Which north coast CA state park for tenting?

Old Jan 18th, 2021, 02:04 PM
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Which north coast CA state park for tenting?

California tent campers: Which do you prefer for atmosphere, proximity to viewing the ocean/tide pools/privacy: campgrounds at MacKerricher, Van Damme or Russian Gulch?

(car camping, not backpacking. One tent.)
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Old Jan 18th, 2021, 05:35 PM
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All three are wonderful parks. Though last time I tent camped at any of them was years ago when I was 7 or 8 years old so can't really help you with which one is best from an adult's point of view. But I do spend a fair bit of time in the area and used to own property on the Point Cabrillo headland -- IF I had to pick one it would probably be Russian Gulch. But honestly you can't go wrong with any of the three
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Old Jan 18th, 2021, 07:58 PM
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I don't know Russian Gulch, but the other two are on the east side of CA1, hence not on an ocean front. I do not remember which one, but one has camp sites along the creek and up on high grounds. Try to avoid the creekside campsites as there are more mosquitoes there. The official map of each park should have a layout of the campground.
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Old Jan 18th, 2021, 08:44 PM
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" . . . but the other two are on the east side of CA1"

Maybe you are confusing some parks -- MacKerricher is most definitely on the west side of Hwy 1 - in fact the entire park is on the west side and the camp grounds are less than half a mile from the beach.

Van Damme is a very long/narrow park that is 99% east of hwy1 but it goes from a beach just below the highway at Little River about 6 miles deep into the hills/pygmy forest. While the campgrounds are east of the hwy there is a pedestrian underpass straight to the beach, which is also part of the park.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 10:11 AM
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My suggestion is to pick whichever park you can get a reservation. It's crazy hard to get sites these days since everyone has decided to go camping.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 11:55 AM
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Thanks all!
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Would you consider coming farther north into Oregon? I like staying at Sunset Bay State Park SW of Coos Bay. Instead of tent camping I like to stay in a yurt. I have also stayed in a yurt at William Tugman SP which is very close to the Oregon Dunes NRA.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 05:19 PM
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Not a state park but we stayed here last August and loved it. They have camping right on the beach.
https://www.westportbeachrvpark.com/home

Last edited by Paqngo; Jan 19th, 2021 at 05:56 PM.
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