The Dyrt, an app for finding camping availability, photos and reviews, outlined in its 2024 Camping Report that California campers were nearly 30 percent more likely than campers nationwide to find sold-out campgrounds.

California is the most competitive among U.S. states for finding an available campsite. The only state with a more competitive camping scene is Wyoming. For this year’s annual report, The Dyrt took a closer look at three West Coast camping states — California, Washington and Oregon.

“I just started camping again this year after a long absence,” said The Dyrt camper Robin W. of California. “I love it, but booking a campsite can be tricky on the weekends. I wish they did lottery-style bookings. I feel like the same people who have the time get to book the same sites.”

The Dyrt launched The Dyrt Alerts in 2023 to help campers get reservations at sold-out campgrounds. California emerged as one of the top states where campers look to take advantage of a cancellation.

Winter camping is also a big draw in a state with large areas where it rarely dips below freezing. The report found that California campers are 27 percent more likely to go camping in the winter than other campers nationwide. Campsites are more accessible to book in the winter than at the height of the camping season. Even so, that strategy only sometimes works out.

“We went to Mount Tam on Christmas in our stealth minivan camper,” said The Dyrt camper Robert N. of California. “There was only tent camping, and all sites were full that would accept car camping. We pulled over in a spot off the road where we could spend the night, then drove back into the park to do another hike. Nice thing about the stealth camper is it just looks like a car parked on the road.”

Another California fact found in the report is that California campers reported higher incomes than campers nationwide. While 5.5 percent of all campers reported household incomes of greater than $250,000, that number increased to 12.2 percent in California.

Image courtesy Lodgepole Campground, Sequoia National Park