This was our 2nd time out in our RV, so we were not fully prepared. We are grateful to the camp hostess who gave us a number of tips on RV camping and for letting us borrow her clean-water hose. The restrooms were typical of the California State parks. They were clean, but cold. Showers were not hot but warm enough to warm you on a cold day. The campground is lush and green this time of year. My wife and I saw lots of ground squirrels and a few deer in the campground. We camped here in a Motorhome.
First, the positives. Lots of wildlife to watch and listen to (singing coyotes, lots of deer, cottontails, ducks in the creek). Sites are huge, with tons of space in between. Lots of hiking trails (but not well maintained, unfortunately). Iron ranger takes credit cards! Friendly camp host. And, of course, the reason we came--the site where M*A*S*H was filmed. Now the cons: This is yet another victim of CA state park budget cuts. Roads, trails, bathhouses not well maintained. High price ($35) just to boon dock. No water for tanks and no dump station. Come prepared. We did feel pretty secure, though, as the park ranger did regular patrols and the camp host let us know that the ranger had both a sidearm and a rifle in case she needed help in rousting squatters (common here apparently) or rowdies (not uncommon on the weekends we heard). We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a lovely campground with nice hiking trails. There were mostly tents, and just a few RVs when we were there. It was very family friendly. It is easy to get into the park itself, but it isn't very trailer-friendly. Sites are not assigned before you arrive so it is a first come, first serve basis on selecting a site. We were camping with a group, and wanted side-by-side locations for the trailer and a tent, and we were very limited by what I could back into because of the angle of the sites combined with the huge rocks that outline the road, and I'm good at backing into tight spaces. Another annoying factor is that the gate requires you to return to tell them the site that you pick. I would have had to unhook immediately in order to do that, because it is about a mile from the campsites to the front gate, and there wasn't much cell reception. (I was able to receive a call on my iphone at one point, and text messages seemed to arrive, but reception was limited and inconsistent). The water spigots are only on the sites on the inside of the loop and are shared between sites. It would be possible to connect a long hose and fill a water tank, but you can't stay hooked up. There is a dump station at the gate when you leave. There is a nice area for kids to play in the center of the park, but stickers abound. When we arrived we were told there was a fire ban, but by evening it had been lifted. The only other warning is that the gates close at 8 pm sharp. My husband was joining us after work, and almost didn't make it because the there was a sobriety check point set up on Las Virgenes (the main road in). We were later told that is not uncommon for a Friday night. It is a good dark-sky location for star-gazing. We hope to return again for that purpose. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Can't remember park rate, may be wrong. We stayed two nights during March 2010 in a 24 foot RV. Some of the sites look pretty small, but backing in, we were surprised just how many big sized RVs actually fit. There was a spot for at least the one big rig we saw here (first site just as you pull in), but I'm doubting they would've fit elsewhere. There was a community water spicket every couple of sites or so. I know people filled up their tanks, but I'm sure you are not actually allowed to stay connected. There's a dump station on the way out. The sites are clean, open, and on pavement, surrounded by wild grass. Ours was fairly level, others looked pretty sloped. The website clearly said NO campfires, but I guess their policy is that you actually can have a small fire if the fire danger is low. You just won't know what the danger is until you arrive. Same with your campsite, you are assigned a site when you arrive, even if you reserved a specific site. We had #59 and it was very nice; we thought, one of the nicest for the time of year. Backed amongst the hills would've otherwise been the nicest, but it created too much shade for the cold weather that we had that weekend. Before we even got out of our RV, we had already seen three deer so that was pretty cool. We continued to see them grazing in the various meadows and the people next to us also saw a pack of coyotes by our sites. There are tons of trails to take all right from the campground. The most notable trail probably being the one to Rock Pool. It's right across the bridge from the Nature/Visitor's Center (which I believe is only open at noon on Sat, Sun), which was a good spot to visit and learn about the area and even watch a little video on the film (and M*A*S*H) history. BTW, the walk/bikeride to both of those locations was a leisurely stroll along a fireroad. The Pool itself was nice to look at, but no one was swimming in it from what we saw. It was much too cold and a little yucky/murky looking for our taste. Also a FYI: if you are on your way to Rock Pool and you start ascending up a little hill and making a few turns, you've past the trail to the Rock Pool, but if you continue on, you'll find Century Lake. (We had to get off our bikes and walk it; not actual bicyclists, just people who like to ride bikes sometimes.) The trail is off to the left, just as the ascent seizes and the trail just reads "No Bikes Allowed". Follow that down a nice shaded path about 200 feet. There were a group of guys there that said they were fishing for Talapia. (For the Rock Pool, there was a sign/marker that said "Rock Pool" and when we went, the sign was just a few feet from an outhouse in an opening along the creek, again, opposite side of the Nature Center (which looks like a white house). Lots of good rock climbing back there and also a good amount of people, but certainly worth visiting if you happen to be in the area. Although, if I was traveling through from another area, I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to see it. (We made the trip from Riverside; about 1 1/2 hours away. Three hours in traffic. Ugh!) There are lots of other gorgeous areas in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino Mountains that aren't as heavily visited. The true beauty of this one, in my opinion, is the fact that it is such an oasis amongst the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis. For that, it is a very special place. We camped here in a Motorhome.
It’s a state camp ground… dry camping here. This campground is tailored more to tents and pop ups. Despite having a reservation, a high school/early college aged ranger made us drive through the tight loop to select a site which is a ways away from the front gate were you check in. You're in LA, LA locals frequent this park. I was honked at while un-hitching for taking up the one way road. I also had to run some kids off who thought it would be fun to bounce a big ball off the side of my trailer while my baby was asleep. With my tow vehicle I’m >40’. I was certainly the largest rig there that weekend. There were also several people parking on the one way street which I asked the front gate to clear out the night before I left because i knew I would have trouble making it back down the loop. Sure enough there were three cars still parked out on the road when I left one of which I had to make the camper move. The few positives about this park are a little bit of old time Hollywood here. "MASH" was filmed at this location as well as "Planet of the Apes." There is great hiking/biking/horseback riding trails. And I was told there is a small lake you can swim in but I did not visit it. I would not return to this park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.