Exploring Lake Berryessa: A Guide to Putah Canyon Campground

Nestled on the northwestern side of Lake Berryessa, Putah Canyon Campground beckons outdoor enthusiasts to experience the serene beauty of Putah Creek Canyon. Lake Berryessa, known for its boating, waterskiing, fishing, and cycling opportunities, provides a picturesque backdrop for campers seeking an idyllic getaway. Operated by Royal Elk Park Management, this year-round campground offers 98 campsites, each with its unique charm and proximity to the crystal-clear waters of the lake.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for Campers Camping Here the First Time:

  • Early Arrival for Prime Spots: To secure the best camping spots, arrive early at Putah Canyon Campground. Since all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, an early arrival ensures you have your pick of campsites, many of which offer stunning views of the lake.
  • Boat Launch Convenience: If you plan to explore Lake Berryessa by boat, take advantage of the campground’s boat launch ramp. For registered campers, the $10 entrance fee to use the ramp is a small price to pay for the convenience of launching your watercraft directly from the campground.
  • Consider Electric Hook-ups: For those requiring electric hook-ups, consider selecting campsites that offer this option for an additional $15 per night. This ensures a comfortable camping experience, especially for RVs and trailers that benefit from the added convenience of electricity.
  • Group Camping Option: If camping with a larger group, explore the group campsite accommodating up to 40 people and 6 vehicles or RVs. Priced at $300 per night, this option provides a communal setting for group activities while still enjoying the beauty of Lake Berryessa.
  • Pet-Friendly Environment: Don’t forget to bring your furry friends along, as the campground is pet-friendly. Keep dogs on a leash at all times and pay a nominal fee of $5 per day per dog to ensure a pleasant stay for everyone.

Top Strategies and Tactics to Get the Most Out of Camping Here:

  • Optimal Camping Season: While Putah Canyon Campground is open year-round, plan your visit during the milder months between mid-spring and early fall for the most comfortable camping experience. Avoid the peak summer heat and make the most of outdoor activities in the pleasant weather.
  • Strategic Campsite Choices: With most campsites boasting lake views, strategically choose a site that suits your preferences. Whether you prefer a secluded spot or proximity to facilities, the varied options cater to different camping preferences.
  • Water Recreation Extravaganza: Given the prime location on Lake Berryessa, indulge in a variety of water sports. Rent a pontoon boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard from Marina Boat Rentals and Services to fully immerse yourself in the lake’s aquatic adventures.
  • Explore Nearby Hiking Trails: Beyond the water, explore the surrounding hiking trails. Revel in the natural beauty of Putah Creek Canyon and its lush landscapes. The nearby Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and Skyline Wilderness Park offer additional hiking opportunities for nature enthusiasts.
  • Sunset Magic: Experience the magic of Lake Berryessa during sunset. Plan your day to be back at the campground in the late afternoon, and witness the breathtaking colors of the setting sun reflecting on the tranquil waters—an unforgettable camping moment.

Recommendations on Camping Gear:

  • Portable BBQ or Grill: Enhance your camping experience with a portable BBQ or grill. Most campsites come equipped with a picnic table, making it the perfect setting for outdoor cooking and dining.
  • Portable Toiletries Kit: Since the campground provides portable toilets, having a portable toiletries kit ensures convenience during your stay. Include essentials like hand sanitizer, tissues, and biodegradable soap for an eco-friendly experience.
  • Collapsible Water Container: While water is available at the campground, having a collapsible water container makes it easy to transport water to your campsite. Stay hydrated, especially during warmer months.
  • Comfortable Outdoor Seating: Pack comfortable outdoor seating, such as portable chairs or a lightweight hammock, to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere at your campsite.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to optimize your 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.

Embark on a memorable camping adventure at Putah Canyon Campground, where the beauty of Lake Berryessa and the tranquility of Putah Creek Canyon converge. Whether you’re a water enthusiast, hiker, or nature lover, this campground offers a perfect blend of outdoor activities and scenic beauty. Make the most of your camping experience with these tips and gear recommendations, ensuring a delightful stay in this hidden gem of Lake Berryessa.