California Beach camping

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by ircommando, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. ircommando

    ircommando New Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    Looking for tips on what campsites to hit along the California coast. Any tip is welcome, even backpacking in. I am a SD native and new to PUPs so local places to test out the rig would be great, but would also love to have tips for great places up north. Thanks in advance for sharing.
     
  2. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    On the central coast:
    Leo Carrillo state beach(L A county). El Capitan state beach (Santa Barbara). Montana de Oro (near Morro Bay) San Simeon.
     
  3. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    Sutter Creek CA
    Haybale likes this.
  4. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    Do you want to be right at the beach, or just along the coast?
    In SD, you're looking at Silver Strand, San Elijo and Carlsbad State Beach.
    Up the road a bit, we have San Onofre and San Clemente State Beaches (we like San Mateo campgrounds, but it's about a mile from the beach).
    Doheny State Beach up at Dana Point has beach-front campsites - that's on our list to check out.

    Have fun!!

    Erik
     
  5. ircommando

    ircommando New Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    Beach front is best, but "close" to beach is good as well. We hit San Elijo/Carlsbad just about every year, but getting a site is proving difficult this year. I thought that the new rolling window would make it easier, but then maybe we are just being picky on the actual site we want.
     
  6. DanLee

    DanLee Member

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    Apr 28, 2015
    Virginia
    I was a bit disappointed with California state park camping when we made our way from L.A. to Seattle along the coast last year. The water had been turned off to the shower houses for a couple years at San Simeon State Park and the toilets were jiffy johns. Not what we expected from the "golden" state.
     
  7. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    Sutter Creek CA
    They were ordered all off due to drought. It’s becoming the norm here in the golden dry state. Don’t let the floods and mudslides fool you.
     
  8. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    We are lucky in 2017 with a 17 day long camping trip within the "Golden Dry State" that include 4 campgrounds: Prairie Creek State Park, Ave of Giants, Yosemite Valley & Prado regional park in Los Angeles, have good shower all the way.....
     
  9. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    San Diego via MN
    I am in SD also and camp often, but I am not much of a beach person. So if you want advise for desert/mountain camping let me know!!
     
  10. ircommando

    ircommando New Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    Haybale,

    I am definitely interested in Desert camping as well, especially as wintertime (supposedly) is upon us. Any pointers would be very much appreciated.
     
  11. Turbulent

    Turbulent Member

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    Jan 2, 2018
    Great tips for places to stay

    Are there any issues with pulling a non off road camper onto the beach itself?

    My TV (learning the lingo) is 4x4
     
  12. JBinNV

    JBinNV Member

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    May 10, 2017
    Reno, NV
    Bodega Bay/Tomales Bay/Lawsons Landing/Wrights Beach. All within an hour of each other just North of San Francisco.
     
  13. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    Iowa
    Doheny is a personal favorite, but it's so darned popular you have to book nearly a year in advance to get beach-front. There aren't a whole lot of parks in Southern Cali that have beach-front or on-beach camping, it's rather disappointing!
     
    ezakoske likes this.
  14. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Santa Clarita, California
    dry or full hookup camping? There are some full hookup camping sites along the beach. I am camping at Ventura Beach RV Resort right now, not far from my work.
     
    ezakoske likes this.
  15. mikracer

    mikracer New Member

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    Jul 28, 2015
    We just camped at Silver Strand last weekend. Just know you have to have a grey water tank of some sort to be able to camp there. Can't be a bucket either, they want threaded connections. Your trailer must also have a porta potti. The rangers and camp hosts there are not the friendliest and they lock the gates at 7pm so you can't leave or come in past that time.

    South Carlsbad SB was a really nice place. We camped there last year. If you make your way to the Central Coast, we have the Pismo/Oceano dunes where you can camp on the beach, but be aware that there are dirt bikes, quads, and sand rails going all night so it's not exactly a peaceful experience. You can also try Jalama Beach and I believe San Simeon has running water back on.
     
  16. Turbulent

    Turbulent Member

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    I'm looking to do a similar test run weekend at one of these beaches and I've read some not so no good reviews about junkies walking around the RV park after hours and stealing things.

    I read that from the elijo beach Yelp reviews. Has anyone been there recently?
     
  17. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

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    San Diego
    Just know that most of the So Cal beach camping is pretty much parking lot camping. No buffer between you and multiple other campers. But the Ocean and beaches are beautiful.
     
  18. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    San Diego via MN
    I camp often out in the Anza Borrego Desert SP, usually in the vicinity of Blair Valley. Most are bring your own everything (including a fire pit) and usually peace and quiet anywhere!! And this is the best time out there!!!
     
  19. leftfootmoe

    leftfootmoe New Member

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    Oct 10, 2017
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Pismo Beach is one of my favorite places.
    image1.jpeg image3.jpeg image2.jpeg
     
  20. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    I love kicking around on the dunes there at Pismo Beach, but you couldn’t pay me to camp there.

    Besides the sand getting literally everywhere, the vibe is way more Mad Max than a peaceful day at the beach.

    It’s California’s only beach you can drive on, and the motorcycles, sand rails, dune buggies, quads, and whatever else is motorized and has wheels is there. Not to mention the quad rental companies that bring in the inexperienced tourists to ride. I have a quad, and I have a dirt bike, but the “yahooism” there is just too much for me.


    We’ll camp at Montana de Oro, or Morro Bay State Park, or Lake Lopez and visit the dunes for a few hours, then head back to a peaceful campsite, out of the blowing sand.
     

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