvas tent cabins. These choices function electrical energy, a heat mattress, contemporary linens, and heating – bliss.

Each cabin comes with its personal hearth ring and picnic desk. Fernwood Campground and Resort additionally includes a normal retailer and espresso cafe. These are good on-web site choices for a leisurely morning reasonably than having to go into Big Sur. Fernwood is a handy glamping choice with a great location.

15. Plaskett Creek Campground

camping in big sur sand dollar beach

Plaskett Creek Campground is a stupendous RV tenting choice and is only a brief stroll from Sand Dollar Beach, the most important seaside in Big Sur. It is only a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur and simply accessed off the Cabrillo Highway.

The campground is likened by many to a park, and it’s a spacious, household-pleasant place to remain in Big Sur. The campground has RV and tent websites, plus restrooms, picnic tables, and a fireplace ring in every particular person campsite. Plaskett Creek Campground is a superb alternative for these wanting nice amenities, a number of area, and lodging close to Sand Dollar Beach. It is filled with open inexperienced area and proper subsequent to the ocean. Check charges on TripAdvisor

Big Sur FAQs

camping in big sur things to do

Now that we’ve coated the perfect locations for tenting in Big Sur State Park, we’ve some important particulars for you. If you haven’t been tenting earlier than, it could actually really feel slightly daunting to organize. And in addition to, even if you’re a professional-camper, a little bit of vacation spot-particular data is at all times important.

This part is the whole lot you must learn about tenting in Big Sur State Park.

What to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey?

big sur camping tips what to pack

You can view our final tenting guidelines right here, however we’ll present a fast temporary on what to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey.

First, if you’re tent tenting, you’ll want a water-resistant three-season tent, floor sheet, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and all of the tent-associated emergency gear potential (suppose further poles and a tent restore package). You’ll additionally need a number of luxuries like fold-up tenting chairs, photo voltaic lanterns, and a camp desk. After all, once you discover a stupendous view in Big Sur you need to have the ability to sit outdoors comfortably to take pleasure in it.

Don’t neglect your tenting range and cooking tools both. Of course, relying on which campground you select, you received’t want some tools – so test your campground amenities forward of time. 25 Of The Most Useful Camping Tips and Hacks

Kit-wise, you want a robust pair of climbing boots (plus a primary help package with moleskin for blisters), fast dry layers, a raincoat, and a hat. A filter water bottle, flashlight, sunscreen, and bug spray may even come in useful.

Most importantly, keep in mind your tenting reservations and any crucial passes. It is significant to analysis what paperwork you want forward of time and convey a paper model in case your cellphone dies.

What there may be to do in Big Sur

things to do in big sur garrapata state park

So, when you’ve chosen an unimaginable campground and a few climbing trails, what else is there to do in Big Sur? The reply to it is a lot. Don’t be fooled by the state park’s comparatively small measurement. These are the perfect issues to do in Big Sur – good additions to your tenting itinerary. Read our full information: The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary and The Best Viewpoints

New Camaldoli Hermitage

camping spots in big sur

The New Camaldoli Hermitage is a Camaldolese Benedictine monastery perched on a mountainous vantage level overlooking the ocean. If you take pleasure in non secular sights, visiting the monastery is among the greatest issues to do in Big Sur.

Hike Pfeiffer Falls Trail

big sur camping things to do hiking

Pfeiffer Falls Trail is the perfect brief hike to see redwood timber up shut. The route is lower than two miles return and is good and flat – making it a straightforward hike, appropriate for all kinds of walkers. The largest redwood is known as the Colonial Tree. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

See Bixby Bridge

camping big sur bixby bridge

Bixby Bridge is an iconic spot alongside Highway 101, and the dramatic canyon crossing stands 85 meters tall. Bixby Bridge is a formidable architectural attraction and makes for a hanging {photograph}. We suppose the perfect view is from Castle Rock Viewpoint, however we’ll allow you to resolve.

Drive the Big Sur Coast on Highway 101

big sur camping highway 1

The Big Sur coast is gorgeous. That’s no secret. Highway 101 is among the hottest US highway journeys and runs round 1,500 miles from San Diego to the Olympic National Park in Washington. If you fancy a highway journey whereas visiting Big Sur, you possibly can drive the stretch of the coastal freeway from San Francisco to Big Sur. This is properly mixed with touring to Big Sur anyway because the park is greatest accessed by flying into San Francisco and renting a automobile.

Swim at The Gorge

The Big Sur River is filled with swimming spots, however none are as well-known because the Big Sur River Gorge. The Gorge is understood for its crystal-clear waters and calm water situations. Be warned, the water might be freezing, so you may want a wetsuit should you go to in winter.

Visit Sand Dollar Beach

beaches of big sur

Sand Dollar Beach is among the largest seashores in Big Sur. It will get its title from sand {dollars} – tiny sea urchins with a novel shell- their endoskeleton. The shell is left behind when the urchin dies, and many individuals accumulate them as souvenirs. Apart from the very fact you’ll find shells, Sand Dollar Beach is magnificently stunning. A Sand Dollar Beach day must be on everybody’s itinerary.

Go mountain biking

camping in big sur things to do
17 Mile Drive: California Road Trip

For journey sports activities lovers, mountain biking in Big Sur is among the most fun issues to do in the realm. Bring your personal bike, arrange bike leases, or guide an organized mountain biking tour. You’ll be tackling difficult trails – egged on by the continual promise of beautiful views and contemporary adrenaline.

Go horseback driving

ranch in carmel by the sea

Going horseback driving is an thrilling option to respect the outside. We advocate occurring a path trip to expertise Big Sur and its surrounding areas. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is a well-liked choice and gives a particular picnic and seaside trip.

Visit Point Sur State Historic Park

Point Sur State Historic Park is a tiny would-be-island related to the mainland by a skinny sandbar. It is residence to Point Sur Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1889 and remained purposeful till 1974. You can go to the historic constructing, taking particular moonlight excursions if you’re fortunate.

Visit McWay Falls

things to do in big sure video

McWay Falls is a 24-meter waterfall positioned in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The waterfall is among the most dramatic pure sights close to Big Sur State Park. During excessive tide, the water falls straight into the ocean. You simply take a brief, mile-lengthy return hike alongside the cliffs to a scenic viewpoint to achieve the waterfall.

To Conclude

Hopefully, you’re feeling good and ready after studying this Big Sur tenting information. Big Sur State Park is a stupendous place to camp; it’s filled with pure magnificence and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and native flora. Your days will likely be full of climbing, redwood and ocean surroundings, and many enjoyable outside actions. You are going to have a improbable time.

Got a number of extra questions? Check out our article on the last word tenting ideas. You might even plan an enormous California highway journey – there are many wonderful tenting spots in California.

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