My favorite thing about this campground are the 4 primitive sites scattered throughout the park—#4 being particularly incredible. Quiet, peaceful and surrounded by skies perched out atop a hill. It is close to the hiking trail so there’s typically foot traffic throughout the day, but you really couldn’t ask for a more quintessential coastal camping experience. Non-strenuous, short distance, easy access hike/gentle walk to the site from where you park. You can request it with the host in the main camp during check in—you won’t regret it. So many stars, beautiful skies and trails accessible to all hiking levels
Sorry for the alliteration…we really enjoyed this CA State Park campground that is so close to the Pacific you can walk from your site to Spooner’s Cove Beach (dog-friendly). LOTS of trails for any activity you choose: hiking, biking, horseback riding, birding, nature ID walks…you name it! This is a gem!
The best part of this campground is access to the beach. We were there in early July and the water was like ice but absolutely beautiful. The campground itself was ok, it was a bit more primitive than I’m used to, but the sites themselves were nice. Each had a picnic table and fire ring. Most of the sites were nice sized as far as I could tell. There are no showers and only vault toilets so I wouldn’t stay here for more than 2 nights. Another perk is how it feels so far removed from civilization, but it’s really not.
You can camp just steps from Spooners Cove (great place for swimming!) in Islay Creek Campground. It’s in the Montana De Oro State Park. There are about 50 campsites on either side of a in and out kind of lollipop road up on a flat hill above Spooner’s Cove. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring with grill, and there are a couple of clean vault toilets scattered in the campground. There are some nice trees, but most sites are not suited to hammocking. Many sites will be in full sun most of the day, and there is not much privacy. There is a trail that cuts through the campground, and there are many trailheads nearby. I would not suggest bringing your dog with you because while pets are allowed in the campground, they are not allowed on the trails or on the beach. Also, if you want a fire plan on bringing your own wood or buying it from the camp host as you are not allowed to forage for downed wood. The camp host didn’t seem to have a problem with me collecting some of the wild nasturtiums to add to my dinner (so fun to have edible flowers on my salad, wish I took a picture!).
Supposedly there is a horse camp not too far away, but I can neither confirm or deny as I did not go looking for it.