10 Best Campgrounds in Southern California

Looking for the best campsites in Southern California? Look no further! Our guide covers the top 10 campsites, complete with breathtaking views, fun activities, and everything you need for a memorable outdoor adventure. Get ready to pitch your tent and immerse yourself in nature!
best campgrounds in Southern California
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best campgrounds in Southern California

Welcome to the land of sunshine and sandy beaches! Southern California is home to some of the best campsites in the world, and we’ve narrowed down 10 of the best campsites for you to explore. From the mountains to the ocean, these campsites offer breathtaking views, All the camping areas on our list include restrooms and water access. Although we love roughing it, life without rudimentary plumbing can be rough even for the most ardent of nature lovers.

Jumbo Rocks Campground

Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

    • Address: 2601 Sunfair Rd., Joshua Tree, CA 92252
    • Website: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/jumbo-rocks-campground.htm
    • Phone: (760) 367-5500
    • Type of Camping: Tent camping, RV camping (no hookups)
    • Amenities: Outdoor amphitheater, picnic tables, fire grates, and restrooms with flush toilets and sinks
    • Fees: $20 per night for a max of 6 people, $10 for seniors. 

Jumbo Rocks Campground is one of the nine established campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park*, with 124 campsites surrounded by large granite boulders. It is open for reservations from October through May and is first-come, first-served during the rest of the year. The campground is known for its unique rock formations and boulders, which are popular among rock climbers. The park also offers several hiking trails that can be accessed from the campground, including shorter trails like the one-mile hike through Hidden Valley.

San Onofre Bluffs Campsite

San Onofre Bluffs Campground, San Onofre State Beach, CA

    • Address: Old Pacific Highway Exit off I-5, San Clemente, CA 92672
    • Website: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=647
    • Phone: (949) 492-4872 
    • Amenities: Birdwatching, fishing, biking, surfing, picnic tables, fire rings, BBQs; taps with drinking water, restrooms, showers 
    • Fees: $35 per night for vehicles up to 27 feet; $50 per night for vehicles over 27 feet 
    • Type of Camping: Tent camping, RV camping w/ hookups

San Onofre Bluffs Campground is located in San Onofre State Beach, which features 3.5 miles of sandy beaches with six access trails cut into the bluff above*. The campground is situated along the old U.S. Route 101 adjacent to the sandstone bluffs. San Onofre is one of the five most-visited state parks in California, hosting swimmers, campers, kayakers, birders, fishermen, bicyclists, sunbathers, surfers, and the sacred Native American site. The beach is also known for its surfing and fishing camps that have been there since the 1920s. Since the 1940s, surfers on redwood boards have been riding the waves at San Onofre since the 1940s. Visitors can reserve campsites up to six months in advance.

Table Mountain Angeles National Forest

Table Mountain, Angeles National Forest, California

    • Address: 12371 N. Upper Big Tujunga Road, Angeles National Forest, CA 91042
    • Website: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233735
    • Phone: (626) 335-1251 
    • Amenities: Mountain biking, concessions, hiking, drinking water, food storage lockers, wildlife watching, picnic tables, fire rings, BBQ grills, vault toilets
    • Fees: $25 per night for single sites; $50 per night for double site
    • Type of Camping: Tent camping, RV camping (no hookups)

Table Mountain Campground is situated in a picturesque hilly area surrounded by oak and pine trees and two expansive meadows. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, there are breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The campground features the Table Mountain Nature Trail, which is a popular spot for visitors to explore and observe wildlife such as birds, squirrels, deer, and even the rare California condor.

Weather is cold to mild, with the temperature during summers usually around the lower 80s with cooler nights.  The Angeles Crest Scenic Byway is a a fantastic sightseeing drive, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna, including oak thickets, chaparral, high desert landscapes, and pine tree forests that run along the highest and most scenic ridges of the San Gabriel mountain range. The nearby ski resort town of Wrightwood is easily accessible and provides several restaurant options and a disc golf course at the North Resort.

Crystal Lake Campground

Crystal Lake Campground, Angeles National Forest

Crystal Lake Campground is located in the Angeles National Forest, with 63 campsites situated around a small natural lake near the northern end of Highway 39*. The area is known for unique landmarks, including the amphitheater built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The campground dates back to the 1920s and was at one point the largest campground in the Angeles National Forest. Crystal Lake is located at an elevation of 5,600 feet and is only open seasonally from May to October. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Leo Carrillo State Park

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground, Malibu, California

    • Address: 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
    • Website: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616
    • Phone: (800) 444-7275 
    • Amenities: Hiking, geocaching, swimming, surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, fishing, picnic tables, fire rings and BBQs with food lockers nearby; taps with non-potable water; restrooms, showers
    • Fees: $12.00 per car, per day 
    • Type of Camping: Tent camping, RV camping w/ hookups, Primitive Camping 

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground is located in Los Angeles County, California, and is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area*. The park offers 1.5 miles of beach, with tide pools, sea caves, and reefs to explore. There are 135 campsites located near the beach. The park also offers several hiking trails, including the Nicholas Flat Trail with views of the ocean and the Santa Monica MountainsCampsites can be reserved six months in advance

Lake Skinner Campground, Winchester

Lake Skinner Campground, Winchester, California

    • Address: 37701 Warren Road, Winchester, CA 92596
    • Website: https://www.rivcoparks.org/lake-skinner-recreation-area
    • Phone: (951) 926-1541 
    • Amenities: Hiking, fishing, six showers available for guests all day long, four bathrooms with flush toilets and sinks
    • Fees: Varies depending on the site and the season 
    • Type of Camping: Tent, RV w/ hookups 

Lake Skinner Campground is a fantastic hidden park located in Riverside County Park in Winchester, California, just outside of Temecula The campground has 257 campsites for RVs, trailers, and tents, with 199 having full hook-ups and 18 having water and electric hook-ups*, and 40 sites with water only. Campsites are set up in three loops that are close to the lake*.  Loop A is closest to the lake, and Loop C has the largest campsites. The lake is operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and anglers enjoy fishing for bass, carp, trout, and catfish. The campsites are close together, and there is not much shade *. However, the park itself has lots of shade with grills, and the camp store has supplies like food and beverages*.

McCall Memorial Equestrian Campground

McCall Memorial Equestrian Campground, Riverside, California

    • Address: 28500 McCall Park Road, Mountain Center, CA 92561
    • Website: https://www.rivcoparks.org/mccall
    • Phone: (951) 659-2311 
    • Amenities: Bird watching, horseback riding, hiking trails, mountain biking, bathhouse, restrooms, hot showers, troughs
    • Fees: $30-35 per night (Includes 6 people, 2 vehicles), $6 additional vehicle fee 
    • Type of Camping: Tent, horse sites, RV (no hookup)

McCall Memorial Equestrian Campground is a unique 88-acre mountain park located in Mountain Center, California*, at an elevation of 4,400 feet. The campground features 53 RV sites, 11 tent sites, 53 horse sites, and 64 no hookup sites. The campground is designed for horse camping only and is dog-friendly*. The are also an abundance of bird watching in the area, including Steller’s jays and mountain chickadees. The campsite is located 4 miles south of Idyllwild, CA.

Rancho Jurupa Regional Park

Rancho Jurupa Regional Park Campground, Riverside, California

    • Address: 4800 Crestmore Rd, Jurupa Valley, CA 92509
    • Website: https://www.rivcoparks.org/rancho-jurupa-regional-park
    • Phone: (800) 234-park (7275) 
    • Amenities: BBQ, disc golf, fishing, large rock/boulder play area, picnic tables, playgrounds, laundry, showers, miniature golfing, splash pad
    • Fees: $40-$55 per night 
    • Type of Camping: Cabin rental, RV camping

Rancho Jurupa Regional Park Campground is located along the Santa Ana River just west of Riverside, California. The campground sits among cottonwood trees, expansive meadows, and two of 3-acre lakes*. Visitors can enjoy a splash pad for cooling off in the summer, miniature golf, disc golf, and a rock climbing playground. Anglers can fish for trout and catfish in the lakes.  The park has 131 campsites, including 70 with full hookups and 61 with water and electricity*

Hurkey Creek Park Campground

Hurkey Creek Park Campground, Riverside, California

    • Address: 56375 CA-74, Mountain Center, CA 92561
    • Website: https://www.rivcoparks.org/hurkey-creek-park
    • Phone: (951) 659-2050 
    • Amenities: Hiking, fishing, fire/grill rings, picnicking, playgrounds, mountain biking, potable water, showers, restrooms
    • Fees: $30-35 per night (Includes 6 people, 2 vehicles), $6 additional vehicle fee 
    • Type of Camping: Tent, Primitive, RV

Hurkey Creek Park Campground is located in the San Jacinto Mountains, about 8 miles from the town of Idyllwild and a mile from Lake Hemet12. The campground has 130 single-family campsites for tents, trailers, and RVs, set among a forest of large pine trees2. Seasonal Hurkey Creek passes through the park, with beautiful views of the San Jacinto Mountains and its groves of pines trees.

Hobson Beach Park