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32 Best Summer Camps in California for Kids & Teens

If you’re looking for the best summer camps in California, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve collected a large list of the best camps you can find in the Golden State.

California is the largest state in the country. Although it’s known for LA and other urban areas, California has plenty of untapped wilderness, forests, and mountains, which means that there are many picturesque places for summer camps throughout the state.

Not all summer camps in California are created equally, however. You’ll find that there’s a vast difference between summer camps in Northern California and camps further south, for example.

Types of Summer Camps To Explore 

There are actually several different types of summer camps out there. Because of that, it’s helpful to know them beforehand before you look for day camps in Northern California or sleepaway camps in Southern California.

The two major summer camps are day camps and sleepaway — or overnight — camps.

Day camps are more of a school-like environment, and you’ll need to drop off and pick up your kid each day. Sleepaway and overnight camps are likely what you think of when you think of summer camps since they also provide accommodations to campers.

There are also camps divided by age. You’ll find summer camps for teenagers in California, as well as summer camps for younger children.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the best summer camps in California.

Best Summer Camps in California
Image courtesy of Rebounderz in Sacramento

Rebounderz in Sacramento

City: Sacramento

More Info on the Camp: Rebounderz is one of the most fun summer camps in Sacramento, with indoor trampoline areas, climbing walls, an air pit, an arcade, and more. It’s an excellent option for those looking for something different from your usual summer camp. You can enroll in three-day camps, which cost $239, or one-day camps, which cost $119, throughout the summer.

YMCA Camp Loma Mar

City: Loma Mar 

More Info on the Camp: Camp Loma Mar is a traditional summer camp at the foot of the Santa Cruz mountains. There are various activities, from hiking among the beautiful redwoods to scaling rock walls and swimming. Various weeks are available throughout the summer, and the camp costs $770 for Y members and $850 for non-members.

Kennolyn Camp

City: Soquel 

More Info on the Camp: Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this camp offers day camps, overnight camps, and family camp options with a range of fun activities. It costs between $600 to $855 for family camps, while overnight options cost $2,800 for a one-week stay.

Camp Augusta

City: Nevada City

More Info on the Camp: Camp Augusta is a summer camp located in the Sierra Nevada forest with more than 150 activities from zip lines, canoeing, arts and crafts, music, and more. It’s available for multi-day options throughout the summer, and it costs $375 per person to $500 per person, depending on the camp.

River Way Ranch Camp

City: Sanger 

More Info on the Camp: River Way Ranch Camp is an award-winning California summer camp with both learning opportunities and outdoor experiences. One-week and two-week sessions are available, with prices starting at $2,695.

Best Summer Camps in California

Rock-N-Water Christian Camps

City: Lotus 

More Info on the Camp: Rock-N-Water Christian Camps is a camp that provides services to church youth groups, families, and more. It features activities from rock climbing to whitewater rafting while incorporating Christian teachings. Prices vary depending on the camp and included activities.

Skylake Yosemite Camp

City: Brass Lake 

More Info on the Camp: Described as a classic sleepaway summer camp experience, Skylake is located in Brass Lake, and it provides fun activities and learning without cell phones or video games. It costs $4,175 for a two-week summer camp experience.

Shaffer’s High Sierra Camp, Inc

City: Novato 

More Info on the Camp: There are many traditional camp activities at Shaffer’s High Sierra Camp, ranging from performing arts to paddle boarding to volleyball. Camp prices range from $2,295 for a one-week camp to $4,195 for a two-week camp.

Pali Adventure

City: Running Springs 

More Info on the Camp: Pali Adventure is a Southern California summer camp located near LA that gives campers agency by allowing them to personalize their experience. Specialties include everything from Aviation to Movie Makeup. Two-week camps cost $4,190, with prices increasing depending on duration.

Mountain Camp Woodside

City: Portola Valley 

More Info on the Camp: Mountain Camp woodside is an appropriately named option that has been offering campers friendship, adventure, and learning for 46 years. Summer enrollment rates start at $1,095 for a one-week session or $2,095 for a two-week session.

Frontier Ranch Camp

City: Scotts Valley

More Info on the Camp: Frontier Ranch is a summer camp in Scotts Valley, just south of San Jose. At this camp, you’ll find a range of outdoor and learning activities divided into junior, day, and high school camps. Junior high and high school camps cost $515 for a week.

Best Summer Camps in California

Roughing It Day Camp

City: Lafayette 

More Info on the Camp: Family owned and operated since 1972, Roughing It Day Camp is a summer camp focused on outdoor skill-building and small groups. It costs $2,990 for a two-week session, with prices increasing based on the timeframe.

Camp Sugar Pine

City: Oakhurst 

More Info on the Camp: Camp Sugar Pine in Oakhurst is a Christian summer camp nestled in the mountains. It strongly focuses on combining faith with fun, with everything from chapels and worship to outdoor activities. It costs $489 for a week session.

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch

City: La Honda

More Info on the Camp: Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, YMCA Camp Jones Gulch features a range of activities that you’d normally find at a summer camp — including campfire chats, archery, and more. It costs $660 to $880 a week, depending on the week.

Wasewagan Summer Camp & Retreat

City: Angelus Oaks 

More Info on the Camp: Wasewagan is a camp nestled in the forests near Big Bear and built next to the Santa Ana River. Because of its location, it ranks highly among overnight summer camps in Southern California. Activities include everything from nature education to fishing to river volleyball. It costs $1,360 per week during the summer months.

Camp Tawonga

City: Groveland

More Info on the Camp: Camp Tawonga is a Jewish summer camp focused on expanding leadership skills and creating both lifelong memories and friends. There are one-, two-, and three-week sessions available with a range of activities. It costs $4,295 for a two-week session.

Coppercreek Camp

City: Greenville

More Info on the Camp: Coppercreek Camp in Greenville is a quintessential summer camp with various outdoor activities, skill-building sessions, and more. Since being affected by the Dixie Fire, Coppercreek Camp is planning on offering glamping services and RV sites for campers.

Best Summer Camps in California

Camp Keystone

City: Agoura Hills 

More Info on the Camp: One of the top summer camps in Agoura Hills, Camp Keystone is a day camp with a full range of activities from “classic” to “cool” — including go-carts, karaoke, archery, and nature exploration. It costs $670.50 for a one-week session, with prices increasing up to nine weeks.

Jameson Ranch Camp

City: Glennville 

More Info on the Camp: Jameson Ranch Camp is a unique camp that’s located on a working ranch. It offers many activities that you might not find at a typical summer camp, such as overnight backpacking and horseback riding. It costs $3,330 for a two-week session.

Walden West

City: Saratoga

More Info on the Camp: Operated by the Walden West Foundation, this summer camp is heavily focused on helping kids develop a lifelong passion for science, engineering, and the outdoors. It offers day camps with activities like arts and crafts, gardening, nature study, and hiking. No prices were listed online as of writing.

Camp Ocean Pines

City: Cambria 

More Info on the Camp: As the name evokes, Camp Ocean Pines is located on thirteen acres of Monterey Pine forest that overlook the ocean. Summer camp programs at Camp Ocean Pines emphasize the connection between campers and fostering a love of the natural world. A six-day session costs $1,900, while a two-week session costs $2,850.

Best Summer Camps in California

YMCA Camp Sequoia Lake

City: Miramonte

More Info on the Camp: A classic camp experience located on Sequoia Lake, this camp offers young people a week of unplugging from technology, learning opportunities, and the ability to forge lifelong friendships. Rates are tiered and will vary depending on the circumstance.

The YMCA at Camp Arroyo

City: Livermore 

More Info on the Camp: The YMCA at Camp Arroyo is both an event space and a camp. Although it has a range of quintessential summer camp activities, it focuses on providing a camp experience to existing youth groups and programs. Rental prices begin at $61 per person per night.

Walton’s Grizzly Lodge

City: Portola

More Info on the Camp: Located in the Sierra mountains of Northern California, Walton’s Grizzly Lodge is a summer camp that boasts its own private lake. Campers can choose from more than 40 daily activities in this classic overnight camp setting. It costs $2,250 for a one-week session or $4,350 for a two-week session.

Best Summer Camps in California

Amplify Sleep Away Camp

City: Ojai

More Info on the Camp: Amplify Sleep Away Camp is a girls’ overnight summer camp located in Ojai, California. It’s designed to be an inspiring and empowering camp where campers choose a “track” to focus on during their session, from journalism to music production. It costs $3,850 per two-week session.

Calvin Crest Conferences

City: Oakhurst 

More Info on the Camp: Calvin Crest Conferences is one of many Christian summer camps in California. It’s located in the Sierra National Forest and has more than 340 acres of natural ground. Rates begin at $160 per person, depending on accommodations.

Jenness Park Christian Camp

City: Cold Springs 

More Info on the Camp: A religious summer camp located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Jenness Park Christian Camp offers both youth and teenager camp options. There are various dates available, and the camp costs $359 per participant for a five-day session.

AstroCamp

City: Idyllwild

More Info on the Camp: One of the best summer camps in California, Camp Astro offers special one-week and two-week programs that feature many traditional camp activities. However, Camp Astro also incorporates science exploration and astronomy learning. It costs $1,950 for a one-week session.

Camp Ramah in California

City: Ojai

More Info on the Camp: Camp Ramah is a Jewish summer camp located in Ojai, California. It boasts a range of activities, from Israeli dancing to Krav Maga and from archery to woodworking. Pricing varies, with $3,110 for a one-week session being the lowest rate.

Camp Adventurewood

City: Pasadena 

More Info on the Camp: This outdoor-themed day camp is located in Pasadena and is focused on creating an environment for fun, learning, and growth. It hosts many activities, from wild animal encounters to horse-drawn wagon rides. A full six-week session costs $3,990.

Best Summer Camps in California

YMCA Camp Whittle

City: Fawnskin 

More Info on the Camp: From moonlight ziplining to kayaking, there are a plethora of activities to take part in at YMCA Camp Whittle. Located in San Bernardino County, this camp allows kids and teens to explore nature and build lifelong friendships. No prices were listed as of writing, but past camps have cost $725 for a session.

Celsius and Beyond

City: San Francisco 

More Info on the Camp: Celsius and Beyond is unique among California summer camps for its emphasis on allowing kids to explore scientific concepts and skills. It distills college-level courses into activities designed to help kids explore scientific concepts. Rates start at $585 per weeklong session.

CYO Camp

City: Occidental

More Info on the Camp: CYO Camp is a summer camp operated by Catholic Charities that focuses on helping kids of all religious backgrounds foster positive relationships. Activities include soccer, swimming, archery, and more. A weeklong session at CYO Camp costs $815.

There are Plenty of California Summer Camps to Choose From

Whether you’re looking for day camps that are close to home or overnight summer camps in California, there are plenty of options out there. The best one will depend on where you live, who your child is, and the kind of experience that you and they both want.