Campgrounds Near Chico, California

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Chico, California, is a welcoming town in the northern Sacramento Valley. It is home to an attractive small town atmosphere and a state university. Whatever draws you to Chico, you'll be glad to discover that numerous, accessible campgrounds -- in some of California’s most beautiful parks and forests -- provide accommodation within reasonable distance to the town center.

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

The closest campgrounds to Chico are located in the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, 25 miles away. The park boasts abundant hiking and equestrian trails, as well as boat access to the lake for sailing and waterskiing. Campgrounds are available along the perimeter of the lake and throughout the park. Lakeside camping includes boat-in, RV and floating campgrounds, while more primitive camping can be found further from the lake. Most of the park's campsites contain a basic fire pit and picnic table, and are within reasonable distance to bathrooms, showers and a park convenience store.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Geology enthusiasts will enjoy Chico’s proximity to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Approximately 75 miles from of Chico, the national park displays active volcanic activity which can be easily viewed in the vicinity of Lassen Peak. The park hosts eight different campgrounds ranging from full-amenity cabin camps to dispersed walk-in campgrounds.

Plumas National Forest

Spotted with streams and lakes, Plumas National Forest provides magnificent camping opportunities 60 miles outside of Chico. Group, RV, dispersed and traditional campsites are sprinkled through the national forest. Except for dispersed campgrounds, campsites are accompanied by fire pits, picnic tables and nearby restrooms and showers. Plumas National Forest is relatively unpopulated and, with over 40 campgrounds to choose from, spaces are always available.

Mendocino National Forest

The closest camping opportunities west of Chico can be found 60 miles outside of town in Mendocino National Forest. The whole national forest contains no paved roads or highways. This makes it especially attractive to visitors seeking a secluded outdoors escape. Mendocino National Forest offers 25 campgrounds with fire pits, picnic tables and restrooms. Dispersed camping is also available in the forest, and there is one cabin available to rent.


About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Shai Ehrmann has written and edited for several travel publications since 2005, including featured articles in Pasadena Star-News and US Travel. His areas of expertise including hiking and outdoors, travel, music, science and art.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images