Leo Carrillo State Park boasts a large campground just across PCH from the park’s 1.5 miles of beautiful waterfront. A path from the campground goes underneath PCH to allow easy access to the beach. Once there, campers can swim, surf, and walk along the shore, exploring numerous rock formations with sea caves and tide pools.
The campground is made up of 135 sites, each with its own picnic table and fire ring. Some sites have electrical hookups for RVs. Flush toilets and coin-operated showers are provided. A camp store in the middle of the campground can be used to pick up marshmallows and other forgotten camping necessities.
The campsites around the exterior of the loop offer decent privacy, while campsites in the center offer open space that makes it easy to combine sites for larger parties. If the 8-person sites are too small, a group site at the north end of the campground can hold up to 50 people. This campground definitely gets crowded on summer weekends. Brush between sites add some privacy. Tall sycamores provide lots of shade.
A large day use parking area near the entrance of the campground serves as overflow parking, and free daytime parking is also available along PCH for those not staying overnight at Leo Carrillo State Park. A walkway from the large parking area can be used to reach the beach. When you reach the beach turn right to head west to a better swimming beach. Below the second lifeguard tower, you’ll find some fun sea caves at low tide.
Expect the campground to be full every weekend from May to October, and less crowded in the winter. Reservations may be made year round at reservecalifornia.com. Each standard site is $45 per night. Sites with electrical hookups are $60 per night. The group site is $225 per night. The fee to add additional vehicles to a campsite is $12 per night per vehicle (all prices as of 2016).
To get to the campground: Take PCH west through Malibu to the park entrance. From the city of Santa Monica it is 28 miles to Leo Carrillo State Park. If you reach Mulholland Highway, you just passes the entrance to the campground.
Campground address: 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu, CA 90265
Campground coordinates: 34.046152, -118.932116 (34° 02′ 46.14″N 118° 55′ 55.61″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and create your own directions:
|Nicholas Flat Trail – Willow Creek Trail Loop|
This 2.05-mile loop in Leo Carrillo State Park wraps around a coastal ridge and tops out at an ocean vista with broad views.
|Nicholas Flat via Nicholas Flat Trail|
This scenic 7 to 7.6-mile hike ventures from the coast in Leo Carrillo State Park up into the mountains to a grassy flat with a small pond.
|Nicholas Flat via Malibu Springs Trail|
This scenic 7-mile round trip hike ascends 1,425 feet to meadows and a pond on Nicholas Flat in Leo Carrillo State Park.
|Charmlee Wilderness Park|
This 3.25-mile loop is one of several possible hikes in this bluff-top park with ocean views over Malibu.
This 2.8-mile hike leaves a coastal Malibu neighborhood to explore rustic Zuma Canyon.
This 6.25-mile loop summits the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains.
This 3-mile out and back hike visits a remote grotto in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
|More trails in the Santa Monica Mountains|
Explore other destinations in the range.
|Malibu Creek State Park|
This campground has 63 sites with lots of amenities and nearby trails.
|Sycamore Canyon Campground in the Santa Monica Mountains|
This 58-site campground in Point Mugu State Park sits at the mouth of a beachfront canyon and has access to trails through the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
| More campgrounds around LA|
Check out a few other places to camp in Los Angeles County.