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Camping strategy for the Olympics.

Camping strategy for the Olympics

If your goal for the Los Angeles Olympics is to avoid motel and restaurant costs by toting a tent or coming by camper, you should know how custodians of eampgrounds near event sites plan to help. We canvassed officials at national forests, state parks, county and regional parks, private concessions, and reservation agencies to learn their plans. Information is current as of our press deadline in late January. (The Olympics run from July 28 through August 12.)

Three facts started them all thinking. First, even in non-Olympic years Southern California campgrounds are filled throughout July and August. Second, camping will be prohibited at all but two Oylmpic sites. Third, a 1983 study by UCLA's Department of Architecture & Urban Planning noted that 15 percent of the visitors to the 1976 Montreal Olympics camped out. Projecting a greater demand in L.A., they inventoried campsites within reasonable distances of events and predict a shortage of several thousand.

It's not too early to act. We list numbers to call for more information. Reservation agencies are listed separately.

The national forests

Unless noted otherwise, individual sites will remain on a first-come basis. All have group campgrounds that should be reserved as soon as possible.

Los Padres National Forest (Ventura and Santa Barbara counties), 42 Aero Camino, Goleta 93117; (805) 968-1578. There are 335 sites in Ojai and Mount Pinos districts; no expansion expected.

Angeles National Forest, 150 S. Los Robles, Suite 300, Pasadena 91101; (818) 577-0050. Campground overflow areas, picnic-only areas, and highway turnouts will become additional campsites and RV parking.

San Bernardino National Forest, 144 N. Mountain View Ave., San Bernardino 92408; (714) 383-5588. They're identifying overflow space. Two compgrounds must be reserved through Ticketron (see below); elsewhere, sites should be easy to get Monday through Thursday.

Cleveland National Forest (Orange County), Box 12610, Santa Ana 92712; (714) 836-2144. There are 114 sites; no expansion expected.

State parks and beaches

Ticketron will continue to handle all rescrvations. Up to nine weeks ahead of arrival, you can reserve sites by writing to Ticketron, Box 26430, San Francisco 94126. Or go in person to any California ticket office up to eight weeks ahead.

For information on the region's state park facilities, write or call the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles 90012; (213) 620-3342. By summer, sites at Bolsa Chica and Huntington state beaches, normally offered on a first-come basis, may be reservable a day ahead; call to check.

County and regional parks

Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, 13837 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey 90291; (213) 823-4571. Some 2,000 parking spaces from Malibu to San Pedro may become camper sites; call to check. Reserve sites at Dockweiler Beach as soon as possible; contact Leisuretime Reservation Systems (see next column).

Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, 433 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles 90020; (213) 738-2961. At Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, the 2,800-site Los Angeles Metro KOA will operate from July 5 through August 30. Reserve as soon as possible through KOA, 16832 Algonquin St., Huntington Beach 92649; (213) 428-2286.

At Hansen Dam Recreation Area, a concessionaire will offer 800 temporary RV sites; get a reservation form now from RV Roadrunners, 141 W. Carson St., Carson 90745; (213) 518-3023.

At Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park, the private East Shore RV Park is taking reservations: 120 E. Via Verde, San Dimas 91773; (714) 599-8355. Or reserve through Leisuretime Reservation Systems.

At Harbor Regional Park, a private concessionaire will offer at least 150 (perhaps 400 more) sites through Leisuretime Reservation Systems.

Orange County Recreation Facilities, 10852 S. Douglass Rd., Anaheim 92806; (714) 634-7047. Campgrounds at three regional parks are being expanded from 600 sites to 1,180 by converting group camps to single-site rentals. These regional parks are now accepting reservations: Featherly, (714) 637-0210; O'Neill, 586-7962; and Caspers, 831-2175.

San Bernardino Regional Parks, 825 E. Third St., San Bernardino 92415; (714) 383-1912. At Prado Regional Park, a private concessionaire is putting in 1,600 temporary sites; reserve now through Leisuretime Reservation Systems.

At Glen Helen Regional Park, 50 sites must be reserved; (714) 887-3480. There is space for up to 14,000 sites if needed.

Ventura County Parks, County Government Center, Administration Building, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura 93009; (805) 654-3975. Hobson and Faria beach parks (total 56 sites), normally first-come, may switch to reservations for summer. If so, you can reserve up to 90 days in advance; call to check. Some 300 roadside sites on Rincon Parkway will remain first-come.

Reserve now for some 160 sites in six campgrounds inland near Fillmore, Ojai, Santa Paula, and Simi Valley. If needed, overflow areas will be converted to primitive campsites.

Lake Casitas Recreation Area, 11311 Santa Ana Rd., Ventura 93001; (805) 649-2233. The 300 sites added at this facility (operated by Casitas Water District) will bring the total to 800. All will be on a first-come basis.

Private concessionaires

Kampgrounds of America (KOA), Box 30558, Billings, Mont. 59114; (406) 248-7444. Besides the temporary L.A. Metro KOA, this major franchiser oversees two other KOAs in the Olympics area: Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley KOA, 15900 Olden St., Sylmar 91342, (213) 362-7785; and Anaheim KOA (RVs only), 1221 S. West St., Anaheim 92802, (714) 533-7720. Both expect to have sites available in March for summer reservations and can add some capacity if needed. All KOAs offer recreational facilities, full security, bus service to Olympics.

Good Sam Club, Box 2500, Agoura 91301; (213) 991-4980. This private RV club has contracted to offer 1,500 sites at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona an 1,000 sites at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. You can also reserve an RV. You need not be a member. Write or call as soon as possible for a reservation coupon.

Reservation agencies

Leisuretime Reservation Systems (LRS), 8421 Auburn Blvd., #260, Citrus Heights 95610; call toll-free within California (800) 822-2267, elsewhere (800) 824-2267. For $1, this Sacramento-based service will send you its Guide to Olympic Camping pamphlet with information on 8,500 sites in 13 campgrounds (including more than 700 RV sites in Los Angeles's Griffith Park). They also handle campgrounds along all major highways leading to Los Angeles. Reserve as soon as possible.

American Automobile Association (AAA), local offices in all states. If you're not a member, consider joining for the help they can give. They'll make reservations at any campground in their directory, plus any camping facility handled by Ticketron, LRS, and Good Sam Club. They'll also handle reservations for 1,200 temporary RV sites at Cal State Long Beach. In Southern California AAA offices, members can peruse bulletins on Olympics ticket information, accommodations, camping, and cultural events.

Photo: Seaside camping at Bolsa Chica State Beach may be reservable during Olympics
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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Mar 1, 1984
Words:1137
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