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A Guide to Glamping in Northern California

A Guide to Glamping in Northern California

Home to numerous lush forests and looming mountain peaks, Northern California has no shortage of dreamy glamping destinations. Team


7 min read

September 11, 2020

Looking to unwind in nature? Make yourself comfortable at one of California’s glamorous camping (glamping) destinations where you can wake up to birdsong, rushing rivers, or encompassing forests. Combining style and comfort with the great outdoors, glamping in California is the perfect middle ground for enjoying adventure-packed days and cozy nights.

Home to numerous lush forests, shimmering lakes, and gorgeous mountain ranges, Northern California has no shortage of dreamy glamping spots. You can revitalize your soul and body while experiencing an enviable mountain vacation and bonding with loved ones. 

So, leave your devices at home, jump in the car, and drive off into nature. You'll be rewarded with wildlife watching, untamed sceneries, fierce waterfalls, and wild adventures in these top glamping destinations in NorCal. 

The Best Places to Glamp in Northern California

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Houseboat Glamping in Shasta Lake

Make your weekend count and rent a houseboat at Shasta Lake.

Location: Packers Bay, Lake Shasta

Amenities: Bedrooms, kitchen appliances, shower, gas grill, hot tub, and many more

Activities: Swimming, wakeboarding, fishing, hiking

Dogs allowed: Yes

Glamping takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to houseboat rentals in Lake Shasta. Voyage to one of the most popular spots in NorCal for a weekend of fancy fun. The houseboats at Shasta Marina at Packers Bay boast modern amenities that will make you feel right at home while traversing the waters. Follow your heart's desire and relax with class—it’s time to enjoy life to its fullest. With the sun kissing your cheeks, the pine forest protecting you, and the azure water glistening around you, relax as you feel time slowing down.

Strawhouse Resort Yurt

Location: 31301 CA-299, Junction City

Amenities: Bamboo flooring, heating and air conditioning, an electric fireplace, microwave oven, induction plate, small refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster oven, clawfoot tub and shower, a queen bed downstairs, a queen bed in the loft, a fold-out twin bed, a large deck area

Activities: Fishing, white-water rafting, bird watching, hiking

Dogs allowed: Yes

Dig the positive vibes of Strawhouse Resort's Pacific yurt on your next escape to the mountains. Treat yourself and experience mindfulness in style. Sip on organic coffee while the sound of the Trinity River lullabies you; fish for your own steelhead, salmon, and German browns; or prepare for an incredible adrenaline rush while white-water rafting along the waterways. Stargaze through your roof window before dozing off into sweet dreams reminiscing your adventures.

Black Mountain Lookout

While exploring the Plumas National Forest, settle into a lovely lodge and admire the magnificent all-encompassing views.

Location: 10 miles from Highway 395, near Milford

Amenities: Table and chairs, refrigerator, small stove, heater, lights, picnic table, vault toilet

Activities: Hiking, birding, stargazing, wildlife viewing

Dogs allowed: Yes, but on-leash

The Black Mountain Lookout in Plumas National Forest is the perfect location for a romantic getaway. Settle into your comfy lodge and admire the breathtaking landscape surrounding you. Traverse to the mysterious Last Chance Creek for wildlife viewing before dinner. Indulge in stunning sunsets on the shimmering Honey Lake in the north, and absorb the serenity of each moment. Once the sun sets, a new universe awakens—make yourself a hot cup of cocoa and cuddle up in a warm blanket as you watch the stars twinkle above.

Treehouse Glamping in Santa Cruz

Location: 17 minutes from the Pacific Coast Highway, near Watsonville

Amenities: Queen-size bed with linens and pillows, private jacuzzi, shower with towels and complimentary shampoos, kitchen, heating, hot water, deck, toilet

Activities: Hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, zip-lining

Dogs allowed: Yes, but the property has a cat

Escape to the middle of an enchanting redwood forest just north of Monterey Bay to sleep in a cozy treehouse (literally). Spend your days hiking the trails through the nearby Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, and let the looming redwoods fuel your soul. You can also surf the waves at Natural Bridges State Beach and watch the sunset over Santa Cruz. At the end of the day, your private hot tub under the trees awaits you at this breathtaking Santa Cruz glamping site. Watch the night sky and listen to the calming sounds of the trees swaying in the wind. 

Luxury Canvas Tent at Pine Grove Cobb Resort

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and indulge in breathtaking views at Pine Grove Cobb.

Situated at 15960 Bottle Rock Road in Cobb, this venue boasts a range of amenities including a redwood deck, comfortable bedding, linens, a cozy seating area, Wi-Fi access, an outdoor communal pool, an electric water kettle, a firepit, a wood-burning pizza oven available upon request, a French press, and both organic coffee and tea.

The activities available cater to relaxation and nature enjoyment, with meditation, yoga, and wildlife observation being highlights. Pets are welcome, making it a perfect getaway for dog owners.

Just a two-hour journey from San Francisco, the riverside tent at Pine Grove Cobb Resort is enveloped by towering old-growth pine trees, offering a tranquil retreat. The morning greets you with picturesque views of Cobb Mountain, the cheerful sounds of birds, and the inviting aroma of organic coffee, ensuring a rejuvenating start to your day. Explore the natural beauty along the Old Road Trail leading to Cobb Mountain's peak, or meander down the Creek Trail passing through Houghton Creek for peaceful moments. Alternatively, enjoy a day of reflection on the redwood deck, disconnect from the hustle and bustle, or join fellow campers by the firepit to forge new friendships.

Airstream Suite in Yosemite National Park

Location: 6323 CA-140, Midpines

Amenities: Queen-sized bed with linens, TV, kitchen with a microwave and basic cooking utensils, walk-in shower and custom vanity sink, private patio, campfire, Wi-Fi 

Activities: Swimming in the pool, lawn games around the property, lounging in outdoor areas, board games in the clubhouse

Dogs allowed: Yes

Escape to Yosemite National Park and experience unique glamping options provided by Autocamp. While an abundance of activities is offered on-site, the iconic park calls for unparalleled adventures. Traverse the trails of Mariposa Grove to observe awe-inspiring giant sequoias, hike along the various paths of Hetch Hetchy, and bike through Yosemite Valley (bikes are available at the campground on a first-come, first-served basis). After a full day at Yosemite National Park, savor a divine dinner at the nearby 1850 Restaurant or get creative in your fully furnished kitchen. 

Tower Cabin at Oz Farm

Location: 41601 Mountain View Road, near Manchester State Park

Amenities: Two separate rooms with double beds, deck, wood-burning stove, sink and potable water, outhouse, kitchenette with basic amenities

Activities: Swimming, hiking, boating, biking, wildlife viewing

Dogs allowed: Yes, but on-leash.

Travel along the Mendocino coast for a diverse NorCal experience. Just 30 minutes past Sea Ranch, your home away from home at Oz Farm awaits you. The Tower Cabin is the perfect Mendocino glamping getaway for lovebirds. When you’re not frolicking in the neighboring river or wandering the organic farm’s grounds with your S.O., you can explore Manchester State Park or Point Arena for scenic tranquil vistas and an abundance of outdoor activities. For bigger parties, check out Oz Farm’s Domes, which are situated on the south bank of the Garcia River.

Manzanita Lake Camping Cabins

For a unique glamping experience, head to Lassen Volcanic National Park. With a view like this, you won't want to leave.

Location: 39489 CA-44, Shingletown (in Lassen Volcanic National Park)

Amenities: Beds, propane heat, lockable door, lantern, picnic table, fire ring, and a bear-proof food storage locker. Amenities for personal hygiene at the main campground.

Activities: Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, hiking, wildlife viewing

Dogs allowed: No

Journey to Lassen Volcanic National Park and rejuvenate yourself in a unique landscape complete with rugged mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and hydrothermal areas. Explore all eight hydrothermal areas of the national park; after traipsing along volcanic peaks and through mountain meadows, hike to Kings Creek Falls.

At the end of an adventurous day, settle down at your rustic cabin at the Manzanita Lake Campground before taking a dip in the lake and admiring the stunning view of Lassen Peak changing colors just as the sun starts to set. Everything around you seems like a fairytale as the dark sky suddenly starts to present its familiar star constellations. 

Sardine Peak Lookout

Location: Tahoe National Forest

Amenities: A sleeping area with beds, a non-running water sink, a dining set with a table and four chairs, three propane-powered lamps, a propane-fueled cast iron heating stove, and a propane oven for cooking, including cooking tools, an outdoor picnic table, a fire pit, and a vault toilet.

Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, off-roading, fishing, boating, swimming (nearby)

Dogs allowed: Yes, but on-leash

South Lake Tahoe is renowned for its upscale hotels featuring spa services and lively lake activities, yet for those seeking an exceptional glamping experience, Sardine Peak Lookout stands out. As you ascend towards Sardine Peak, located 20 miles from Truckee, notice the shift in the atmosphere and immerse yourself in the stunning views of Stampede Reservoir, Boca Reservoir, Sardine Valley, Independence Lake, and the Sierra Buttes.

Constructed in 1935, the cabin is primitive and lacks water and electricity—so you can completely unplug while surrounded by ancient pine forests. Venture to the Stampede Reservoir for maritime fun or hike one of 100-plus maintained trails in the Tahoe National Forest.  

WildTender Ranch & Rescue

Location: Pescadero

Amenities: Beds, firepit, shower, portable toilet, picnic table

Activities: Animal interactions, biking, hiking, fishing, paddling, wind sports, surfing

Dogs allowed: Yes

Visit the horse sanctuary of WildTender Ranch & Rescue to interact with magnificent creatures and enjoy a very special glamping experience in the Bay Area. Feel the healing powers of the land and its equestrian residents. Spend your days at the beach and indulge in fun under the sun; then, wander off to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse to watch blood-red sunsets over the Pacific Ocean before cozying up in your very own teepee. If the teepee is too wild for you, spend the night in a geo-dome and wake up to the sun rising over the glimmering ocean. 

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