Van Damme State Park is a beautiful destination for camping enthusiasts who are looking for a peaceful and relaxing experience in the great outdoors. Located in Mendocino County, California, this park offers a variety of camping facilities and activities for visitors of all ages.
- Van Damme State Park is a beautiful camping destination located in Mendocino County, California.
- The park offers a range of camping facilities and activities, including drive-in and hike-in campsites, hiking trails, and a beach.
- Visitors can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing experience in the great outdoors while camping at Van Damme State Park.
Location of Van Damme State Park
Van Damme State Park is located in Mendocino County, California, USA. It is situated on Highway 1, approximately 3 miles south of the town of Mendocino. The park is named after Charles Van Damme, a lumberman who once owned the land.
The park covers an area of 1,831 acres and includes a variety of habitats, such as redwood forests, fern canyons, and wetlands. The park’s coastline is also a notable feature, with rocky cliffs and sandy beaches.
Van Damme State Park is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available. Visitors can enter the park from either the north or south entrance on Highway 1. The park is open year-round, with camping and day-use facilities available.
Camping Facilities at Van Damme State Park
Van Damme State Park offers 70 campsites for tent camping and RV camping. The campsites are divided into three areas: the Fernwood, the Canyon, and the Azalea. Each campsite is equipped with a fire pit, a picnic table, and a food locker. The Fernwood area has 25 campsites, the Canyon area has 25 campsites, and the Azalea area has 20 campsites. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are not accepted.
Amenities and Services
Van Damme State Park provides several amenities and services to make camping comfortable and enjoyable. The park has restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. The restrooms are clean and well-maintained. The park also has a dump station for RVs. The dump station is located near the entrance of the park.
In addition, the park has a campfire center where campers can gather around the fire and enjoy the company of other campers. The campfire center has benches and a fire ring. The park also has a picnic area with tables and grills. The picnic area is located near the Fernwood area.
The park provides firewood for purchase at the entrance station. The firewood is reasonably priced and is sold in bundles. The park also has a small store where campers can purchase snacks, drinks, and camping supplies. The store is located near the entrance of the park.
That’s it for the Camping Facilities section.
Activities at Van Damme State Park
Van Damme State Park offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels. The Fern Canyon Trail is a popular trail that takes hikers through a beautiful canyon filled with ferns, redwoods, and babbling brooks. The trail is a moderate 1.5-mile loop that takes about an hour to complete. For a more challenging hike, the Pygmy Forest Trail is a 2.5-mile loop that takes hikers through a unique forest filled with miniature trees. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult and takes about 2 hours to complete.
Van Damme State Park has a beautiful beach that offers a variety of activities. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and fishing in the ocean. The beach is also a great place to relax and soak up the sun. The park has a picnic area near the beach where visitors can enjoy a meal and take in the beautiful scenery.
Van Damme State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including harbor seals, sea lions, and otters. Visitors can watch these animals in their natural habitat from the beach or from the park’s observation deck. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a great place for bird watching. Visitors should be respectful of the wildlife and keep a safe distance.
Reservation and Fees
How to Reserve
To reserve a campsite at Van Damme State Park, visitors can make a reservation online at ReserveCalifornia or by phone. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance and are highly recommended, especially during the peak season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Walk-in sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but availability is not guaranteed.
The camping fees at Van Damme State Park vary depending on the type of site and the time of year. The fees for standard campsites range from $35 to $50 per night, while the fees for premium campsites range from $45 to $65 per night. Additional fees may apply for extra vehicles, pets, and other amenities.
Visitors should note that there is a $7.99 reservation fee for all online and phone reservations. In addition, there is a $2.00 fee for each night of camping for the California Land Pass, which is required for all vehicles parked in the park.
Overall, the camping fees at Van Damme State Park are reasonable and comparable to other state parks in the area. Visitors should be aware that there are no refunds for early departures, so it is important to plan accordingly.
Camping Rules and Regulations
Camping at Van Damme State Park is a great way to experience the beauty of the Mendocino Coast. To ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time, there are a few important rules and regulations to be aware of.
Firstly, all campers must check in at the park kiosk upon arrival. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is recommended to arrive early to secure a spot. The maximum stay at the campground is 7 consecutive nights.
Fires are allowed only in designated fire rings and must be attended at all times. Cutting or gathering firewood within the park is prohibited, so it is recommended to bring your own firewood or purchase it from the park. Additionally, smoking is only allowed within vehicles or designated smoking areas.
Pets are welcome at the campground, but they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and disposing of waste in the provided receptacles.
Quiet hours are enforced from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, during which time all noise must be kept to a minimum. Generators may only be used between the hours of 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
Finally, it is important to note that all park rules and regulations must be followed at all times. Failure to comply with park rules may result in fines or expulsion from the campground.
By following these rules and regulations, campers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience at Van Damme State Park.
Van Damme State Park is situated in a prime location for exploring the Mendocino Coast. Here are some nearby attractions that visitors may want to check out during their stay:
- Mendocino Headlands State Park: Located just 10 miles north of Van Damme State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park is a must-visit for anyone interested in coastal scenery. The park features stunning views of the rugged coastline, as well as access to several beaches and hiking trails.
- Jug Handle State Natural Reserve: This reserve is located just 5 miles south of Van Damme State Park and offers visitors the chance to explore a unique stretch of coastline. The reserve is home to a rare type of coastal prairie known as a “pygmy forest,” as well as several miles of hiking trails.
- Russian Gulch State Park: Located just 7 miles north of Van Damme State Park, Russian Gulch State Park is a great place to explore the redwood forests of the Mendocino Coast. The park features several hiking trails, as well as access to a waterfall and a beach.
- Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park: This historic lighthouse is located just 15 miles north of Van Damme State Park and offers visitors the chance to learn about the history of the Mendocino Coast. The park features a museum, as well as access to several hiking trails and a beach.
Van Damme State Park offers a unique camping experience in Northern California. With access to both the beach and the forest, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
The park’s campsites are well-maintained and provide essential amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms and showers. The park also offers group campsites for larger groups and RV camping for those who prefer a more comfortable camping experience.
Overall, Van Damme State Park is a great destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the natural beauty of Northern California.