CP Campground Review – Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds, Tulelake, CA

The Tulelake Fairgrounds

A green and convenient stop-over on Hwy139 just south of the CA/OR border .

Link to campground here: Tulelake Valley Fairgrounds, CA
Link to map location here: Tulelake Valley Fairgrounds, CA

  1. Site Quality = 2.5/5
    Very simple sites here. There is one central dirt entry-road to the fairground camping area with large strips of grass on each side lined with RV hookups. No particular separation or privacy, but lots of green view. Grassy area is decently firm, but bumpy/uneven and has the potential to get soft with rain. Biggest bonus is full hook-ups (30Amp/water/sewer) at all sites. There is one nicely separated 50Amp site at the very end of the dirt road and RV’s are allowed to dry-camp for a reduced price around the rest of the grass area.
  2.  Facilities = 4/5
    Facilities are good. Toilets are spacious and kept nicely clean. Showers are large with bench and very good pressure/temp. Plenty of green area in the surrounding fairgrounds. No on-site dump station.
  3. Location = 3.5/5
    Tulelake is somewhat in the middle of no-where so it’s not exactly a destination location. However the fairgrounds are very easily accessible off Hwy 139 plus you are within 15 miles of the fabulous hidden gem of Lava Beds National Monument.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 4/5
    Great park for pooch. Although there are no particular hiking trails here there are tons of green, grassy fields and dirt tracks to play around in. NOTE/ There is a large sign saying “no dogs” when you enter the park, but this is only during events. I was assured by all that dogs are welcome for non-event camping.

Overall Rating = 3.5
 Camp within 15 miles of the Lava Beds National Monument!

Summary: We chose this campground primarily for price and convenience on our route south, but ended up liking it more than we originally thought. The sites themselves are very basic -> just two long rows of hook-ups on green slices of grass as you enter the fairgrounds. There is no particular separation/privacy, but the sites are spacious with the bonus of full hook-ups (30Amp/sewer/water). Only ding is that the grassy surface is somewhat bumpy/uneven and could get soft during rain (big-rigs take care). The surrounding fairgrounds are lovely and green with oceans of space to play with doggie. The other bonus is that you’re within 15 miles of the Lava Beds National Monument, a little hidden gem of a visit in this area. In the full-season sites go for $36 which is too pricey (in my opinion) but if coming in the off-season or using Passport America you can get $18 which is about right. If coming through the area, we’d stay again.

 Extra Info:  Good Verizon signal on cellphone and datacard. Sites cost $36/night in full-season or $18/night in off-season or with Passport America (full hookup), all first-come-first-serve (no reservations). Dry-camping for $16/night. Dump station at nearby Tulelake RV Park.

Extra, Extra Info – CHEAPER? There are several other camping options around the Lava Beds National Monument. The two most often reviewed are the on-site campgrounds within the Monument itself (Indian Well Campground, $10/night dry-camping) which is nicely situated but not suitable (so I’ve heard) for bigger rigs. There is apparently also some lovely National Forest campgrounds ($7/night dry-camping) at Medicine Lake,  but again only rated for smaller rigs. We did not check out either so let me know if you go!

Typical slice-of-green site view
View down RV camping area. Main dirt road with RV sites in the grass on either side.
View down one side of camping area
View of end-site (appeared to be 50Amp) with background of green into the main fairgrounds
View of main facilities
Playing in the fairgrounds
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    You might know (or maybe not) – all country fairgrounds in California have some RV sites with at least E, often E/W, and sometimes E/W/S. It was the law at one time (interesting, huh?). Don’t know if it still is, but we have viewed all manner of RV sites (often just a few scattered here and there) in California fairgrounds. We’ve stayed at several – Tulelake not among them. Thanks for the review!

    • libertatemamo says

      I did NOT know that actually! What an interesting, and useful little tip. We didn’t really stay at any fairgrounds early on in our RV life, but now that I know we’ll probably be checking out some more. Thanks!

  2. DAVID EVANS says

    Hi I have stayed at Lava Beds many times over the past 30+ years.I started with my 1969 Dodge Van; then my 1981 van.The next was a 20′ trailer with extended cab Chev. The last was my 30′ Winnebago hauling my Samauri..I think this is the largest unit that would fit comfortably..If you like caves they have a special limited tour of a cave only open one time a year..Check with the visitor’s center. They also have an online web-cam so you can check the weather!
    Thanks for bringing back the memories…

    • libertatemamo says

      I have to admit I’d never even heard of this place before we passed through the area. I can totally see how you’d end up falling in love with it. What a great area!

  3. jil mohr says

    we are big fans of fairgrounds….did not know that law either laurie…thanks for that….looks like you are enjoying your new toy, nina….we are still “off roa” temporarily…..get back mid november….

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