Leo Carrillo State Beach Camping
Just west of Zuma Beach, arguably one of Malibu's most popular beaches, lies Leo Carrillo State Park. Here you'll find a small cluster of beautiful beaches sprinkled along the western side of the Pacific Coast highway.
While the area is famous for swimming, surfing, fishing, sunbathing, diving, kiteboarding, and more, it also happens to be one of the most popular spots in the area for camping.
If you're interested in taking a trip out to Leo Carrillo State Park for a weekend of sun and sand, come dive in with us as we explore the ins and outs of Leo Carrillo Beach Camping.
ADA, RV, Trailer, Tent, Group
# Of Tent Sites: 81
# Of Full Hook-Up Sites: 46
35000 West Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90265
Leo Carrillo Campground
Leo Carrillo State Park is only 28 miles North of Santa Monica on Highway 1, perfect for those who want to get a weekend trip out of Los Angeles County.
The park is filled with unique attractions, including tide pools, coastal caves, hiking trails, and reefs.
With massive sycamore trees shading the campground and calm waves lapping up along the clean shoreline, you get the best of both worlds. The Leo Carrillo State Park Campground provides access to 135 campsites.
In addition, you'll find 81 tent campsites in total, which all sit slightly inland from the coastline. 46 of these campsites come with electrical hook-ups for RVs and can situate trailers up to 31 feet in length.
Every site comes with a fire pit, table, and grate. Close to site #1, you can find the hike and bike campsites, which are usually the last ones to go because of their relative inaccessibility.
All the way at the back of the Leo Carrillo State Park Campground lies a large group campsite, which can hold up to 50 visitors. It offers many of the same amenities as the smaller sites, though more open space if you are camping with a large group of friends or extended family.
Every campsite except for the group campsite has a maximum capacity of 8 people.
The campsites offer a decent amount of privacy, especially the ones that are closer to the edges. However, if you want a site that is a bit more open to larger groups, we recommend looking at the sits near the middle.
There are plenty of on-site amenities to make your stay at Leo Carrillo State Park campground as comfortable as possible, including outside showers, flush toilets, and a camp store which sells firewood and other camping goods. To this day, Anthony and Annette Minicucci run the Leo Carillo Camp Store, and can give you tons of information on what to do in the area!
Note that fire risk levels change throughout the year, so make sure to check the sign near the park entrance to see if camp fires are allowed in your site for the day you've booked. Also, the showers are token-operated, and the machines do not accept anything higher than one-dollar bills. As of now, there isn't anywhere in the Leo Carrillo State Park Campground to get change, so make sure to get it ahead of time.
Designated day-use parking is located nearby in the overflow parking lot incase someone is visiting you for the day and you have more vehicles than you can fit in your campsite.
When it comes to recreation opportunities in Leo Carrillo State Park, you aren't limited to the Leo Carrillo State Park Campground. With 1.5 miles of beach to enjoy, you can go sunbathing, surfing, swimming, beachcombing, windsurfing, snorkeling, or surf fishing.
There are plenty of unique opportunities for wildlife viewing as well. While you're there, we recommend keeping an eye on the tides so you can go and check out the tide pools. If you're lucky, you might even find some pirate's booty out in the coastal caves!
The coastal caves can only be explored at low tide, can be found below the second lifeguard tower.
If the beach isn't your thing, you can head inland to enjoy nature walks, back-country hiking, or campfire programs. The Santa Monica Mountains are absolutely gorgeous, featuring tons of unique backcountry trails not too far off of Mullholland Highway.
One of our favorite things to do in Leo Carrillo State Park is to hit the cycling route along Highway 1, which offers jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, you won't find any bike rental shops nearby, so make sure to bring your own if you want to get some riding in!
You may bring your dogs, though there are a few rules to abide by. Your dogs MUST be on leashes in the day-use areas of the park and can only be in the campground, day-use areas, or North Beach (north of Lifeguard Tower #3). You may not bring your dogs south of Lifeguard Tower #3 or on the back-country trails of the Santa Monica Mountains.
If you need to get some gear for your camping trip, we recommend checking out Camping Adventures Rentals. The company makes it super simple. You book your campsite, and they deliver the trailer, providing set-up, dumping, and pick-up when you're done!
FUN FACT: Leo Carrillo State Park was named after Leo Carrillo, a preservationist, conservationist, and actor who lived from 1880 to 1961. He portrayed Pancho in the 1950's television series Cisco Kid.
Leo Carrillo Camping Reservations
As with most campgrounds in Southern California, you will have to book your campsite in Leo Carrillo State Park through Reserve California. Make sure to book your site far in advance, as this campground fills up quite fast, especially during the summer months!
Leo Carrillo State Campground is typically full every single weekend from May to October, without such large crowds during the winter.
If the campsite is booked and you cannot get a site, we recommend checking out Sycamore Canyon Campground or Thornhill Broome Beach Campground. These two options can be found just six miles North of Leo Carrillo State Park on Pacific Coast Highway in Point Mugu State Park.
Leo Carrillo Camping Map
To discover 9 additional coastal campgrounds, visit our Beach Camping California resource page!