Campsites in Southern California: the best options for your holiday

By Valentina BaturinetsMay 30, 2023 14:29 PMCalifornia
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Campsites in Southern California: the best options for your holiday
Campsites in California are also organised in the winter season. Source: Image Freepik

Travelling to Southern California is a great way to diversify your camping experience under the night sky. It gives you a rare opportunity to enjoy a pleasant holiday in harmony with nature. You can spend your leisure time here in both cold and warm seasons.

Campsites in Southern California are located in national forests and parks, as well as state parks. Holidaymakers can use toilets, campfire areas, as well as equipment for houses and tents.

The landscapes in campsites are very different - from rocky mountains and picturesque coastal areas to endless deserts with huge boulders. Due to the mild climate and the prevalence of clear days, campsites in California are also organised in the winter season.

Find the best campsite for you among the following campsites in Southern California and have the best holiday of your life.

1. Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is a picturesque camping area in Southern California framed by giant rocks and cliffs. Overnight stays under the mysterious sky and amazing sunsets always attract tourists.

In the heart of the park, Jumbo Rocks, a scattered campsite in Southern California, is cosily located. It offers 124 comfortable pitches for campers' tents and motorhomes.

Guests can use the toilet, but it is worth considering that there is no water and electricity supply in the camp. Not far from the recreation area, there are interesting sights, including Skull Rock.

An important advantage of the campsite is the possibility of early booking during the high season, from autumn to May. Accommodation can also be reserved at other campsites in the area. These include Indian Cove, Black Rock, Ryan Camping and Cottonwood.

 
–°aravans - the best option for camping. Source: Image Freepik

For example, Indian Cove has more than 100 tent sites surrounded by solid rocks. Hidden Valley Campground is very popular among tourists.

2. San Onofre Bluffs Campsite, San Onofre State Beach

One of the best campsites in Southern California, San Onofre Bluffs is great for placing motorhomes on the picturesque shores of the Pacific Ocean. There are 175 sites available for guests to pitch their tents and vehicles. It offers easy access to the picturesque San Onofre Surf Beach, where adrenaline junkies enjoy surfing.

On San Onofre Beach there is a cosy San Onofre Campsite, designed for tents only. San Mateo is well known to travellers with the best camping spots in Southern California. It can accommodate about 149 tents. Tourists like to walk along the scenic trail that leads to Trestles Beach. Campsites are equipped with showers that can be used for a small fee.

San Onofre is a dream destination located in Southern California. Tourists enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and fishing here. The city of San Clemente is located next to the beach and is often compared to a hospitable Spanish village in the coastal zone. It also has a beach with a large number of campsites on the rocks.

3. Serrano Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

Serrano is located near the clear waters of Big Bear Lake, in the San Bernardino National Forest. It is on the list of the best camping spots in Southern California. There are many recreational areas in the area that offer guests tents and motorhomes.

 
Spiritual reboot in nature. Source: Image Pixels

Not far from the campsite is the Lighthouse Trailer Resort, where you can enjoy delicious meals prepared according to special recipes and have fun. You can have a great time at the camp:

  • fishing;
  • go in for water sports;
  • go mountain biking;
  • walking along winding paths.

The Cougar Crest Trail is a particular favourite with holidaymakers. If you head west from Serrano, you can reach the Dogwood Campground via Rim of the World Lane. Travellers like to stay here for unforgettable evenings. There are more than 80 campsites in Southern California that are available during the warm season. Only a few minutes' drive separates holidaymakers from the village of Lake Arrowhead.

4. Green Valley Campsite, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

In Cuyamaca Ranch State Park, located on the Peninsula Ridge, you can enjoy the coveted freshness on hot days. This area is filled with dense forests with centuries-old pines and mighty oaks. Numerous streams with crystal waters meander among the trees.

The park is home to Green Valley, a well-known family campsite in Southern California with 80 pitches. It is located near the picturesque coast of the Sweetwater River, where holidaymakers love to swim. Guests of the campsite enjoy walking along the Pine Ridge Trail, which leads to the reservoir. There are showers nearby that can be used for a small fee.

You can also set up tents or place a caravan at the Paso Picacho camp. It can accommodate 40 tourists. It is so nice to feel complete relaxation and unity with Mother Nature.

5. Manker Flats campsite, Los Angeles National Forest

High up in the mountains, at an altitude of over 6,000 feet, near the top of Mount San Antonio, is one of the best campsites in Southern California, Manker Flats. A beautiful hiking route of about 10 miles starts from here.

Hikers are accommodated in the Angeles National Forest in comfortable country-style accommodation. The Boldy Bowl Trail takes hikers to the local peak, breathing in the mountain air. It is very crowded here on weekends. Drinking water and toilets are always available to campers.

6. Fern Basin Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

Fern Basin Campground is located in a picturesque area near the mountain town of Idyllwild. It has 22 tent sites. Campsites in Southern California can be booked in advance. The best holiday here is in the summer. Among the amenities of this area are toilets and drinking water.

If you wish, travellers can conquer the San Jacinto mountain peak, overcoming the 19.8-mile route. Both groups of friends and solo travellers enjoy their holidays here.

In the shops located nearby, you can buy the necessary products and practical things for your holiday. Not far from the campsite, there is a restaurant with live music, where you can enjoy great food and drinks while spending your leisure time in a pleasant environment.

7. Tamarisk Grove Campground, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has an impressive area of more than 600,000 acres. It is considered one of the best parks in Southern California.

At different times of the year, the park is beautiful in its own way. In spring, the park is full of greenery and beautiful flower buds. In autumn, the park is filled with bright colours of foliage and plants that tolerate coolness.

Tamarisk Grove, one of the best campsites in Southern California, is very popular in the park. It is considered the most developed in Anza-Borrego. The camp is located in the heart of the park. It offers small houses with comfortable accommodation. Travellers can take drinking water with them or it can be bought if necessary.

8. Furnace Creek Campsite, Death Valley National Park

If you want to visit a campsite in Southern California with an unusual landscape, pay attention to Furnace Creek. It is located in the national park with the mystical name of Death Valley.

The camp will appeal to extremists and thrill-seekers, as the desert terrain is not for everyone. Not far from the campsite are the highlights of Death Valley - the Golden Canyons and the impressive Zabriskie Point.

The campsite is clean and well maintained. Here you can find good camping spots in Southern California for a penny. You can stock up on drinking water at the Visitor's Centre.

Of course, there are few plants here, but the desert landscapes make an unforgettable impression on guests. The place is not very cosy in windy weather, so it is best to choose warm and sunny days for your holiday.

9. Moreau Campground, Crystal Cove State Park

Not far from the picturesque Pacific coast is a campsite in Southern California. It is located in Crystal Cove State Park, which stretches from the beach area to the noble Moro Canyon.

Here you can find cosy camping spots in Southern California. More than 60 tent sites in Moro are located in mountainous terrain with magnificent scenery. Guests are delighted to see the ocean from a bird's eye view.

It is very pleasant to enjoy panoramic views of the water surface at dawn and dusk, when the horizon is coloured in different shades and reflections of different tones appear on it. The only thing you need to be careful of here is cloudy weather and windy days.

In the camp, you can use showers and tap water. These amenities are inexpensive.

10. Doan Valley Campground, Palomar Mountain State Park

Palomar Mountain State Park captivates tourists with its unique mountain landscapes. The slopes of the mountains are covered with lush greenery that pleases the eye. The Southern California Campground is located 60 miles north of San Diego.

 
Rest in tents: timeless classics. Source: Image Pixels

The camp, which can accommodate 31 people, is perfect for families and groups of friends. It is convenient for placing tents and caravans. There are toilets and showers for campers, which can be paid for using coins.

11. Sycamore Canyon Campsite, Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Sycamore Canyon campsite can accommodate 60 tents and caravans.

It is convenient to admire the beauty of the ocean coast from a high mountain top. Travellers can walk along the winding paths of the canyon. The best camping spots in Southern California can be easily found here.

Further east along the Pacific coast, closer to Los Angeles, is Leo Carillo State Park, which offers a lot of campsites in Southern California.

Not far from Los Angeles is Malibu Creek State Park, which offers campsites with great views of the local landscape. For travellers, there are comfortable showers and toilets where you can pay with coins.

12. South Carlsbad State Beach Campsite

On the cosy Pacific coast there are wonderful beach campsites in Southern California. They are scattered along the spacious coast of San Diego. South Carlsbad State Beach Campground is located on a mountain peak, offering 220 comfortable places for rest and relaxation.

Many people come here for a few days to completely withdraw from the outside world and enjoy communication with nature. Facilities for travellers include flush toilets and showers, which can be used for a small fee.

13. Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is an amazing place to relax with stunning mountain scenery. It can be reached by travelling about 6 miles along the Malibu Canyon Trail, starting from the Pacific Coast Highway.

The park has more than 50 campsites that are scattered throughout its territory. Here travellers can pitch tents or stay overnight in motorhomes. The camp has flush toilets and hot water showers for guests to use, which require coins.

Each site is equipped with practical elements for relaxation:

  • a picnic table;
  • a campfire area.

Even avid travellers are pleasantly surprised by the charm of the local nature. It is truly impressive and fascinating.

An important advantage of camping is the ability to quickly go on an interesting trip. The total length of the hiking trails is approximately 35 miles. Many routes run along the Pacific coast in Malibu Creek State Park.

14. Doheny State Beach

One of the best beaches in Southern California is popular with tourists. It is about 62 acres long and is located in Diane's Point. Holidaymakers are happy to find things to do here:

  • fishing;
  • surfing;
  • outdoor ball games, including volleyball.

This area is characterised by a warm climate, which is why tourists love to spend their holidays here all year round. Southern California campsites located on Doheny State Beach allow for the accommodation of holidaymakers with both tents and caravans. There is no electricity supply, but this does not prevent travellers from coming here again and again.

You can book the best pitches months in advance throughout the year. There are flush toilets and hot water showers. From the camp, you can quickly reach the nearest beach, which is over a mile long.

15. Lake Perris State Recreation Area

Lake Perris is located in Southern California and offers a gorgeous holiday destination with fabulous surrounding landscapes. A favourite pastime of visitors to the lake is fishing. Many different types of fish are found here, but tourists consider largemouth bass to be a special trophy.

More than 300 campsites are scattered around the lake. Here you can book a cosy place to relax right by the pond. Some camps offer comfortable paved paths for caravans. Selected campsites have electricity at their disposal.

We can't really give you a definitive list of the best campsites in Southern California, as everyone has different tastes. Choose the most suitable option for yourself and hit the road. Good luck and have a great time!

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