First, there's a special California State Parks web page dedicated to updating Labor Day campground availability. As of today, over 40 state parks still have campsites available for reservations. But you've got to act fast. For campground arrivals on Friday, Sept. 4, you must book your site before 5 p.m. (PST) on Wednesday, Sept. 2, either online or by calling (800) 444-7275 .
If you can't get a camping reservation for Labor Day, check out this lengthy list of first-come, first-served California State Park campgrounds, which typically fill very early on holiday weekends (e.g., you'd better get there bright and early on Friday morning, or even late Thursday night). Some of my faves:
- Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur
- Mt. Tamalpais State Park, north of San Francisco
- Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in the Gold Country, east of Sacramento
- Navarro River Redwoods State Park, near the Anderson Valley wine country
- Humboldt Lagoons State Park, north of Eureka/Arcata
Photo: Yosemite National Park (Mike Connolly Jr.)