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  #1  
Unread 05-06-2010, 10:45 PM
smalkin smalkin is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles
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Southern California Camping Assistance

Hello! My husband and I just moved to LA, and we didn't think about making Memorial Day weekend plans. We love camping but are finding that 1) most reservable sites are booked for the holiday weekend and 2) we don't really know the best places to look. Wouldn't mind going to a "first come first served" campground, but we won't be able to leave until friday evening. So... any thoughts about places not terribly far away (like no more than 4 hours) that would have a good shot at having spots open on a busy weekend? either that we could reserve or try to show up at? any other advice? thank you! - Sarah
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Unread 05-09-2010, 03:57 PM
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NEJ NEJ is offline
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4 hours is a long way to travel. The desert is too hot in late may. But the desert mountains are still okay. The local mountains outside LA burned off last year so that's out. The beach and Malibu canyon campgrounds may be crowded memorial Day. Other mountain areas are still a bit cool at the end of May.

I never reserve sites so these are my suggestions:

Mt. Pinos area. Los Padres NF. Close and a lot of sites both primitive and pit toilets. May need high clearance or 4wd.

Idyllwild-- Riverside County park, San Jacinto State Park, San Bernardino National Forest parks. The lower elevation campgrounds will be fine. I like Hurkey Creek County Park (Riverside) for general camping---excellent mountain biking and lake fishing. Three hour drive, 4,500', pine trees, hikes, also nearby yellow post sites for free camping in the San Bernardino NF. Any vehicle.

Lytle Creek Canyon.

Silverwood lake in the San Bernardino Mntns.

If you want to drive north, the Inyo mountains are a spectacular place in late May. Try the Bristlecone Pine area or if you have 4wd visit Cerro Gordo. Also try the Panamint Mountains and Mahogany Flats up Wildrose Canyon. Either place is doable with most cars and any truck.

I have a number of other suggestions---but you need to tell what your parameters are.

NJ

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Unread 05-09-2010, 08:58 PM
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n2h2o n2h2o is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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nej Kern river area maybe?

Smalkin,a couple of month ago the Gf and I went to Lake Casitas in Ventura county. I am not sure about reservations but the place has over 400 camp spites so i doubt they will be full. You could call and ask the rangers.. A real nice lake and some cool trails to just get out and walk around. Great fishing... i hear...
its maybe 1:15 minutes from Pasadena.
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