The Best Places For Camping Near Sacramento – Try #5 For Something A Bit Different

We have so many national parks to choose from where we can see all kinds of extreme environments and stunning landscapes as well as a full range of wildlife in its natural habitat – if you have the time to travel there.

One question I am often asked by my friends in Sacramento is, are there any good places to camp in the Sacramento area? The answer is yes, of course there are! I have prepared a brief list of the best places for camping near Sacramento to help you enjoy a short break closer to home.

1. Ice House Resort

Ice House Reservoir Shore

Beautiful Ice House Reservoir

Located in the El Dorado National Forest on the shores of the Ice House Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this is a wonderful place both for those who enjoy camping with a full complement of facilities as well as those who prefer a more wilderness experience.

There are places for tents and RVs and there are many activities on offer for all tastes. There are hiking and biking trails in the surrounding forests and it’s possible to swim or try out water sports like jet skiing. There is good fishing with both rainbow and brown trout in the area.

There is plenty of flora and fauna to see. The most notable trees are the giant Ponderosa pines, the tallest in the country, and you also stand a chance of catching sight of bears. Some of the camping sites are right on the picturesque shores of the reservoir. More info HERE

2. Lake Tahoe KOA

Truckee River Summer Scenery Near Lake Tahoe

Truckee River Summer Scenery

A bit further away from the city, located four miles from Lake Tahoe, what I like about this place is the number of activities on offer at the campsite and in the surrounding area which ensures nobody should get bored.

There is plenty to do on the water including swimming, boating, kayaking and jet skiing, and it’s even possible to go on a river cruise. Away from the water there’s the possibility for hiking and biking in the pine forests that cover the area.

If you want to try something different, it’s possible to find golf courses, casinos, horse riding, parasailing and even hot air ballooning all within easy reach. Of course, there’s good fishing here too, either in the Truckee river or in several lakes located in the area.

There are places to pitch tents and the campsite offers a full range of facilities and cabin-style accommodation for those who prefer a little more luxury.

3. Coloma Resort

Boomtown Cabins In Coloma Resort

Boomtown Cabins In Coloma Resort - Via Colomaresort.com

This is an excellent choice for those who wish to get away from the city to have some time to relax and be close to nature but don’t wish to sacrifice the luxuries of home. Here, it’s possible to pitch a tent, bring an RV or hire a cabin and it’s particularly suitable for families.

This campsite is located in a beautiful setting right next to a river and is just perfect for those who don’t plan to do much other than take it easy. For those after something a bit more exciting, there are also lots of other activities on offer like white water rafting.

The campsite boasts a Wi-Fi connection so you don’t have to worry about losing contact with the world back home and there’s a swimming pool if you want to cool down without swimming in a river. There’s also ziplining and a climbing wall. A good choice for families with energetic kids.

4. Sly Park Recreation Area

Kayaking On Jenkinson Lake

Jenkinson Lake - Via Flickr.com

One of the most popular places to camp in the Sacramento area is the Sly Park Recreation Area and I can see why so many people choose to go there. The most obvious attraction is the Jenkinson Lake where a full range of water sports is available.

The area has many different campsites including one especially for horse riders. There are many trails in the surrounding hills so you never have any lack of choices of where to head either on foot, by bike or on horseback.

With the number of activities on offer, both on the lake and away from it, as well as plenty of facilities for picnicking and cooking, this is also an ideal destination for families to bring their kids. A great chance to see nature’s beauty without having to travel miles from home.

5. Pamsterdam

One of the most accessible camping areas from Sacramento and easily reachable by car, Pamsterdam offers the chance to sleep out in the open on the Californian prairie.

This is a little different from many of the other places to camp in the Sacramento area. This is not the place to come for hiking in the woods but what you’ll find instead is a range of activities from kayaking, fishing and birdwatching to wine tasting and skydiving.

Potential Campsite Under The Redwoods

Potential Campsite Under The Redwoods - Via Hipcamp.com

What sets this place apart are the welcoming hosts. You will find yourself made to feel welcome from the moment you arrive and you can make yourself at home on their quirky rustic property.

This camping area offers a full range of facilities and is powered by solar generators so it’s an ecological choice too. There are all kinds of innovations here and there’s even an art studio. If you feel like trying something a bit original, this could be a great choice.

6. Irish Creek

Beautiful Irish Creek Landscape

Irish Creek Landscape - Via Hipcamp.com

Irish Creek is the place to come if you just want a simple place to camp among some beautiful scenery. This camping area is located near the El Dorado Forest and the landscape of hills and ponds is just stunning.

There aren’t so many activities available here so don’t come here if you want to be super active on your trip, but if you’re happy with hiking, biking, birdwatching and just relaxing, then this tranquil and picturesque spot is one of the best.

The area was an important place during the Gold Rush and there’s plenty of history to uncover if you’re interested. Other than that, this is one of my favorite places just to come to relax and forget about everything for a few days.

7. Ponderosa RV Campground

Ponderosa is known as a famous RV destination but it is suitable for tent camping and it’s also possible to rent cabin-style accommodation so it’s a place that’s suitable for all. Set in a pretty location in the foothills of the Sierras, there are also many activities available.

Many people go for fishing or kayaking but one of the most famous draws for the more adventurous is white water rafting for which this area is one of the most popular in the country. For those who prefer a more relaxing time, a swimming pool and traditional camp games are all on offer.

There are plenty of other options for those who feel like doing something different, with wineries to visit in the surrounding area as well as casinos and golf. There’s even the possibility to go skiing if you get bored of camp life!


So, this is my list! There are several types of sites here and I have no favorite, it just depends what I want. When I want beautiful nature and peace and quiet, I like to head to Irish Creek but if I want lots of activities, I choose Sly Park or Lake Tahoe KOA.

How about you? Which is your favorite place to camp near Sacramento? Is it one from my list or do you have another? Why don’t you leave a comment to let us all know – and if you enjoyed my article, please don’t forget to share!

Julie McClain

Chief editor here at Outdoorzer. I'm an outdoor lover and ever since I was a little girl, I've worked hard to learn all I could from my Dad about Camping, Hiking, RVs and surviving in the woods.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Katie Dunn - September 22, 2017

When I think of California, I don’t think of camping. However, I really like the idea of visiting a beautiful place like Sly Park and getting to do some of the water sports there. I think I will add that place to my road trip plans for next summer, but I will definitely have to make sure to bring my kayak! Also, do you know if Sly Park has any good fishing spots?


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