Yellow-post Campsites in Southern California
Yellow Post Campsites
Yellow post campsites are a unique type of primitive camping experience that can be found throughout Southern California. These campsites are designated by yellow posts and offer a fire-safe spot with a picnic table. While some yellow-post campsites require a 4×4 vehicle to reach, others can be accessed by passenger cars. It’s important to note that during summer fire restrictions in Southern California, yellow-post campsites are usually off-limits.
Some of the most beautiful yellow-post campsites are located within the San Bernardino National Forest area, which includes all the Big Bear Lake Mountains, Idyllwild, and Mount San Jacinto. These campsites are first come, first serve, so it’s always best to arrive early in the day to secure a spot.
Trailheads and Dirt Roads
Primitive campsites can often be found near trailheads and along dirt roads that lead to them. These campsites are typically accessible by hiking or backpacking and offer a unique opportunity to really immerse oneself in nature.
Long, winding creeks in the Californian woodlands are known to have some of the most amazing dispersed campsites. If you have more time on your hands to explore the area around a river, you will eventually stumble upon a big, free dispersed campsite.
Back Roads to Free Camping
The best out-of-the-way campsites in California are located along mountain back roads. These campsites are often secluded and offer a truly unique camping experience. The further you are willing to drive, the better-dispersed campgrounds you will find.
However, it’s important to note that these campsites are typically located on remote back roads that may require a 4×4 or an SUV to access. Additionally, none of these camping sites have toilets, but many of them have fire rings and picnic tables. When it comes to wilderness camping in the Golden State, it’s always important to be prepared to hike out. On dirt back roads, landslides are common, and no matter how robust your vehicle is, it could become disabled.
Boondocking (Free RV Camping With No Hookups)
As long as you can find a level spot off the main road, areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management and National Forests are generally open to RV campers. Free RV camping is also available in state parks and on territory administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is also available on some U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. All of these campgrounds are primitive and offer no hookups or amenities.
To find RV camping sites in California, you can use the RV-Camping website. Although it is not the most scenic option, many businesses allow boondocking in their parking lots, including Camping World, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, and Walmart. Car camping is now legal in Los Angeles County as well.
What to Know Before Going Camping in California
Even though you are allowed to set up camp in a free, secluded area, there are still some rules you need to follow. To learn more about the permits you may need, roadway passes, accessibility, and rules in California’s national parks as well as state ones, check out the U.S. Forest Service website. You can also contact a local forest ranger directly to get information on regulations.
Primitive camping isn’t always as primitive as it sounds. You may need a permit if you want to disappear into the wilderness on your own. It may sound like a pain in the neck, but wilderness permits help preserve the tranquility and the solitude of the backcountry.
A national park or state park issues wilderness permits to prevent overcrowding on wilderness campgrounds. When you sign a wilderness permit, you also agree to abide by the Leave No Trace principle. This means that you are responsible for packing out all trash and leaving the wilderness area as you found it. By following the Leave No Trace principle, you can help preserve the natural beauty of California’s wilderness areas for future generations to enjoy.