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Best Campsites Near Me: Los Angeles

Complete Guide to the Best Campsites Near LA: Frontcountry and Developed Campsites


An orange tent is set up on on of the Best Campsites Near Me on the California coastline under a brilliant night sky with the Milky Way, a comet, and brilliant stars overhead

Beachfront Camping in California - Photo Credit: Walther Nunez


 

Wintertime may not leave you feeling inspired to get outdoors to go hiking or camping, but it's the perfect time to start planning trips for the warmer months! Pathloom is here to help - Use our All-in-One outdoor adventure travel planning app to discover new hiking trails leading to new developed and dispersed campsites throughout the entire country! Click the link to join thousands in our open BETA testing today!



 


Los Angeles, California is a bustling metropolis known for its iconic landmarks, vibrant culture, and endless entertainment options. However, a world of natural beauty and adventure lies just a short drive outside of the city, waiting to be explored.


From the Angeles, San Bernardino, and Los Padres National Forests to Crystal Cove and Malibu Creek State Parks, there are endless opportunities for camping near LA. This guide will cover the best developed campgrounds in the area so that you can find the perfect spot for your next outdoor getaway. Whether you're a first-timer or seasoned camper, this guide has something for everyone looking for the “best campsites near me.”



Best Frontcountry / Developed Campgrounds Near LA:

Campground Name

Season

Fees

# of Sites

Location

Reservations

Year Round

$12/ Car

63

​Up Malibu Canyon - north of Highway 1 (33 miles from LA)

Year Round

$15/ person

56

6 miles east of Arrowhead Lake Road (91 miles from LA)

Year Round

$25/ night

65

North on Highway 33, 8 miles from Ojai (88 miles from LA)

March- November

$12/ night

26

Off Highway 2 near Three Points in Angeles NF (45 miles from LA)

Walk-in

Year Round

$45/ night

66

20 miles west of Santa Barbara, off Highway 101 (132 miles from LA)

Year Round

$12/ night

135

0.5 miles inland from Leo Carrillo State Beach (40 miles from LA)

Year Round

$55/ night

58

North end of Laguna Beach, 10 minute walk (50 miles from LA)

Year Round

$15/ night

58

West end of Santa Monica Mountains, off the beach (57 miles from LA)

April- November

$12/ night

83

26 miles northeast of La Canada off Highway 2 (40 miles from LA)

Walk-in

April- November

$12/ night

38

Angeles NF (50 miles from LA)

Walk-in


 

Best Amenities: Malibu Creek State Park Campground


Malibu Creek STate Park features rolling hills and a beach overlook, one of the Best Campsites Near ME near Los Angeles, California

Malibu Creek State Park - Photo Credit: Mark Pecar



Malibu Creek State Park Campground is a beautiful and peaceful campsite located in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains. The grounds offer a variety of amenities, including flush toilets, hot showers, and a camp store. The campsites are spacious and well-maintained, and each includes a fire ring and picnic table.


This campground is just a short drive from the Pacific Coast Highway, making it convenient for those looking to wander around the surrounding area. We highly recommend taking a hike on one of the many trails in the park while you’re there. The Saddle Peak Trail is a moderately difficult hike with unmatched views from 865 feet, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife while exploring.

 

Best For Hot Springs: Deep Creek Hot Springs Campground


Deep Creek Hot Springs are some of the best springs near LA, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

San Bernardino National Forest - Photo Credit: Jordan Clarke



Deep Creek Hot Springs Campground, found in the San Bernardino National Forest, is best known for its natural hot springs, which are a perfect way to relax after a long day of exploring the surrounding wilderness. The hot springs are located on private land, but they are open to the public for a small entry fee of $5 per person.


The campsites at Deep Creek are spacious and clean, and there is plenty of room for both tent camping and RVs. This remote and peaceful campground is an excellent choice for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life without straying too far outside city limits.

 

Best For Scenic Views: Wheeler Gorge Campground


Fuzzy grassy hills and great hilly viewsone of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Los Padres National Forest - Photo Credit: Ozzie Kirkby



This campground is tucked away in a stunning canyon surrounded by oak and sycamore trees. There is no better place to hike and enjoy nature outside of LA than the Wheeler Gorge Campground in the Los Padres National Forest.


One of the highlights of this campground is the nearby Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail, which presents magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys that you simply cannot find anywhere else. If you’re an LA local looking for the “best campsites near me,” a peaceful and scenic getaway from the city at Wheeler Gorge Campground is definitely worth your consideration.

 

Best For Outdoor Activities: Horse Flats Campground


An incredible sunset over Angeles National Forest, home of some of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Angeles National Forest - Photo Credit: Jeffrey Keenan



Horse Flats Campground is a beautiful spot in the Angeles National Forest, boasting breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. With a total of 26 campsites, it's a perfect place for both solo travelers and groups. Be sure to arrive early during peak times or consider camping on off-days to secure your spot, as space here is limited as compared to other campgrounds on this list.


The campground itself has potable water and barbecue grills available for guests, making it a convenient and comfortable spot to pitch your tent. Horse Flats also has a ton of nearby trails leading to various mountain peaks and scenic vistas. We recommend bringing sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water, as the terrain can be strenuous.

 

Best For Beach Access: Refugio State Beach Campground


Amazing beachfront camping at Refugio State Beach, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Refugio State Beach - Photo Credit: Charles Spink



Refugio State Beach Campground is a hidden gem located on the California coastline, just north of Santa Barbara. This campground is notable for its beautiful surroundings, with picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and adjacent mountains.


The campground is very spacious, accommodating tents, RVs, and trailers alike. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit, making it easy to enjoy a peaceful evening by the ocean. Refugio State Beach Campground’s biggest highlight is its proximity to the beach, with a direct access path leading to the sandy shore. Here, you can spend your days swimming, surfing, or just soaking up the sun.

 

Best For Sunsets: Leo Carrillo State Park Campground


Birds perched on the seaside rocks at Leo Carrillo STate Beach, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Leo Carrillo State Beach - Photo Credit: Mark Andrade



Leo Carrillo State Park Campground is a charming spot along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Visitors to the campsite can take advantage of hot showers and flushing toilets, and other useful amenities.


Aside from ample sunbathing, swimming, and surfing opportunities, this campground is famous for great hikes, with several trails leading through the park's scenic canyons and along the coastline. We recommend trying your hand at tide-pooling, or exploring the park's numerous caves and sea arches. For an unparalleled view, pitch your tent facing west to catch the sunset before bed - you won't regret it!

 

Best For Families: Moro Campground


Pristine sands at Moro Campground, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Crystal Cove - Photo Credit: Jacob Padilla



Moro Campground in Crystal Cove State Park offers a variety of amenities to make your camping experience more enjoyable. These include clean bathrooms with running water, barbecue grills, and fire pits for roasting marshmallows.


The campground also has a convenient location, with quick access to hiking trails, swimming beaches, and fishing spots. The convenient amenities and plentiful activities at Moro Campground make it perfect for families with children of all ages.


You should stay at this location for at least a few nights to fully appreciate the space and explore the beautiful surroundings of Crystal Cove State Park.

 

Best For Hiking: Sycamore Canyon Campground


Sycamore Canyon boasts amazing beaches and mountainous trails, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Point Mugu State Park - Photo Credit: Dane Deaner



The Sycamore Canyon Campground in Point Mugu State Park is a fan-favorite for a reason. There is a long list of activities to try while you’re there, from hiking and biking to picnicking and horseback riding.


Visitors can expect several campsites equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, and nearby restrooms. The campground’s main attraction is the Sycamore Canyon Trail, a moderate to strenuous hike that offers impressive views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding canyon.


Campers can also take advantage of the park's beach access, where they can swim, surf, or relax on the sand. A trip to the Sycamore Canyon Campground wouldn't be complete without a visit to Point Mugu State Park's historic World War II-era military facilities, which are open for self-guided tours.

 

Best For Scenic Views: Chilao Campground


Stormy skies over Chilao Campground, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Angeles National Forest - Photo Credit: Jeffrey Keenan



The campground at Chilao is surrounded by beautiful forests, making it an ideal location for hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and birdwatching activities. The Pacific Crest Trail, which passes through this area, spans over 2,000 miles between Mexico and Canada. The 176-mile section that runs through the campground offers particularly unbeatable views of the forest.

One helpful tip for those planning to visit Chilao Campground is to book ahead, as it is quite a popular spot. Those living in Los Angeles know the best campsites near me fill up quickly during peak season.

 

Best For Extended Stay: Buckhorn Campground


Sunset illuminates the skies over Buckhorn Campground, one of the Best Campsites Near Me near Los Angeles, California

Angeles National Forest - Photo Credit: Jeffrey Keenan



Buckhorn Campground in the Angeles National Forest gives campers a variety of amenities, including toilet facilities, drinking water, and picnic tables. The beautiful, natural setting of the campsite is surrounded by tall trees and plenty of nearby hiking trails.


Along with diverse outdoor activities such as bird watching and fishing, guests can easily access major roads to travel to nearby towns for day trips and errands. For this reason, we highly recommend Buckhorn for an extended camping retreat.

 


Plan Your Next Camping Trip near Los Angeles with Pathloom


Planning a camping trip can be complicated, with so many intricate details and locations to choose from. Our goal at Pathloom is to make the process easier and more enjoyable for all. Explore our outdoor trip planning app to see how we can help you plan your next adventure! For more insightful camping guides and recommendations, be sure to check out the rest of our ‘Campsites Near Me’ blog posts!


 

Wintertime may not leave you feeling inspired to get outdoors to go hiking or camping, but it's the perfect time to start planning trips for the warmer months! Pathloom is here to help - Use our All-in-One outdoor adventure travel planning app to discover new hiking trails leading to new developed and dispersed campsites throughout the entire country! Click the link to join thousands in our open BETA testing today!



 


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