At the top of the Cuddy Valley road is a large parking lot (Adventure Pass required) for the hiking trail to the top of Mt. Pinos. Off to the other side is a dirt trail on the edge of a meadow, after about 200/300 yards is Chula Vista Campground. The camp sites vary greatly in size and flatness, so check around for the good ones.
First Come First serve camping, with some great spots overlooking he nearby meadow. The sites were clean and decently spread out, with fire rings and picnic benches.
It can get pretty windy up here so make sure your tent is staked down well. If you don't have an Adventure Pass, Mountain View Mini Mart in Frazier Park is the closest place i know that sells them. $5 a day, or $30 for the year pass. (you can get a second year pass for only $5).
Met a guy named Bob and helped set up his telescope in the parking lot, he let anyone who wanted check out the amazing night sky!
Pros: Free camping!
Great hiking nearby.
Shady, clean sites.
Great sky gazing!
Cons: Lots of flies, very active during the day.
Bathrooms were pretty messy. below average for vault toilets. Bring extra TP.
It’s a nice drive to get to the campground. Nice clean area with lots of space. Love it that’s it’s a Walk in campground so no cars or RVs. Lots of Hiking trails nearby. It’s a lot cooler up here so it’s a nice way to get away from the summer heat. Awesome area for stargazing. The bathrooms could use some cleaning but other than that it’s a beautiful area.
Park at the lot up top, then walk about 1/2 mile to campground via dirt path. Plenty of sites. Old rustic bathrooms work well. Picnic tables at each site. Brought my dogs here and they had a blast, plus no ticks found. Plenty of hiking directly around this campground. Stayed here for three nights and found plenty of exploring to do nearby. Highly recommend, especially because there is no fee. Being said, Pack it in and pack it out! Leave No Trace principles are crucial to keep this place beautiful
My first visit to Chula Vista was a fantastic experience and perfect for viewing the Perseids Meteor Shower.
The campground itself is a short hike from the parking lot and is first come, first serve. Many of the campsites have fire pits, however due to the fire hazards we did not use ours. There is no trash or water, so it is necessary to pack in and pack out.
A permit is required to park in the parking lot and also if you enter the lot at night it is important to be respectful and do so with your headlights dimmed due to the area being a very popular place for stargazing.
Overall, my time at Chula Vista was fantastic. The hike to Mt. Pinos from there is short and well worth the views!
Chula Vista is a short hike from the parking lot (1/4 mile), but it is quite a way off of the 5 up more than one windy road. Mt. Pinos stands at almost 9,000 feet, one of the highest in the area, so if you are subject to altitude sickness be aware.
The camp area itself is semi dispersed, there are fire pits and picnic tables as well as an older pit toilet.
It has been one of our favorite places to Snow Camp every January, as it is relatively close and even during the drought there was usually a little bit of snow at the top. There are many places to make snow runs down the slopes, build snow caves, etc.
A wilderness permit may be required, the area is first come first serve, and there is no water nor trash so pack it in pack it out.
If you enter the parking lot at night be aware that it is a popular place for stargazing, so enter with your headlights dimmed and be respectful and cautious.