Last Updated: Sep 8, 2019

10 Best Group Campsites in California

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    Published September 8, 2019

We’ve already talked at length about some of the best campsites to take your family to in California, but family trips are only part of the fun of camping. Groups of close-knit friends around the country plan their own yearly getaways to catch up, have fun and usually party. As long as you keep your site clean and don’t cause any disturbances to others, that’s fine by us! But it’s important to be aware not every campsite is ideal for groups of young adults who want to have a good time and make some noise. It’s important to look for the best group campsites in California before you just book your trip. Luckily for you, we’ve done the leg work for you and come up with some excellent recommendations.

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most renowned camping locales in the United States.
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most renowned camping locales in the United States.

1.) Indian Cove Campground

Located on the northern edge of the Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Cove is this spacious, tidy and remote campground that would be perfect for a large group looking for privacy. Or at least a group that knows other campers would prefer they weren’t right next door when they’re trying to sleep at least! The beautiful sights, private location and vast variety places to explore make Indian Cove a sure bet for one of the best group campsites in California.

The vast area covered by the Inyo National Forest consists of forest, mountains, desert, lakes and more.
The vast area covered by the Inyo National Forest consists of forest, mountains, desert, lakes and more.

2.) Inyo National Forest

The huge landscape of the Inyo National Forest contains dozens of campgrounds and cabins available for reservation. Dive into their options and it’s a guarantee you will be able to find a site that seems like a perfect fit for your group. Whether you like hiking, biking, swimming or just drinking, there will definitely be a place for you at Inyo. Just remember to be respectful towards your environment and any other people you might run into, and it might not be a bad idea to bring a camping bed along to make sure you avoid the coarse ground.

The beautiful Mokeumne River runs alongside the Pardee Lake Recreational facilities.
The beautiful Mokeumne River runs alongside the Pardee Lake Recreational facilities.

3.) Pardee Lake Recreation

With plenty of hiking and fishing, boat rental available, horseshoes, two pools and even a cafe, the Pardee Lake Recreation Area is a fantastic option for groups with sporting in mind. There’s more trout than you could even imagine waiting in those waters to be caught, and even if fishing isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other activities available here.

Despite being a little less sunny than the southern half of the state, northern California features just as many beautiful coastline vistas.
Despite being a little less sunny than the southern half of the state, northern California features just as many beautiful coastline vistas.

4.) Manchester Beach/Mendocino Coast KOA

For groups not as concerned about a remote location and privacy, this activity-packed campground is just a short walk from miles and miles of coastline hiking along the Pacific. In addition to that, there are a huge amount of other activities to take part in, from swimming to disc golf and beyond. With accommodations available for all size groups, and more than just tent camping available, this facility should be among your considerations for best group campsites in California.

Can you picture a more relaxing place to spend your vacation with friends?
Can you picture a more relaxing place to spend your vacation with friends?

5.) Refugio State Beach

Nothing looking quite like your speed so far? Well, how does beachside camping sound? The oft-overlooked Refugio State Beach is only about a two hour drive from Los Angeles, but you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven. The surfing is excellent, there are plenty of activities to do in the area, and your campsite will just be a short walk from this beautiful view.

Venture into the mountains of Yosemite to experience some of the best camping nature has to offer.
Venture into the mountains of Yosemite to experience some of the best camping nature has to offer.

6.) Yosemite National Park – High Sierra Camps

Perfect for experienced campers who want to hike some of the most gorgeous and iconic landscapes and trails, Yosemite National Park has five of the best group campsites in California, known as the High Sierra Camps. The ability to experience and take in the lakes, peaks and valleys in this area of Yosemite is more than worth the price of admission.

Get the remote and private camping experience you want without having to drive to the middle of nowhere at El Prado.
Get the remote and private camping experience you want without having to drive to the middle of nowhere at El Prado.

7.) El Prado Group Campground

Located only about an hour east of San Diego and not too far from Mount Laguna is the El Prado Group Campground. With spaces available accommodating up to 36 people, El Prado is an excellent location for large groups looking for a private camping experience. There are several wonderful hiking trails nearby, and with San Diego not too far away, there are a wide variety of activities available to you in the area.

If privacy is important to you, be sure to book one of the more secluded sites available in Silver Creek.
If privacy is important to you, be sure to book one of the more secluded sites available in Silver Creek.

8.) Silver Creek Group Campground

One of the many absolutely stunning and picturesque campsites, the Silver Creek Group Campground is just an hour’s drive from Lake Tahoe and features some of the more secluded sites available in the area. As you might expect, swimming, fishing and hiking are the primary activities available in the direct vicinity, and each is an experience worth having in this gorgeous region.

Stay at Ironwood to experience a great time in the outdoors without leaving San Bernadino county.
Stay at Ironwood to experience a great time in the outdoors without leaving San Bernadino county.

9.) Ironwood Group Campground

What makes Ironwood so special, and one of the best group campsites in California, is its unique location nestled in the San Bernardino mountains. With the small town of Fawnskin only seven miles away, you’ll have a nice little place to pick up supplies without feeling like you haven’t left civilization at all. The site has private campgrounds that fit up to 35 people, so pull up your favorite camping chair and sit beside the fire with your friends. You’ve earned it!

Take a trip to Long Meadow and leave the troubles of civilization behind you.
Take a trip to Long Meadow and leave the troubles of civilization behind you.

10.) Long Meadow Group Campground

If all you need is a straightforward private campsite with plenty of room to spread out, you should find the Long Meadow Group Campground the perfect place for you to take your trip. Located high up in the beautiful Sequoia National Forest, Long Meadow is full of wildlife and peaceful serenity. Plus, it’s one of the rare remote campsites that has a toilet! We’re sure you’re going to love this place.

Final Thoughts on the Best Group Campsites in California

The state of California has some of the absolute greatest camping spots available around the world, so if you live close enough, you absolutely need to take advantage of this. Grab your favorite camping chair and head out. Hopefully we covered enough of a variety of sites to ensure that there’s something here for everyone. Heading out into nature for a few days with some of your closest friends is an experience that can’t be replicated, and something you can never forget.

Do you have any favorite group campsites you’d like to share? Don’t keep the secret all to yourself! Let us know down below in the comments!

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