Labor Day Weekend first come, first served camping in California?
August 29, 2013 12:13 PM   Subscribe

What are the best first come, first served camping sites within a five hour drive of Los Angeles? Sites preferably for car camping, but a mile or two of hike is also fine. Keeping in mind that this would be for this coming Labor Day weekend, i.e. tomorrow.

The Yosemite Rim Fire has scuttled some long in the works weekend plans for a trip to Tahoe. My friends and I are hoping to do a last minute switch to camping, and we're coming from Los Angeles. It being Labor Day weekend, we're concerned about everything being booked.
posted by kensington314 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's an SFGate article about the fires and the camping situation -- the info re: state parks was interesting. It's Bay Area-centric, though.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Over here on the east coast, the National Park campgrounds hold back a lot of spots for first come first serve. It's been my experience that if I'm there by 4 PM on the Friday of a long weekend getting a decent campsite is never a problem. YMMV on the West Coast - but check the nearby National Parks first. Same may hold true for National Recreation Areas too.
posted by COD at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2013

Here's a list of parks that have first-come, first-served availability and where you can make reservations.

Here's a specific list of parks with availability as of yesterday.

If you can find one where you can make a reservation!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2013

Kensington, I believe that Cuyamaca Rancho SP on Ruthless Bunny's list is oustide of San Diego, so that's in your range.
The others that I recognize are quite a bit further north. And I don't recognize the rest. :-(

We've loved camping up around Mammoth and there are a lot of reservation free places there.
This doesn't feel very helpful, I'm sorry.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:47 PM on August 29, 2013

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