July 20, 2024
Six private California campgrounds made the honors list, including Casini Ranch on the Russian River.

Campgrounds bustle with activity during the summer months, when kids are out of school, and families make the most of the time off to go camping and roadtripping. But fall tempers both the temperatures and the crowds, making it much easier to find a tent or RV site in some lovely park or private campground. Think Casini Ranch on the Russian River or Lake Siskiyou near Mount Shasta.

Judging by the 2023 Campspot Awards, that’s exactly what camping enthusiasts thought.

The private campground booking site used user reviews and bookings to nominate sites across a dozen categories, including best family campgrounds, best glamping, best for ages 55+ and — personal fave — best for spontaneous campers. (So much more tactful than calling us “failed-to-plan-ahead campers, now you’re cranky that everything’s booked.”) Then site users voted for their favorites.

Paso Robles’ Sun Outdoors — which has swimming pools, fire pits, a wellness center, dog park and wine tasting — came in at No. 1 for weekend camping, for example, and No. 2 for best RV experiences.

Sun Outdoors Paso Robles offers swimming pools, a fitness center and wine tasting for its campers. (Campspot) 

Duncans Mill’s Casini Ranch scored No. 2 for weekenders and couples, No. 4 among pet lovers and No. 5 for tent campers.

Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncans Mills offers glamping tents, RV sites and tent camping on the Russian River.  (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) 

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And Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort in Mt. Shasta City came in No. 1 for tent campers and camping couples, and No. 3 for spontaneous campers and weekend adventures. (Just note that the lake’s inflatable water park and restaurant close after Labor Day, but the hiking trails, cabin rentals and camping sites are open into fall.)

You’ll find all the Campspot award information at www.campspot.com. Here are the California winners:

Sun Outdoors Paso Robles, Paso Robles

Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground, San Dimas

Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills

Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort, Mt. Shasta City

Lake Hemet Campground, Mountain Center

Lake Cuyamaca Recreation and Park District, Julian

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