[El Capitan Canyon] Mommy Hiker Campground Spotlight

Family camping in santa barbara

Nestled in a breathtaking canyon, surrounded by hills covered in colorful wildflowers, and just minutes from the Central Coast city of Santa Barbara, California sits El Capitan Canyon, a hidden gem of a campground. Offering families numerous outdoor lodging options from canvas, safari-style tent camping sites to comfortable adventure yurts, and even luxurious cedar cabins, this resort-style campground boasts creature comforts like hot showers, super clean toilets and even awesome, kid-friendly amenities like playgrounds and heated outdoor pools.

To read our full guide to camping and hiking at El Capitan Canyon, see Jennifer Fontaine’s article on Examiner.com.

Reserve your spot today at El Capitan Canyon for your next unforgettable family camping adventure!

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El Capitan Canyon has provided Southern Californians with a cozy sanctuary since the early 70’s. Take advantage of the local hikes with trailheads on property, frolic with their llamas and goats, enjoy live music concerts in the summer, or indulge in an in-room massage.

The Canyon Market and Deli is well stocked with a large selection of local, organic groceries, world renowned wine, and those often-forgotten sundries like sunscreen and bug spray. Order their signature BBQ kit which includes all the necessary ingredients to enjoy a family meal cooked over the campfire, or if you don’t feel like grilling, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Natural Features

Situated on 300 acres of towering sycamores and California coastal oaks, each one of El Capitan Canyon’s 139 individual sites offers guests a relaxed, communal experience. Originally a Chumash tribal celebration site, the canyon is blanketed by flavorful elderberries and wildly fragrant sage. Two local hikes take you over soft rolling hills, along the majestic Pacific Ocean, and through vast pastures where goats and llamas dance to the sounds of the crashing waves.

Here’s a list of our favorite amenities and activities El Capitan Canyon has to offer

  • Family Room 5+
  • Kitchenettes
  • Laundry Service
  • Onsite Dining
  • Onsite Market
  • Refrigerator
  • Heated Outdoor Pool
  • Playground
  • Fire Pits
  • Room Service
  • Maid Service
  • Complimentary Beach Cruiser Bikes
  • Hiking
  • Yoga Classes
  • Massage Therapy

[Twin Lakes Campground] Mommy Hiker Campground Spotlight

Twin Lakes Campground in Mammoth Lakes, California offers family tent camping at its best. Boating, biking, hiking, fishing; it has everything an active family could ask for and is also perfect for just sitting around and doing absolutely nothing.

Reserve your spot today at Recreation.Gov for your next unforgettable family camping adventure!

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Twin Lakes Campground is located in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. It offers lakeside camping with breathtaking scenery and many outdoor activities. The lake is a great base for fishing, boating, viewing waterfalls and hiking, and offers close proximity to the town’s amenities.

Natural Features

The campground is forested with lodgepole pine, providing partial shade and a private setting. It sits at an elevation of 8,600 feet at the base of snow-capped, 11,059′ Mammoth Mountain, a popular skiing destination. A cascading waterfall flows into one of the lakes. The mountains are abundant with wildlife, including black bear, mountain lions, mule deer, pine marten, pika and many species of fish and birds.

There are tons of activities and amenities available within the Twin Lakes Campground

  • Boat Ramp
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Fee Station
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Pier
  • Flush Toilets
  • Food Storage Locker
  • General Store
  • Host Parking
  • Paved Roads
  • Pets Allowed
  • Propane Fuel Available
  • Restroom
  • Showers
  • Trash Collection

How to Camp with Kids and Not Lose Your Mind

Picture this, a warm cup of cocoa next to a babbling brook, smore-covered, smiling faces glowing in the light of a campfire, adventure-packed days exploring every type of flora and fauna Mother Nature has to offer. At least that’s how euphoric camping with kids sounds, in your mind.

Now let’s bring it back to reality. Even for the most seasoned adult campers, throwing kids in to the mix takes camping to an entirely different level. As nature-loving parents, we know how important it is to get our kids out and in to the great outdoors as much as possible, so here are a few camping tips and tricks to keep organized and, most importantly have fun, so no one has to lose their mind.

Create a Kid’s Toy Bin

This one little tip just might change your life forever. In our family, we are big on bins to organize camping gear. There is one for kitchen supplies, one for pantry items and one smashed full of our kid’s favorite toys. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, given you’re out in the middle nature with so much to explore and discover, but kids still get bored. Consider, also keeping this bin off limits when you’re not sleeping under the stars. It will make it all the more appealing when your little one finally gets to unpack it from the crammed car.

Don’t know what to put in your bin? Here are some ideas:

  • Bubbles
  • Glow Sticks
  • Kite
  • Markers, Colors and Paper
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Bug Catcher Set
  • Binoculars
  • Cards
  • Travel Checkers

Camp with Awesome Friends

The best gift you can give your kid (and yourself), on a camping adventure is an adventure buddy their own age, leaving you and YOUR friends a bit more time for rest and relaxation. Camping with friends also offers some pretty great perks like splitting up campsite chores and on the off chance you forgot the wine bottle opener, your awesome camping friends have your back. There’s also something pretty special that occurs when you make camping communal. Together, through a shared experience of Mother Nature, an amazing tribe can form, and in turn a beautiful group of kids emerge, growing up together with shared experiences and discoveries.

Get the Kids Involved
Camping trips offer a whole host of ways to engage your kids. Let them pack their camping bag, allow them to help set up the tent, delegate a few campsite chores and you’ll watch your generally uninvolved kid get energized by the adventure. Hand over a bit of the control and you will see them adopt a new-found sense of ownership of their own experience. Letting kids lead the way is an incredible confidence builder and helps to shape their decision-making skills.