Top Campervan-Friendly Destinations in Los Angeles to Explore

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Camping/Glamping

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Unbeknownst to many, the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles is also a haven for campervan enthusiasts. With a plethora of lightly treaded oases dotting the surrounding landscapes, campervans are a great choice for outdoor lovers who don’t want the huge hassle of the setup needed for other RVs.

It’s a good thing that the cost of renting a campervan in Los Angeles is reasonable, making it an ideal starting point for your campervan road trip adventure.

We have scouted out some of the most captivating campgrounds to ensure that your Los Angeles camping experience serves as the ideal launchpad for a memorable journey on the open road. Ready to embark? Let the adventure begin!

 

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Malibu Creek Campsite: A Tranquil Campervan Retreat

Venture to Malibu Creek State Park—the quintessential escape for those craving the stillness of nature without straying far from the city buzz. Nestled just a stone’s throw from the urban sprawl, Malibu Creek Campsite offers an oasis where nearly six miles of trails invite hikers to explore its scenic vistas.

Furthermore, for avid climbers, the area boasts over 100 routes, promising a thrilling ascent amidst the backdrop of Californian beauty. When ready to unwind, immerse yourself in calm by lounging beside your campervan, igniting a crackling campfire, and basking in the tranquil expanse under the stars.

 

Traveling by campervan in LA is all about convenience, comfort, and adventure! Bonus points if you have a surfboard.

 

Buckhorn Campground: Ascend to Serene Heights

Perched at a refreshing altitude in the Angeles National Forest, Buckhorn Campground offers more than just a cool reprieve from Los Angeles’ urban warmth. As a gateway to acclaimed trails, including the Pacific Crest, Burkhart, and Silver Moccasin, it’s a campervan enthusiast’s and hiker’s paradise that catapults adventurers directly into the heart of California’s natural grandeur. Peaks like Waterman Mountain and Twin Peaks East reward trekkers with breathtaking panoramas that epitomize the rugged beauty of the West.

Pro Tip: A short trek along the Burkhart Trail unveils the enchanting Cooper Canyon Falls. Less than a mile from your campsite, this hidden cascade is not just a visual delight but also one of the forest’s select natural swimming holes, inviting a refreshing plunge into crystal-clear mountain waters.

 

Woman and dog in campervan -Campervan Los Angeles

The campervan life is meant for awesome surfers and their sweet dogs. @Shutterstock

 

Leo Carrillo State Park Campground: Coastal Adventures Await

For those campervan enthusiasts who yearn for the sound of waves and the smell of saltwater, the Leo Carrillo State Park Campground is an ideal stop. Mere steps away from the beckoning sands, you’re perfectly positioned to dive into a day of surfing, cast a line for fishing, or simply spend a leisurely afternoon absorbing the sun’s caress on the beach. The surrounding area is rife with natural curiosities; tide pools teeming with marine life and caverns sculpted by the ocean’s hand invite exploration.

Bordering the vast Santa Monica Mountains, a myriad of trails calls to hikers and mountain bikers alike, offering overtures of land-based exploration just as engaging as the sea’s allure.

Campervan Enthusiast’s Tip: Embrace the dawn with a trek up the Nicholas Flat Trail. There, atop the ridge, a sunrise tableau of the ocean embracing the mountains unfolds—a spectacle that’s worth the early morning journey.

 

Interior of a campervan with couple peaking out the back window-Campervan life in LA

We could hike… or we could just stay here and look out at the trail and think about hiking. @Shutterstock

 

Manker Flats Campervan Campground: Conquer Peaks and Chase Waterfalls

At the base of Mount Baldy, the towering pinnacle of the San Gabriel Mountains and the loftiest summit in Los Angeles County, awaits the Manker Flats Campground. It stands as an inviting threshold to a spectrum of trails, each offering its own brand of the Angeles National Forest’s natural splendor. The most celebrated trail leads adventurers on a rigorous 4.3-mile journey to Mount Baldy’s peak, bestowing upon hikers the reward of expansive 360-degree vistas that stretch across undulating valleys to the distant horizon.

 

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For a gentler endeavor, engage with nature along the San Antonio Falls Trail. Commencing right across from the campground, this accessible path meanders to an enchanting 70-foot waterfall. In sum, it’s a scenic locale where one can unwind to the melodious symphony of cascading water and relish the serene backdrop.

Explorer’s Hint: Whether seeking the thrill of an arduous climb or the solace of a peaceful hike, remember to pack essentials—water, sunscreen, and a camera—to capture the moments that Manker Flats generously offers.

 

 Twinkle lights and candles at the campervan camp site-campervan in LA

Don’t forget to pack nighttime lighting- twinkle lights and candles for the ambience! @unsplash

 

 

Sycamore Canyon Campground: Nature’s Campervan Playground

With its versatile landscape, Sycamore Canyon Campground presents a paradise for campervan enthusiasts torn between the lure of the mountains and the tranquility of the ocean. Situated at the gateway to Point Mugu State Park, this campground is a sanctuary for hikers, bikers, and those with a love for the open trail. Just a few paces in one direction offer a dip in the Pacific, with the beach extending an open invitation to sun-seekers and surf enthusiasts.

In the opposite direction, a formidable 200-foot sand dune poses a delightful challenge for vigorous exercise and provides a unique vantage point for awe-inspiring views. Whether you’re seeking to summit new peaks, relax by the waves, or simply savor the canyon’s serene environment, Sycamore Canyon offers an enclave where activities and relaxation coalesce seamlessly.

Campervan Adventurer’s Advice: The nearby sand dune isn’t only a test of endurance; it’s a favorite spot among photographers and nature lovers. A quick quarter-mile jaunt will take you to its base, where the sandy monolith makes for an unforgettable climb and an even more memorable panoramic reward.

 

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