If you are planning an overnight group outing in the San Gabriel Mountains, consider Coulter Group Campground. This one-site campground is operated by the Angeles National Forest in San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and is nestled in a forest of oaks, firs, and Jeffrey pines at an elevation of 5,300 feet. Up to 50 people per night can enjoy fresh mountain air and sweeping views at this accommodating group campsite.
Coulter Group Campground is located on a short road between the Pine Loop and the Manzanita Loop of Chilao Campground. While there is ample privacy at Coulter, it certainly feels like part of that larger 83-site campground. Coulter Group Campground has room for several large tents and a large fire ring perfect for large parties. Other amenities include a vault toilet, picnic tables, and a spigot for drinking water. The sizeable solitary site at Coulter Group Campground may be reserved for $100 per night at recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777 (price as of 2018). The campground is open seasonally from April through Mid-November. Call (818) 899-1900 for current conditions and additional information.
Around the fire ring are open eastward views toward a pleasant pine-dotted ridge. To see a sunset from Coulter Group Campground, follow footpaths through a pine forest up the ridge behind the campsite.
At the top, have a seat on a boulder and enjoy a panoramic look over the expansive drainage carved by Alder Creek and Big Tujunga Canyon. Beyond the end of the canyon to the north, you will see the pale ground of the Mojave Desert. It is a breathtaking place to watch a sunset, and just a short walk from the campground.
Hikers can take advantage of the numerous trails around the campground. For a short trek to a nearby summit, check out Mount Hillyer. The trailhead is just down the road from the campground. You may also stretch your legs on the Silver Moccasin Trail, which runs more than fifty miles through the San Gabriel Mountains and passes alongside Coulter Group Campground and Chilao Campground.
To get to the campground: From the 210 Freeway in La Cañada Flintridge, head northeast on Angeles Crest Highway (CA 2) for 26 miles to the sign for Chilao Campground (if you reach Newcomb Ranch, you’ve gone too far). Turn left on the road into Chilao Campground, which passes the entrance to the Pine Loop, followed by the Manzanita Loop. Coulter Group Campground can be access via either loop. The national forest often closes one side of Chilao Campground, so get directions from a ranger before proceeding to the campground. After the campsite is reserved, you will be given a gate code for the access road to Coulter Group Campground.
Campground address: Angeles Crest Highway, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Arcadia, CA 91006
Campground coordinates: 34.32278, -118.01778 (34° 19′ 22.00″N 118° 01′ 04.00″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and create your own directions:
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. The shorter route begins from Horse Flats Campground
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.
|Winston Ridge and Winston Peak|
This 4.85-mile partial loop bags a summit and a scenic ridge in the high San Gabriel Mountains.
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.
|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.
Buckhorn Campground is an hour drive up the Angeles Crest Highway from LA and a great weekend spot for summer tent camping.
| More campgrounds around LA|
Check out a few other places to camp in Los Angeles County.