Castle Crags State Park Camping Guide: Tips, Strategies, and Gear Recommendations

Nestled just six miles south of Dunsmuir off Interstate 5, Castle Crags State Park offers a breathtaking camping experience surrounded by soaring granite crags and a landscape of gently flowing creeks. Before embarking on your camping adventure at this haven for outdoor enthusiasts, consider these invaluable tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your Castle Crags experience.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-time Campers:

  • Loop Consideration: Explore campsites on the north side of Interstate 5, where most are arranged on loops, offering a forested setting and access to the Sacramento River through a pedestrian underpass.
  • Riverside Serenity: For a more intimate experience, check out Riverside Campground on the south side of I-5 with 12 first-come, first-served campsites, linked to the main features by a pedestrian suspension bridge.
  • Pacific Crest Trail Connection: Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail will find campsite #25 in the Little Loop designated for their use, offering a convenient stop in Castle Crags.
  • Reservation Wisdom: Secure reservations for about half of the campsites in advance, as Castle Crags Campground accepts reservations year-round for the main campground.
  • Highway Noise Awareness: Be prepared for some highway noise at both campgrounds, and if this is a concern, consider Riverside Campground for a quieter experience.

Top Strategies for Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Ideal Arrival Timing: Plan your arrival during daylight hours to navigate the campsite easily and take advantage of the park’s amenities.
  • Year-round Enjoyment: While Castle Crags State Park Campground is open year-round, consider the temperate months for a more enjoyable camping experience.
  • Activity Diversity: Explore the 28 miles of hiking trails, witness Mt. Shasta’s views from the vista point, and indulge in the richness of the Sacramento River for a variety of activities.
  • Vista Point Exploration: Head to the Vista Point and Mossbrae Falls for scenic wonders and a perfect spot for capturing the beauty with your camera.
  • Wild Orchid Discovery: Nature enthusiasts can delight in finding 13 species of wild orchids within the park, adding a touch of botanical exploration to your camping experience.

Recommended Camping Gear:

  • Bear-proof Food Locker: Ensure the safety of your food by bringing a bear-proof food locker to store items, preventing any unwanted encounters with wildlife.
  • Quality Tents: Choose a tent with good ventilation to adapt to varying temperatures, allowing for a comfortable and restful sleep.
  • Portable Cooking Gear: Pack a camping stove and cookware for preparing meals at your campsite, enhancing the overall camping experience.
  • Camera Essentials: Bring your camera to capture the mesmerizing beauty of Mossbrae Falls, Vista Point, and the granite crags, creating lasting memories.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for detailed recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to optimize your Castle Crags camping experience.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Castle Crags State Park Campground invites campers to immerse themselves in the beauty of granite crags, Mt. Shasta views, and diverse outdoor activities. With these tips, strategies, and gear recommendations, your camping adventure at Castle Crags promises to be a memorable and fulfilling experience.