Camping in El Dorado Park in Long Beach

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Can You Go Camping in El Dorado Park in Long Beach?

Okay, so let’s get right to the point here- is camping in El Dorado Park in Long Beach allowed?

The answer is yes, camping is available, but is VERY limited in who is allowed to use it. Only Youth Organizations are allowed to camp overnight in El Dorado Regional Park.

Here are some of the groups that are allowed to camp in El Dorado Park:

  • Scouts (formerly known as Boy Scouts)
  • Girl Scouts
  • Campfire Kids
  • YMCA or Boys and Girls Club
  • Church Youth Groups
  • Other youth groups, with city approval

There is no family or public camping at EL Dorado Regional Park. So if you’re hoping to go with your family or a group of friends, you’ll be out of luck.

How to Camp at El Dorado Park

As with most things city related, there’s a process to youth group camping at El Dorado Park.

First up, you’ll need to know which campsite you want to request ahead of time. We suggest driving through to check out the campsites first.

J is closest to the parking lots, sites E is closest to the bathroom and, in my opinion Site A is the best choice.

You’ll also need to know how many people will be coming with you (approximately). Each site can hold up to 50 people. It’s worth noting that you may not have more than a one adult per child ratio (aka there need to be more kids than adults in your group, or an equal number).

Have a date in mind for your trip, but be prepared to be flexible. You can also call ahead of time to see if your preferred date is available.

How Do You Get a Permit to Camp in El Dorado Park?

Once you’ve got your information gathered, you’ll need to go in person to the City of Long Beach Parks and Rec office to get your permit. It’s located at 2760 Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA 90815 (right next to Good Neighbor Park).

Ideally, you should apply for your permit 1-2 months before your desired camping date.

Permits cost $95 per site per night, along with a $140 security deposit. A one night camping trip recently cost us $235 upfront, and must be paid in full.

Bring your driver’s license as well as a form of payment (cards accepted).

Assuming your date is available, you’ll walk out with your permit in hand. Hold onto the permit, as you’ll need to bring it with you on the day of your camp out.

What are the Campsites like at El Dorado Regional Park?

The campsites at El Dorado Regional park are very simple, fairly easily accessible, and very much self service. Here are some highlights:

  • Each site has a BBQ and fire pit.
  • Each site has picnic tables (number of tables may vary)
  • All campsites have a gorgeous view of the 605 freeway. (Be prepared for lots of freeway noise!)
  • Bathrooms are a fairly far trek from the outer sites. Bathrooms are very much public park bathrooms- don’t expect much, and you won’t be disappointed.
  • There are no public showers.
  • The campsites themselves are flat, grassy, and well maintained. You should have the option of sun or shade.
  • Campsites are easy walking distance to other park features, such as the pond, bike rentals, Golden Grove playground, the Nature Center, and the Archery area.
  • No running water at the campsites, and no hoses or generators allowed.

What to Bring with You To Camp at El Dorado Park

You’ll want to bring all the camping basics. Long Beach is generally very mild, so the nights don’t get too cold, but it’s important to be prepared.

In addition to your toiletries, clothing, and food, we’d also recommend the following for specifically for camping at El Dorado Park in Long Beach:

  • Toilet Paper (the bathrooms are restocked regularly, but it’s still not always enough!)
  • Hand soap (not provided in the bathrooms)
  • Baby Wipes (no showers/running water available)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Paper Towels
  • Trash Bags
  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Sleeping Mats
  • Charcoal or firewood (none available for purchase)
  • Fire starters, matches, or lighters
  • Cash (an ice cream vendor walks around regularly!)
  • Parking money (if you don’t have a permit, parking will set you back $8 per entry on the weekends)
  • Noise canceling ear plugs (if you’re sensitive to noise, the freeway can make sleep difficult)

Is it Safe to Camp at El Dorado Park in Long Beach?

Every person needs to assess the risk for themselves. We cannot guarantee your safety while camping at El Dorado Park (just like we can’t guarantee your safety anywhere!)

However, camping at El Dorado Park is generally a very safe experience. There are no large animals (coyotes may be present in the park, but have not historically posed an issue), park rangers patrol the area, and only youth groups are allowed.

When we have camped there, we have not experienced any situations that made us feel like we (or the kids in our care!) were unsafe.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for your family and wondering if camping is allowed at El Dorado Park, you’re going to come away disappointed.

But if you are looking for youth groups, and need a nice, close-to-home first camping trip, camping at El Dorado Regional Park in Long Beach is an incredible, easy way to go.

Have you camped at El Dorado Park in Long Beach? We’d love to hear more about your experiences in the comments!

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