Recently I went on a camping trip with some friends to Bandido Group Campground in San Fernando, California. (The campground is in the Angeles National Forest, which is spread out over the San Gabriel Mountain Range.) The drive into the area at 8 in the morning was actually very beautiful. It looked like the entire valley was filled with a tranquil sea of fog. When we got there, we had a couple of options. Either we could hike into the campground on a trail or drive our cars along a paved road also leading into the campground. Being the adventurous type, we decided to hike. We parked our cars in a lot by the trail head and took the Silver Moccasin Trail into camp. (The Silver Moccasin Trail is actually a 53 mile trail that runs through the San Gabriel Mountains, so we were only on a small segment.) After we got to the campsite, some people from our group then hiked back and drove the cars into camp.
Bandido Group Campground is pretty spacious and can hold a maximum of 150 people. There are 5 group campsites within the campground. The maximum amount of people per campsite are as follows: Site #1 can hold 12 people, Site #2 can hold 60, Site #3 and #5 can hold 30, and Site #4 can hold up to 18 people. (We were in Site #2) If your group is larger than any of these numbers, just reserve enough sites to fit your group.
The campsites themselves are very nice and clean. The picnic tables were also clean and looked like they were well maintained. For all of you people who like sleeping in those tent hammocks, you’re in luck! The trees are close enough together in some sites to make setting up your hammock a breeze. (I’ve never slept in one of these, but I hear that they’re quite comfortable.)
Bandido Campground’s amenities are fairly good. There are 25 picnic tables, 20 horse corals (for equestrian campers), community fire rings, pit toilets, and room to park trailers. There is also a small parking lot in the campground for groups with a lot of cars. The only parts of the campground that I wasn’t satisfied with were the pit toilets (very understandable) and their lack of water and electricity. This means no phone or camera charging and you’ll have to bring your own water for cooking and drinking. I would recommend 1-2 gallons of water per person per night. Lastly, check out time for campers is 11:00am.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Bandido Group Campground (and not only because of our amazing Philly Cheese Steak dinner). The scenery was really nice and the weather was very good the days we went. There is enough space for doing activities with kids (like frisbee) and the fire rings are a one-way ticket to great s’mores and campfire stories. Bandido Group Campground is great for large groups or small groups alike and I’m sure that if you decide to camp there with some friends or family you’ll have a lot of fun!
The address of the campground is: 12371 North Little Tujunga Canyon, San Fernando, CA 91342
The campground telephone number is: (818) 899-1900