Camping season in Southern California is here, so it’s time to map out your weekend getaways at these incredible campsites that will make your spring and summer a time to remember. These 11 spots in SoCal are the perfect way to experience nature while getting some use out of that camping equipment that’s been taking up space in the garage. Dust off that tent, pull out the sleeping bags, and get ready to have some fun as Southern California is the perfect place for a camping trip.
1. Joshua Tree
If you haven't camped in Joshua Tree yet, you are missing out. Do yourself a favor and add Joshua Tree to your bucket list as it's an incredible place to experience. There are several campgrounds within this national park, but Jumbo Rocks is the most popular destination as it's centrally located and easy to explore the entire park from this spot. Another bonus: the giant rocks are not only magnificent, but they also provide tons of privacy from other nearby campers.
2. Leo Carillo State Park and Beach in Malibu
If you're looking for the perfect balance of a woodsy camping area with nearby beach access, you will fall in love with the campground at Leo Carillo State Park in Malibu.
3. Buckhorn Campground in the Angeles National Forest
For $12 per night you can slumber under a canopy of tall pine and cedar trees. There are 38 campsites available and they are all first come, first served so make sure to plan accordingly as these spots fill up quickly.
4. El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara
For those of you who want more glamping than camping, this spot in Santa Barbara is exactly what you need. Accommodations include furnished canvas safari tents, yurts or rustic cabins nestled along El Capitan Creek. That's camping with style!
5. Serrano Campground in Big Bear
One of the top campsites in all of SoCal is located in Big Bear. It's known for towering pine trees, well maintained grounds and hot showers.
6. Horse Flats National Campground in Angeles National Forest
A perfect spot to explore the hiking trails in the San Gabriel Mountains while getting away from it all on a camping trip.
7. Big Sycamore Canyon Campground in Malibu
It's called Big Sycamore for a good reason. This campsite at Point Mugu State Park in Malibu is surrounded by lovely Sycamore trees that provide the perfect amount of shade cover.
8. Two Harbors in Catalina Island
If you're looking for a rugged camping experience that also has the luxury of snorkeling only steps away from your tent, then Two Harbors is the camping paradise you've been seeking. Skip Avalon on your next trip to Catalina Island and do a little camping at Two Harbors where you will be surrounded by nature. Yoga instructor not included.
9. Carpinteria State Beach Campground in Santa Barbara County
The campsites located right on the beach are hot property as there are only a few. If you are lucky enough to snag one, you can camp with this lovely ocean view right outside your tent. Not too shabby!
10. Anza-Borrego State Park in San Diego County
Pitch a tent and enjoy the desert air in the largest state park in California.
11. Henninger Flats Campground in Pasadena
This is a hidden gem in Altadena. It's a bit of a hike to reach this campground, but once you arrive you will be delighted to discover the campsite is free and the view is priceless.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t these campsites look like a divine way to experience Southern California? We would love to know where your favorite camping spots are in SoCal, so if you don’t mind sharing we’d love to be in on the scoop.