Albion River Campground is located 20 Minutes south of Mendecino, CA on Hwy 1. It is located where the Albion River and the Pacific Ocean meets. It contains a boat launch ramp and dock space for parking. There is easy access to Albion Cove beach where you can fish, abalone dive, crab or just sit and enjoy the beautiful sunsets.
Total Combined Score out of 30: 20
(Rating 1-5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest)
Driving distance from Sacramento: (score 2) In an RV or trailer it takes about 5 hours to get there. There are two different ways to get there; Route #1) I-80 West towards SF, Hwy 37 West to Hwy 101 North to Colverdale, then Hwy 128 West to Hwy1 then just 10 minutes north. This way is much more flat than route #2 by going through Petaluma and up Hwy 101 but the cut over from Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 is a long, windy road of 56 miles. In a RV or pulling a trailer, it’s a two hour trek. Route#2 takes you up I-5 to Hwy 20 West towards Clear Lake, to Hwy 101 to Willits then continue west on Hwy 20 into Ft. Bragg. From there go South on Hwy 1 for about 20-30 minutes. This route has more hills and windy roads on Hwy 20 through Clear Lake and then again from Willits to Ft Bragg. But they are more broken up so you at least get a rest in between them. Most of our group will take Route #1 to Albion.
Weather: (score 3) The weather at the Albion Campground is subject the the regular North Coast averages and is cool to warm. HOWEVER, the location of the campground is down in a valley and can get VERY WINDY so be be sure you have stakes for your tent and de-flappers for your trailer/RV awnings and good tie downs. When no windy, the fog can roll in and cool off what was a nice 60-65 degree summer day. As always, when camping on the California north coast, come prepared for windy, foggy, sunny, wet weather with warm clothes as well as some flip flops and shorts. It’s highly possible that you can go through all stages in a single day.
Peacefulness: (score 3) I only give Albion a 3 for peacefulness because the bridge is just above you and you can hear the cars go overhead. It’s not BAD, but it can be heard. Also with the close proximity of the neighbors, unless it’s a slow weekend, you will feel like you are right on top of each other. Now, take a trip up the river and you get some serious peacefulness!
Walking Trails: (score 2) There really aren’t any walking trails unless you walk through the neighboring campground (Schooner’s Cove) which is a private campground and even then, there is only so far you can go before you run out of trail.
Water Access: (score 5) Want river? GOT IT! Want ocean? GOT IT!! You have access to both the Albion River and the Pacific Ocean at Albion, plus there is a launch ramp for your boat and docks to park it at. Keep in mind, the Albion River is subject to tides so depending on the size of your boat, you may have to watch the tides before launching. For those without a boat, you can fish from the docks or take a walk out to the beach and play in the surf.
Hook-ups: (score 4) Albion has FULL hook-ups as well as sites with partial hook-ups. I have only stayed in partial hook-up sites so that’s all I can review here. They also have a dump station. I only gave them a 4 because of the location of the hookups which are located in the center of the rows. This means that some sites are back in, some are drive in. Depending on what side of the row you are on will depend on whether you back in or drive in. This can be a bummer if your door is facing towards the ocean and the wind picks up. If this is the case, you have no wind block and the wind can blow your doors open/closed and can hurt someone.
WiFi: (score 3) Ablion has several WiFi channels to choose from but all were very weak signals and I wasn’t that far from the office. In addition, several times throughout the weekend, the internet access would drop completely and I wouldn’t be able to access the internet no matter what channel you were on. I thought that they turned it off at night but others didn’t have the same problem, so I don’t know what the issue was.
Other Notes: *NOTE, THERE IS NO CELL SIGNAL AT ALL SO WIFI IS ALL YOU HAVE* Amongst our dive club, many members feel that Albion is their favorite campground. It is loved by many. I feel that it’s a nice campground for some things, but is missing others that I prefer to have. I would definitely camp here again.