Manchester State Park Campground is largely situated in the middle of a tall grass field dotted with coastal pines and provides access to the nearby sand dunes and massive driftwood littered beach. The pristine beach is one of the few remaining “wild” beaches left on the Northern California coastline, offering around 18,000 feet of coastline, and it is only a few minutes walk from the campground. Point Arenas Lighthouse is located at the southern end of Manchester Beach and is a popular attraction that makes for a good hike from the campground. Additionally, the streams and creeks within Manchester State Park are popular for steelhead fishing.
In addition to the main campground there are 10 environmental walk-in campsites accessible via a mile long walk from the main campground. Each campsite includes access to bathrooms, a fire ring, and a picnic table. The campground is currently not on reservations and is first-come, first-serve.
Manchester State Park Campground Bottom Line
The main campground at Manchester State Park is not much to look at, and only a handful of sites that have privacy of any kind. However, Manchester State Park Campground does not get used that much (It is in one of the 70 California State Parks that were nearly closed in 2012), so you can often find a campsite without anyone occupying the neighboring campsites, which gives you at least a little privacy. The walk-in campsites are much better choice for camping if you are up for the mile walk from the main campground. The environmental walk-in campsites at Manchester State Park are close to the beach and Davis Lake Pond and offer significantly more privacy and far better scenery.
In the main campground the best campsites are 2, 4, 6, and 31-41; these campsites have some shade from trees and some privacy. Campsites 8-29 have no shade and no privacy.
Manchester State Park Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||41 Car Campsites
10 Walk-in Environmental Campsites
|Dogs Allowed:||Yes – Main Campground Only|
|Toilets:||Yes – Vault Toilet|
|RV/Trailer Length:||RV – 30 Feet, Trailer – 22 feet|
|Cell Phone Service:||Verizon|
|Operating Season:||Open Year-round|
|Address:||44500 Kinney Road, Mendocino, CA 95459|
|Nearest City:||Mendocino, California|
|Location:||Mendocino County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||1.5 miles to Manchester|
|Directions:||Manchester State Park Campground entrance is located just off of California Highway 1 on Kinney Lane (past the KOA Campground), 1/2 mile north of the town of Manchester.|
|Phone:||707.882.2463||Facebook:||Manchester State Park Campground Facebook Page|
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Reservations Not Accepted|
When To Go
Late Summer – Fall – Manchester State Park Campground is rarely busy, and the temperatures are moderate year round, however it is rainfall is common and heavy between September and May, and it is often foggy in the morning and evening during the summer months.
Thursday 02/21 0%
High 54° / Low 36°
Sunny with gusty winds developing this afternoon. High 54F. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Friday 02/22 0%
High 53° / Low 41°
A mainly sunny sky. High 53F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.
Saturday 02/23 40%
High 53° / Low 46°
Chance of Rain
Increasing clouds with showers arriving sometime in the afternoon. High 53F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Sunday 02/24 60%
High 53° / Low 50°
Chance of Rain
Cloudy with occasional rain showers. High 53F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Monday 02/25 90%
High 54° / Low 50°
Periods of rain. High 54F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.
Tuesday 02/26 80%
High 55° / Low 49°
Periods of rain. High near 55F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall near a half an inch.
The mild coastal climate is generally cool, windy and foggy. Temperatures range from winter lows in the high 30s to summer highs near 70 degrees.
The northernmost segment of the San Andreas Fault cuts through Manchester State Park into the ocean, separating the Pacific and North tectonic plates.
The Arena Rock Marine Natural Preserve sits just offshore from Manchester and is considered an underwater extension of the state park.
Point Arena Lighthouse is located at the southern border of the park and prior to its construction, six known shipwrecks were attributed to the dangerous rock outcroppings of Arena Rock, and an additional 34 ships were presumed lost at sea in the area due to the hazards of the area. Some of the artifacts recovered from the shipwrecks are on display at the lighthouse.
Manchester State Park Campground Pictures
Image Credits: Justin Wilson