Nature lovers already know that Southern California’s natural beauty is something that has to be seen to be believed. This region boasts some of the most famous national parks in the U.S., including Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia, and Channel Islands National Parks. From golden sand dunes to forests of towering trees to relaxing seaside escapes, the natural diversity of Southern California ensures that there is something for every kind of outdoor enthusiast.
Packing up your RV and hitting the open road gives you the freedom to explore these parks at your leisure. While you’ve surely heard of the national parks mentioned above, you might be less aware of some of the hidden gems waiting for you in the region. Here are nine of the top campgrounds in Southern California that are perfect for RVers.
Top 9 Campgrounds in Southern California for RV Camping
We’ve scouted out some of the best camping spots in the area that are perfect for RV camping, meaning they have hookups, amenities, and plenty of things to do. Whether you're looking to camp on the peaceful Pacific coast, inside Southern California's lush forests, or out among its sweeping deserts, this list has something for you.
Sequoia RV Ranch
If you’re seeking a magical forest to camp in, look no further than Sequoia RV Ranch, located just eight miles outside of the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this ranch has several RV sites right on the Kaweah River, which gives campers the opportunity to swim, raft, and kayak. Other popular activities in the area include hiking, biking, and fishing, all while enjoying the natural setting and its wildlife.
Sequoia RV Ranch offers both 50 and 30-amp RV sites of varying sizes with full hookups. Choose between a pull-thru or back-in right on the river or a little further back under the trees. You’ll find picnic tables, fire rings, concrete patios, and cable TV service, depending on the package you choose. Dry camping and water & electric pull-thru sites are also available.
Fern Basin Campground
Fern Basin Campground is 50 miles southeast of San Bernardino and offers city dwellers the chance to escape the hustle and enjoy the tranquility of the nearby mountains. At this popular campground, campers can enjoy wandering the trails, either hiking or mountain biking, to discover beautiful views from the summits. In fact, at the top of San Jacinto Peak on the Marion Mountain Trail, you can glimpse both the Pacific Ocean and the Palm Desert below. Other popular activities include boating, fishing, rock climbing, and horseback riding.
There are 23 sites that each come equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. Around the campsite, there are dumpsters, faucets, and bathrooms, but water may or may not be available. Fern Basin has drive-in spots that allow for both RV and tent camping in the shade of the forest trees. No electricity is available.
Dogwood Campground is a great spot for the whole family as it offers a wide range of activities and amenities and is situated just 20 miles northeast of San Bernardino. It’s also quite close to Lake Arrowhead, which offers a plethora of shopping and dining options. The campground has several trails to explore and is only 15 minutes away from Lake Gregory, where families can boat, fish, swim, and visit a water slide park.
Dogwood Campground has 87 reversible campsites that can hold up to eight guests per site. There are hot showers, bathrooms, dump sites, fire rings, and picnic tables available to campers. You can purchase firewood and either 30 or 50-amp electricity hookups, but there are no sewage or water hookups, as drinking water and flush bathrooms are on-site. Pets are welcome to join your family, but they must be on a leash at all times.
A seaside escape is what you’ll find at Moro Campground in Crystal Cove State Park, right off the Pacific Coast Highway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar. The park’s natural wonders include beaches and tidepools, wooded canyons, and gentle slopes. Visitors to the park can enjoy the trails on foot or bike before heading down to explore the beaches and coves below. One of the most popular things to do is head out to the tidepools at low tide to discover all the plants and creatures living inside.
Moro Campground offers primitive or blufftop camping. There are 58 campsites, 28 of which are designed for RVs with full hookups. Bathrooms and showers are available, as well as drinking water and trash dumps. You can bring a gas grill or outdoor fireplace, but wood and charcoal fires are not allowed within the park.
Green Valley Campground
Green Valley Campground is 4,000 feet above sea level in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, nestled in the mountains between Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. Within this park, campers can explore more than 100 miles of trails and go boating, swimming, and fishing for trout in Green Valley Lake. If you’re looking for a park with greenery, this one has pine, fir, and cedar trees, as well as plenty of open meadows and shrubbery.
Green Valley has 37 campsites with amenities like fire rings, picnic tables, drinking water, and flushing toilets. Some are first-come, first-served, while other sites can be booked with a reservation. Full hookups are available for RVs, and there are trash and sanitary disposals on site for campers. The vehicle sites are RV and big-rig friendly, welcoming all kinds of camping vehicles.
Bolsa Chica Campground
If you want to get a taste of California’s famous Huntington Beach, make a stop at Bolsa Chica Campground, right on the Pacific Coast Highway. Its unique location makes it the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy all kinds of water sports, like surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, and more. Beachside, you can partake in a game of volleyball, stroll the sandy shores, or simply lay out for a bit and work on your tan. Bolsa Chica is also a hotspot for fishing, especially corbina, cabezon, and croaker.
When it comes to RV camping, Bolsa Chica has 50 sites that have both electric and water hookups, as well as a sanitary dump. The campsite has showers, toilets, potable water, fire rings, and picnic tables for campers, as well as nearby dining options and a market. The campsite is close to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a protected saltwater marsh with trails that are perfect for birdwatching.
Science enthusiasts love Observatory Campground for its unique location in the Palomar Mountains, just a stone’s throw away from the Palomar Observatory. The campground is inside the Cleveland National Forest, only two miles away from the observatory, which is a top-notch center when it comes to research in astronomy. Because of this, Observatory Campground is a hub for amateur astronomers who come to participate in Explore the Stars, a research project that takes place each weekend during the summer months. Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore the hiking trails, bike, picnic, and enjoy the fresh air.
Observatory Campground has 42 sites with campfire rings, picnic tables, and cement pads for setting up telescopes. The sites are large enough to accommodate RVs but do not have hookups. Around the campground, you’ll find access to showers, drinking water, and toilets. It’s important to note that some of the amenities are available only during the peak stargazing season.
Doane Valley Campground
Doane Valley Campground is located in a breathtaking mountain forest in Palomar Mountain State Park in the northern part of San Diego County. Since this park is 5,000 feet above sea level, there’s a bit of an incline to keep in mind as you camp and explore the area. This area is popular for hiking and exploring the trails, as well as swimming and fishing for trout in the nearby Doane Pond.
The campground is equipped with 31 campsites with showers, toilets, and drinking water available. Every site comes equipped with a fire ring, picnic table, and locker to store your food. You can reserve your campsite up to six months ahead of time.
Tamarisk Grove Campground
If you’re looking for a desert retreat for your next RV trip, Tamarisk Grove Campground in Anza-Borrego State Park just might be your spot. The campground gets its name from the tall tamarisk trees around the park that provide some much-needed shade from the desert heat. It's a nice spot for hiking and biking, and many visitors choose to visit the historic Kumeyaay Indian Village Site nearby.
This campground has 27 sites available with showers and flush toilets. You need to purchase drinking water, and there aren’t any hookups. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table, and there’s a sanitary dump on site for campers.
Go RV Camping in SoCal with Cruise America
Your next Southern California camping adventure is waiting for you, and Cruise America is here to help you find the perfect RV for it. Whether you want to rent or buy a vehicle, our team of experts can help you pick out the best one for your needs. Our vehicles come in a number of sizes with all of the features that you would expect to make your trip unforgettable.
Desert, mountain, or beach, our RVs will take you wherever you want to go in Southern California!