Thursday, May 26, 2011

Camping Help

Halo Loyal Readers (all 3 of you!). I hope the week has been treating you well.

So here I am, going on and on about Hiking (yes with a capital H) but we have barely touched on other outdoor recreational pursuits. Canoeing, kayaking, camping, s'moring. All the ings.

I am still a newbie here in SoCal and I need your help about these other ings. Last weekend was I was hiking around Devils Chair, I saw a sign pointing the way to South Fork Camp(ground). I was immediately intrigued. After all, camping in one of my new fav hangs? Plus access to new mountains without having to worry about the turnaround back to LA? Sounds like a plan Stan to me.

However, it makes me wonder if there are other good camping haunts in SoCal?


Modern Hiker broke down some good places in the Angeles National Forest.

Campfire Chic has some great trip reports as far flung as Joshua Tree and Malibu.

What say you blogosphere, where is a good place to go camping (provided these requirements apply)?


1) Not A Lot Of Screaming Banshee Kids. You know the ones. Running around, off their leashes. Cranking up the latest Key$ha iTune. What I am really talking about is silence. Are there campgrounds where there either aren't a lot of people or if there are, the noise factor is low (either due to respect of nature or inebriation)?

2) Near A Mountain. Sadly my life has gotten much busier over the last few months (as people who notice my lack of trip reports can attest). I need to pack as much in as possible as I go away away for a weekend. Camping? Great! Can we couple it with a hike to a peak? A trip somewhere interesting? Campgrounds NEAR things, big on the ol list.

3) If I can convince my girl to come hiking, these places must have some sort of running water, for bathrooms, dishes and the like. When I go camping, I don't usually plan on taking a shower until I get back but the womenfolk? Well they have different considerations and if I want my main squeeze with me, I need to make sure she is taken care of in the running water sense.

So there you have it, a campground, that is not inundated by screaming, that has access near mountains, streams, malls and bathrooms that are not shovel-related. Know of any good uns? If so, leave them in the comments!


  1. You can never predict when screaming idiots will surface. We recently had a great nights sleep in one of the most crowded campgrounds in the state - Yosemite's Upper Pines.

    In a backpack camp in Point Reyes though our camp was invaded by teenagers who stayed up yelling until 1am keeping us up with them.

  2. Hey now! I'm womanfolk and I can get stinky with the best of you guys. (Though I do enjoy my well-deserved shower after the camping trip.)

    I live on Catalina and do nearly all my hiking here, so I don't know much about mainland camping. If you ever want some tips about Catalina trips, get in touch.

  3. @Chris, I hear ya, it can be hit or miss, just hoping for some hits.

    @Lori- thanks for the comments and I am sure you can get down and dirty with the rest our gender! I can't wait to check out Catalina so I will drop you a line when I can finally schedule a trip there.

  4. Your girlfriend sounds like my kind of people!

    I have totally the same set of requirements now -- particularly CLEAN bathrooms with flush toilets and sinks (I can bring my own soap). Showers are a definite plus, too. I paid my dues my entire childhood roughing it primitive camping style (vault toilets or behind a bush) with my parents and siblings.

    With the exception of a few spectacular opportunities (like the Trans Catalina Trail or someday Whitney), I don't go camping without good bathrooms. Hubby goes off on his men-only wilderness camptrips with his high school buddies each year -- but, if he wants me to go camping with him, he knows bathrooms are key.

    So...I have a few words of advise for you if you'd like your girlfriend to enjoy the stay as well -- CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS. They have hands down the BEST restrooms and showers I have encountered in public campgrounds.

    It's too hot now during the summer months, but Borrego Palm Canyon campground in Anza Borrego is one of my favorites (our review). Strong winds and no shade whatsoever, but gorgeous sunsets an sunrises, and very/regularly cleaned bathrooms and showers.

    And Mount San Jacinto State Park is beautiful and pleasant all year round, but it gets heavy snow in winter (our review here). Good shade. Great hiking in the national forest (if you want to avoid tourists and kids). And it's located right outside of Idyllwild, which is one of my favorite mountain towns -- a great spot to walk to and grab a cold beer or romantic dinner.

    We haven't posted our review for it yet (soon), but Big Basin Redwoods State park is a great campground if you can venture up North sometime. Go after the summer crowds, but before temperatures get really cold (because the normally clean bathrooms and showers get really wet and muddy inside after the dry season ends).

    I think we're going to try camping at Palomar Mountain State Park and Cuyamaca State Park -- both in So Cal -- this summer and fall (unless the state really does close Palomar SP). We have friends who've stayed at both, and have reported clean bathrooms and showers.

    -- Colleen @ Greene Adventures

  5. Oh, and I concur with Chris. Unless you're venturing into remote National Forest primitive camping, it's totally hit and miss with screaming Banshee kids -- as well as idiot adults who think the entire campground needs to know how loud and cool they are.


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