Top 5 Stunning RV Roads Trips in California

An RV rental in the California National Parks are a must

California is unique. It is one of the few places where you can going surfing in morning, skiing in the afternoon then watch a desert sunset. The state is also massive. Los Angeles and San Francisco, for example, are roughly four hundred miles apart.

Welcome to California

California is unique. It is one of the few places where you can going surfing in morning, skiing in the afternoon then watch a desert sunset. The state is also massive. Los Angeles and San Francisco, for example, are roughly four hundred miles apart.

For that reason, we have chosen five top spots that you could reasonably drive to over the course of a week. That said, each place is filled with great things to do, so try to spend as much time as you can in each location and the great places in between. This guide is a loop that begins in Southern California, but you can start anywhere along the way to match up with your final destination.


1. That Beach Life: Crystal Cove State Park

Beach near Crystal Cove Start Park, easy to get to in a rented RV

Get your start in sunny southern California. Just shy of the famous surf spot, Huntington Beach, lies Crystal Cove State Park which encompasses 2,400 acres of wildlife and 3.2 miles of beach. Most of SoCal is covered by the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego and their associated suburbs, so this is one of the rare places to see the natural, untouched landscape of the region. The climate is just perfect too. Summer temperatures average in the lows 70s so you can explore the numerous hills, canyons and ridges in comfort.

If you want to spend the night outside of the RV, there are comfy beach cottages, but be sure to book in advance. Reservations can be made online or by phone. Park accommodates RVs of up to 35 feet.  

2. True California Desert: Joshua Tree National Park


An easy 130 miles away from Crystal Cove State Park lies Joshua Tree National Park. Not too many national parks share a title with one of U2’s most popular albums. Joshua Tree is truly a local favorite among Californians. If you are a local, there is always a good chance one of your friends is either going there this weekend or has just come back. It is where many people go to experience the subtle beauty of the desert and see a night sky with thousands of visible stars.

It is home to vast array of different plant and animal species and was once the crossroads of the mining trade in California. The town of Joshua Tree is also a quirky mix of miner, mountaineer and modern California that most people really enjoy. RVs can park at Belle Campground for $15 a night and can fit motorhomes up to 35 feet. Do note, however, that this site does not have power and water hookups, although there are restroom and shower facilities available for use. You should be able to fire up the generator that comes with the RV though during daylight hours.

3. You Have to Go: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is great with and RV rental

If there is one place on our list that can’t miss, it’s Yosemite. The most famous national park in California and possibly the United States, there are few people who are not familiar with it. Remember how we said, California is big? Well, this is where you are going to have pull out your driving muscles. It is about 380 miles from Joshua Tree, so get ready for a longer day, but you will be rewarded.

Yosemite has it all. Best known for its waterfalls and geysers, there is something for everyone in this national park. It is massive and has gorgeous mountains and landscape, a huge variety of things to do from fishing to hiking to zip-lining and everything in between. You definitely need to allot at least a few days to be here. Max RV length is 40 feet, but the rangers are a little flexible as long as you more or less fit in a parking spot. This place is popular so be sure to book a reservation early.

4. NorCal Beauty: Redwood National Park

Redwoods in northern california - a great RV road trip

Just as SoCal is often defined by its beaches, NorCal is described by its forests. This is going to be another big driving day, which is definitely why you should consider doing this trip over a longer period of time. Redwood is almost as far North as you can go in California.

Home to the tallest trees on earth, Redwoods aren’t the only natural beauty you find here. The park is also comprises prairieland, tangled rivers, and the rougher coastlines and beaches of NorCal where it never seems hot enough to get into that freezing water. Jedidiah Smith Campground can hold up 36 foot RVs, but if you have a smaller vehicle than there are other options for you. There is also over 200 square miles of backcountry camping if you want to rough it a little. Since it is a little less popular than Yosemite, it is a good option if Yosemite is starting to feel too crowded for you.

5. Completing the Loop: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Big Sur Can take RV's up to 32 ft

One last big drive to complete the loop and put you closer to the starting point. No matter what time of year, you head to Redwoods you’ll probably be ready to warm back up a little down South. Big Sur makes up some of the most famous mountains in southern California and offer you great views of the ocean as well as inland California.

Year-round weather is great though it can get a little rainy sometimes in the spring. It is also a little more under the radar than the other spots on our list, so it is great for a little escape into nature. RV Max lengths are a little shorter at 32 feet. And be sure to reserve one of the spots are right on the Big Sur River which is the perfect place to unwind.  

Five Great Parks

California is a great place to rent an RV

There are so many great places to go in California. The best thing you can do is take a long time to go across the huge state or just focus on certain areas. As you go from park to park, you pass through great cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara and you definitely should spend some time in them along your way. There are also other excellent parks in between these top choices if you want to have some shorter driving days. Any way you do it though, you are sure to have an amazing time cruising along the highways and seeing the beauty of California.