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  • Camping Southern California  by Bruce Grubbs

    Camping Southern California

    by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
    Camping Southern California  by Bruce Grubbs
    Welcome to California, the Golden State, the most populous state in the Union and the third largest in area. By far the richest state in terms of gross product, California is more appropriately compared to nations than to other states. In this context California is the sixth-largest “nation” in the world, its gross product exceeded only by those of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, and Japan. Driving this economic dynamo is agriculture; California’s output far exceeds that of any other state. If the Midwest is the breadbasket of the United States, California is the nation’s fruit and vegetable basket, leading the nation in production of grapes, tomatoes, lettuce, and a host of other orchard and vegetable crops. And in manufacturing, mineral extraction, and fishing, California ranks among the top four states.

    © 2013 Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

    Trails from the "Camping Southern California" Guide Book
    496 Trail Guides

    Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Mojave,” Afton Canyon is as beautiful as its Arizona cousin but on a much smaller scale. The Mojave River has carved a chasm 300 feet deep through red rock, creating sheer walls and striking formations. A trail from the campground leads into Afton Canyon and one of its side canyons, Pyramid. The latter is as narrow and claustrophobic as can be expected of a typical slot canyon. Afton also serves as a gateway to the Mojave National Preserve, which lies only 12 miles to the east. Stay limit fourteen days.
    Barstow, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the town of Julian, drive east 10 miles on CA 78. Turn right (south) onto CR S2 and drive 19 miles. About the campground: Agua Caliente’s geothermal pools attract wildlife and promote lush vegetation in an otherwise arid environment. A large outdoor pool and a smaller (and hotter) indoor one attract tourists. No pets are allowed. Stay limit fourteen days. Open Labor Day weekend through Memorial Day weekend.
    Julian, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From Wofford Heights, drive 12.5 miles west on CA 155, turn left onto FR 25S04, and drive 3 miles. About the campground: Elevation 3,900 feet. Stay limit fourteen days. Open May through October.
    Wofford Heights, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the intersection of US 101 and CA 166 in Santa Maria, drive 61 miles east on CA 166 to Aliso Canyon Road (FR 10N04). Turn right and drive 5.2 miles south to the campground. About the campground: Two hiking trails lead from the campground (elevation 3,200 feet) into the San Rafael Wilderness. Stay limit fourteen days. Open all year.
    Santa Maria, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From Santa Margarita, drive 16 miles southeast to Pozo. Continue east on Pozo Road for another 3.2 miles to the end of the pavement and a Y junction. Bear right, drive another 5 miles, and turn left for 2 more miles to the campground. About the campground: American Canyon provides access to the trails of the Machesna Mountain Wilderness. Stay limit fourteen days. Open only during deer season.
    Santa Margarita, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campgrounds: From the intersection of US 395 and CA 168 in Big Pine, take CA 168 northeast for 11 miles to the dirt access road. About the campgrounds: These group campgrounds are located within 1 mile of one another on CA 168. For more information about area attractions, see Grandview Campground (above). Elevation 3,900 feet. Stay limit fourteen days. Open April through November.
    Big Pine, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest contains the oldest known trees on earth. Some bristlecones are more than 4,600 years old—1,500 years older than the oldest known sequoia. The Ancient Bristlecone Scenic Byway traverses the forest from south to north, terminating at its northern border. It offers views of these strange trees, many of which look more dead than alive. They are actually hardy survivors of harsh, high-altitude conditions. Schulman Grove, at the beginning of the forest, has an interpretive center and several self-guided nature trails. The byway is closed in winter. Elevation 3,900 feet. Stay limit fourteen days. Open April through November.
    Big Pine, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center, take the first left turn and drive 1 mile north. About the campground: Borrego Palm Canyon, the most popular palm oasis in the park, lies 1.5 miles northwest of the campground and is accessible via an easy nature trail. Self-guiding brochures are available. The campground receives heavy use, and reservations are recommended any time of the year. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the intersection of I-8 and CR S2 at Ocotillo, drive 15 miles northwest on CR S2. About the campground: The North Fork Trail leads 0.6 mile from the campground to Mountain Palm Springs Oasis, which features two separate stands of fan palms. Also starting at the campground is the South Fork Trail, which leads 1.4 miles through stands of palms and elephant trees to Torote Bowl Overlook. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Ocotillo, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center in Borrego Springs, drive 1.3 miles east on Palm Canyon Drive and turn left (north) onto Borrego Springs Road. After the road makes a sharp curve to the right (about 3 miles), take the first unpaved road to the left (about 0.3 mile) and drive 3.3 miles north. About the campground: Each of the ten campsites can hold up to eight people and four horses. Good riding trails run from the campground through Coyote Canyon to the northwest, inviting exploration of backcountry palm canyons and this historic section of the Anza Trail. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center, drive east on Palm Canyon Drive (CR S22) for 5.2 miles. Turn left (north) with CR S22 onto Pegleg Road, and drive 2.3 miles to where the highway makes a right turn. Continue to follow S22 for about 8 miles, watching for an unpaved road to the right posted with a very small sign to Arroyo Salado. About the campground: Three separate palm oases lie about 2 miles southeast of the campground. They can be reached by continuing east along the unpaved entry road. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the town of Julian, drive east 10 miles on CA 78. Turn right (south) onto CR S2 and drive 6 miles to the unpaved road to Blair Valley on the left. About the campground: Camping is permitted over a large area, which allows maximum privacy for those seeking it. The Ghost Mountain Trail (2 miles), Morteros Trail (0.3 mile), and Pictograph Trail (2 miles) are all accessed from the campground, as is the Marshal South Home. Maps and trail guides are available at the visitor center. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Julian, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the intersection of I-8 and CR S2 at Ocotillo, drive 13.4 miles northwest on CR S2. About the campground: A trail leading north from the campground intersects the trail to Torote Bowl Overlook (see Mountain Palm Springs Campground above). Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Ocotillo, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center in Borrego Springs, drive southwest on Montezuma Valley Road (CR S22) for 7 miles. About the campground: A hiking and equestrian trail leads east and west from the campground. Lookout Point and Pena Spring are nearby. Elevation 3,400 feet. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From Ocotillo Wells, drive south 7.5 miles on Split Mountain Road, turn right (west) onto Fish Creek Wash Road, and drive 1 mile. About the campground: The park service offers four-wheel-drive tours from the campground through Split Mountain’s rugged geological fault. Participants must have their own vehicles and must sign up at the visitor center in Borrego Springs. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Ocotillo Wells, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    A small palm oasis lies just south of the campground. Coyote Canyon, 1.5 miles east (along the entry road) contains a year-round stream and features hiking and riding trails and rough four-wheel-drive roads. The historic Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from Sunrise Highway Anza Trail runs through the canyon in a northeasterly direction, from Borrego Springs to the town of Anza. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center in Borrego Springs, drive 1.3 miles east on Palm Canyon Drive, turn right (south) onto CR S3, and drive 10 miles to the campground at the intersection of CA 78 and CR S3. About the campground: The Cactus Loop Trail (0.7 mile) begins across the road from the campground entrance. It features examples of seven different types of cactus. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center in Borrego Springs, drive 1.3 miles east on Palm Canyon Drive, turn right (south) onto CR S3, and drive 9 miles to the campground on the left. About the campground: The Kenyon Overlook Trail (0.6 mile) begins at the campground, offering panoramic vistas and a variety of desert vegetation. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the park visitor center in Borrego Springs, drive 1.3 miles east on Palm Canyon Drive, turn right (south) onto CR S3, and drive 10 miles to the campground at the intersection of CA 78 and CR S3 (across from the entrance to Tamarisk Grove Campground; see above). About the campground: The 1-mile-long Yaqui Well Trail begins at the campground and climbs to a small seep that smells of sulphur. Stay limit thirty days. Open all year.
    Borrego Springs, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
    Finding the campground: From the intersection of CA 66 and I-15 in Rancho Cucamonga, take the Sierra Avenue exit and drive northwest on Lytle Creek Road for 9 miles. About the campground: Elevation 3,300 feet. Stay limit fourteen days. Open all year.
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Campgrounds - Trail Length:

    State Log Book

    Jun 2019