When you’ve got an itch to go camping, you have plenty of options near the Los Angeles area. Some spots are great for small families, others for big groups. Some are spots are in the desert, while others are near a beach or lake. Some spots are peaceful and serene, others are filled with adventure. Here are some of the best camping sites near Los Angeles that you may want to look into when planning your next camping trip.
Big Sur Campground & Cabins
47000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
Located along the Big Sur River, this campground offers year-round family camping and plenty of accommodation options. If tent camping isn’t your thing, you can always opt for a cabin or hook up your RV. Every campsite includes a picnic table, a fire pit and a nearby bathhouse with hot water. Big Sur Campground even has a laundry facility. As far as activities go, your options include inner tube rentals, hiking, shooting hoops, playing volleyball and horseshoes.
Frandy Kern River Campground
11252 Kernville Road
Kernville, CA 93238
For a high desert camping experience that’s a little more adventurous, check out Frandy Campground along the Kern River where you can go white water rafting or kayaking on site. Its location in Kernville, near Lake Isabella and the Sequoia National Forest, has been described as a fusion of Raging Waters and a western town. Frandy’s has three rafting companies all located on site and plenty of other activities to keep you busy, like horseback riding and tetherball. It’s a fun, relaxing place for camping with the family or getting lost in nature with the sounds of frogs, crickets and a running river to put you to sleep.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree, CA
Located 140 miles from LA near Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is best known for its rich cultural history. Boasting 800,000 acres, this desert park offers nine campgrounds, 12 self-guided nature trails that are wheelchair accessible and plenty of activities to keep you busy like rock climbing, mountain biking and backcountry camping. Though open year round, most people visit during the fall and spring to avoid extreme summer heat.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Village, CA
Best known for its breathtaking waterfalls, Yosemite National Park consists of 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain roughly 313 miles from Los Angeles. Summer is the busiest time of year at Yosemite, where you’ll find 13 campgrounds, seven of which are on a reservation-only system. The rest are first-come, first-served, but they get taken up quickly. There’s a lot to do in Yosemite, depending on which season you go. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding and ice skating during the winter and swimming, boating and rafting during the summer.
Big Bear City, CA
Located in the San Bernardino Mountains, Serrano Campground can be found within walking distance of Big Bear Lake. Serrano offers hundreds of sites for camping via tent or RV, but is only open March through the end of November. This modern campground comes with drinking water, flushable toilets, showers with free hot water and even tent pads. You can rent bikes for the trails, buy firewood from an onsite vendor or enjoy a number of other outdoor recreational activities.
Related: More Camping Spots Near Los Angeles