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Monterey Campgrounds and Tent Camping

Monterey, California Campgrounds

To s’more, or not to s’more, that is the question…

Getting back to the basics can truly bring a family together. Unplugging from all of the electronic devices and taking the time to experience nature can help turn screen time into actual face time.

To help with thy unpluggin’, we have created a list of what we think are some of the top public campgrounds.  These State owned campgrounds tend to focus on the art of camping — generally catering to smaller trailers and tent camping.  Although many do have designated RV sites, they tend to be a little more rustic than privately owned RV Parks.

Carmel Valley and Big Sur have major wildfires. Authorities expect them to burn through the end of August! Google for the latest news.

To review a list of public campgrounds located near Monterey or nestled in the forests of Big Sur, please click or scroll down the page.

To refine your search and focus on another vacation location, please select it from our Destination Explorer and search away!

Monterey Campgrounds

Fremont Peak California State Park

Monterey Camping (elevation 3,169 feet.)

The park features expansive views of the Monterey Bay from its hiking trails in the grasslands of the higher peaks of the Gavilan Range. Other views include the San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains east of Big Sur.

Fremont Peak has ten primitive family campsites and 40 picnic areas. Two of the park’s six group camps, which will accommodate up to 50 people and can be reserved at Ticketron outlets; the remaining four must be reserved through the park supervisor. The group picnic area is first-come-first-served.

Veteran’s Memorial Park

Skyline Drive, Monterey, CA      (831) 646-3865

City of Monterey – This 50-acre park with overnight camping, walking trails, BBQ picnic areas, play equipment, turf playfield, is located in Monterey. The Park has a basketball court, limited hiking trails, and a large lawn area which can be used for Frisbee, kite flying, football, softball and relaxing.

Big Sur Campgrounds

Andrew Molera California State Park

(831) 667-2315

Containing 4,800 acres, Andrew Molera State Park is located in the spectacular Big Sur Area. The Big Sur River runs through the park. Miles of trails wind through meadows, beaches and hilltops. A primitive trail camp, popular with hikers and bikers, is located approximately one third mile from the parking area. The campsites are located in a primitive trail camp–approximately one third mile from the parking area.

Big Sur Campground and Cabins

Highway 1, Big Sur, CA  (831) 667-2322

This is a privately operated, year-round campground RV park. Located in the redwoods trees along the Big Sur River, it aminities include: store, laundry, playground & basketball court. Tent camping with hot showers. RV camping with water & electric hook-ups as well as a dump station.

Bottchers Gap

(805) 434-1996

This Forest Service campground is operated by Parks Management Company.  It features 12 tent sites only. Summer and Winter. No running water, so bring your own.

Fernwood Resort and Campground

(831) 667-2422

Located in the redwood forest along the Big Sur River, it a 60-unit campground.  Available facilities: tent camping, tent-cabins, and RV Parking.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns California State Park

The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. The park features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail.  A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

The park offers Environmental Camping only. Located west of the highway a little over 1/4 mile from the parking lot, Saddle rock (No 1) and South Garden (No. 2) are the park’s only campsites. Visit their Web site for additional information.

Limekiln State California Park

The park contains 716-acres. The park features breathtaking views of the Big Sur Coast, the beauty of the redwoods, and the cultural history of limekilns. Co-managed with California Land Management, the parks has 33 campsites.

Pfeiffer Big Sur California State Park

The park has 800 acres of redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows – plus open meadows. Hikers can enjoy the many scenic loops, including a self-guided nature loop. Overlooks provide spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Big Sur Gorge. Campsites are along the Big Sur River.

Riverside Campground and Cabins

Hwy. 1, Big Sur, CA (831) 667-2414

This privately operated campground has 45 sites that are available for tent and RV camping.

Ventana Big Sur Campground

(831) 667-2712

Ventana Campground a combination of rustic camping with modern facilities. Three bath houses have hot showers, electrical sockets, and flush toilets. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and running water is a short walk from all sites.








What’s on Tap


Monterey Festivals & Events:

Pacific Grove Butterfly Days – Oct. 6, 7 & 8 2017

Parade, bazaar, special events at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Annual Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza! – Oct. 8, 2017

Capitola Wharf, Capitola, CA

Monterey Pumpkin Patches—Oct. 2017

Whale Watching – Dec. through May


For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Monterey.



Top Attractions:

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Aquarium is your window to marine life in the Monterey Bay!

Cannery Row

Historic Cannery Row is great destination for hotels, shopping, dining, and, oh, yes, the Aquarium!

Monterey Fishing

Fall is fishing and crabbing season!

Kayaking and SCUBA Diving

The rocky bottom around Monterey make it perfect for ocean adventures!

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May


Pebble Beach…need I say more.


For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.




Monterey’s Summer Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially on Highway 1 between Seaside and Monterey. Also, 68 between Highway 1 and 101 can be extremely slow. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to to learn about road conditions.

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.

Carmel Valley and Big Sur have major wildfires. Authorities expect them to burn through the end of August! Google for the latest news.