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6 Amazing Solo Camping Spots for California Adventure Seekers

Solo camping offers the perfect escape, allowing you to connect deeply with nature, unwind, and find inspiration. In this article, we will explore six incredible solo camping destinations in California, each offering a unique experience for the adventurous traveler.

The allure of camping lies in the chance to discover new places, create unforgettable memories, and break free from the monotony of everyday life. Whether you prefer a spontaneous weekend getaway, or a meticulously planned excursion, having the right gear—especially a reliable 1 person all-season tent—is essential for a successful adventure.

Solo camping in California presents an extraordinary opportunity for self-discovery and reflection. The solitude and serenity of nature provide the ideal backdrop for introspection, helping you gain clarity and answers to life’s questions.

When planning a solo camping trip, it’s crucial to choose a destination that offers both scenic beauty and seclusion, allowing you to truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

California’s diverse landscapes, natural wonders, and breathtaking vistas make it a premier destination for camping enthusiasts. From rugged coastlines to serene forests, the Golden State boasts numerous campgrounds perfect for solo adventurers.

Here are six spectacular solo camping spots in California that deserve a place on your travel bucket list.

Solo Camping at Crater Lake in Lassen National Forest

tent camping at Crater Lake in Lassen National Forest

This destination is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy blending camping with water sports and fishing. Not to be confused with the more well-known Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, this hidden gem is nestled at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level in the Lassen National Forest near Crater Mountain, offering a serene and picturesque setting.

Camping near the lake allows you to indulge in boating and trout fishing, with the waters teeming with opportunities. For swimming enthusiasts, the lake’s icy waters provide a refreshing dip, particularly invigorating on a hot summer day.

The stunning scenery of Crater Lake, combined with its recreational opportunities, makes this spot in Lassen National Forest an exceptional choice for a memorable camping experience. And at only $10 a night, it’s an affordable getaway into nature’s beauty.

Mono Creek in Los Padres National Forest

Mono Creek in Los Padres National Forest

Another excellent destination for solo camping is Mono Creek. This hidden gem is not one of the most visited spots in California, making it perfect for those seeking seclusion and a deeper connection with nature. The campground at Mono Creek is small and primitive, enhancing the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.

Mono Creek is situated at an elevation of approximately 1,500 feet, offering beautiful scenery with clear, flowing waters, lush greenery, and rugged landscapes. The area is ideal for hiking, fishing, and simply enjoying the tranquil environment. Due to its lesser-known status, you’re likely to find peace and solitude, allowing you to fully appreciate the natural beauty and serenity of Los Padres National Forest.

When planning your trip, remember to bring all necessary supplies, as the primitive nature of the campground means amenities are minimal. This also means you should practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the pristine environment. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a nature enthusiast looking for a quiet retreat, Mono Creek provides an exceptional solo camping experience.

Two Harbors on Catalina Island

Camping near the beach at Two Harbors

Located near the village of Two Harbors on Catalina Island, this campground is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. To get to Two Harbors, you can take a ferry from the mainland. The Catalina Express offers ferries from San Pedro, Long Beach, and Dana Point, with San Pedro being the closest port to Two Harbors. The journey typically takes about 1.5 hours, providing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean along the way.

Once you arrive, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to enjoy. Besides camping, you can explore nearby attractions, go snorkeling at the local dive station, hop on a surfboard, or take an island tour to discover more about Catalina’s unique ecosystem and history.

Hiking enthusiasts will find this spot particularly appealing. From the campground, you can follow the trail to Emerald Bay, taking in the scenic valleys and coastal views along the way. The hike offers a mix of terrains and beautiful vistas, making it a rewarding adventure for those looking to immerse themselves in nature.

For those who prefer water activities, the clear waters around Two Harbors are perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The dive station provides gear and guidance for snorkeling and diving, allowing you to explore the vibrant underwater life.

Remember to pack all necessary camping supplies, as the amenities at the campground are limited. Whether you’re an experienced camper or just looking for a peaceful retreat, the Two Harbors campground offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure on Catalina Island.

Solo Camping at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park

solo camping in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park along the Lost Coast in California

For a truly immersive and secluded camping experience, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park along California’s Lost Coast is perfect. Accessible via Briceland Thorn Road, be prepared for rough, seasonal roads. These are primitive campsites with basic amenities like tables and fire rings are available. Bring your own water as there are no developed sources.


  • Hiking: Enjoy the 22-mile Lost Coast Trail with its breathtaking coastal views.
  • Wildlife Watching: Spot Roosevelt elk, raptors, and marine life such as migrating whales and sea lions.
  • Historical Significance: The park has a rich history with remnants of early logging activities and is home to the Sinkyone people.

Utica and Union Reservoirs in Stanislaus National Forest

Solo Camping in California at the Utica and Union Reservoirs.

Utica and Union Reservoirs are perfect for those looking for peace. Situated at an altitude of nearly 7,000 feet, the spot is a scenic location with excellent views of the lake.

In addition to camping, water activities are also available here. However, Utica does not allow motors of any kind, and Union has a 5 mph speed limit. Therefore, these spots are ideal for small boats and canoes.

In addition to boating, you can go fishing, trying your luck to catch kokanee salmon.

There are three small campgrounds for visitors and pet camping is allowed.

It is worth noting that you will need to stock up on drinking water when planning a trip since there is no place to buy it here. Otherwise, Utica and Union is a wonderful, quiet place to enjoy and be in touch with nature.

Santa Rosa Island at Channel Islands National Park

Santa Rosa is a beautiful island that is perfect for visiting in the spring when the meadows turn emerald green and are filled with wildflowers.

This is the second largest of the Channel Islands, here you can take a weekend hike along the several trails. Perhaps one of the best of them is the Cherry Canyon Trail, which takes you to the center of the island. Another trail to add to your list is the 5-mile Torrey Pines Trail.

Santa Rosa is a remote location. To get here you will need approximately 2.5 hours by boat. However, it is precisely this remoteness of the place that makes it less crowded with tourists, making the island ideal for solitude and solo camping. When packing, you should take warm clothes with you, as fog and windy weather can often occur here.

It’s also worth noting that the beaches and dunes between Skunk Point and East Point are closed to hiking from March to mid-September, and the coastline around Sandy Point is closed year-round to protect seals. The diversity of flora and fauna, as well as the seclusion of the place and its beautiful scenery, will make your camping trip in Santa Rosa a great experience!

California is a place rich in breathtaking landscapes. Therefore, no matter how much you travel around this sunny state, it will always find something to surprise you with! And camping in California is one of the best ways to explore this beautiful world, as well as get to know yourself better while surrounded by nature.

If you have any questions about solo camping in California, please leave a comment below. So, until next time, we’ll see ya on the road…

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