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Urban Camping in Los Angeles with the MRCA

Urban Camping in Los Angeles with the MRCA ( Vista Hermosa Park)One of the beauties of living in a large metropolis like Los Angeles is having access to everything from cultural events, museums, nightlife, and of course the amazing nature opportunities. Unknown to many outside of the city, but Los Angeles is blessed with a great outdoor space within minutes of most any place in the city.

Part of this great outdoor world is the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority which organizes events at neighborhood parks throughout the city. The MRCA hosts an amazing array of events to get kids (and adults) more in touch with their natural surroundings and our impact on it. We have participated in their summer campfire nights with a naturalist program and smores roasted over a campfire, survival sundays where outdoor survival skills are taught as well as special events like the day of nature games on Halloween.

Urban Camping in Los Angeles with the MRCALast week we had the opportunity to participate in another of their local events, with the urban camping experience at Vista Hermosa Park, a local park overlooking downtown LA. How cool is that? It doesn’t stop there, they are having another campout next month, this time overlooking the LA river. The upcoming campout is made even more special in that it will occur during a meteor shower.

MRCA’s urban campouts are a great way to introduce camping to kids who haven’t ever camped before as well as for seasoned campers looking for a quick and easy camp experience without the hassle or long drive out of town.

urban camping in Los Angeles with the MRCAAs part of the campout, the MRCA provides a hot dog dinner, leads the kids in games, a lesson on something nature related ending in roasting marshmallows, an astronomy program with a high powered telescope and a continental breakfast. There are also nature hikes, morning stretching and so much more. Seriously, this is as easy as camping gets!

The next campout is scheduled for Dec 12-13 at Marsh Park. Sign up for the MRCA’s emails to find out about other programs. To sign up for this campout, click here. Spaces are limited.

The Nitty Gritty

Urban Camping in Los Angeles with the MRCARemember this isn’t a typical camp ground, so don’t expect your own campfire pit, picnic tables or even showers. Instead, get a quick experience of camping without too much hassle.

What to Bring

  • Tarp (useful since the ground is usually wet from the park sprinklers)
  • Tent (if you don’t have your own, you can rent one from the MRCA)
  • Sleeping bags (you can also rent this from the MRCA)
  • Pillows
  • Collapsable wagon (useful to carry your items to/from your car)
  • Camp Chair and/or picnic blanket
  • Cooler with drinks (no alcohol since it is a public park)
  • Snacks
  • Lantern and/or headlamps
  • Glow sticks
  • Ball or other outdoor toys to play with in between nature walks and ranger lessons

How Much?

The camping fee is $20-30 (depending on how big of a site you reserve), which includes your dinner and continental breakfast as well as your actual tent site. As mentioned above, for an additional fee you can rent a tent and/or sleeping bag from the MRCA.

Other Details

  • Registration begins at 4 pm; campout ends at 10 am the following morning
  • Parking is available (and free) at the park and on the nearby streets
  • Bathrooms are available within the park
  • Food is provided, but you are still responsible for cooking it!

Come join us! This is a great event that the entire family will enjoy. You can also feel good about helping support our local park programs so that they can continue providing outreach and education programs. Click here to sign up for the Dec 12-13 Marsh Park Urban Campout!

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Urban Camping in Los Angeles with the MRCA

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. What a great program! I’ve never heard of this. About 15 years ago, I lived in LA (San Pedro) and worked at the HI Youth Hostel in Angels Gate Park. We had a program that invited LAUSD students down for overnight stays at the hostel, where they could meet international travelers, visit the marine mammal center, and the aquarium. It was a lot of fun and really opened kids eyes to the world out there. I bet this program does the same!

  2. We are away for the next camp out, but I love this. We were just talking about camping with Athena again soon. I saved the link and I’ll watch for the next one. Thanks!

  3. That’s fantastic! LA was my home for the last 11 years, and it is the perfect place for something like this. There are so many places to go to get in touch with nature.

  4. What a great initiative to allow camping for the city folk within their city. Alot of city folk I know would not have any idea where to start with a tent, but great idea by the organizers

  5. This is such a fabulous idea for city kids! I bet they would love the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors, especially with other kids. Spending time outside and camping trips were some of the most memorable moments of my childhood growing up, so I’m so glad to hear that there are events like this that are still run today, and that promote getting outside even if you’re located in a city like LA 🙂

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