A trip to Napa Valley, California isn’t just for luxury travelers and wine aficionados. With two campgrounds located on either end of the valley, California’s most famous wineries are accessible for tent campers and RVers planning a wine country getaway.
From bike tours and hiking trails to casual wineries and inexpensive restaurants, the Napa Valley offers outdoor adventures and camping for wine loving campers. This is your travel guide to camping Napa.
Napa Valley Campgrounds
Napa Valley Camping Information
Bothe Napa Valley State Park is located on the north end of Napa Valley between the towns of Saint Helena and Calistoga. The park is nestled on the western hillside and offers great shaded campsites. The winter can be quite cool in the canyon, while the summers can be very hot.
There are more than 50 standard campsites at Bothe Napa, including walk-in campsites, a group campsite, and three yurts, which sleep a maximum of six people. There aren’t hookups at any of the campsites, though RVs and trailers up to 31 feet are welcome at family campsites. There are two bathroom locations with hot water quarter showers. Tent campers will love the campsites on the creek. Recommended tent camping spots are 41, 43, 45, 47, and 49. RVs and trailers will need bigger spots like 25, 38, 40, 42, and 44.
Dogs are allowed in the campground on a leash, but they are not permitted on the trails or in the pool area. Dogs may not be left unattended and must be inside a vehicle or tent at night.A visitor’s center is located near the entrance of the park and is a great resource for area information and activities. A swimming pool and day use picnic area are located within the park, just past the campground.
Reservations are recommended during summer months and can be made online.
Read a campground review of the Bothe Napa Valley State Park campground.
At the south end of the valley, near the town of Napa and the Stag’s Leap District, Skyline Wilderness Park also offers camping and RV sites with hookups.
There are a number of multi-use trails in the park that are open to horses, hikers, and cyclists. Dogs are not allowed on trails at any time.
Tent sites cost $25 per night and RV sites are $35. Reservations can be made by phone, (707) 252-0481, or in person on a first come first-served basis. No admittance is allowed in the park after kiosk closing time. Be sure to check the website for seasonal hours of operation.
Wine Tasting in Napa Valley
The Napa Valley is the most famous wine region in the United States. The area is known for big red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and full-bodied whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many tasting rooms are restricted to appointment only tastings by the county; This isn’t an elite practice, but a county permit to limit the number of tastings per day.
Though Napa Valley is known for its highly rated and often expensive red wines, not all wineries are five-star. There are many tasting rooms that offer different flights for tasting, giving the taster an option to taste entry-level wines or the top tier. And there are plenty of casual tasting rooms where campers will be welcome.
Located in Saint Helena just a few minutes south of the Bothe-Napa Campground, Beringer Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in the valley and offers a number of tastings and tours to suit your preferences. The winery was established in 1876 and makes wines from the highly rated Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon to the entry level merlot and white zinfandel. Tours and tastings range from $20-40 depending on your selection and reservations are not required, but recommend for tours.
Sutter Home Winery
The historic Sutter Home Winery is a great place to stop if you are camping in Napa Valley. Established in 1874, the winery now produces bubbly pink, red, white and sweet wines that are affordable and perfect to take back to the campground. Walk-in tastings are welcome and self-guided garden tours are available.
Cliff Family Winery
The Cliff Family Winery and Velo Vino Tasting Room is more than accommodating to campers. The tasting room celebrates wine, cycling, and food; you’ll likely taste wine next to someone wearing a helmet and cycling jersey. A variety of tastings are available without reservation, $15-20. Food pairings and tours are available by reservation, $40-80.
The Velo Vino tasting room can also help you plan a day of cycling in Napa Valley. Start your self-guided Napa Valley bike tour with an espresso and cliff bar at Vino Velo, then head out for a day of cycling, and later return for a tasting on the patio. Bicycle rentals are available.
Cliff Family Winery is located at 709 Main Street, St. Helena, California 94574. For more information call the tasting room (707) 968-0625.
Top Things to Do in Napa Valley
There are plenty of hiking trails to explore the mountains, creeks, and vistas of Napa Valley. A number of trails start at the campground at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Check with the visitor center for maps and trail information.
Skyline Wilderness Park also has trails open to mountain bikes, hikers and equestrian users. Visit the park website or stop by the entrance kiosk for trail information.
For more mountain bike and hiking trails head up Highway 29 to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. A five-mile loop circles Mt. Saint Helena and offers fantastic views of Napa Valley. Clear days offer views as far as to the San Francisco Bay and Mt. Shasta.
The Bale Grist Mill Mine State Historic Park is another great place to visit. Long before wine grapes were planted the valley floor was covered with fields of wheat, barley, and oats. Dr. Edward T. Bale, a British surgeon, was the first to capitalize on wheat, building the grist mill in 1846. The historic park is located north of Saint Helena and south of Bothe-Napa State Park. A1.2 mile hiking trail connects the state park and historic park. Tours are available on weekends.
At the north end of Napa Valley, there are a number of hot springs and mineral pools in the town of Calistoga. The Calistoga Hotel, Spa, and Hot Springs offers daily use of their mineral pools. Ancient civilizations found the healing and therapeutic powers of the mineral water pools a source of rejuvenation in mind, body, and spirit. The hotel has four pools ranging in temperature from 80-104°F. Day passes are $25 per person and limited depending on hotel occupancy and unavailable on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
For a taste of culinary history, visit the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone campus. Public tours of the historic Greystone building, including the Corkscrew Museum, the Breitstein Collection, Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, the Greystone Herb Garden and a view of the CIA Teaching Kitchen are available three times daily. Cooking Demonstrations are also available, as well as a gift shop and restaurant.