Cool-weather CampingPosted by /blog/it-s-camptober | 10.18.2017
Spring and Fall are some of the best months to camp in Southern California. In Spring nature becomes alive with wildflowers and grasses; in Fall the mountains show off their gorgeous autumn colors, while the cooler desert temperatures set the stage for epic daytime adventures. But the best part? The crowds have thinned out and the nights are cold enough for a toasty campfire under the stars....
Listed below are 23 of our favorite SoCal car camping spots for Fall. See you out there!
A16 West LA Store Favorites
Buckhorn Campground Site #9 Charlotte A.
- Buckhorn Campground -- San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest
"Towering Pines and cedars provide beauty and shade with access to top-notch hiking" ~ Tim, Sales Associate
- Camp Williams Resort -- San Gabriel Mountains, near Azusa
“Close drive from SFV. All campsites are along the San Gabriel River East Fork. Easy hikes and you can bungee jump off the Bridge to Nowhere.” ~ Melissa, Sales Associate
- Lake Casitas Campground -- Lake Casitas Recreation Area, Ventura County
“A beautiful lake with things like kayaking, fishing and even Frisbee golf to keep you entertained!” ~ Christy, Sales Associate
- Malibu Creek Campground -- Malibu Creek State Park, Santa Monica Mountains
“Although Malibu creek is not close to the beach, this campground has a lot to offer with its beautiful hikes and lots of climbing and scrambling around the creek." ~ Christy, Sales Associate
- Manker Flats Campground -- Mt. Baldy, Angeles National Forest
“Conveniently located near the Mt. Baldy trail head and Falls in a pretty pine forest setting, Manker Flats Campground serves as a great hiking basecamp.” ~ Tim, Sales Associate
"Amazing views from the top looking down on Ventura and the ocean. Lots of good bouldering nearby." ~ James, Sales Associate
- Wheeler Gorge Campground -- Los Padres National Forest, near Ojai
“Beautiful trees and views hiking on the Matilija Creek Trail. Ojai is a cool town!” ~ Melissa, Sales Associate
- Big Sycamore Canyon Campground -- Pt. Mugu State Park
“A premier spot to see fall colors with nearby access to beach and hiking trails.” ~ Christy,Sales Associate
Leo Carrillo Campground Jeffrey P.
- Leo Carrillo State Beach Campground -- Leo Carrillo State Beach, Malibu
“Beach camping. Need I say more? You won’t need the waves on a white noise app to lull you to sleep. Lots of scenic hiking trails.” ~ Melissa,Sales Associate
Indian Cove Campground NPS / Hannah Schwalbe
- Indian Cove Campground -- Joshua Tree National Park
“Great camping hidden in the boulders away from busier campgrounds. Awesome climbing nearby.” ~ James,Sales Associate
A16 San Diego Store Favorites
- Burnt Rancheria Campground -- Mt. Laguna, Cleveland National Forest
“Easy to get to from San Diego, with hot showers and nearby hiking on the PCT.” ~ Kaitlynn,Sales Associate
CRSP Green Valley Area Campground TentTalk
- Chambers Park Campground -- Lake Cuyamaca, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
“Pretty scenery, easy access to fishing, hiking.” ~ James, IT
- Cuyamaca Rancho State Park -- Green Valley Area
“Pretty setting, near stream and falls.” ~ James, IT
A16 Pro Tip: There is a large construction project going on at the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Green Valley Area, that has caused the park to make the few remaining sites first come first serve and to eliminate the reservations for them. Also the fire road up to the peak is closed to all traffic, including hikers, until further notice.
- Doane Valley Campground -- Palomar Mountain State Park
“Shady campsites, good access to hiking trails and the Observatory.” ~ James, IT
- Dos Picos Campground -- Dos Picos County Park, Ramona
“A hop, skip and a jump from town, yet you feel miles away. You’ll be camping in a beautiful Oak grove." ~ John D., A16 President
Laguna Campground Doris W.
- Laguna Campground -- Cleveland National Forest
“Shady forest with tons of hiking nearby.” ~ James, IT
- William Heise Campground -- William Heise County Park, Julian
“Beautifully laid out tent camping sites and plenty of room to room. A great place to take bike and just a short drive to Julian to get some apple pie for dessert.” ~ John D., A16 President
San Eligo State Beach Campground San Diego Beaches & Adventures
“Great views right on the bluffs of the ocean.” ~ Lindsey, Solana Beach Store,
“A rare urban camping opportunity. Don’t forget your ear plugs if you want a good night sleep.” ~ John D., A16 President
A16 Pro Tip: The Camp Store, Taco Shop and Laundry facility at San Elijo SB is currently closed. Anticipated re-opening with new concessionaires is Spring 2020.
- San Mateo Campground -- San Onofre State Beach
“Next to a world-class surf break.” ~ Jay, Designer
“Primitive camping featuring abundant plant and animal life, amazing geologic formations, Big Horn sheep sightings, brilliant nighttime stars and great hiking and caving opportunities.” ~ Kaitlynn, Sales Associate
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground Kristin W.
“Access to easy 3-mile hike to a real desert oasis, including waterfall and Bighorn Sheep, if you are lucky.” ~ Sandy, VP Accounting
“Really nice off-the-radar car camping.” ~ Lyndsey, Sales Associate
- White Tank Campground -- Joshua Tree National Park
"Lots of hiking trails nearby and tons of rocks to climb. The scenery at JTNP is unlike anywhere else since the trees are unique to that area." ~ Amy, Sales Associate
White Tank Campground, Joshua Tree National Park
This interactive map features A16'ers favorite camp spots mentioned in this article. Click on each tent icon for details about the campsite.
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