Need to get out of LA? Fresh air can be found camping within a hardy forest of pines and incense cedars at Buckhorn Campground. A small nearby creek provides a popular swimming hole for summer visitors, and away from the light pollution of LA, there are opportunities to eye shooting stars in the night sky. Day-hikers can venture off on nearby trails including Mount Waterman and Cooper Canyon Falls. Buckhorn Campground has plenty to offer.
Buckhorn Campground is located 35 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway from the 210 Freeway. This drive through the San Gabriels will take an hour, and while this campground is not as convenient to reach as those in the front range of the San Gabriels, it is a great venue for an overnight trip with family or friends.
The tent-centric campground has 38 well-spaced first-come first-serve sites. Amenities include potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. At 6,400 feet, Buckhorn Canyon is cool in the summer months and blanketed with snow in the winter. The campground is open between April and October (varies seasonally) at a rate of $12 per night (price as of 2018). For more information, visit the national forest webpage for Buckhorn Campground.
To get to the campground: From the 210 Freeway in La Cañada Flintridge, head northeast on Angeles Crest Highway (CA 2) for 35 miles. Buckhorn Campground is on the left just past the Mount Waterman Ski Area. Buckhorn Campground can also be reached from the north by driving south on Route 2 from the Route 128 for 30 miles.
Campground address: Angeles Crest Highway, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Pearblossom, CA 93553
Campground coordinates: 34.34333, -117.921196 (34° 20′ 35.98″N 117° 55′ 16.30″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and create your own directions:
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The 5.5 to 6 miler can be completed as an out and back hike or a loop, traveling through a pine forest to a round summit. Add six miles to the hike by dropping across a saddle and climbing to the summit of Twin Peaks.
|Cooper Canyon Falls|
This 3-mile hike leaves from Buckhorn Campground and visits a short waterfall in an enchanting glen of tall pines.
|Winston Ridge and Winston Peak|
This 4.85-mile partial loop bags a summit and a scenic ridge in the high San Gabriel Mountains.
This 6,215-foot summit can be reach from two trailheads for a 3 to 6.25-mile hike gaining between 575 and 1,000 feet.
This 3.8 or 4.4-mile hike ascends from Charlton Flats Picnic Area to Vetter Mountain, where the site of an old fire lookout tower has exceptional 360-degree views.
|More trails in the San Gabriel Mountains|
Explore other destinations in the range.
|Horse Flats Campground|
This 25-site campground in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains offers first-come first-serve equestrian-friendly sites.
|Coulter Group Campground|
This single-site campground accommodates up to 50 people per night, offering fresh mountain air and sweeping views at 5,300 feet.
| More campgrounds around LA|
Check out a few other places to camp in Los Angeles County.
According to the sign at the entrance, this is no longer a campground. There is no more overnighting. As of 3/10/12, it is “Buckhorn Day Use Area”.
That is sad news. Thank you for the important update! Does anyone know if they play to reopen?
I hear it should open back up by the end of May : )
I just called the Angles National Forest and the confirmed that the campground is open.
Thanks Taylor. Good to hear!
The Day Use Parking is just for easy parking to get to certain trails. The actual campground is a bit further on the 2.
not true, the day use entrance is about 30ft before the main entrance to the overnight camping, we camp there every year.
Between the Buckhorn and Coldbrook campground, how far apart are the campsites? Are they far apart enough so you dont have to hear loud/rowdy groups?
Buckhorn has more trees so you can get some extra privacy, but Coldbrook Campground has fewer sites. I think both are good options for quiet camping trips outside of busy holiday weekends.
What is the average over night temperature at buckhorn?
I’m having a hard time finding evening temp.
I understand the number of campsites is limited and this is a very popular camp ground. How difficult is it to get one of these sites in the summer months? Is it necessary to arrive early on Friday in order to get a first-come site?
The place is closed due to mice infestation as of July 18, 2013 :((
Not true. Was there this weekend.
Buckhorn Campground open and beautiful as of 8/20/2013
Does any body know if they allow motorhomes in this campground?
The Angeles National Forest webpage for Buckhorn Campground says that the maximum RV length is 18 feet.
is this a good place to check out this holiday weekend? I’m looking for a quiet and relatively unknown campground for the holiday to do some car camping in. I was thinking coldbrook or buckhorn, but i’m worried about it being full. thoughts?
Does anyone know if they allow dogs?
Dogs are allowed in the campground and on all the nearby trails.
Is this campground open thru the shut down?
I believe this campground is closed, along with the rest of the Angeles National Forest, while the federal government shutdown lasts.
Is this campground open during the winter (November / December)?
According to the national forest webpage the campground is still open. However, the campground typically closes this time of year once the snow arrives, so check with a ranger before heading out.
Myself and a couple friends just spent the weekend up at Buckhorn Campground and had a complete blast. We drove up late Friday night, found the perfect campsite and set up no problem. It wasn’t too hard finding the campground and the check-in station was well marked. Campsites were spread out enough that you didn’t feel like you were on top of anyone but there was still a sense of community.
Facilities were well maintained and the available potable water, picnic tables, and fire pits were added luxuries.
The trail itself leading to the Cooper Canyon Falls was well marked and easy to traverse.
I’d highly recommend this as a weekend getaway spot for anyone – just be prepared for sudden shifts in weather. It was supposed to be in the 40’s the night we arrived and we ended up setting up camp in the middle of a snow storm.
Anyway – happy camping!
Is there any nearby swimming you would recommend?
Im leaving 5am planning to arrive a the Buckhorn site around 6:30am the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.
Do you think I have a chance of getting a campsite for the weekend? Im a little worried it might be full by then. Also, the website does not say, how long can you stay there for?
Did you find a spot Shane? I’m thinking of doing the same for Labor Day weekend.
Was thinking of going up there later this month. How big are the bear boxes? I called the ranger station and was told that bears aren’t an issue? How did everyone store their food? Thanks.
How did your camping experience turn out? Did you end up bringing a canister? I’m also thinking of going to the campground sometime next month.
Is the campground open for the winter?
I see websites (links below) saying the campground is “closed for the season.” Is this true, or does it just open later in the summer? Any info would be much appreciated, thanks!
The campground may be closed because of snow, but should open back up this spring.
Any news on whether it’s open now?
The campground is definitely open. We went to hike, but the campground itself looked to be completely full.
Totally full.. was up there for work, and of the 20 or so people i stopped and talked to said they were all staying through monday afternoon, to secure a camp spot for the holiday weekend. ..
Hey there! Thinking about camping for the fourth at Buckhorn, two questions:
A-How early would you recommend getting there before the sites are all taken? I’m sure it’s a popular day but not certain how busy it is typically.
B- do you drive up or hike up to the campsites? We’d love a good hike, but are thinking about how to pack.