Large Group Camping Southern California - Southern California is full of diverse landscapes, so there's something to satisfy even the most picky camper.
From sparkling beach sunsets to high-altitude pine forests and rock-strewn deserts, the Golden State has many great places to stay overnight.
Large Group Camping Southern California
With two national parks (Joshua Tree and Channel Islands), several mountain ranges, a handful of national forests and dozens of world-famous beaches, SoCal has established itself as an outdoor enthusiast's paradise and a haven for locals and international visitors alike. . bunch every year.
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We've narrowed our favorite sites down to one big list, broken down into full-service campgrounds and more rural, scattered backcountry options. Skip the Developed Campgrounds section if you know it's not your scene.
Developed campgrounds are the best option for discerning campers looking for amenities like restrooms, RV hookups, on-site water, and advance reservations. Here are the top 10, from beaches to mountains to deserts.
Enjoy a morning joe by the ocean at this popular beach campground located in the heart of the Malibu coastline. This large campground offers two ringed sites with bush shrubs and leafy sycamores for shade and some privacy.
The area also offers easy access to many hiking trails that offer beautiful views along the Santa Monica Mountains. Of course, you can skip the hike and choose to feel the sand between your toes or take a dip in the ocean (there are two lifeguard stations in the park).
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Leo Carrillo also offers a number of perks for the lucky few who camp here. Token showers, flush toilets, potable water, fire rings, picnic tables and even a garbage dump can be found here. Did we mention it's pet-friendly?
Nice tree. #mountains #optoutside🌲 #exploring A post shared by Jon Lenvik (@28loki) on Nov 17, 2019 at 5:35pm PST
Why you should camp: Escape city smog and feel the refreshing breeze at this high-altitude oasis nestled in a lush pine forest.
Buckhorn has a few perks, but they're pretty special, so I'd rather not include them.
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Perched at 6,300 feet above sea level, this campground is home to 38 sprawling sites hidden off the Angeles Crest Highway next to towering pine forests and fragrant redwoods. Visitors here have an extensive network of trails to choose from. Head to a waterfall or pool, or go crazy and take the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail.
Each Buckhorn site offers picnic tables, bear boxes, safe restroom access, and fire rings (get a free fire permit first!). Places are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and drinking water is provided. Due to its high elevation, camps are usually open from April to November when the snow melts.
Why you should camp here: Pitch your tent in the middle of an outdoor enthusiast's paradise with easy access to climbing, hiking and swimming holes just outside the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles.
A short drive from Los Angeles is the vast grassy hills of Malibu Creek State Park. The area offers a variety of outdoor activities, from rock climbing to horseback riding, biking and scenic swimming. For avid hikers looking for a workout, there is also a 15-mile creekside trail that winds through oak, oak and sycamore forests.
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Each site offers ample space for 2 vehicles and up to 8 people, although most sites offer plenty of sunlight and privacy. There are group campsites that can be reserved for larger gatherings. Park visitors have access to flush toilets, token showers, and their own picnic tables and fire pits. On days with normal fire warnings, only Duraflame logs and charcoal briquettes may be permitted instead of regular firewood.
Why you should camp here: Get lost in a rock wonderland at this private and spacious location in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park.
Some will tell you that the reason to visit Joshua Tree is to get up close and personal with the park's famous giant boulders and Seussian yucca trees.
Campers at Jumbo Rocks can do both. Amenities are few and far between, but this campground is centrally located and full of opportunities for hiking and scrambling without getting into the car.
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Each campsite is nestled between large boulders of Monzo granite and has picnic tables and fire pits. There is no potable water here, so you must bring all water (including fire water).
Multiple restrooms are well placed around the campground so you don't have to walk too far and there are recycling/trash bins on site. Looking for a family-friendly activity? The Jumbo Rocks Amphitheater is home to evening programs detailing the natural and cultural history of the park. Check the schedule at the visitor center before heading to the campground.
Why you should camp: Pitch a tent in the sand and hike under the railroad tracks to a secluded and little-known beach near Santa Barbara.
Soak up the sun on the rocky coastal cliffs of Gaviota State Park, located just 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. It's a short hike from the campground to the very beautiful beach, and visitors can explore the historic railroad ford and enjoy spectacular views along the way. Interested in a great hike through SoCal? The adjacent state park has many trails for all levels of fitness, from short trails to Gaviota Hot Springs to long loops from Tunnel View to Gaviota Peak.
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Each site offers visitors a fire pit (with grill) and picnic tables. Toilets and flush showers are available. Drinking water pipes are well placed throughout the campground and there is also a small shop on site where you can find any items you may have missed. Finally, it's a good idea to have good tent poles with you when camping here. It can be very windy!
Photos from our little camping trip last week🌱🌊 Good breath from a busy final semester of college🌪👀 A post shared by @cheyprocor on Mar 10, 2020 at 7:59pm PDT
Why you should camp here: Wind through the coastal curves of the infamous Highway 1 to a shady campsite. It is just a stone's throw from the beaches of Point Mugu.
Most people wouldn't expect to find green grass and lots of shade trees at a beachfront campground. But Sycamore Canyon sits at the fold of the Santa Monica Mountains, allowing visitors to experience the best of both worlds.
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The sites here will fill the hearts of all outdoor enthusiasts as numerous activities are easily accessible. Windsurf the Pacific Ocean, climb Mugubong Peak for spectacular views or mountain bike the Backbone Trail. The Sycamore Cove day area also has two lifeguard towers for safe swimming.
Each site offers picnic tables and firepits, and the campground has easy access to drinking water, flush toilets, and token showers. Book in advance if you plan to visit on weekends or during busy summer months.
Route 6 camping for adventure guides. A post shared by Derek Cherry (@dcherry1) on Oct 13, 2018 at 6:34 PM PDT
Why you should camp here: Watch surfers sunbathe on the beach at this iconic Southern California beach campground midway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
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Now, this camp isn't exactly on the beach. A 5.5-mile long site perched on a massive rock cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But don't let that disappoint you. San Onofre Bluffs Campground offers relatively easy access to the beach via a series of rugged trails carved into the cliffs.
This is a world-renowned area for surfers and you are sure to spot a few surfers during your stay. Other outdoor activities in the area include biking Old Route 101, bird watching at Trestles Wetland Nature Preserve, and hiking one of San Onofre State Beach's many inland trails.
San Onofre Bluffs Campground has cold outdoor showers, potable water and chemical toilets. Each individual campground also has picnic tables and fire pits. There are no RV hookups available, but there is a field dump. Dogs are allowed at campgrounds and beaches near Routes 1 and 6, so bring your furry friend at least 6 feet away. The area is generally open from late May to late September and is perfect for summer family fun.
Why you should camp: Relax in a hammock and relax by the lake at this Big Bear camping gem complete with modern amenities.
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This 109 campground (open late March through November) is located on the quiet north side of Big Bear Lake, a short drive from the town's restaurants and gift shops. This is an ideal place to enjoy the tranquility in the shade of hundreds of mighty pine trees, a short walk from the lake itself.
Camp Serrano offers everything from hiking to fishing,
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