This is our most frequent question and YES your site is private whether you're booking for 2 people or 8 people. Your site is private for your group only and includes besides accommodation; a fire pit, a glamping kitchen, picnic table and parking for 2 vehicles.

Being a public campground, bathroom / shower facilities are communal. There are communal hot water showers and clean flush toilets that are close to your site. The showers are quarter operated and cost $2 for 15 minutes.

Some of our sites are more secluded than others. Lion's Den and Eagles Nest are our two most private sites, if you want total seclusion. All of our other sites are relatively private and we do our best to choose the ideal sites for our glamping set-up. Many factors come into play, especially that we need certain tree configurations for our tree tents. 

There will most likely be other campers in surrounding campsites and there is always a camp host on site.

We currently manage several sites in Cleveland National Forest - Laguna Campground and Burnt Rancheria Campground. These campground are a communal recreation area and one of the most popular backcountry experiences in San Diego.

Our sites are nestled in the high mountain forests of San Diego's backcountry - sky islands where pristine nature & wild-life thrives. These are some of the most remote & biologically diverse habitats in all of Southern California that include many open space preserves, National Forest Lands and State Parks.

Our beautiful San Diego backcountry offers a wide-variety of venues, attractions and activities that would take weeks to fully explore. Everything from apple picking to hiking, water activities, mountain biking, historic tours, shopping, culinary / agri-tourism experiences and much more.

The historic town of Julian, as well as Lake Cuyamaca are within 30 minutes of our glamping sites.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your site, including how close to the bathrooms would you prefer to be, or if you're coming with a larger group. Our 2 most private sites are Lion's Den and Eagles Nest at Burnt Rancheria. Fox Den and Blue Jay Nest are closest to flush toilets / showers and are located in Laguna Campground. You might prefer this site if you have kids, for instance that will frequently need to use the bathroom. Blue Jay Nest is our least expensive option featuring only tree tents, if you're on a budget. Not to say that it's our least favorite sites. It's a fun and comfortable tree tent complex maze, suited for families or groups of adults alike.

Each one of our sites has its special features and atmosphere and much is going to depend in what you're looking for out of the experience.

Your glamping kitchen comes fully stocked with the following:

  • 5 gallon drinking water dispenser (refilled on site)
  • camp shower, dish soap / sponge and bucket (for washing dishes)
  • propane stove with two burners
  • 17” Blackstone Griddle (grill tools)
  • extra propane tanks to last through your stay
  • pots, pans, cups, utensils, cutting board, water kettle, kitchen towel and french press
  • essential spices, olive oil, coffee, tea, sugar, creamer and hot chocolate
  • food storage storage bin

All you really need to bring is your cooler and food /drinks. The Mt Laguna store sells ice if you need.

You can bring a dozen eggs in a bottle container for easy storage for breakfast. Already made pancake batter in a bottle for easy dispensing and a side of bacon for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner can be anything you would want to grill on the griddle... think steak, tacos, veggies, roasted potatoes, etc. I suggest to bring already made sides that you can easily cook on the stove; pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, chili, etc.

The firepit also has a grill top on it, so you have the option of making corn on the cob or baked potatoes. There's also a TON of incredible dessert recipes on Pinterest if you look up camping food hacks ;)

What is Glamping

In 2016, the term “glamping” was added to The American Heritage Dictionary with the concept gaining more and more popularity. Glamping, a blend of “glamorous” and “camping,” evolved from African safaris where demanding travelers slept in luxurious canvas tents. Glamping removes camping‘s negative attributes – leaky tents, smelly sleeping bags and improvised food, replaced with pre-set up, homelike accommodations (Boscoboinik & Bourguard, 2011) such as cabins, yurts, tipis, and treehouses. These temporary abodes are often furnished with luxury beds, quality linens, rugs, antique furnishings, and modern, sleek bathrooms.

Over the past few years, “glamping" has evolved as a popular trend & in 2012 the Travel Channel named glamping one of the “Five Hottest Trends in Girl Getaways.” More recently, Forbes Magazine ranked glamping as 2020's hottest travel trend!

Alter Experiences LLC is one of the first glamping destinations in Southern California & we are working had to support the growth of the outdoor hospitality scene in the San Diego Backcountry. We are the first recognized glamping outfitter in the State of California, currently operating out of the Cleveland National Forest | USFS Descanso Ranger District office. Our primary sites are in Mt. Laguna and we also have multiple affiliate locations in Julian and near Lake Cuyamaca.

We're in the process of expanding to new destinations such as San Felipe, Baja California & Catalina Island.

Much of what we do is also based around sustainable business and responsible travel. Our business model was inspired by tourism trends such as eco-tourism, cultural tourism and nature immersive tourism. We strongly believe that nature therapy and spending time outdoors is an essential part of living a healthy and balanced life. You can read more on this subject at the following links:

Environmental Policy

Responsible Travel

Sustainable Business

We offer various accommodation styles depending on location. These include a combination of tree tent by Tentsile and Bell Tents (not all sites have bell tent / tree tent combo).

Our Tentsile tree tents are definitely the most popular - a lightweight treehouse that uses 3 anchor points to create a "living space" suspended between trees. Your tree tent comes complete with sleeping bag, liner, pad and pillow.

Our Stout Bell Tent was designed with the ultimate comfort in mind! It comes with therapeutic mattress, pillows, linens, comforter, bedside tables, plush carpets & floor pillows & ambient lighting.

   

Tentsile Tree Tents

Our tree tents consist of a hammock-like product called Tentsile. Tentstile is a remarkable invention - a lightweight, portable treehouse that uses 3 anchor points to create a "living space" suspended between trees. It's durable, safe, comfortable and built to last with 190D and 240D polyester, 2.5 tonne webbing straps, and tear resistant mesh walls. It can withstand up to 880lbs and we have tentsiles that can accommodate up to 3 people. Our double bubble can accommodate a family of 5.

Tentsiles add a whole new dimension to the camping experience and are very popular with kids. They are fun and also safe. We tend to adjust them as low as possible for children to safely play in. No more sleeping on the ground. Your Tentsile comes complete with sleeping pad, sleeping bag & pillow. A lower lounging area with rug is also provided & the Tentsile provides shade. It is our most popular accommodation style and least expensive.  

Our versatile & groundbreaking Tentsile Tree Tent is a marvel in design. This comfortable outdoor shelter keeps you elevated above inhospitable terrain, insects, snakes & other creepy crawlies. The Stingray Tree Tent is our flagship three-person model made with a spacious, triple hammock interior that keeps campers separated & comfortable, & a rip-resistant durable micro-mesh that shields you overhead. The tent is accessed via a floor hatch with rope ladder in the center & a large front door. The elegant structure comprises an adjustable frame of 2.5 tonne webbing straps & is enclosed in a PU-coated waterproof polyester fabric fly. The webbing frame is held in tension at each of the three anchor points with ratchets. The micro-mesh material stays surprisingly taut & firm under weight. It can withstand up to 880lbs. The rainfly enclosure guards against the elements—which also forms a shaded are below & wind breaking thermal buffer once pegged to the ground. We have tree tents for couples and single glampers.

 

Bell Tent

Our Stout Bell Tent was designed with the ultimate comfort in mind! It comes with a therapeutic queen mattress, pillows, linens, comforter, bedside tables, plush carpets & floor pillows, ambience lighting, chairs, ottoman & can fit up to 4 people comfortably. Ideal for families. Your glamping site also comes with standard amenities, a plush lounge area & outdoor kitchen. Camping without the hassle! Our glamping retreats are designed to offer the most comfortable outdoor experience possible.

We really set out to create a new standard for outdoor hospitality with our bell tent. It also comes with a safe & portable propane heater that keeps the tent nice and warm even during the coldest nights. The tents are completely snow and rain proof and also have ventilation windows for summer months with bug guard. The canonical shape deflects winds and leaves no place for rain or snow to gather.

 

What's included?

Prices will vary depending on location and generally starting at $100 per night for 2 people. $35 per additional person per night. $100 cleaning fee.

What's Included:

  • Besides accommodation; a fire pit, a glamping kitchen, picnic table and parking for 2 vehicles (overflow area available for more vehicles)
  • Chairs around the campfire (wood fires in designated fire pits only when permitted. $6 per bundle)
  • Hammock
  • Your tree tent comes complete with sleeping bag, liner, pad and pillow.
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Solar-powered lights
  • Outdoor rugs
  • Communal hot water showers and flush toilets nearby
  • Games

 

Glamping Kitchen Includes:

  • 5 gallon drinking water dispenser (refilled on site)
  • Camp shower, dish soap / sponge and bucket (for washing dishes)
  • Propane stove with two burners
  • 17” Blackstone Griddle (grill tools)
  • Extra propane tanks to last through your stay
  • Pots, pans, cups, utensils, cutting board, water kettle, kitchen towel and french press
  • Essential spices, olive oil, coffee, tea, sugar, creamer and hot chocolate
  • Food storage storage bin

All you really need to bring is your cooler and food /drinks. The Mt Laguna store sells ice if you need.

Depending on which site you're staying at, there are a multitude of activities to choose from in and around the Rancho Cuyamaca State Park & Cleveland National Forest including:

Rancho Cuyamaca State Park

 - Fishing from shore or small boat

 - Hiking

 - Horseback Riding

 - Interpretive/Historic Tours

 - Lakeside dining at Cuyamaca Lake Restaurant

 - Biking

 

Cleveland National Forest

 - Hiking

 - Horseback Riding

 - Interpretive/Historic Tours

 - Pine House Lodge & Tavern

 - Biking

 - Observatory

Summer temps are usually in the 80's during the day and can drop down to 50 at night. It's most certainly the most popular time for us.

You'll probably want to bring some heavy blanket in the winter months from November to February to use on top of your sleeping bag. Temperatures can drop down to the 30's and the weather is on average 10-15 degrees colder due to the altitude. Beanie, gloves, and scarf are a must. Bring your thermals and heavy socks too. You'll be going through a lot more firewood in the winter - up to 6 bundles per night. They only accept cash so have enough on you.

Check the weather forecast before coming. If it's snowing you'll need tire chains and snow clothes. Snow is common here in the winter months so be prepared.

You should also bring your toothbrush/toothpaste. Everything else will be provided including; hand soap, shampoo and conditioner. You'll want to bring a water bottle for hiking and day trips. You'll be able to fill it up with the provided water dispenser.

Make sure to have a full tank of gas. The only gas station in the area is in Julian about 20 minutes away from either campground.

Other than that we prepare everything for you to enjoy a wonderful and adventure filled trip without any of the hassles. If you have any special requests let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

We can set a tentsile as low as possible to the ground for handicapped individuals. The parks do provide handicapped bathrooms. 

Our bell tents are outfitted with either a queen bed and sofa bed, 2 sofa beds, or two full beds depending on where you're staying. Lion's Den, Deer Peak and Fox Den feature two bell tents, along with a combination of tree tents.

Tree tents can accommodate either 2 people, or 3 people. Our double bubble sleeps a family of 6.

Each one of our sites has a different combination of these tents, which you can refer to in the individual listings page.

Pets are allowed at the campground and must be on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in any tents and you must provide an enclosure for them. We charge $100 pet fee

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