Camping in Mendocino : Northern California’s Gem – Jackson Demonstration Forest

Making our way to the east coast, we decided to travel our favorite route up highway 1 before leaving California. Camping in Mendocino does not provide much available, affordable camping on the coast, so we decided to make our way inland to find a place to camp. To our surprise, we came across this gem, only about a 10 minute drive from the town of Mendocino.

Seasonal camping is offered mid-May through September, however camping is weather dependent. The park contains two main overnight camping areas with a number of campsites, including equestrian camps. Camping is within designated campsites only and dispersed camping is not allowed. Fees are collected at self-registration stations located in the campgrounds and will be used to support the recreation program.  Costs are associated with maintenance and improvement of campgrounds and facilities, signage, roads, trails, etc. Campsites have picnic tables, pit toilets, and most importantly, fire rings so you can have fires all year round. Campers may collect dead wood lying on the ground for use within their campfire rings. There is no water at the campsites or day use areas. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash.

We camped here for four days over the Independence Day holiday. With a little water in the creek and plenty of shade, the thimbleberries and blackberries were just starting to ripen. We had our fill and moved on to our next WWOOFing committment.

CAL FIRE manages the campsites and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

Here’s a google map link to the Jackson State Demonstration Forest.

Established: 1949
Area: 48,652 acres
Elevation: 80 – 2,200 ft.
Precipitation: 39 in per year along coast
70 in per year inland Temperature: Max: 100 F – Min: 25 F
Fees: $10/night