10 Amazing Campsite Locations Close to Los Angeles (2023)
Some of the best campsite locations are located very close to the central city of Los Angeles. All you need is some time on your hands to drive to these locations in LA. Once you reach, you can be sure that you will have nothing but a good time. Camping can be a very good way to get rid of the stress that has accumulated due to work and other issues. Hence, you should definitely use this opportunity to check out the top 10 best campsite locations near Los Angeles. These places will surely blow your mind away!
10 Amazing Campsite Locations Close to Los Angeles
Marion Mountain Campground, Idyllwild
There is no doubt that forests can be one of the most peaceful and amazing locations for camping. The serenity of being at one with nature can never really be compared. And if you combine this with mountains in the backdrop, what more can you possibly need? The Marion Mountain Campground is truly one of a kind for how beautiful and aesthetic it is.
This campsite near Los Angeles is located in an alpine forest with an elevation of 6,400 feet from sea level. The forest is within the San Bernardino National Forest area. You will be able to camp underneath the beautiful pine, oak, and cedar trees. You will also be able to hike on the Marion Mountain Trail.
Whether you want to be active or just sit back and read a book, this campsite is perfect for both. And the rates are very reasonable at only $10 per night.
Los Prietos Campground, Santa Barbara
If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then Los Prietos Campground in Santa Barbara will offer you the best combination of camping as well as wild animal watching. The camping ground is located within the Los Prietos National Forest, which is right at the end of the Santa Ynez Valley.
The scenic beauty of this location and the thrill of getting to see wild animals will be quite the perfect mixture for camping. The most commonly seen animals are deer and wild buffaloes. Wild turkeys are also seen from time to time. You will also get to be in direct line of view of the Santa Ynez River. The aesthetic value of this place is truly immense.
You will be able to book your camps beforehand following a very easy process. The rates start at $30 for each night.
Malibu Creek State Park, Agoura Hills
The Malibu Creek State Park in Agoura Hills offers quite a contrast between the simplicity of nature and the surrounding multi-million dollar homes and ranches. Malibu is one of the poshest areas in Los Angeles, and if you visit Malibu Creek State Park, you will understand why.
The state park covers a massive distance of 4,000 acres and offers a variety of activities that you can participate in, other than camping. Most people love to hike along the trails here and also spend some time sitting by the beautiful lake. You will also have the option to swim in a volcanic swimming hole to cool off. Surrounding the camp is the beautiful and alluring mountains of Santa Monica. This place is truly picture-perfect.
You can have your very own campfire as well, where you can drink hot chocolate and melted marshmallows. A night here starts from $45.
Saddleback Butte State Park, Lancaster
Set at an astonishing height of 3,651 feet above the Antelope Valley, Saddleback Butte State Park is one of the most popular campsite locations near Los Angeles. This state park is located on the western side of the Mojave desert and offers a serene experience of spending a night in such a spectacular atmosphere.
You will not only be entranced by the amazing scenery and the mountains surrounding this location, but there will also be desert wildlife that you can explore. Watch out for the very dangerous Mojave Green rattlesnake. The location has 37 campsites, which are equipped with fire rings, tables, and grills. There is also a roof to protect campers from the harsh sun. You will also be able to access bathrooms with flushable toilets and water faucets.
This campsite is pretty cheap and reasonable and is priced at $20 for one night.
Carpinteria State Beach, Carpinteria
If you are a beach lover, then what can be better than camping on a beach? Another benefit of Carpinteria State Beach is that it is easily accessible through public transport as well. You can hop on an Amtrak Coast train to reach this location within two hours. Every day, there are five trains leaving from Union Station to Carpinteria.
This place also offers all kinds of amenities that you would expect from any good campsite. Hence, it has easily become one of the trendiest campsite locations near Los Angeles. You will be getting toilets with flush, breweries, fire rings, and even a dump station for RVs. There are also options for campers to bike here.
A standard campsite here costs $45 for each night. That is pretty pocket-friendly considering the location and amenities.
Gaviota State Park, Goleta
Apart from camping, if the thought of swimming and surfing excites you, then pack your bags and head on to Gaviota State Park for a perfect camping trip. This venue is located just 30 miles to the west of Santa Barbara, very close to Highway 101.
On the west end of the campsite, you will be able to see a pier. This pier is used by snorkelers and divers. There is also a spectacular trail that starts right at the end of the pier and continues till the peak of the Gaviota and offers a splendid view of the surroundings, including the Channel Islands. There is also the presence of Gaviota Creek. So, you should expect to see herons, duck, etc. There are a total of 39 campsites on the ground, but make sure to make early bookings as these do get reserved pretty quickly.
The rates for camping here start at $45 for one night. For the hike-in sites, the first come and first serve basis is used.
Joshua Tree National Park, Twenty nine Palms
Another campsite in a desert area, the Joshua Tree National park, has become a popular choice for campsite locations near Los Angeles. The entire camping area is lined with Joshua trees giving it a distinct aesthetic of its own.
Apart from the Joshua trees, some of the other natural highlights that you will notice here are colorful wildflowers, unique wildlife, starry night skies, and architectural boulders. The whole atmosphere will just be inviting you to explore the place. If you are into rock-climbing, make sure to check out Hidden Valley. This place is filled with giant trees and even more gigantic rocks, making it a paradise for rock climbers.
Also, keep in mind to carry plenty of water as there is a limited supply of water inside the park and the heat will surely make you thirsty.
Mountain Oak Campground, Valyermo
Coming back to the campsite in mountain regions, the Mountain Oak Campground in Valyermo is quite a sight to behold. There is a perfect combination of trees, water bodies, and the mountains, which adds to the glamour of this place. There are very tall oaks and pine trees, which seem like they are of endless heights.
You will also be able to participate in a lot of activities arranged by the Big Pines Recreation Area by the Angeles National Forest. This place is very close to Jackson lake, where you can swim, fish for trout and bass, and also canoe. Apart from these, some features of this place are its fully-functional and flushable toilets and stores dedicated to selling firewood.
Reservations are required to be done beforehand. The prices start at $23 for each night.
San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente
Are you looking to spend a weekend surfing with your friends and sun-bathing? Then drive down to the San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, and you will have the best time of your life. This campsite offers a full-blown experience of the beach, as well as an authentic experience of camping.
Most people tend to camp here during the weekends. Hence, make sure to make your bookings well in advance so that you can also secure a place. There are several other amenities as well which are offered by the authorities here.
You will have to pay a minimum of $40 to book a campsite here. However, ranges can vary.
Hoegees Trail Camp, Sierra Madre
If you are planning to spend your night amongst the wilderness, then Hoegees Trail Camp can be quite the perfect option. This campsite is located in the Sierra Madre, which is only two and a half hours away from Los Angeles city.
This campsite also offers a very exciting camping trail that is surely not for those who are faint-hearted. You will have to pass by a creek and through oak and pine trees to reach your endpoint in the trail. There are 15 campsites within the whole area, which are provided with a fire ring, stove, and table. However, there are no toilets or garbage disposal. That might pose a problem.
Hopefully, by the end of this, you have found the perfect campsite location near Los Angeles for yourself. Spend a weekend lost in nature by selecting one campsite from this list!