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Need best route Los Angeles to Cocoa Florida with Camping stops in route

Don't want to make my trip/drive longer but would like to be able to stop at few great places to tent overnight.

All suggestions welcome 🙂

12 Replies

@Slyfoxxx 

I10.  Rest stops have enough open space where you can pitch a tent, but my experience is that it will be more practical to snooze in your car.

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Hi @Slyfoxxx - Thanks for reaching out! It's great to hear you are planning to camp along your trip. Seeing the geography fluctuate has always been one of my favorite parts of cross country road trips. On your drive, you're going to pass through so many different, incredible landscapes! 

With so many people choosing to camp on vacations this year, campsites are expected to fill up quickly. You may want to choose what you stop and see based on where you can get a reservation. National and state parks have campsites options and Hipcamp is a great resource for finding neat sites as well. 

I suggest looking into the following locations for the California to Texas portion of your drive, where I'm most familiar with camping options:

  • Joshua Tree National Park - It's fairly close to your starting point, but if you have never roamed around this park, it's worth the stop. Campsite openings have been in flux in the past year, but there are various options in and out of the park to look into.
  • Mt Lemmon near Tucson, AZ - Rose Canyon Campground is a good option, but anything near the Catalina Highway Scenic Drive puts you in a beautiful spot
  • White Sands National Park - These dunes are one of the newest national parks in the country. While there are only primitive camping permits for inside WSNP, there are many additional nearby campsite options.
  • Big Bend National Park - This is the longest detour I'll suggest, but that's because I think it's really worth it. Rio Grande Village is a nice campsite right next to the river, though you can't go wrong with any of them in the park.
  • Guadalupe River State Park - There are trails for hiking and biking and people often put tubes in the Guadalupe River to float around. Three different campsite options are available.

@MacD@DanaSanMarco@toddmac - do any of you all have camping suggestions to share for the north/central Florida section of their route?

Hopefully this helps! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Hey!,  Thanks so much for this! This is good stuff. You may have single handedly made my trip.  I did always want to check out Joshua tree. I was living in Venice California when that 7.0 hit there and felt it all the way in Venice Beach! 

maybe I'll send you some pictures if anything comes out good. Hopefully I'm not the Tim Allen of camping and I wind up sending you what not to do, LOL! Thanks again! 👍

@Slyfoxxx - You're welcome! It would be amazing if you sent photos of your trip. Those are always so fun to see. 

As you can see with all of the suggestions, this community is a great place to ask questions and learn lots to prepare! Fingers crossed you don't end up with lots of "what not to do" lessons. Though if you do... there will probably be a funny thread to commiserate about them on! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@Slyfoxxx 

I wish I new more about camping in north/central Florida, but the only place I've camped so far is Wekiwa Springs. If you can get a spot there I highly recommend it!

We did the San Diego to South Florida road trip but were more boring about it by staying in hotels. We did stay at the cabins in the Grand Canyon, but it's an absolutely incredible stop to make.

 

Best of luck!!

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@Slyfoxxx 

Hi! I don't know if you want to walk  little from a parking lot, but the Suwannee River has a beautiful primitive camping site next to Florida's only class 3 rapids. It's about a 2 mile walk from Bell Springs trailhead parking area on the Florida Trail. If you don't want to walk, the Suwannee River State park has some great car camping sites.

Ocala National Forest has great spots, too. And it's HUGE. They allow dispersed camping, but also have campgrounds with amenities. The website to reserve: www.recreation.gov and general info: www.fs.usda.gov

Hope that helps a little!

 

Most camping sites in Florida State Parks are reserved online at: www.floridastateparks.reserveamerica.com

Thank you for this. Something to think about. i may just do that for nostalgic reasons. When I was a kid I took a 28 day trip along the Suwanee River I'll never forget. Met a bunch of great people Who lived right off the river who were extremely friendly

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@Slyfoxxx There are several established campgrounds at Gulf Islands National Seashore on both the Mississippi and Florida side. The MS side is a lot closer to I-10, which would make for a quicker entry/exit, but Fort Pickens on the FL side is definitely worth the visit, as is nearby Pensacola Beach!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@REI-PearlD Thanks for the reply.  I'm from Florida, i'm looking more or less for camp spots more along the 40 since that's what i'll be taking. Ive taken the 10 before and don't wait repeat of the most boring ride in my life.  i'm hoping the 40 will be a pleasant change as well as offer up  some places to camp overnight along that route

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