The California winter months, with their low temperatures rarely below 40 degrees and rainy days in the single digits, hardly deter camping enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the dry terrain of the desert or the shelter of thick forest trees, these campsites are popular for families and adventure seekers alike.
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
www.dohenystatebeach.orgBeachfront camping is a unique way to enjoy California’s tide pools, lagoons and coves. At Doheny, enjoy the park’s recreation and picnic area with its beach volleyball and surfing at the north end of the park with campground facilities open year round at the south end of the park. These large campgrounds are popular not only for being steps away from the beach, but also for being clean, well kept and equipped to accommodate RVs and tents alike. Facilities available for rent include kayaks and bikes. Concerts are offered throughout the year at the park’s facilities.
A Santa Barbara County Park
HC 58 Highway 154
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
www.santabarbara.comJust a few miles away from the ocean, find excellent winter hiking and fishing in Santa Barbara’s reservoir, Lake Cachuma. Access to the water is limited to boating and fishing, with a shop that offers bait, tackle, fuel and fishing licenses year round. The park offers 550 campsites, fully functional for any size tent or RV. Larger group areas can be reserved for groups of 32 to 120 people and should be made at least six months in advance.
Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground
2601 Sunfair Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Price: $15.95 for tent double occupancy per night/$2.95/$4.95 per additional child/adult per night
www.jtlake.comWith a scenic view of the north side of Joshua Tree National Park, clear, starry night skies and mild year-round temperatures, this campground is the perfect getaway this winter for the whole family. This park is famous for its wildlife, rock formations and stargazing. Seasonal events, such as music festivals, are offered as well as year-round fishing. Joshua Tree is also one of the most popular spots for rock climbers of all ability levels.
Related: Camping At Joshua Tree
24210 E. Fork Road
Azusa, CA 91702
Price: $40 tent sites per night/$50 RV sites per night/$75 cabins plus deposit per night
campwilliams.comThis campground getaway hidden amongst the amazing San Gabriel Mountain range is popular among local families. The riverfront site is perfect for tents and RVs, while also offering cabins for small families. Small children (along with older ones) love to play in the clean, freshwater lake. The clean restrooms and showers with modern plumbing are also a popular drawing point for local families.
San Bernardino State Park
28200 State Highway 189
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
www.recreation.govDogwood is a favorite for campers who love to watch the seasons change at San Bernardino State Park. The site is within walking distance of Lake Gregory, a water slide park, Lake Arrowhead Village and hiking trails. It underwent a complete remodel in 2004, so its showers, restrooms and RV hookups are highly modernized. Two-night minimum stays are imposed on weekends (three-night stays on holidays) but never fear: Friday and Saturday night campfire programs are among this site’s most-beloved features.
Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.