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Los Angeles Camping

Los Angeles Camping Overview

Los Angeles

Los Angeles camping is possible at dozens of campgrounds. Find L.A. campgrounds with conveniences like flush toilets and showers, as well as popular and unique campgrounds to help you narrow the choice. These include National Parks, State Parks, State Beaches, County Parks and privately owned camping resorts. L.A. camping varies from recreational lakes to coastal mountains and an offshore island. L.A. campgrounds of notable interest include lake camping at Pyramid Lake and Castaic Lake, Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains and Two Harbors Campground on Catalina Island. We've included as much detail as possible so you have a better idea of what to expect and whether camping reservations are required in advance.

PETS: Dogs are allowed at almost all campgrounds but must be kept on a leash, picked up after, and never left unattended. Most beach camping allows dogs in the campground but not on the beach.

pdf CAMPING CHECKLIST - download our checklist of common camping supplies and you won't forget anything at home.

REI - rents camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, lanterns and more.

Looking for some late night campsite entertainment? Check out www.seasky.org for their celestial calendar including meteor showers.

Castaic Lake Camping

Los Alamos Campground is located off Interstate 5 north of Castaic. Pyramid Lake is situated at the peak of the Grapevine in the Los Padres National Forest. Amenities include a large lake, marina, swim beach and more. This campground by the lake includes 93 campsites for tent and RV camping. Features include picnic table and fire ring with grill.

Los Alamos Campground @ Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake
Smokey Bear Road
Castaic, California 91355
(877) 444-6777
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Castaic Lake Campground is located off Interstate 5 north of Valencia. Castaic Lake is situated at the base of the Grapevine in the Los Padres National Forest. Amenities include a small lagoon, large lake, marina, swim beach and more. This campground by the lake includes 60 campsites for tent and RV camping. Features include picnic table and fire ring with grill.

Castaic Lake Campground
32132 Castaic Lake Drive
Castaic, CA 91384
(661) 257-4050
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Santa Monica Mountains Camping

Santa Monica Mountains are located between Highway 1 and 101 and between Thousand Oaks and Santa Monica. It is an outdoor playground on the edge of a major metropolitan city. The Santa Monica Mountains meet the ocean to the south and rise to over 2,000 feet. Activities include camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, bird & whale watching, swimming, surfing, nature walks and picnicking. Four State Parks are contained within the park including Point Mugu, Malibu Creek, Topanga and Leo Carrillo, which all offer camping. The property has been used by Hollywood over the years to film movies such as M.A.S.H. and Planet of the Apes. You can find peaceful creeks and hidden waterfalls in the many canyons that carve the landscape. Below we've provided information on the most popular campgrounds in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358
(805) 370-2301
Map  |   pdf Park Map  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Point Mugu State Park Campground is located off Highway 1 (PCH) 15 miles south of Oxnard. Point Mugu offers beach camping and plenty of hiking and biking trails. Hike up one of two rivers that leads to open meadows and the Boney Mountains State Wilderness. Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. Point Mugu is comprised of several campgrounds including group, hike or bike and equestrian options. Big Sycamore Canyon and Thornhill Broome offer 127 campsites available by reservation. Big Sycamore offers flush toilets, showers and fire rings, but Thornhill Broome is a little more primitive. All campsites are RV compatible and a dump station is available at Big Sycamore.

    Point Mugu State Park Campground
    9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
    Malibu, California 90265
    Reservations: (800) 444-7275
    Map  |  Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Leo Carrillo State Park Campground is located off Highway 1 (PCH) 23 miles south of Oxnard. Leo Carrillo offers beach camping and 1.5 miles of beachfront. Shore access includes a wide sandy beach, tide pools and sea caves. Several nature hikes are available in the adjacent headlands. Park includes a small Visitor Center offering group activities during the summer months. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, and windsurfing. Canyon campground offers 138 campsites for tent and RV camping. Leo Carrillo also offers hike or bike and group campgrounds. All have flush toilets, showers and fire rings. RV dump stations is available and pets are OK.

    Leo Carrillo State Park Campground
    35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
    Malibu, California 90265
    Reservations: (800) 444-7275
    Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Topanga State Park Campground is located off Highway 1 (PCH) north of Santa Monica. Located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park features 36 miles of trails through canyons and grassland filled with oak trees. Oceanviews and breezes can be had throughout the park. The park is a popular picnic spot for L.A. residents. Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Campground is a primitive, hiking-in only camp. No pets or RVs accepted.

    Topanga State Park Campground
    Topanga, California 90290
    No Reservations Required
    Map  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Malibu Creek State Park Campground is located off Highway 1 (PCH) in Malibu. The park follows the lush creek bed down from the Santa Monica Mountains into Malibu Lagoon below. Hollywood has taken advantage of its picturesque beauty making it the location of several movies including Tarzan, Planet of the Apes and several westerns. Remnants of the set from the television series 'M.A.S.H.' still remain. The beach was used for most of the 60's surf movies like Gidget. Hiking trails lead to small waterfalls and the very popular Tapia Park. Beach camping, fishing, picnicking and hiking are common activities. Campground includes 62 campsites for tent and RV camping with flush toilets, showers and fire rings.

    Malibu Creek State Park Campground
    Calabasas, California 91302
    Reservations: (800) 444-7275
    Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Catalina Island Camping

Catalina Island is situated 22 miles off the coast of California and accessible by ferry boat or helicopter. Several campgrounds are available throughout the island. Many campsites are situated within walking distance of the best diving, snorkeling and kayaking in all of California. The trick to camping in Catalina is transporting all your gear from the mainland to your campsite. Catalina ferries allow backpacks and necessary gear but any type of fuel is prohibited. The store in Two Harbors sells fuel, firewood and other camping supplies including tents and sleeping bags. Because campers are unable to return with unused fuel canisters, most leave their leftover fuel supplies for the next camper. Transportation to the campsite from Avalon is achieved on the Safari Bus shuttle that runs during the summer, or you can hike or bike in. Permits are necessary for all campgrounds and no pets are allowed. Several of the developed campgrounds have showers and only Hermit Gulch has flush toilets - the rest have chemical toilets. Two Harbors Campground offers tent cabins, which can lesson the load you need to pack in. Below we've provided information on the most popular campgrounds in Catalina.

  • GEAR HAULING SERVICES:
    Catalina backcountry (310) 913-9036 - Offers everything from gear hauling and campsite catering to permits and reservations.
    Catalina Transportation Services (310) 510-0342 - Provides gear hauling service to many Catalina campgrounds.
    Snorkeling Catalina (310) 472-4503 - Provides gear hauling service to boat-in Catalina campgrounds.

  • EQUIPMENT RENTAL:
    Two Harbors (310) 510-8368 - Equipment & Camp Supply Rental.
    Little Harbor (310) 510-2229 - Equipment Rental.

  • KAYAK RENTAL:
    Descanso Beach Ocean Sports (310) 510-1226 - Kayak rentals by the day.
    Wet Spot Rentals (310) 510-2229 - Kayak rentals by the day.

  • SHUTTLE TRANSPORTATION:
    Safari Bus (301) 510-2800 - A shuttle service with regular stops at Avalon, Two Harbors, Little Harbor, Airport in the Sky and Black Jack Junction trailhead.
    Wildlands Express Airport Shuttle (310) 510-0143 - Provides transportation to and from Avalon and Airport in the Sky with stops at Haypress Picnic Ground and Black Jack Campground.
    Afishinados Charters (323) 447-4669 - Offers transportation by sea to Avalon, Two Harbors and Parsons Landing.

  • CATERED FOOD:
    DC-3 Gifts and Grill (310) 510-2196 - Provides catered food delivery to several campgrounds.

Catalina Island Camping
Avalon, California 90704
Reservations: (310) 510-2800
Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   pdf Hiking Trails Map  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Two Harbors Campground is located approximately 15-miles northwest of Avalon at Isthmus Cove. The camp is situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean and just a short distance from Two Harbors Village. The store in Two Harbors rents and sells camping gear including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, fuel, firewood, charcoal, food and more. Equipment rental is also available including kayak, bike, snorkel and more. The camp includes 42 individual campsites and 3 group areas. Tent cabins are also available and come with cots for up to 6 people, stove, lantern, sun shade and more. Campground amenities include showers, running water, lockers, picnic table, fire pit & barbecue, sun shade and chemical toilets. Check-in at Two Harbors Visitor Services is required. Reservations and permit are required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

  • Parsons Landing Campground is the most remote campground on the island and is located approximately 20-miles northwest of Avalon. Parsons Landing is only accessible by hike or kayak. This is also the most primitive camp on the island offering no running water. Campground offers 8 campsites within stones throw of a secluded cove. Water and firewood are provided by Park Ranger upon arrival as part of your fee. Amenities include picnic table, fire pit & barbecue and chemical toilet. Check-in at Two Harbors Visitor Services is required. Reservations are required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

  • Blackjack Campground is located approximately 9-miles northwest of Avalon. This is Catalina's highest campground at 1600-feet above sea level and tucked among pine and eucalyptus trees. Arriving at the camp requires a 1.5-mile hike from the road. Blackjack offers 11 campsites. Amenities include picnic table, fire pit & barbecue, showers, fresh water, lockers and chemical toilets. Check-in at Two Harbors Visitor Services or Island Plaza in Avalon is required. Reservations are required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

  • Little Harbor Campground is located approximately 16-miles northwest of Avalon. Little Harbor is the only developed campground on the west side of the island. Campground offers 23 campsites including 8 group campsites. Amenities include picnic table, fire pit & barbecue, showers, fresh water, lockers and chemical toilets. Kayak, snorkel and other rentals are available at Wet Spot Rentals. Check-in at Two Harbors Visitor Services or Island Plaza in Avalon is required. Reservations are required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

  • Hermit Gulch Campground is located in Avalon just 1.5-miles up Avalon Canyon Road. Arrival to site requires taxi or hike. Situated in a canyon, Hermit Gulch offers limited oceanviews but is close to Avalon, Wrigley Botanical Gardens and several popular hiking trails. Horseback riding available nearby at the Catalina Stables. Campground offers several campsites and spacious tent cabins. Rangers sell supplies like ice, firewood and fuel. Amenities include picnic tables, fire pit & barbecue, showers, fresh water, flush toilets, and vending machines. Reservations required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

  • Boat-In Camping is available at nine campgrounds along the northeast shore of the island. Kayak rentals are available at several locations including Avalon, Two Harbors and Little Harbor. A Ranger visits the campsites daily to collect fees and enforce regulations. These are all primitive campsites with no amenities whatsoever. Everything must be packed in and packed out, including fecal waste. Reservations are required.
    Map  |   pdf PDF Map  |   Website

National Forest Camping

Primitive and developed camping throughout the Angeles National Forest from Santa Clarita in the west, east to Rancho Cucamonga. Most offer a table, fire ring and vault toilets. Many do not have running water. No Reservations.

Angeles National Forest
701 North Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, California 91006
(626) 574-1613
Website  |   Other Ideas

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