NFS Campground Review – Antlers, Shasta Lake, CA

View of Shasta Lake from Antlers Campground near the boat ramp

A well-forested and convenient base (right off I-5) to explore Shasta Lake in N.Central CA. Mainly a boaters campground however.

Link to campground here: Antlers Campgrounds, CA
Link to map location here: Antlers Campgrounds, CA

  1. Site Quality = 4/5
    Very nice sites here. Most are heavily forested, with long, paved parking pad and large “sitting areas” containing picnic table, bear-proof food container and fire-pit. Generally very good separation between campers and lots of options for bigger rigs. Selection of back-in sites both single and very spacious double-size (could easily fit full-size RV & boat), plus a few exceptional lake-side sites with views from the back (#14, #18 are prime!). Only dings are that there is ONE tight tree-bordered turn at the beginning of the campground (not really do-able for anything bigger than 40-foot rig), and some of the sites, especially those bordering Antlers Rd (#34 through #42 outer-facing sites) are too uneven for larger rigs. You can see pics of each and every site on NO hookups.
  2. Facilities = 2/5
    Selection of flush toilets and pit toilets around the campground, but unfortunately they were not really clean while we were there. Boat ramp right next-door. NO dump station or showers.
  3. Location = 3.5/5
    There’s good and bad things about the location here. On positive side you are right off I-5 and right next to Shasta Lake in a prime spot to explore the whole area. The negative is that you’re right off I-5 (there is some freeway noise in the campground) and also close to the railroad tracks (you’ll hear the roll of train coming through every now and then). Also, although you’re right by the lake the campground is on a bluff so there is no actual lake access except for boaters (at next-door boat ramp). No hiking either. However it’s an excellent base to explore the whole Shasta area.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 4/5
    Another good spot for pooch with lots of space in camp. No dedicated hiking, but there is “hidden” run-around area in the back of the campground from a small trail between sites #33 & 34. Only ding is no lake access at camp. You’ll need to drive around the shoreline towards Gregory Beach or Beehive Beach get to the beach & water with pooch.

Overall Rating = 3.4

Summary: We were looking for a “beast-size” friendly campground to explore the Lake Shasta area and this place fit the bill. The campground is conveniently located right off I-5 and next to a popular boat-ramp. It is heavily forested and has nice paved sites with large “sitting areas”, lots of privacy and generally really good camper separation. Many sites are large enough for our size plus there are “double” sites that could easily fit a RV, boat & toad, and even a few really prime sites that have lake-views out the back (#14, 15, 18). The only dings are the noise and access to water. This is mainly a boaters campground and gets crowded on the week-ends. Also despite being right next to the lake it is on a bluff and so there is no actual lake/beach access for non-boaters. Lastly you do hear some noise from I-5 and the train tracks. Neither bothered us, but it does detract from that “remote” forest feeling. If we come back and we can book one of the big prime sites (#14, #18) we’ll stay here again, but otherwise we’ll likely head to one of the other campgrounds we scouted out in the area (see below).

Extra Info: Average 3G on Verizon (2 bars). Total 59 sites (all non-hook-up), 45 of which are reservable on Drinking water spigots on-site, but NO dump station. Sites cost $18 for singles, $30 for doubles. Senior Pass gives 50% off.

Extra, Extra Info – Other “Beast-Size” NFS Options: There are at least 2 other forest service campgrounds that accept “beast-size” around Lake Shasta.
1/ Hirz Bay NFS – It’s a windy 10-mile drive to get there, but road is very good, easy 2-lane and the campground has many larger-size (and very pretty) sites. Very relaxed & remote spot with nice hiking trail too. See photos on Link to reservations HERE.
2/ Sims Flats NFS – Small and secluded campground half-way between Lake Shasta and Mt.Shasta ~1 mile off the I-5. Only 19 sites, all first-come-first-serve, but many are large enough for 40-footers. Very pretty & relaxed. This would be our #1 choice coming back to the area. Link to campground HERE.

Extra, Extra, Extra Info – BOONDOCKING: Lake Shasta actually allows camping anywhere on the shoreline if you’re able to get your equipment there. Most spots are best suited to tenters or small campers, but there are a few “dedicated” dispersed areas which cost $8/night and can accept bigger sizes. In our scouts, Gregory Beach seemed the best choice for “beast-size”.

NOTE/ You can see pics of each and every Antlers site on

Typical back-in site (#32 shown)
View of massive double-site (#13 shown). Easily space for RV & boat in here side-by-side.
Typical “sitting area” with picnic table, fire-pit and bear-proof food container. This was taken from “prime” site #14 where you can walk to a full water-view out the back.
Front-view of our site (#12)
Back view of our site showing spacious “sitting area”
View down campground loop showing great separation between sites. #20 on right, #21 on back left.
Another view down loop. #26 on left.
Another view down back-side of campground. #39 on left (this site rather uneven)
View of facilities
Unofficial “run-area” out the back of the campground (accessible between sites #33 & 34)
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. The Good Luck Duck says

    I swear I read “beer-proof container,” and got really concerned. Thank goodness I was wrong.

  2. Tom & Patricia says

    If there ever is an annual award for the best travel rv blog you guys win hands down!! Should you ever think about writing a book take a look here:
    All kinds of possibilities and everything is free until you decide to actually publish something. Stay safe out there. Tom D.

  3. Julee Meltzer says

    You guys really do great RV Park reviews…you touch on all of the questions people might have!

  4. Jack Arns says

    Hi Nina and Paul,

    I’m a recent visitor (now fan) on your web site. (Actually had Glenn, of Man In The Van fame, as our guest once!) My wife and I have made the decision to sell the house and take the plunge to Full Timing RV living. Been reviewing lots of web
    sites and educating ourselves on Class A rigs. I have two quick questions: You boondock a lot and for extended periods…how do you manage the black-grey tanks and water replacement? And, how much of a benefit vs hassle is towing a small car? OK, I gotta sneak in a 3rd question……what do you do all day in some of these very beautiful but seemingly desolate spots? Having made the decision to do this, we really are excited to get going and we now follow your blogs enthusiastically. Your new fans, Jack and Diane, Auburn, CA.

    • libertatemamo says

      Lovely to “meet” you on the blog! I’ve actually got a ton of posts on boondocking & managing tanks etc. in our “boondocking” section, so I’ll direct you there. Here’s one (in particular) that you may like:

      Going “Water-Green” = Conserving Water on the Road

      And another one:

      Our Top 5 Essential Boondocking Items

      Regarding towing a vehicle, with our size rig I consider it a HUGE bonus. We can set-up “the beast” in one spot for a week or two and use our small, nimble, cost-effective toad to sightsee and go shopping etc. I wouldn’t be without one. With our towing set-up it’s super easy (takes less than 5 minutes to hook up). That said, if you’ve got a smaller rig, you may be fine without towing. Here’s my tow-related posts to help direct you a little more, incl. a link to our tow set-up:

      All About Dinghy Towing Part I – Toads
      All About Dinghy Towing Part II – Tow Equipment & Supplemental Brakes

      As for what we DO in these isolated spots? Internet (we both do part-time work online), reading, hiking, dog-walking, exploring, relaxing, happy hour, sunset….It’s all what you make of it :)

      Hope you enjoy the journey & wish you the best of luck w/ your plans.


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