Southern California is truly one of the best tent camping areas in the United States. From the shores of the Pacific coastline, to the vast deserts and snow capped mountains. Southern California has anything and everything you could ever want went going tent camping.
Whether you’re a surfer, hiker, mountain climber, or recreational camper. Going tent camping in Southern California is always an Adventure.
There are hundreds of tent camping spots in Southern California. All of the tent camping areas offer something different, so it can definitely be a difficult choice choosing the right one for you.
Canyon Campground, Leo Carrillo State Park
Canyon Campground is located at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains. During the most popular seasons tent camping at Canyon Campground can be a little crowded.
Canyon Campground offers 135 family sites to accommodate any size family. This site offers amenities ranging from coin-operated hot showers to public restrooms.
Canyon Campground offers hike and bike campsites that start at campsite number 1. There is a major group campground near the back that accommodates up to 50 people.
The beach is within walking distance from the entire campground. There is also great hiking trail surrounding the tent camping sites.
Campfires are allowed and potable water is available. There are areas with picnic tables.
You can have up to 8 guests per campsite.
Pets are allowed.
The only draw back of Canyon Campground is that the campsites are fairly close together. We don’t recommend if you are looking for solitude.
Some popular activities for tent camping at Canyon Campground are, fishing, hiking, biking, surfing, swimming, as well as wind sport activities such as kiteboarding.
Bear Canyon Trail Camp, Angeles National Forest
Our next place to go tent camping in Southern California is Bear Canyon Trail Camp. This site is quite a bit more remote compared to our last campsite.
Bear Canyon Trail Camp has an elevation of 3400 feet. It offers 3 hike in tent camping sites. The tent campsites are first come, first serve.
The Bear Canyon Trail Camp is accessed via a 6.6 mile round trip hike from the Switzer Picnic Area. Makes for a great, short, overnight trip. Or a medium length day hiking trip.
Keep in mind that the Switzer Picnic Area can be quite busy on weekends and you may not be able to park at the trailhead.
Bear Canyon Trail Camp is considered a back country tent camping site. Which means you will need to bring all of your supplies with you.
There is seasonal access to a stream for water. It is recommended that you still boil your water before drinking.
HighDesert WildernessRanch, Camp Juniper
Highdesert WildernessRanch is your own personal wilderness ranch. It features 163 acres of privacy for your group.
Located at the edge of the Angeles Forest National Park.
Highdesert WildernessRanch offers hiking, games, and general relaxation.
You will be surrounded by Joshua tress, Juniper Trees, Manzanitas, Sage, Mountains, and Stars.
Highdesert WildernessRanch offers picnic tables. But it is advised to bring your own camping chairs, hammocks, or cots for more comfort.
Located 15 mins from The Devils Punchbowl. Which offers trails ranging from easy to hard in difficulty.
Toilets are available, as well as showers.
Pets are allowed as well.
Hoegees Trail Camp, Angeles National Forest
Accessed via the 2 mile Upper Winter Creek Trail. Come prepared with your own water. Streams offer drinking water, but it must be boiled or treated. The flow of the streams can also be unpredictable.
Hoegees Trail Camp has an elevation of 2,500 Feet. Offers 14 hike-in campsites.
Can be accessed by starting at the Chantry Flat Picnic Area and hiking along the Winter Creek Trail.
Considered a back country tent camping site, so your own supplies will be necessary.
Campfires are allowed in the tent camping site.
Pets are also allowed in the campsite.
Toilets are available, as well as a picnic table.
Hoegees Trail Camp is open year round. It is considered a heavy use tent camping site.
Offered on a first come, first served basis
Santa Cruz Campground, Carpinteria State Beach
Santa Cruz Campground offers beach from tent camping spots in Southern California. It offers 12 beachfront campsites. Calling ahead is advised.
Sites are generally long and narrow, and tend to be close together. The beachfront access definitely makes of for being a little cramped though.
Also offers three group sites for larger groups of people.
Showers are provided, as well as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.
Pets are allowed in the campground.
Potable water is also available on any of the campsites.
Popular activities include, biking, boating, fishing, hiking, surfing and paddling.
Carpinteria Beach is ranked in the top 10 best beaches in the US. Due to its long stretch of white sand.
Carpinteria Beach is also considered to be one of the safest beaches in the world. Due to its gradual incline that produces little to no rip currents.