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BrownMtnBob

Best Places to camp in the San Gabs?

.....some buddies and I like to camp up in the SGs, but most of them like a nice open area, where there is a clear view of the sky.  Though I like that too, it's not necessarilly my #1 requirement.  I'm more excited about a nice fire-ring.....but that's me.  If I can have a fire-ring AND open sky.....AND 5,000' or more altitude.......AND less than 20 mile drive from Pasadena....that's perfect. Razz

Any suggestions on your favorite open-sky camping areas in the San Gabirels?  Extra points for short drives to the trail head from the SGV.  I know Guffy and Blue Ridge are awesome......but would like something like that with less drive.  I am a big Lowe Camp fan....but we've been there done that.
 Any such beast? Laughing
JeffH

Do you mean an established/developed campground or backpack in?
Lots of places to hike in but of course water is the issue everywhere.
Frugal Hiker

One of my fav's is Spruce Grove out of Chantry Flats...really want to make it up there on a weekday when I know it will be empty.  I've heard Little Jimmy is good, but that's further than you wanted to drive.

Brett
www.thefrugalhiker.com
Hikin_Jim

Chilao, especially some of the sites further in, has good sky views and fire rings.  A bit more than your time frame, but not bad.

HJ
Teejate

Like Hikin Jim said, Chilao might be a good bet. I'm not much of a car camping guy but I've been there twice and the terrain might provide you with what you're looking for. I went once in the summer and it was a zoo and once just before it closed and the cold weather kept people away. Devils Canyon trailhead is just down the road or you can take the trail out from the campground up to to the Silver Moccasin Trail.

I'd also suggest Horse Flats which can be reached via the Santa Clara Divide road which is about a three mile drive from the Three Points parking lot of the 2. Just a few miles up from Chilao. The trail (a loop) to Mount Hilyer runs along the campground as does the Silver Moccasin junction. Decent distance between sites but not a ton of privacy.

Check the closure dates on both.
BrownMtnBob

THANKS everyone! !!

I enjoy car camping from time to time in order to just "get away" yet have everything I need (even some work)...and perhaps do it with zero pre-plan.   Also, I like to test new equipment.  It's a fast n easy way to get out there!

I haven't tried Chilao...but have mtn biked near there.  I think that might be a nice alternative to Guffy when looking for isolation and somewhat cold in the winter.  Fire pit is key too.  I've been near Horse Flats too, but again, on the mtn bike.  

Just as soon as it gets COLD.....I'm there!
briangroh

Chilao Closed for Season - PRETTY SURE!

Sometimes I forget which is Chilao and which is Charlton flats? (there's two with "CH" right next to each other.

But I believe Chilao has been closed all year this year.  

HOWEVER- I did park outside the gate with my adventure pass and hike into the campground to camp there twice this year.  AND the water spigots were turned on though the restrooms were locked.  

So I had the place all to myself - although I was waiting any minute for a Ranger to ask to me to leave.  I have a feeling I only got away with it because I camped from 5pm and left by 8am.  If you're there all day and visible, I suspect you'd be asked to leave.
Teejate

Re: Chilao Closed for Season - PRETTY SURE!

briangroh wrote:
Sometimes I forget which is Chilao and which is Charlton flats? (there's two with "CH" right next to each other.

But I believe Chilao has been closed all year this year.  

HOWEVER- I did park outside the gate with my adventure pass and hike into the campground to camp there twice this year.  AND the water spigots were turned on though the restrooms were locked.  

So I had the place all to myself - although I was waiting any minute for a Ranger to ask to me to leave.  I have a feeling I only got away with it because I camped from 5pm and left by 8am.  If you're there all day and visible, I suspect you'd be asked to leave.


Every time I've driven by this year, (which is a lot) it was open. Closed now for the season though. And so you know, you are allowed to camp there during the winter. You just don't have access to services and have to hike in. At least, that's what an ANF ranger told me.

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