My family comes here once a year for an awesome rafting trip down the Arroyo Secco River. The campground is clean well maintained and the sites are spacious. If you’re looking for a fun adventure nestled in the Monterey County wineries look no further.
Arroyo Seco Campground https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lpnf/recarea/?recid=10906 is located about 60 minutes south of Salinas in the Los Padres National Forest. The Arroyo Seco river runs close by the campground and there is a day use area right on the river with picnic areas, grills, and a playground. In the summer it gets very hot here, so the river is a nice way to cool off. There is also great hiking up the Arroyo Seco gorge with plenty of swimming holes along the way. There is also a small lake nearby for fishing, but swimming in the lake is not allowed. Big Sur looks to be close by, but it is actually about an hour and a half drive along a winding road to get there. For $30, the sites are a little on the expensive side, but there is plenty to do when camping there. The campsites are on the small side and some of them can be stacked right on top of each other, with little privacy, so be sure to look at the map if you reserve online. All of them have a picnic table, firepit, and grill. There are also some more primitive campsites located above the main campground that they hold for first come/first serve campers if you can't reserve one online. This is a very popular campground in the summer and sites get reserved quickly. There are very clean toilets and coin operated showers, which are handicap accessible. Be warned, sometimes there are issues with the drinking water, signs are posted that it is not drinkable. If that is the case, it is a long drive out to get drinking water in Greenfield.
Campground was nice and views were pretty good, very hilly part of California. We stayed when there was a large group of middle schoolers, though, and even though we were at a different campsite loop, they were pretty loud. The site as a whole tho is really nice, and the showers and facilities were more modernized than I had expected. Hot showers always make a roadtrip easier.
Driving though the John Steinbeck's novel "East of Eden", the Salinas valley's plush farmland stretches south east into the stomach of California. On its southern slope Arroyo Creek cuts though its velvety green slopes which nestle the vast majority of American produce. The Arroyo Seco Campground in the Los Padres National Forest is a secluded cliff lined sanctuary. The campgrounds themselves harbor all the amenities such as bathrooms and potable water sources . In the middle of the day after picnicking under the redwood gazebo and hiking through the holes, take a dip in Arroyo Creek where the water temperature varies between a frosty 45F in Spring and 75F during the summer. If you the adventurous type park in the back parking lot and hike approximately 2 miles down the fire road which penetrates into the Los Padres National forest where you can swim in any of the many gorges. Enjoy cliff jumping from formidable hight and sunbathing along the white sand lined shoreline. Continue upstream from the main gorge to experience a granite slot canyon that can be 15-30 feet deep depending on the season which leads to a waterfall nicknamed "The Waterslide".