Clear Lake State Park Campgrounds: A Comprehensive Guide for a Memorable Camping Experience

Nestled on the west side of Clear Lake in Lake County, Clear Lake State Park Campgrounds offer a serene retreat for outdoor enthusiasts. Boasting four distinct campgrounds – Cole Creek, Kelsey Creek, Lower Bayview, and Upper Bayview – the park provides a range of experiences, from lakeside sites to lush forested areas. Before embarking on your camping adventure at Clear Lake State Park, consider these top tips, strategies, and gear recommendations for an optimal experience.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-time Campers:

  • Campground Selection: Evaluate the unique features of each campground, from lakeside tranquility at Kelsey Creek to the arid beauty of Upper Bay View. Choose a campground that aligns with your preferences, whether it be a lush forest setting or a more arid landscape.
  • Reservation Insight: Familiarize yourself with the reservation system, noting that Kelsey Creek operates on a first-come, first-served basis from October through March. Make reservations well in advance for other campgrounds to secure your preferred dates.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Optimal camping months vary by campground, with Kelsey Creek open year-round and others operating from mid-May through mid-September. Plan your visit based on the specific camping season of your chosen campground.
  • Explore Surroundings: Take advantage of nearby attractions, including a broad swim beach, boat launch, and marina. Explore hiking trails like the Dorn Trail and the accessible Kelsey Creek Trail to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty.
  • Group Camping Options: If camping with a larger group, consider the group campsites at Clear Lake State Park, accommodating up to 40 people and 8 vehicles. These sites offer shade ramadas, tables, fire rings, and convenient restroom facilities.

Top Strategies for an Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Strategic Arrival Times: Arrive during daylight hours to facilitate easy navigation and camp setup. Consider weekdays for a more tranquil experience, avoiding potential weekend crowds.
  • Seasonal Timing: Tailor your camping adventure to the specific seasons of each campground. Embrace the lushness of Kelsey Creek’s forest in any season, while Lower and Upper Bay View shine late May through mid-September.
  • Waterfront Enjoyment: Capitalize on lakeside sites at Kelsey Creek for a picturesque camping experience. Engage in water-related activities such as swimming, waterskiing, and boating, taking full advantage of Clear Lake’s offerings.
  • Nighttime Considerations: Respect quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, enhancing the overall camping experience for everyone. Operate generators sparingly within the designated time frame to maintain a peaceful environment.
  • Local Exploration: Venture beyond the campgrounds to explore nearby attractions like Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, the McVicar Wildlife Sanctuary, and Boggs Mountain for diverse recreational opportunities.

Recommended Camping Gear:

  • Cooking Essentials: Equip yourself with a portable camping stove, durable cookware, and utensils. Explore our gearlist account for specific camp cooking recommendations to elevate your culinary experience.
  • Comfortable Seating: Enhance your relaxation around the campfire with comfortable camping chairs. Consider lightweight and foldable options for easy transportation.
  • Sleeping Gear: Ensure a restful night’s sleep with a high-quality sleeping bag, suitable for varying temperatures. A comfortable sleeping pad adds an extra layer of comfort for a rejuvenating camping experience.
  • Backpack Essentials: Invest in a reliable backpack for daytime adventures, carrying essentials like water bottles, snacks, and a first aid kit. Consider a hydration system for convenient water access during hikes.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Optimize your camping experience by exploring our gearlist account, offering specific recommendations on sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing tailored to enhance your Clear Lake camping adventure.

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.

Clear Lake State Park Campgrounds beckon campers to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of Lake County. Utilize these tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to ensure a seamless and enjoyable camping escapade, embracing the beauty and tranquility of this picturesque destination.