Best Budget Camping, August 2013
You need only two things to reach Spruce Grove Trail Camp: a $5 Adventure Pass that lets you park at Chantry Flat and the energy to make the moderate three-mile hike high into the Angeles National Forest (elevation 3,100 feet). The woodsy ascent presents waterfall views; once you reach the camp you're treated to a placid streamside location, fire pits, and picnic tables. Spruce Grove has a no-reservations policy for its seven sites, but getting a space is never a problem, since the camp seldom fills up. You can go swimming at nearby Sturtevant Falls or Hermit Falls or hang out in the shade, playing cards and chatting with hikers passing through on the nine-mile Gabrielino Loop Trail.