Los Angeles may feel like it’s the epitome of urban life, but southern California’s sprawling city is in fact a great jumping off point for dozens of nearby camping destinations. Thanks to the diversity of the surrounding landscape that includes mountains, beaches, and everything in between, there’s no shortage of interesting places to sleep outside for a night or two. Residents and visitors have their pick of everything from coastal camps to high alpine sites.
With the Santa Monica Mountains and Topanga State Park to the northwest, the Angeles National Forest and Mount. San Antonio to the northeast, Santa Catalina Island out at sea, and the scenic beauty of the Orange County to the south, L.A. is surrounded by epic natural beauty.
The best way to truly experience this scenery is to fully dive in and immerse yourself in it for a night or two. Outdoor recreation is a popular pursuit in southern California, so campgrounds usually see a ton of visitors and often feature restrooms, running water, the occasional power outlet, and other amenities that will make you feel close to home.
Despite these creature comforts, don’t forget that you and your fellow campers are all visitors to these spaces. Whenever possible, minimize your impact by picking up after yourself and other humans, packing out all trash unless there is a dumpster at your campground, and abiding by all other Leave No Trace principles.
This list is comprised of some awesome campgrounds that are great places to get away from it all. They also happen to be within 100 miles of L.A., which means they are convenient as well as beautiful.