Camping is Allowed Again in California State Parks

by Emily Morgan

Campers assemble! After California’s governor lifted the stay-at-home order, campgrounds within the state began to reopen after a shutdown that lasted nearly two months.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, the state reopened various campgrounds to existing reservation holders.

The state announced that several campgrounds are using a phased-in approach. In addition, not all campgrounds will be available due to pandemic concerns, wildfire damage, or other issues.

However, don’t start packing yet: as California still struggles to combat the virus, there are some ongoing restrictions.

Southern California remains in the purple tier, the most restrictive tier for determining how soon to start reopening.

The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region also announced it had reopened its national forests after being closed.

2020 saw high demand for camping, as people flocked to parks to get back into nature while staying socially distant.

Many campers— experienced and novice— turned to the activity as the state ramped up its social-isolation measures during the pandemic.

C.A. Officials Warn People To Stay Safe While Camping

“It is important to note that the demand for camping and lodging sites sometimes exceeds the available inventory.” state officials warned.

“As such, the public is advised to plan ahead, do some research and have alternate parks in mind in case the first choice is booked.”

Despite the reopening process, officials are still warning campers to maintain precaution while in the parks. Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding gatherings are still necessary pandemic protocols, officials said.

Currently, all group campsites stll remain closed.

The department will post updates on the phased reopening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts, and their website. Individual parks will also post information on separate park unit webpages.

Campers can make reservations at least two days in advance (48 hours) before arrival at It is important to note that the demand for camping and lodging sites sometimes exceeds the available spots.

The state is advising people to plan, do research and have an alternative campground if the first choice is booked.