George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area RV & Campground Guide

California

For camping fun in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley, head to George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area. This 46.5-acre park, which is located about halfway between Modesto and Merced, is a favorite place to hold birthday parties and family get-togethers. One of the George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area's most notable landmarks is a bridge that was built in 1910. Today, it is a popular place to take senior pictures and engagement photos. You can also go camping and fishing at this park, which is about 100 miles east of San Jose. 

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Weather
Spring 51-77 F
Summer 62-90 F
Fall 60-84 F
Winter 40-55 F
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Nearby Cities
Modesto, CA
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RV Resorts & Campsites in George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

You'll find plenty of cool camping sites in and around the George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area. In fact, camping is probably the best way to build memories with friends and family while exploring the region. Consider renting an RV on RVshare if you do not have one of your own. 

George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area Campground

Available campsites at George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area Campground are large enough to hold a 30-foot motorhome. Primitive sites are also available at this state-operated campground, with rates starting at $30 per night. 

• Water hookup: No 

• Electrical hookup: No 

• Sewer hookup: No 

• Wi-Fi: No 

• Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash and always attended 

• Other amenities: Table, fire ring, grate and food storage locker

McConnell State Recreation Area Campground

Swim in the river or play on the shaded open fields at McConnell State Recreation Area Campground, where rates start at $30 per night. This was the first state recreation area opened in the San Joaquin Valley, and it is a neighbor to Hatfield State Recreation Area. 

• Water hookup: No 

• Electrical hookup: No 

• Sewer hookup: No 

• Wi-Fi: No 

• Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash and always attended 

• Other amenities: Table, fire ring, grate and food storage locker

Merced River Resort

Family-friendly Merced River Resort offers a swimming pool, outdoor games and a recreation room. You can enjoy fishing in the river when you stay at this campground. Rates start at $50 per night. 

• Water hookup: Yes 

• Electrical hookup: Yes 

• Sewer hookup: Yes 

• Wi-Fi: Yes 

• Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash and always attended 

• Other amenities: Pool, recreation room 

San Luis Creek RV Campgrounds

Boating, board sailing, fishing and picnicking are popular at San Luis Creek RV Campgrounds, located near Gustine, California. Rates start at $40 a night at all five campgrounds located within this state recreation area. 

• Water hookup: No 

• Electrical hookup: No 

• Sewer hookup: No 

• Wi-Fi: No 

• Pet-friendly: Yes, on a leash and always attended 

• Other amenities: Table, fire ring, grate and food storage locker 

RV Rentals Near George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

Inside George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

If you are looking for a serene environment to relax in, then George J. Hatfield Recreation Area may be a perfect choice. Bring along the fishing gear to catch trout in the river. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the meadows and wear old clothes or your swimsuit so that you can wade in the river. You'll also find many places to go sunbathing within this nature preserve. If you're in the mood to relax, you can always just sit and enjoy the beautiful views. 

Restaurants

Hot Rod’s Bar and Grill

This dive bar often has karaoke and live music. Plus, you can get a great breakfast here. 

Type: American

Location: 8155 Lander Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324

Pizza Plus Incorporated

Since 1995, Hilmar residents and visitors have been coming to this pizza restaurant. 

Type: Pizza

Location: 19935 American Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324

Javi's Hilmar Mexican Restaurant

Join the fun of watching the game on the big-screen televisions while eating good Mexican food at this local favorite. 

Type: Mexican

Location: 8394 Lander Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324

Dust Bowl Downtown Taproom

Get creative grilled salads, burgers and shared plates at this restaurant that serves over 20 beer selections from its brewery. 

Type: American

Location: 200 West Main Street, Turlock, CA 95380

La Mo Café

Enjoy seasonal favorites made with products from local vendors at this Latin-inspired California bistro. 

Type: Latin

Location: 310 East Main Street, Turlock, CA 95380

Shopping

Cloth and Quilts

Take quilting classes or buy the supplies that you need at this home-owned fabric store. 

Location: 19949 American Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324

Rad Rags

For more than 30 years, shoppers have been finding hand-dyed clothing at this shop. 

Location: 20434 Songbird Way, Hilmar, CA 95324

Modern by Design & Gift Shop

Get high-end clothing for the whole family at this store. 

Location: 1220 Main Street, Newman, CA 95360

Needful Things

Find knitting needles, yarn, knickknacks and French soaps at this small shop. 

Location: 151 North Thor Street, Turlock, CA 95380

See’s Candies

Find chocolate candy and other goodies at this candy store. You can also create your own box of mixed candies, just like shoppers have been doing since 1921. 

Location: 2900 Geer Road, Turlock, CA 95380

Sightseeing

Hilmar Cheese Company Visitors Center

Tour the world's largest single-site cheese and whey factory where over 1 million pounds of cheese are made daily. 

Location: 9001 North Lander Avenue, Hilmar, CA 95324

Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1951, this 10,262-acre wetland refuge is home to the largest wintering populations of lesser sandhill cranes and Ross's geese within the Pacific Flyway. 

Location: 7430 West Sandy Mush Road, Merced, CA 95341

Lake Yosemite

This man-made lake is a favorite for sailboats, jet skis and water skis along with swimming. 

Location: 5714 Lake Road Merced, CA 95340

Merced County Courthouse Museum

Learn the history of settlers in the Great Central Valley at this courthouse that was constructed in 1875. It is one of the oldest in the state. 

Location: 21st and N Streets, Merced, CA 95340

Applegate Park Zoo

This wildlife rehabilitation zoo features a variety of mammals. You'll see them all in a small, family-friendly environment. 

Location: 1045 West 25th Street, Merced, CA 95340

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How to Get to
George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

If you are coming to the park from Interstate 5, get off at the Newman exit. Go east on County Road J-18 for 5 miles. The park entrance is right after you cross the river bridge. 

If you are coming to the park from Hilmar, then get on Williams Avenue. Turn left on Mitchell Road, which will become Turner Avenue. Continue until you come to Kelly Avenue, where you will turn left. The park will be on your left in 1.2 miles. 

If you are coming from Merced, take Highway 99 northeast until you come to exit 198. Take this exit and get on West Bellevue Road. Turn left on Westside Boulevard. Then, turn right onto CA 165 South. Turn right on River Road and stay on that road, which changes names several times until you reach the park. 

Entering George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area

Per vehicle : $10

Camping fees additional

Since its dedication on September 1, 1953, many memories have been made at George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area. If you've visited this area, then you probably have some great photos. Share those memories on your social media feeds and tag RVshare in the comments. We would also love it if you would send your trip photos to us at [email protected] When you share, it helps everyone become better acquainted with this area of the beautiful state of California.