California State Parks with bike camping

 

Several state parks in California have hike-in, and bike-in site at designated camping areas. Unlike dispersed camping, this often means developed campgrounds with fire rings, a picnic table, toilets and sometimes even running water and showers. Most developed drive-in campgrounds in California charge from $20 to $35 per night, but the walk / bike sites range from free to $7 per night.


S24O: Bicycle Camping Only

See also my recent Family bike camping adventure at Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz.

A spot check of campgrounds with Reserve America shows the bike-hike campgrounds are not available for reservation; it appears they’re first come first serve. I’ve heard of a few times when people arrive at an occupied bike camping site, but the two groups share the site and make new friends. Note the bike camping sites are small compared to the drive in sites!

Not listed below: The backpacker camping sites along the lower six miles of the Skyline to the Sea trail in Big Basin State Park are bike accessible from Waddell Beach on Highway 1. These camping sites are popular with backpackers and advance reservation is required. You’ll share this trail with backpackers, equestrians, and numerous dayhikers, especially on the weekends.

Note: On the California State Parks website, you’ll see “walk-in” camping sites listed. This means you park your car in a parking lot and then walk back into the woods or to the beach a ways to your site. You’re still free to bike there, of course.


The information below comes from California State Parks, but may contain typos or be outdated due to state funding issues. I know of one camping area that closed the bike camping, for example, to cut costs. Before you embark on your trip, contact the state park or state beach to verify this information.

List of California State Parks with hike-in / bike-in camping

Del Norte County

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

El Dorado County

D.L. Blisss State Park 2 night maximum

Humboldt County

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Lake County

Clear Lake State Park

Los Angeles County

Leo Carrillo State Park

Mendocino County

Standish-Hickey State Recreational Area

Monterey County

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Nevada County

Donner Memorial State Park 2 night maximum

Orange County

San Clemente State Beach

San Luis Obispo County

Hearst San Simon State Park

Montana del Oro State Park

Santa Barbara County

Carpinteria State Beach

El Capitan State Beach

Gaviota State Park

Refugio State Beach

Santa Clara County

Henry W Coe State Park

Santa Cruz County

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Shasta County

Castle Crags State Park

McArthur – Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Sonoma County

Sonoma Coast State Park

Ventura County

McGrath State Beach

Point Mugu State Park

6 Comments

  • June 2, 2010 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    The other bonus is that walk-in and bike-in sites are usually a lot quieter. I can recommend the walk-in spots at Salt Point SP. There, pets aren't allowed in order to protect wildlife, so that's another thing to ask about when calling ahead.

  • Donna
    June 2, 2010 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Sonoma County Regional Parks offers 3 campgrounds with hike in/bike in sites available. Visit sonomacountyparks.org and click on camping – amenities. Or call (707) 565-CAMP for info. These sites are not reservable.

  • June 2, 2010 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Very good to know! Thank you for that, Donna.

  • Bike! Bike! Bike!
    June 15, 2010 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Just be careful at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The website is a bit unclear but they have less than five (I think only three) hike/bike sites in the entire park, all of which are at Burlington Campground. I was there with some friends on a tour and ended up having to pay $45 for a regular site since the campground we landed at didn't have any despite having >20 available sites.

  • June 16, 2010 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I think that's true of most of the hike/bike camps — only a very small handful (often just one) available. I call ahead, though when touring it may be impractical to choose another area.

  • Pingback: Cyclelicious » The Chronicle on S24O

  • Leave a Reply