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Tent Camping at Doran Regional Park

Tips for reserving a Sonoma County campsite

Thinking about camping in Sonoma County this summer? If so and if you want to nab the best spot or any spot, you should reserve your campsite today.

Sonoma County Regional Parks' 200-plus campsites on the Sonoma Coast and in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley can be reserved up to one year in advance. That means summer campsites can get booked well in advance. So the earlier you reserve, the better your chance of ending up with a campsite that matches your needs.

"Doran Beach, Stillwater Cove and Gualala fill up every weekend in summer," said Ranger Susan Bechtel, referring to the parks in Bodega Bay and on Sonoma's far north coast. "It's a little more open during the week, but in July, we’re often full even in mid-week, so it's definitely a good idea to book early.”

Reserve Online

The 24/7 reservation system makes selecting a site a simple process. You select the campground you're interested in, enter your zip code (to determine if you're eligible for a Sonoma County resident discount) and then choose to view the available sites on a campground map or on a calendar grid. 

Camping at Spring Lake Regional Park

When you click on a specific site, you’ll see comprehensive information, including size and number of tent pads, RV parking dimensions, the distance to the showers and restrooms, and much more. You can even view a photo of a specific site. Once you determine the dates and campsite you want, you move on to completing registration and payment—and that’s it.

We encourage people to look at the campground map and site details to have as much insight as possible before making the reservation.

Last-Minute Plans?

RV Camping at Spring Lake Regional Park

If you're not a planner, you still may be able to get a last-minute booking: Same-day reservations can be made up to 8 p.m. the day of arrival. Reservations are required - first-come, first-served campsites are not available for on-site arrivals.  But you can go online to see what is available for a same-day reservation. 

Reservation Facts

A few reminders from rangers:

  • If you have specific questions about a site or campground, call Regional Parks' office at (707) 565-2267  Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to talk to a reservations agent.
  • Remember, a Regional Parks membership includes one free night of camping, which is a $35 value. To reserve your free night, you'll need to book by phone or in person. 
  • One family can book two campsites under the same name. If you're hoping for two sites next to each other, you'll definitely want to book as far ahead as possible.
  • Occupancy is limited to 8 people per campsite (except for group sites.) 
  • Each site can accommodate two vehicles, and cars must be parked on the pavement.
  • Dogs on leash are allowed with a $2 fee per dog per night.
  • You can use this online chart to quickly compare campground features.

When it comes to making a summer camping reservation in Sonoma County, that old adage is true: The early bird really does get the campsite. 

Suzie Rodriguez is a Sonoma-based writer, editor, lifelong outdoors enthusiast and past president of Bay Area Travel Writers.

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2022.