A camping trip is one of those trips that has a profound effect on kids that they never forget. Nothing is more fun than roasting marshmallows over the campfire while getting cozy under your blankets next to the fire, enjoying the beautiful sounds of nature, or gathering in your tent and reading bedtime stories!
When you live in Los Angeles, you don't need to drive far to get to a camping site and be in nature! We have found you some of the best camp sites that are suitable for families with many amenities and fun activities.
9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Point Mugu State Park, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, has over 4,000 acres and 15 miles of trails with a creek, rock pool, lake, chaparrals and many trees. Sycamore Canyon Family campsites accommodate up to eight people. They are developed campsites with amenities that vary and may include fire pits or fire rings, picnic tables, showers, lifeguards during summer, picnic area, and a cleared area for your tent.
Burning firewood, Duraflame, and charcoal briquettes in the fire rings is allowed when fire level permits (determined on a day by day basis). Families can enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing. The park was home to Native American’s for centuries and used for filming hits such as Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H. Hot water is available in the bathroom showers. Campsites are $45 per night, per vehicle. $10 for additional vehicle.
25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
Dana Point, CA 92629
Doheny State Beach is one of California's most popular state beaches and has a day use surfing beach at its northern end and a five-acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. The southern end of the state beach has campgrounds, with some of the campsites only steps away from the beach. The state beach has tide pools and a visitor center with several aquariums. Swimming, Surfing, and fishing are popular among families.
Lifeguards patrol the beach year-round while lifeguard towers are staffed roughly Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. You can reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance. Flush toilets and showers are available.
8471 N Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Crystal Cove State Park offers two types of camping: Primitive camping and coastal bluff top camping. For families, we recommend the Moro Campground sites with 58 family campsites and picnic tables. 28 are designated RV and trailer sites, and 30 are designated “low impact” for soft-sided trailers, van conversions and tents. Restrooms and showers are available. compressed gas BBQ's, or outdoor fireplaces are permitted, but wood and charcoal fires are not permitted anywhere in the park.
Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, which is popular for outdoor enthusiasts and an offshore underwater area. You can also explore tidepools and sandy coves. Crystal Cove offers sand and surf, rocky reefs, ridges and canyons - plus recreational opportunities - that appeal to everybody.
11311 Santa Ana Road
Ventura, CA 93001
At Lake Casitas, with over 400 sites, you can choose the camping experience that suits your family best. Some sites are lakeside, close enough to hear the lapping water, others are nestled among the trees, and still more are located on hillsides offering splendid views of the sparkling lake. There are sites to accommodate tents, tent trailers, campers and RVs, all with picnic tables and fire rings, and some with children's playgrounds close by.
Shower houses with bathrooms are located at the front gate and towards the back of the park. There are also fenced dry storage facilities for recreational vehicles, boats, canoes & kayaks. Amenities include Marina Café, Boating and Fishing, Boat Rentals, Lake Casitas Marina, Picnic area, Bike Trail, Bird Watching, Disc Golf and more.
24210 East Fork Road
Azusa, CA 91702
Within easy reach of the greater Los Angeles area, Camp Williams is a quiet haven tucked away in the spectacular San Gabriel Mountains. They offer tenting directly on the banks of the San Gabriel River East Fork, and full-hook-up RV sites shaded by towering oak trees. You can also enjoy cozy camping cabins — Hobbit House. Modern restrooms and showers are available, and you can even enjoy convenience of a Café and General Store on site.
You can also enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and pan for gold. The Mobile Home Park has both sites and units available. Having your own site in the Mobile Park includes the use of a beautiful in-ground pool! Tent Camping are usually $65 per space per night, and RV Camping are $70 per space, per night.
56570 Highway 74, Box 4
Mountain Center, CA 92561
Lake Hemet is surrounded by the majestic beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains near the mountain town of Idyllwild. The scenery is breathtaking no matter which direction you look. Tall pines, manzanita trees, sage, and giant oaks abound. Lake Hemet is one of the most popular spots in Southern California for camping and fishing. Summer holidays require a three night minimum stay.
The site features a Café Shop at Lake Hemet, fishing, swimming, and a Splashing Waterpark, which is open Thursday through Monday throughout the summer season. The huge, inflated, water-play structure floats on 470 acres of the lake’s Swim Cove and offers water fun for all ages. “Glamping” cabins are also available and are equipped to sleep up to six people. Make your reservations early because only ten lake view cabins are available.
Avalon & Two Harbors
Catalina Island is an outdoor lovers paradise. There's no better way to experience this beautiful island than to be at one with the natural surroundings on a Catalina Island camping getaway. You can do camping in Avalon and in Two Harbors. There are also great opportunities to explore the interior of the island by staying at a rustic Inland Camping spot or to explore areas only accessible by boat, with Boat-in Camping sites.
Catalina Island features numerous shops, and restaurants. The Green Pleasure Pier, in the center of the Avalon Bay, is the departure point for numerous ocean expeditions, including the Undersea Expedition, Glass Bottom Boat, Flying Fish Voyage, Discover Two Harbors Tour, Ocean Expedition, and more.
Cabins are also available, and are a fun and economical way to enjoy Two Harbors and Catalina Island., Catalina Cabins sleep two people in simple comfort, with each offering a small refrigerator, heater, and closet. They are available November 1 - March 31.
35000 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Campsites at Leo Carrillo State Park are tucked away from PCH, and have easy access to hiking trails, the beach, and tide pools. The majority of the Leo Carrillo SP campground and day use areas will be open starting May 24th. Campsites can be reserved by going to: reservecalifornia.com. Other than the Nicholas Flats ADA trail, the Leo Carrillo SP backcountry trails will also open on May 24th.
Reservations can be made six months in advance. Family campsites accommodate up to eight people. They are developed campsites with amenities such as fire pits or fire rings, picnic tables, showers, a water supply, and a cleared area for your tent.
17017 Maricopa Highway
Ojai, CA 93023
Wheeler Gorge Campground has 69 family campsites, 5 handicap accessible sites, and 6 double sites for larger groups. Each site contains a table, barbecue and fire ring. Most camp sites are shady and surrounded by rocky mountains. Wheeler Gorge Natural Trail follows a nice stream and is an easy half a mile hike. Trail is open year-round.
This is a loop trail that leads through a riparian and chaparral habitat. The trailhead is on the west side of Highway 33, 1/2 mile north of the Wheeler Gorge Campground entrance. Nearby activities include fishing, hunting (with permit), horseback riding, water activities, hiking, and more.
2211 Pacific Beach Dr.
San Diego, CA 92019
For over 50 years, Campland on the Bay has provided family-friendly fun to campers from all over the world. From full hook-ups to our fully loaded Super Site, they have a variety of sites to suit your needs. The sites come in various sizes to fit tents, RV's and trailers. This camp site has been voted "One of the Top Ten Urban Campgrounds" by USA Today. They also offer one amazing super site. The supersite includes a large gated site with private hot tub, fire pit, outdoor BBQ and sink, shower, bathroom and laundry. The super site is located along the waterfront overlooking the Kendall Frost Wildlife Preserve.
Amenities at Campland are awesome, and includes Pools & Jacuzzi’s, Fitness Center, Bicycle Rentals, Basketball Park, Watercraft Rentals, Dogwood Park, and more. They also offer Kids Activities, Game Room, Skatepark, and Huff & Puff Park just for kids. A restaurant, market and a coffee shop are also available on the site.
Angeles National Forest
Table Mountain, just a short journey northwest of the Los Angeles metro area, provides a beautiful escape from urban life. Campers will find hiking, mountain biking, birding and countless other recreation opportunities. The surrounding landscape is also ideal for scenic drives. The campground sits in the Angeles National Forest, spanning 694,187 acres over most of the San Gabriel Mountain range. The forest boasts spectacular scenery and 557 miles of hiking and equestrian trails.
Campsites range from level meadow locations to shaded, hilly sites. All sites are reasonably close to vault toilets and have paved spurs and fire pits. Water spigots are spaced about every six sites.
22000 Highway 76
Pauma Valley, CA 92061
The campground is located off of Highway 76 on the La Jolla Indian Reservation. The San Luis Rey River runs through the campground, which is fed by natural springs. At La Jolla Indian Campground, you can enjoy multiple campsites along the river with accommodations for large groups, enjoy one of the 36 RV sites with hook ups, or simply go tubing down the San Luis Rey River. La Jolla Campground is San Diego County's only campfire friendly campsite.
You can reserve camp sites one week in advance. Tube rentals are available for $10 per day per person. There is a store right up the hill from the campground that has everything from firewood, gas, deli, food, and ice cold drinks.
33900 Green Valley Lake Road
Green Valley Park, CA
Green Valley Campground is located near Arrowbear in the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. It is centered between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake, providing ample recreational opportunities in the area's pine-covered mountains. Green Valley Lake, known for its exceptional trout fishing, is located about a mile from this beautiful mountain campground. Boating and swimming are also popular activities at Green Valley. The high elevation lake also provides access to a variety of hiking trails.
The campground offers single-family sites for tent and RV camping. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided.
40650 North Shore Lane
Fawnskin, CA 92333
Serrano Campground is a beautiful place for campers to enjoy beautiful Big Bear Lake. The campground is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, within walking distance of the lake. Accessed by the Rim of the World Scenic Byway, the campground is situated in a mountainous, pine forest setting. It is a scenic and fairly modern campground that provides access to a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
The campground offers more than a hundred sites for tent and RV camping. A couple dozen sites provide full utility hookups for RVs and a dump station is located within the campground. Each site is equipped with tables and campfire rings with grills. Accessible flush toilets, showers and drinking water are provided. Hiking and mountain biking trails are within a short distance of the campground. The Alpine Pedal Path and the Cougar Crest Trail are nearby and provide access to the Pacific Crest Trail.
100 El Capitan Terrace Ln.
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
El Capitán State Beach offers visitors a sandy beach, rocky tidepools, and stands of sycamore and oaks along El Capitán Creek. It’s a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A stairway provides access from the bluffs to the beach area.
Reservations can be made six months to the day in advance of the arrival date. Family campsites accommodate up to eight people. They are developed campsites with amenities that may include fire pits or fire rings, picnic tables, showers, a water supply, and a cleared area for your tent.
5361 6th St.
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Reservations can be made six months to the day in advance of the arrival date. Family campsites accommodate up to eight people. They are developed campsites with amenities such as fire pits or fire rings, picnic tables, showers, a water supply, and a cleared area for your tent.
Lifeguards patrol the beach year round and lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi and sea urchins.
7500 Arrowhead Lake Road
Hesperia, CA 92345
Hesperia Lake is open for camping throughout the year. Open spaces and cool clear air make a perfect setting for spending quality time with the family. A variety of sites are available at Hesperia Lake to accommodate RV’s and tent campers. All sites have a picnic table and fire ring. Electricity and water are available in selected sites and restrooms and showers are available at no extra charge. Potable water is located throughout the campground.
Fishing is a favorite at this campground. Hesperia Lake is a pay-to-fish lake. No permits are required. Adults pay $18.00 per session and have a five fish limit. Children 10 years and younger are $6.00 with paid adult and have a two fish limit.
2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
Mojave National Preserve is a camper’s paradise. Developed campgrounds, roadside camping, and backpacking offer opportunities for families with different interests, and skills. Hole-in-the-Wall and Mid Hills campground are the most popular first-come-first-served developed campground sites at the Mojave National Preserve, and are equipped with vault toilets, trash receptacles, potable water, fire rings and picnic tables.
Nearby attractions are Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Calico Ghost Town, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area with wealth of things to do and places to go year-round. Its huge lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen. The weather is generally most comfortable in the spring and fall. Temperatures vary greatly by elevation.
Joshua Tree National Park
Yucca Valley, CA 92277
This quiet, family campground is a good introduction for first-time campers. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with restrooms and water nearby. Campsites vary in size and can accommodate both tents and RVs. A day-use picnic area and a dump station are also available. If you forget to bring your firewood, shopping facilities are only five miles away in the town of Yucca Valley.
The staff at this small visitor center will help you plan a hike or other activity. The hills behind the campground offer a variety of hiking trails including the Hi-View Nature Trail. But you don't have to hike to enjoy the Black Rock Canyon area. Wildlife sightings are frequent in the campground. Visitors often encounter ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and cottontails. Frequent bird sightings include cactus wrens, Gambel's quail, great horned owls, scrub-jays, and roadrunners.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
200 Palm Canyon Dr.
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Camping is available year round, with reservations available from October 1 – April 30. Reservations are site-specific at this campground and are highly recommended. Drinkable water, restrooms, and token-operated hot showers are available. Some sites offer full hookups. Each campsite may have up to eight people (including children).
Reservations can be made six months to the day in advance of the arrival date. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California and there are plenty to see and do.
13775 Lake Ming Rd
Bakersfield, CA 93306
Kern River Campground has two sites with 25 campsites each. Each campsite may have up to 8 people per site. Picnic tables and fire rings, Restrooms and showers, Drinking water spigots, and trash barrels are available throughout the campground. There is a Sewage dump site on the road near the campground exit.
Activities nearby are swimming, boating, and fishing. Reservations are available any time prior to arrival at the campground, based on availability, and may be made up to one year in advance.
To find more campgrounds, and to make reservations for the campsites, click here. To find RV camping sites for free, go to "Your RV Lifestyle". Also see, this great list of games you can play while camping.