Lake Berryessa Camping: A Complete Guide


Nestled in Napa Valley is the stunning Lake Berryessa. Spanning over 18,000 surface acres, its tranquil blue waters provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking grand vistas, a family enjoying laidback recreation, or a couple looking to reconnect with nature—Lake Berryessa has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to plan your ultimate camping getaway. We’ll explore the diverse range of campgrounds around the lake and give you an insider’s look at the facilities and amenities each has to offer.

Next, we’ll showcase the exciting array of activities that make Lake Berryessa such a special destination, from water sports to scenic drives. Finally, we’ll equip you with practical tips to help your trip run smoothly from start to finish.

By the end, you’ll be fully prepared to reserve your campsite, pack the essentials, and immerse yourself in this natural paradise for an unforgettable outdoor experience. Let’s get started exploring all that Lake Berryessa has to offer!

Top Campgrounds at Lake Berryessa

The lake offers a variety of lovely campgrounds to choose from, each with its own unique charm. Whether you prefer the amenities of an RV park or the rustic charm of tent camping near untouched wilderness, there’s a perfect fit waiting for you. 

Campgrounds at Lake Berryessa

➣ Oak Shores Day Use Area

For picnickers and day-trippers, Oak Shores provides 20 shaded sites right on the eastern shore. At just $10 per vehicle, it’s ideal for short visits spent swimming, fishing, or simply relaxing in the peaceful beauty of the lake. Nearby, you’ll find a boat ramp as well as restrooms and trash facilities.

➣ Spanish Flat Campground

Situated in a wooded hillside area, Spanish Flat offers 58 RV and tent sites with partial hookups. Though more rustic than other options, its secluded atmosphere makes for excellent stargazing at night. Stay entertained with amenities like a playground, horseshoe pits, and an amphitheater hosting weekly programs.

➣ Monticello Shores Campground

Catering to both tenters and RVers, Monticello Shores has 133 sites with full hookups spread across open, grassy areas. Amenities abound, with snack bars, laundry facilities, boat ramp access, and gorgeous lake views from most spots. Lengthier stays are welcomed, making this a favorite for families and groups.

➣ Berryessa Point Resort

On the west side of the lake lies Berryessa Point, offering 62 RV sites with partial or full hookups. Standard amenities include picnic tables, and fire rings at each site, along with modern bathrooms and a day-use area. Four luxury rental cottages provide an alternative for those seeking more amenities.

Must-Do Activities at Lake Berryessa

From exhilarating water sports to scenic hikes taking in unspoiled vistas, Lake Berryessa is a paradise for outdoor recreation. With over 200 miles of shoreline, you’ll never run out of ways to spend your days filled with adventure.

➣ Boating

Gently glide across calm waters in your canoe, kayak, or pedal boat rented from Pleasure Cove Marina. For motorized fun, take a speedboat tour offering up-close wildlife viewing. Don’t forget your fishing poles—this is one of Napa’s premier spots for bass, trout, and catfish.

➣ Hiking and Biking

Over 15 miles of trails, crisscross hillsides are enriched by live oak woodlands, madrones, and blue elderberry. Popular routes include the mostly flat 1.5-mile Sunshine Trail and the moderate 4-mile Radio Towers loop offering lake views. For cyclists, paved roads make leisurely rides easy and scenic.

➣ Wildlife Viewing

Keep watch along trails and shores for the hundreds of bird species inhabiting the area, from great blue herons to hawks and osprey. Deer, foxes, coyotes, and even the occasional bobcat may also make an appearance. In quiet coves, you just might spot river otters playing.

➣ Scenic Drives

Savor vistas unfolding along the Berryessa Knoxville Road’s 40 miles of curves hugging the lake’s shoreline. Continue up Putah Creek Canyon for peeks of tucked-away valleys and gorges. Maps are available from the park visitor center for self-guided routes.

Lake Berryessa

Essential Planning Tips

Following a few guidelines will help ensure your Lake Berryessa trip goes smoothly from start to memorable finish.

➣ Reservations

During warmer months, book campsites 3-6 months in advance through Opt for spring or fall for smaller crowds with last-minute availability.

➣ Camping Gear

Pack accordingly for variable weather—nights dip into the 40s, even in summer. Don’t forget essentials for activities like hiking boots, fishing tackle, binoculars, and water sports gear.

➣ Food and Water

With no stores nearby, come stocked with provisions or enjoy meals al fresco using on-site picnic areas and outdoor grills. Potable water is available seasonally at faucets interspersed around campgrounds.

➣ Permits

Confirm regulations for activities you plan to partake in, such as launching your watercraft or cutting Christmas trees, and obtain the necessary permits well in advance from or ranger stations.

➣ Safety Precautions

Be proactive about potential wildlife encounters and fires. Secure all food and scented items nightly, follow open fire bans strictly, and visit the visitor center for current rules protecting both visitors and the environment.


Whether you’re seeking active fun out on the water, calm relaxation enveloped by nature’s beauty, or memorable family bonding away from distractions—Lake Berryessa will forever hold a special place in your memories. Follow our guide to find the perfect site, fill your days with discovery, and create lifelong memories at this picturesque camping paradise. Your next outdoor adventure awaits!