Grover Hot Springs State Park has one of the best California State Park campgrounds! First the setting is simply spectacular. On the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the rocky hillsides and green meadows reminded me of a scene out of the movie Sound of Music.
This state park is located south of Lake Tahoe about 30 min from Kirkwood Ski Resort. This means it is less crowded and we were able to get a campsite even at the last minute during the summer season. Though I recommend booking a site online as it is a long way to drive without guarantee of a place to pitch your tent.
If you are looking to unplug, you'll find there is no cell reception at all at Grover Hot Springs state park. You will not see any kids staring at their phones. Instead, they'll be catching crawdads in the creek and splashing for hours at the pool. Our three families were just content to spend many lazy hours dipping into the hot pool fed by a natural hot spring, then splashing around in the cold pool.
The campsites were all surrounded with pine trees and littered with granite rocks and boulders that provided a wonderful setting for all sorts of imaginary play. The sites were spacious snd are equipped with a fire ring, picnic table, shelf for storing kitchen items and a large bear box. The bathrooms have hot water, showers and electricity. They were nice and clean. The water from the tap tasted great!
In the summer, temperatures run in between 80-100 during the day and dip into the 50's at night, so be sure to bring some sunshade for your bear box or else your food and ice chest is not going to stay cool. Fortunately, the visitors center sells ice, firewood, and ice-cream.