Camping on the North Fork Stanislaus River
Whitewater rafters and kayakers usually run the North Fork of the Stanislaus in one day. If you plan to camp the nights before or after your whitewater rafting trip, there are a few different camping options in the area. Calaveras Big Trees State Park has numerous camping spots that you can reserve. You can also try your luck at one of the many "first-come first-serve" campgrounds provided by The US Forest Service. However, camping is one of the most popular recreational activities in the Stanislaus National Forest, so it can be difficult at times to secure a camping spot.
Trees State Park
The Park has numerous camping spots and you can reserve your sites ahead of time through Reserve America. North Grove and Oak Hollow Reservations are available from mid-May through mid-October. From mid-October until Mid-may the campgrounds are first-come first-serve. However, this is the most popular park in the California State Park system, it is advised to make reservations several months before your whitewater rafting trip.
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
1170 East Hwy 4
Arnold CA 95223
United States Forest Service
The most popular time for camping in Stanislaus National Forest is from May to October. The majority of Forest Service campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served basis, however reservation campgrounds are available. The maximum stay in forest service campgrounds is 14 consecutive days. Campers are also limited to a 21 day maximum stay per Ranger District, per calendar year.
Wa Ka Luu Hep Yoo is a new United States Forest Service Campground located at the Sourgrass Put-in. Campsites are on a first-come-first serve basis.
To get a listing of the Forest Service Campgrounds, visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/calaveras/camping/index.shtml. To a make a reservation for a Forest Service Campground visit, Reserve America at: http://www.reserveusa.com/
Most campgrounds fill quickly especially on holidays and weekends, so backcountry camping my be required. Large motor homes and trailers cannot be accommodated in some campgrounds, and electric and sewer hookups are not available. Forest Service employees can assist you in choosing an appropriate location.
Images courtesy of All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting