5 regional campgrounds around Sacramento

Desolation Wilderness is accessible from ~15 trailheads. | Photo by Marissa Brown

As the weather begins to warm + Memorial Day creeps closer, our thoughts seem to continually turn to the great outdoors. The warmth of fresh coffee in the crisp, forested dawn air, the smell of roasted marshmallows over the crackling fire, and the rage of scratching yet another mosquito bite (okay, maybe not that last part).

So roll up your sleeping bags + load up those coolers, because we’re taking a look at 5 amazing campsitesall within a two-hour drive of the River City — for you to visit and reconnect with nature this spring.

Beals Point Campground

~25 miles away | Reservations | $28+ | 🐶 friendly

One of Folsom Lake’s three campgrounds, Beals Point lies on the western edge of the lake + is open year-round. While dogs are allowed to join you on your adventures, they must remain on a leash at all times.

Mineral Bar Campground

~52 miles away | No reservations | $28 | 🐶 friendly

Located on the North Fork American River in the Auburn State Recreation Area, Mineral Bar’s 18 first-come, first-served campsites feature fire pits, picnic tables + trash cans, but guests must bring drinkable water.

Sly Park Recreation Area

~61 miles away | Reservations, | $35+ | 🐶 $5/night

Sitting next to Jenkinson Lake in California’s Crystal Basin, campers at one of the park’s 190 sites can water ski, wakeboard, fish + sail. A two-night minimum stay is required for weekends.

Desolation Wilderness

~109 miles away | Reservations | $5+ | 🐶 friendly

Snuggled inside of Emerald Bay State Park in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Desolation Wilderness — which stretches over ~64,000 acres of Federally protected land — is a popular backpacking destination that can be accessed from ~15 trailheads. Horsetail Falls is also a must-see for any intrepid wanderer.

Oak Shores — Lake Berryessa

~67 miles away | Reservations | $42+ | 🐶 $5/night

With kayaks, canoes + houseboats for rent, water activities rule at this Napa County campground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bike, hike or birdwatch as well. The nearby Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area + Knoxville Recreation Area offer even more opportunities to explore.