The 10 Best Campsites in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Tucked away in Northern California, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area offers pristine mountain scenery and crystal clear waters that are nothing short of intoxicating. Whether you’re an avid camper looking for remote backcountry sites or a family that prefers RV comforts, Whiskeytown has diverse overnight accommodations amongst tall pines, roaring waterfalls, and breathtaking lake vistas.
From tents nestled lakeside to secluded spots near hidden waterfalls, we cover the 10 best campgrounds and campsites within this stunning 36,000 acre playground. Read on to discover your perfect wilderness retreat less than an hour from Redding!
Situated on a peaceful point along the shore of Whiskeytown Lake, Brandy Creek Campground has roomy, shady sites just steps from the water. After parking your RV or pitching a tent, spend sunny days swimming in the cool waters before returning to your site to barbecue as the sun sets. With flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station, it’s a comfortable front country campground. And yet, it still allows you to fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves.
76 sites; 27 RV sites with electrical and water hookups Amenities: Flush toilets, drinking water, hot showers, fire rings, grills, picnic tables Recreation: Boating, swimming, biking, hiking Best For: RVs, trailers, families
Nestled on a secluded peninsula surrounded by Whiskeytown Lake, Oak Bottom Campground has premiere lake access along with gorgeous views from both lakeside and hilltop sites. After parking your RV or pitching a tent, spend days boating, swimming, and soaking in the stunning scenery before returning to your private slice of shoreline paradise. It’s perfect for those who want comfort with solitude.
25 sites; 15 RV sites with electrical hookups Amenities: Drinking water, vault toilets, dump station, fire rings, grills Recreation: Boating, swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, stargazing Best For: RVs, trailers, solitude seekers
Boasting 21 primitive yet peaceful tent-only sites within a shady canopy of cedars and pines, Whiskey Creek offers a tranquil retreat into nature. Fall asleep to the namesake whiskey-hued creek bubbling merrily nearby before waking to explore an array of waterfall hikes right from camp. For a true wilderness escape without straying too far off the beaten path, Whiskey Creek can’t be beat.
21 primitive tent sites Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic tables, food lockers Recreation: Waterfall hikes, swimming holes, mountain biking, fishing Best For: Tent camping, backpacking, solitude
Tucked high above crystal clear Crystal Creek in the rugged backcountry, these remote tent sites cater to backpackers and adventure seekers who don’t mind hiking for their out-of-the-way reward. Along the scenic Boulder Creek Trail to exceptionally tranquil and shaded sites near whispers of waterfalls, it’s perfect for whiling away days creekside. Come nighttime, stargazing from this spot deep in the woods is phenomenal.
5 backcountry, hike-in tent sites Amenities: Picnic tables, vault toilet, food storage cables Recreation: Backpacking, waterfall hikes, stargazing, swimming, solitude Best For: Remote tent camping, backpacking
Environmental campsites situated along the breezy, pine-studded shore of Whiskeytown Lake, these 12 secluded spots at Muskrat Campground are reserved for kayakers, canoers, and boat-in campers. Arrive quietly by boat to claim your private piece of lakeside paradise in the shade. Spend days paddling to Brandy Creek’s waterfalls before returning to swim and stargaze from a sunset-facing tent site practically on the beach.
12 boat-access environmental campsites Amenities: Food lockers, vault toilet Recreation: Kayaking, canoeing, boating, swimming, stargazing Best For: Paddlers looking for lake access sites
Situated within a peaceful meadow surrounded by trees along Paige Bar Road, this primitive tent camping area near Indian Springs has room for RVs while still providing a supreme sense of solitude. Creekside sites let you fall asleep to the sound of gurgling springs. During the day, embark on scenic hikes through the surrounding old-growth forest up into the Trinity Mountains to stretch your legs between moments of quiet contemplation back at your private, oak-shaded campsite.
8 primitive sites near a bubbling creek Amenities: Picnic table, vault toilet, food lockers Recreation: Hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, creekside relaxation Best For: RV dry camping, tent campers wanting solitude
This equestrian campground features sites spread beneath the tall pines along the shore of Whiskeytown Lake. Offering direct access to the lake as well as the nearby Clear Creek Greenway Trail, it’s perfect for those wanting to explore on horseback directly from camp. Descend through oak woodlands into Brandy Creek gorge to view waterfalls before returning to let your horse graze lakeside at your private, sunset-facing site.
31 sites with corrals Amenities: Hitching posts and corrals, vault toilets, water troughs Recreation: Horseback riding, lake and mountain trail access Best For: Equestrian camping and trail riding
Tucked high in the hills among craggy oak woodlands overlooking Whiskeytown Lake, Juniper’s serene primitive campground features roomy, sunset-facing tent sites. Wake to sweeping vistas of diamond-like waters below before heading out to neighboring hiking trails. End days cooling off beneath roaring Brandy Creek Falls or stargazing from your hilltop perch above shimmering waters. With potable water mid-May through October, it’s a peaceful mountain retreat.
18 primitive drive-up tent sites Amenities: Picnic tables, vault toilet, seasonal drinking water
Recreation: Hiking, boating at nearby Oak Bottom, stargazing Best For: Tent camping, RV dry camping, sweeping lake views
Boulder Creek Lakeside
Secluded lakeside sites shaded beneath towering pines directly along the shore of Whiskeytown Lake set this intimate campground apart. Just behind your tent, enjoy beachcombing or swimming in crystalline waters that reflect clouds drifting lazily across sun-filled skies. At night, stargaze from the solitude of your private slice of beach tucked around a rugged point in a peaceful cove. It’s perfect for venturing into nature without venturing too far.
7 walk-in primitive tent sites
Food lockers, picnic tables, vault toilet Recreation: Lake views, swimming, stargazing, boating Best for: Intimate lakeside tent camping
What is the best campground in Whiskeytown for RVs and trailers?
Brandy Creek and Oak Bottom campgrounds offer the most RV and trailer sites, with hookups and amenities like flush toilets, hot showers, and dump stations.
Where is the most secluded camping in Whiskeytown?
For backcountry seclusion, head to the hike-in sites at Crystal Creek near ethereal waterfalls. For lakeside privacy not accessible by road, go for the remote environmental sites at Muskrat only reachable by boat.
Where can you camp with horses in Whiskeytown?
The equestrian campground at Horse Camp offers corrals and direct trail riding access from camp for those bringing horses.
Do all campgrounds require reservations?
No, but it is highly recommended during peak season. Walk-up sites are available at some campgrounds like Juniper and Whiskey Creek.
What is the quietest campground in Whiskeytown?
For peace and tranquility, choose from boat-access Muskrat, remote Crystal Creek, or Creekside Indian Springs and Whiskey Creek campgrounds.
From waterfall hikes to stargazing to boating adventures at your campsite doorstep, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area promises mountain scenery galore. Trade crowded campgrounds for the solitude of shady oak groves and breathe air perfumed by pine forests. Whether you seek RV comforts or remote backpacking sites, Whiskeytown offers endless variety for venturing outdoors. Plan your perfect nature retreat amongst Northern California’s tall trees, plentiful wildlife, and pristine alpine lakes and streams by discovering these 10 best camping spots in stunning Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.