Group camping

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Guide to group campsites near Los Angeles and San Diego

Guide to finding campsites near Los Angeles and San Diego for large groups

Camping with a large group of people can be lots of fun, but finding a site large enough for everyone can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a number of campgrounds near San Diego and Los Angeles that offer group campsites. (This list is a work in progress. We'll add more sites to the list in the future.)

Campground index:

1) El Prado Group Campground
2) Horse Heaven Group Campground
3) Cedar Grove Group Campground
4) Indian Flats Group Campground
5) Crestline Group Campground
6) Falcon Group Campground

Mount Laguna Area

The Mount Laguna region is known for its great horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking trails, just a little over an hour from San Diego.

Mount Laguna group campgrounds map

El Prado Group Campground

El Prado Group Campground is a great mountain getaway just one hour east of San Diego, California in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. Campers can enjoy cooler temperatures, unique natural areas and an extensive trail system at this mountain facility from summer through early fall. Visitors can get their boots dusty on the Laguna Meadow Trail system or access a segment of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico, through California and north to Canada.

Mount Laguna trees

The campground is made up of five well-spaced individual group sites in a peaceful setting adjacent to Laguna Campground. One of the group sites, Yerba Santa, is accessible and includes four tent sites. Each site can accommodate a varying number of guests ranging between 30 to 50 people, and allows a 40-ft. maximum RV length. The facility provides drinking water, flush and vault toilets and a large parking area. The campground sits at an elevation of 5,600 ft. in the Laguna Mountains. It is forested with pines and oaks that provide plenty of shade. The area is home to many species of birds, as well as the endangered Laguna Skipper butterfly. Nearby attractions include the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, Noble Canyon National Recreation Trail and the Mount Laguna Information Center.

Additional information:

Reservations Website
Information Number: 619-445-6235 Location: -116.4555556, 32.8869444

Directions:

The campground is located 50 miles east of San Diego, California. Take I-8 to the Sunrise Highway (State Route S1) exit. Go approximately 15 miles north to Laguna/El Prado Campground, just beyond the 26 mile marker. Stop at the entrance station for information and site location.


Horse Heaven Group Campground

Contrary to its name, Horse Heaven Group Campground has no equestrian sites. Instead, this tent-only facility can accommodate gatherings of up to 100 people. It provides a great mountain getaway for city dwellers to relax and enjoy cool summer temperatures, hiking and other outdoor recreation, just one hour east of San Diego. Visitors can get their boots dusty on a segment of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from California to the State of Washington, and access other trails within a short drive. Many picnic areas are located nearby. This site offers three areas for group gatherings: Lupine Loop can accommodate 40 people and 10 vehicles; Buttercup Loop can hold 100 people and 16 vehicles; Hollyhock Loop can hold 70 people and 12 vehicles. The facility is equipped with vault toilets and drinking water. A general store is located 2.3 miles away at Mt. Laguna and Pine Valley. The campground is nestled in the pines at an elevation of 5,600 feet within the Laguna Mountains in the southern portion of Cleveland National Forest. The area is home to many species of birds and wildlife.

Additional information:

Reservations Website
Information Number: 619-445-6235 Location: -116.4408333, 32.8875

Directions:

The campground is located 50 miles east of San Diego, California. Take I-8 to Sunrise Highway exit. Go approximately 14 miles until you see the Horse Heaven Group Campground sign and turn down the campground entrance road.


Palomar Mountain Area

Palomar Mountain group campgrounds map

Cedar Grove Group Campground

Cedar Grove Group Campground, managed by California State Parks, encompasses three separate camping areas. Group Camp number one will accommodate up to 25 people; the others will accommodate up to 15 people each. Group Camp number one will accommodate trailers and camper vans up to 21 feet in length; the other group camps are suitable for tent camping only.

Additional information:

Reservations Website
Information Number: 1-800-777-0369.

Directions:

From San Diego, California, follow U.S. Highway 15 north to State Highway 76. Proceed east to County Road S6. Take S6 north to the top of Palomar Mountain. Turn right on Doane Valley Road, and the campground will be on your left in about three-quarters of a mile.


Palomar Mountain view

Indian Flats Group Campground

Indian Flats Campground is located on the north side of Palomar Mountain along the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada. The group sites are one section of the larger campground. The campground closes temporarily for Arroyo Toad protection during breeding season beginning mid April 1st through at least May 31st. The campground offers fire rings, grills, picnic tables and vaulted toilets but no water. The maximum vehicle length is 15 feet. The site reopened after a 2017 human-caused fire that damaged the camgpround.

Additional information:

Reservations: Not required Information Number: 1-877-444-6777 Location: 33.34888889, -116.6594444


Crestline Group Campground

Crestline Group Campground Ground, located on the south side of Palomar Mountain, is a tent-only single group campsite near Palomar Mountain State Park and Palomar Observatorly, a world-class center of astronomical research by the California Institute of Technology in north San Diego County. The area offers hiking, biking and picnicking nearby. The accessible site is equipped with several picnic tables in the campground and cooking area, as well as an accessible vault toilet. The campground sits at an elevation of 5,390 feet in the Palomar Mountains of Southern California. The site is forested but has plenty of open space for star gazing and playing.

Additional information:

Reservations Website
Information Number: 858-673-6180

Directions:

From San Diego, California, follow U.S. Highway 15 north to State Highway 76. Proceed east to County Road S6. Take S6 north to the top of Palomar Mountain. Group campground is at the junction of County Roads S6 and S7.


Santa Ana Mountains Area

Falcon Group Campground

Falcon Group Campground, located in the Santa Ana Mountains north of Camp Pendleton, has three individual group campsites. They are just off the scenic Ortega Highway in Southern California, which connects San Juan Capistrano and Temecula Valley Highway. The pleasant climate, scenery, trail system and convenient location, make this a popular destination for groups from Los Angeles and San Diego. Hiking is especially popular among campers. Hikers of any level can find trails that challenge and accommodate their recreational goals around the campground. Among them are the Falcon Trail, a 1.4-mile easy trail that connects to the campground, and Trabuco Canyon Trail, which provides scenic 6.8-mile hike into the backcountry. The San Juan Trial, which is popular with mountain bikers, has a trailhead at Blue Jay campground, adjacent from Falcon Group Campground. The trail climbs a very steep set of stacked switchbacks from the floor of Hot Springs Canyon and traverses briefly before steeply ascending a ridge toward Sugarloaf Mountain. There are also many ideal picnic spots and scenic overlooks along Ortega Highway. There are three individual campsites within the group campground. Lupine can hold 40 people and eight vehicles, Sage can hold 30 people and six vehicles, and Yarrow can hold 70 people and 10 vehicles. The facility is adjacent to Blue Jay Campground, which has first-come, first-served individual sites. The campground sits at an elevation of 3,300 ft. off the Ortega Highway scenic drive in the Santa Ana Mountains, a route that offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, valleys and forest. The area lies in a mixed forest and chaparral ecosystem and is inhabited by a variety of birds, plants and wildlife. The closest town is Lake Elsinore, which has various shops, restaurants and recreation opportunities.

Additional information:

Reservations Website
Information Number: 951-736-1811 Location: -117.4602778, 33.6558333

Directions:

From San Diego/Los Angeles, take U.S. Highway 15 to State Highway 74 (Ortega Highway) in Lake Elsinore. Travel 6 miles west of Lake Elsinore on 74 and turn north on North Main Divide Road. Proceed 5 miles to Falcon Campground. From I-5, exit for Ortega Highway (State Highway 74). Take 74 east approximately 27 miles to North Main Divide Road. Turn north and proceed 5 miles to Falcon Campground.