Burnt Rancheria Campground is located 50 miles east of San Diego at the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area in Southern California, right off the Sunrise Scenic Byway.
Campers can enjoy hiking, viewing unique birds and wildlife and enjoying cooler temperatures at this mountain facility in Cleveland National Forest, open from mid-April through October.
Day hiking and picnicking are most popular at Burnt Rancheria. The facility provides easy access to a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. Hiking and horseback riding are allowed on the trail. Biking is not allowed on any portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.
A short hike to the nearby Desert View Picnic Site provides visitors with a bird's-eye view of the desert 6,000 feet below. On most days, the Salton Sea is clearly visible to the southeast. Restrooms and potable water are available.
Families with children will enjoy activities, campfire programs and guided hikes available during summer. In addition to the guided hikes, a visitor might take the self-guided interpretive trail hike; brochures are available from the camp host.
Campers can also get a glimpse of the amazing night sky at "star parties" organized by the San Diego State University Observatory. These gatherings are conducted on most Saturday evenings during the summer months (schedule can be obtained at the Visitor Information Center on Laguna Mountain or by calling 619-473-8547).
Burnt Rancheria is a large campground with several loops of campsites. Each site has a table and campfire ring. There are no hookups or dump station for RVs; the nearest is located at the Buckman Springs Rest Area, 4 miles east of Pine Valley on I-8.
The campground is equipped with restrooms and coin-operated showers (showers open only during reservation season). Firewood is available for purchase from the campground host.
Pines and oaks abound throughout the campground, which sits at an elevation of 6,000 ft. The site is heavily wooded and surrounded by an open oak grove with spectacular desert views.
ADA Access: N
Only an hour from San Diego, this is accessible but feels so far away. At 6,000 feet, the pine and oak trees provide great shade in almost all sites, but there's still plenty of sun. Bathrooms were clean; some are pit toilets and others are flush and even have showers. All sites have a picnic table and fire pit, plus there are lots of potable water spigots throughout. The Mt Laguna store is only half a mile up the road, the Desert View hike goes right out from camp (plus the PCT), and there are many other hikes along the highway.
Stayed in site 33 and 35.
Area has loads of trees and shade. The bathrooms are clean and there are several throughout the camp ground. The sites are fairly close together which we didn’t mind cause we were camping with another group. PCT is close by if you want to do some hiking.
My family and I recently camped at Burnt Rancheria Campground in the Laguna Mountains. The campground looks like a classic mountain campground. It was beautiful with so many trees(mostly oak and pine) and shrubs! We noticed that there was a great variety of campsites that seem to offer very different experiences. There were some in wide open meadows where you could see all of your neighbors. Some were in small clusters. And others felt much more secluded in the forest. Also, there was a great difference in the amount of shade and flatness available. Thankfully our site (#207) was pretty secluded and offered ample shade, but it was on a pretty significant incline. There was only one semi-flat spot for our tent. The campground is very well-kept and the bathrooms were probably the cleanest campground bathrooms I’ve ever seen! The campground hosts seemed very pleasant and even offered firewood delivery to your site. Thanks to the ample forest there were plenty of birds, squirrels, and even a gopher we were able to watch. We look forward to returning.
Love this place. We have gone back year after year! It is the first place my wife and I went camping together and the first place we took our kids. The campground attendants are fantastic and the little diner down the road is great. Will definitely keep coming back while we're in the area.
It was my first time at Burnt Rancheria, but not the last. I was impressed with the cleanliness, and the spacious and well-spaced spots. It was super kid friendly and for pets as well, but never too loud. The hikes are gorgeous and easy for small ones to manage. I would highly recommend this campground ⛺️⛺️⛺️⛺️⛺️
This campground is amazing. I was there for a couple days this last week. It is so clean. The hosts and manager are so friendly and helpful. They are all very conscious about the coved crisis. They all where masks, and keep all of the facilities extremely clean. They clean the bathrooms and showers multiple times a day. They also make multiple rounds through the campgrounds to ensure everything is ok and bring wood to the campers. The camp sites themselves are also very clean. You'd be hard pressed to find a gum wrapper on the ground. My wife and I are definitely planning on going back this year. Be aware: if you want to be guaranteed a campsite reserve one in advance. There are still some first come first serve sites, but many are reservable.
Only open match to october. Very quiet during week. Busy during weekends. Clean restrooms. Slot of Pacific coast trail hikers going north in spring.
Awesome spaces, some right next to the PCT. Try to go in fall. Seems like it’s full of great people too, everyone we met was friendly.
Big campsites, lots of shade trees, black oaks I think. Not much critters to deal with. Clean bathrooms. Located near hiking trails.
A great campground for San Diego. Great, mountainous feel with pine, Sycamore and oak trees (mostly pine). Campground itself is very clean and well maintained. But there are large groups all around us partying, playing loud music and dogs barking nonstop. We’ve gotten used to dispersed camping so maybe this is just how established campgrounds are nowadays? Or maybe we just came on the wrong weekend. I’m sure midweek would be nice and quiet. It’s not that bad. It’s just really noisy.