We camped here a week before Christmas. We have a 24 ft travel trailer. Stayed in a site with electricity and water. No sewer hook-up but there is a dump station in the campground. Great amenities including flush toilets and token operated showers. Each site has an ocean view. A bit of road noise from PCH but million dollar houses also have such problems! There is an elementary school adjacent to the campground so you get a few PA announcements to start your day.
There is a small visitor's center on site. Hiking and mountain bike riding are in the canyon adjacent to the campground. You can access the beach by walking down the hill and using the tunnel under PCH. From there, you can walk to Crystal Cove Historic Site and the Beachcomber restaurant. You can also walk to a nice chopping center with restaurants and a Trader Joe's (we forgot toothpaste). Your campsite parking pass is good at any of the parking areas in Crystal Cove State Park so you don't have to walk if mobility is an issue.The beach is clean and great for beachcombing - just can't collect anything. Lots of marine and land wildlife in the area.
Close to Laguna Beach so you can go into this nice artsy community.
A couple of other reviewers mentioned a few things that seem a bit inaccurate. Alcohol is limited to the campsites but you can drink in your campsite. You just can't take it to the beach or to the bluff overlook. It is easy to get in and out - unless you are in one of the backcountry sites. Pelican Hill Resort and golf club are nearby (not Trump National which is in Palos Verdes).
You are so near to nightlife yet so in the wilderness. Couldn't be a better place to camp. The beach is beautiful. And you can still have pizza delivered.
We camped over New Years and it rained and really only RVs showed up (we crashed at a friend’s house one night and put up our tent the next when it dried out a bit). There was little protection. Location is great to walk along the beach.
we stayed here during a 24 hour adventure challenge. every campsite has a great ocean view and bathrooms were clean and easily accessible. we will be staying here again. the beach access isnt ideal but you can drive down to a lot to access the beach under an overpass.
This is a great little campground if you want a quick getaway. We camped here when we were training for our first backpacking trip to test out all of our gear. Because it's not easy to get to, don't camp here if you expect to come and go.
[ PROS ]
- Crystal Cove State Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park are adjacent to each other, and a small pedestrian gate separates them.
- The best trail here stretches across the two parks -- No Name Ridge!! Amazing for EPIC SUNSETS!
- Some sites have MILLION DOLLAR BEACH VIEWS of the ocean.
- There are about 60 camp spots and a lot of them are RVs, but it’s nice because each row of 10 spots is elevated from the previous row (tiered campsites) so everyone gets a semi view
- Part of CA State Parks so showers are token operated. Clean and well maintained
- Walking distance to Crystal Cove Historic District, which has a couple places to eat right on the beach
- Crystal Cove Historic District also has some "preserved" beach cottages from the 20s, 30s, and 40s on the beach that are largely in ruins. It’s fun to explore and check out.
- Lots of fun things along the beach to look at like tide pools and rock formations beach
- Great Visitor's Center that is worth checking out. The Rangers are amazing and provided us with a super helpful information about the park, its trails, and the cottages.
- Each site comes with a picnic table, a water faucet/drain.
- The beach has less crowds/tourists/homeless compared to other beaches. It’s really quite and peaceful.
[ CONS ]
- No coal or wood fires :( Kind of a bummer since your evening ends early. You can bring propane pits yourself for fires though. Also, it can get extremely cold at night in the canyons, even if it’s in the high 80s during the day. Be prepared.
- They do not allow any alcohol at the park. No exceptions. Rangers patrol constantly and will approach you for random things if they see you breaking any campground rules.
- The hiking trails essentially have zero shade so it gets really hot. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen so you don’t roast. Also stay hydrated!
- The campgrounds is a little further from the beach than I expected from looking at photos online. There is no direct beach access so you’ll have to go to the day use area and pay for parking ($15 parking)
- You can get to the beach if you’re down to wade through 2-3 feet of still water that puddles under the highway underpass. It’s a little inconvenient if you’re with children or carrying a lot of beach equipment.
- Campsites are VERY close together so be prepared to meet your neighbors. It’s also very quiet as soon as the sun sets (since there is no campfires keeping people up) so everyone ends up going to bed around 8pm as to not disturb your VERY close neighbors.
- Be careful of rattlesnakes
- Near Trump National Golf Course. YUCK.
I love coming here with my family. We always have great fun. Great to come and camp then leave the site and explore. There are some trails to go on a hike. You can head to the beach to swim and snorkel. You can even head into town get a nice lunch or dinner. Walk around get a drink or ice cream. There are just so many things to do.
The campsite is very clean and quite. Showers are super clean, and they do require tokens. In terms of setting up a tent, you are not allowed to stake it, so make sure you bring along something heavy to put in the corners. Also no campfires, however you can have gas fires. So a lot of people have these portable gas fir pits that are super nice. Worth the investment.
Great family campground to use as a base camp for a weekend at the beach and enjoying the Orange County coast.