Cleveland National Forest, CALIFORNIA
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Most Recent Cleveland National Forest Camping Reviews
My Favorite Beach

This place is a hot spot and tough to book so make sure you do it far in advance. The area sits up on the Carlsbad cliffs, and there are stairs that run down to the beach about every 1/4 mile or so, some aren’t open though due to damage. Best sites sit on the cliff side where you can over look the ocean, otherwise you’ll be hearing the cars off the road, but any spot is nice as long as you plan on spending your days on the sand.

The spots are separated by large bushes (mostly) but still can get pretty hot in the day so be sure to bring shade. Some spots now have hook ups, and they vary in depth from large enough for a motor home to small enough for a tent.

Where you drive in is the middle, there are washers and dryers there, a store (open in the spring and summer), and rentals for bikes and surf boards. The bathrooms along the campground have showers so be sure to bring cash for tokens.

Other important notes: beach shore can be very rocky in spring time due to tidal patterns, there’s a dump station for RV’s, campsites generally just have fire rings and picnic benches, squirrels can be a bit of a pain, and the ONLY real issue I can find, there is a theft time to time so keep your stuff hidden or locked up. They’ll go for your cooler, generators, and anything they see.

Beautiful seaside campground

This campground is right above the beach in Carlsbad. Half the campgrounds are on the bluff right above the beach and the other half are just across the street. Outstanding ocean views and easy access to the beach below. Love everything about the place except the showers are just ok. Highly recommend this campground and we love going there for our ocean fix. We had a full hookup site but there are only about a dozen of those so you need to reserve up to 6months in advance.

One of the best in SoCal

This is one of our go to campgrounds for our camping trips in SoCal.  Beautiful ocean views!  Next to Coast Hwy which is busy but not totally annoying.  Stores down the road for any necessities.  Beach is accessible by stairs--nothing at beach level.  Basic and RV hook-up sites.

Amazing view

Love the bluff view but if you get sites 105-118 youll be blocked by the condemned cottages. Still a great place for rv’s even if they are water and electric only, Theres a dumpsite near the park. The beach is very rocky in most parts but there is a small nice sandy part for kids to get into the water. Staff is great in person but be prepared to wait hours on the phone to make reservations.

RV resort

Beautiful RV resort with short drives to the beach, San Diego, and casinos. Full hook ups, pool, dog walk. Little pricey and has RV age restrictions but I sent pics and was allowed eveen though I was outside the age.

Great for hiking/camping

You can camp here if you’re a beginner at it! You can drive right up and park and camp! Nice beautiful lake to look at and fish. You must purchase a license, which they sell there for a few bucks. Bon fires allowed as well. Great for hikers, runners, and bikers! Dog friendly.

Beachfront camping

Beautiful beachfront camping steps from the sand. Dry camping with a dump station available. Great sunsets and beautiful sand.

Love this place!

La Jolla Indian Reservation is my first pick to go camping! I love the river that runs in the middle of the whole place. You can camp next to it as well and get in! It’s $35 per car they do have military discount. The total of $32 with discount. They also have porta potties every few 500 feet. It is next to a gas station not to far out to buy supplies or fuel up. NOT PET FRIENDLY ONLY REASON FOR 4 STARS

Family friendly

One of the campgrounds at San Onofre State Beach, San Mateo is about a mile inland in San Clemente. I booked two sites next to each other over Easter weekend with my family. The sites were slightly smaller than I’m used to but because we had 2 we didn’t mind the close quarters. The trail to Trestles Beach was very pleasant, although the beach was not quite a swim beach. The park staff was probably the friendliest I had ever encountered and the bathrooms were very clean. The crowd was primarily young families, there was some noise past the quiet hours but nothing too crazy.

Spectacular view

My family camps here often, it’s one of the closest beach campgrounds to us and the views are amazing. The sites are terraced, so no matter which site you get you’ll have a view of the ocean. It is in a developed area of Laguna Beach, so there is not much solitude or quiet enjoyment of nature. However, it’s super convenient to have stores like Trader Joe’s and restaurants just a few minutes away. There is beach access from the campground and several hiking trails in the park. There are no shade structures or large trees, so definitely bring a canopy in the summer. The bathrooms are pretty clean, some of the showers run pretty hot but I didn’t mind it. This campground fills up fast so book early! I really like how clearly the sites are marked and how often the park rangers patrol. Highly recommend this campground!

Good site

Although, it was run down, the stay was fun. Nothing too exciting. If you’re just going to camp to be outdoors this is a good site

Stars galore!

This campground is one of my favorites. My practical side enjoys the clean bathrooms with hot showers and proximity to markets for refills on ice and beer. My adventurous side enjoys the hikes, coyotes singing and clear skies to observe the night sky. This campground has been enjoyable every time I’ve gone. I’ve been to many campgrounds where neighbors keep you up late, but something about this location demands quiet enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and I stay up laughing around the campfire well after sunset but everyone seems to respect the quiet hours. The sites are spacious, each with a shade ramada, grill and fire-ring. The visitors center is a must see and there are numerous hiking trails near the campground. As beautiful as the wildflowers are during a super bloom, the crowds are super distracting. March is the best time of year to go, if there is a super bloom you’ll enjoy that, if not, you’ll enjoy the solitude.

Decent Campground

This campground is ok. Everything about it is just mediocre. It’s easy to find, and close to Orange County. We enjoyed Ortega Falls which is about a 10 minute drive from the campground, and there are a few other hikes nearby. I didn’t like that the campsites are close to each other. And I think it cost $20 per night.

Clean and Enjoyable

Very clean and enjoyable campground. We have stayed here several times. Nice moderate hiking trails and a fun playground for the kids. Firewood sold on site during time that campfires are allowed. Site 56 can accommodate a small RV but there are no hookups at this site. Also has two very nice tent pads.

Good for family camping

When I went there were children everywhere and all campsites were right on the main road. Everyone was super friendly and trails are beautiful

Good for multi family camping

When I went there were children everywhere and all campsites were right on the main road. Everyone was super friendly and trails are beautiful

Basic but Convenient

The camp host wasn't very polite when we pulled in. The camp sites we're pretty open and there wasn't much privacy. The campground was clean and although it didn't have much above and beyond the basics, it served as a decent spot to get to the hiking trails and into the town.

Close to home yet feels like your away

This is very close to home but a nice quick getaway. It is surprisingly close to everything but yet you feel like you are hours away. There are trails, trees, a little lake. For how close it is, it does always have quite a few campers. Not my go to place but a nice spur of the moment getaway.

Fun for a group

We came here with a large group of families for Spring Break 50 people. We had 4 campsites all next to each other. The camp hosts were all very nice, they drove around quite a bit making sure all was good. For how many sites they have it didn’t seem too crowded. The bathrooms and showers were always clean. The dumpsters were never overflowing. We had the beach all to ourselves on day. I never went on the store, restaurant or pool but the kids were in there all the time. We never ran into any rude or obnoxious campers. He only bad thing was were just so happens to be there during a marathon, that was VERY loud but not camplands fault and it is a bit pricy but there is a lot to do there.

Loved it!!

We had a big group of 15, if you go all the way to the T take a right and go to the little turn around there is plenty of room for multiple tents and large groups. We were all by ourselves but walked to meet other campers, everyone was very nice. There were rocks to climb on, trails to hike. The bathrooms were very clean, there is no running water. It is very hot during the day and very windy at night. Bring your own water, fire pit and table. We will definitely be back!!!

This is NOT camping.

Seriously, I felt like I was in the dirtier, cheaper version of Kellerman's…

If you're looking for a place to park an RV and you like being surrounded by hundreds of people, then you may like this. They offer a skateboard park, surf lessons, a swimming pool, basketball, dodgeball, a fitness center, ping pong, an arcade, bike rental and even supervised kids' activities. Prices start at $60/night for a "primitive/dry" site. Not a bad deal if all you want to do is drink heavily, get sunburned and tell people you went to San Diego.

OMG Prepare to be Blown Away

Trying not to be too negative, because this is one gorgrous area of the world, but…

The noise: crowded campsite with too many people crammed into a small space; the regular trains passing by all hours of the day/night; and, HWY 5.

The view: our campsite's view was blocked by a mound of dirt. (We thought we were so lucky to score a campsite on the bluff near the edge…)

The wind: holy bananas! The wind picked up and (despite being staked in the ground) our tent nearly blew away. With the total weight of three adults and two kids, we managed to keep the tent, but this wind lasted all night. Wind = No Fire = No Dinner. Grandpa ran into town and grabbed burgers while Grandma secured her sleeping spot in the back of the remaining pickup with camper shell.

The upside: we can all laugh about it now.

Beautiful, but not my thing...

Disclaimer: When I camp, it's to get away from people.

That being said, this park is clean, there was a small store offering treats, plentiful bathrooms and places to park and camp (with reservations made well in advance). We met friends in Carlsbad who managed to secure a lovely spot with close proximity to the beach. We woke up early each morning to enjoy the few quiet hours (before our late-nate neighbors woke up) to drink our coffee and watch the dolphins swim by.

Plenty of activities to keep kids busy until they drop… if you plan ahead. The breeze can be quite chilly, but there are plenty of sun-covered rocks to warm yourself on.

Downside: people, people, people.

Family Fun!

Ideal for family fun. Free mini golf, horseshoes, disc golf and pool area with 3 pools, one specific for kids. Golf cart friendly. This park is very large and has a very good, outdoorsy feel. Lots of hills. Bar, ice cream and pizza shop! No access to the actual lake. So don’t plan on visiting a lake, unless they’ve resolved that issue. Karaoke night!

Just ok

Definite parking lot vibe. No tent spots. Access to nearby bay but it’s not IN the campground; although within walking distance. Ocean visible from some spots in the park but separated by an ugly chain link fence. You’re not camping ON the beach. Good for riding bikes. Also lots of kid friendly activities, like arts and crafts etc. Old but doable laundry facilities. This place needs some love but is in a good location.

Isolated and quiet

This really is a primitive campground. You pack it in and you pack it out. There is one restroom facility and that is all. If you are looking to camp in quite the this is it. Nice place and I will be returning here to camp. Great little hiking trails that give you a nice view of Borrego Springs below.

Great campsite

Great quiet campsite in the winter time

Near and easy

Nearby to San Diego, quick drive and you are there. Nice shady areas, plenty of hiking / biking trails around. Bathrooms are a plus.

Nice campground. Close enough to the city to get anything you need.

The newer sites don’t have a lot of mature trees, the older sites have a little more wear and tear but also bigger trees. Nice splash zone

Good all around campground.

Campsites arent the biggest, and fairly close together. Lake is easy to get to from anywhere. Rental boats on the lake. Free showers, and good bathrooms.