The best camping near
San Diego, CALIFORNIA

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Large and quiet

Big campsites, lots of shade trees, black oaks I think. Not much critters to deal with. Clean bathrooms. Located near hiking trails.

You won’t regret it

This spot is awesome. Especially if you score some good surf. The facilities are always clean. All types of camping are welcome here. Whether that be RV, tent, bike packing, or out of the back of your truck which is my personal favorite. The sunsets are out of this world and the beach is clean. Tends to be very busy especially in the summer months. My tip is to book way ahead in advance.

A True Gem

If you blink you’ll miss it, which is a welcome characteristic for this campground. Blair Valley provided a 10/10 experience for my person and me to take advantage of a three day weekend. Highly recommend for anyone wanting the sense of seclusion with unmatched views as well as convinces a short drive away.

Great Weekend Spit

Just spent an enjoyable weekend at Woods Valley. Was great as offseason had the place almost empty. Original reserved two sites and upon arrival realized these two would not work. Office staff was great and worked with us to provide several options. Ended up in sites 34 and 35. Will go back for short weekend getaways.

Amazing

So many things to do and to see

Great area!

I really love this campground because it has so many areas to go explore.  There's lots of geocaching spots and hiking up to the observatory is a beautiful view.  The sites were very accommodating to three tents and there are lots of trees to give you plenty of privacy.  Watch out for bees!

Super fun!

Love taking the kids near the end of summer for tubing.

Beautiful sites

We camp frequently since we live 5mins away. Always enjoy Easter and Halloween with friends and family.

Beautiful

My boyfriend and I took a random camping trip and didn't pick a place until we decided to stop. This was a nearby campground and we loved it. The bathrooms were maintained well and they had showers and water. There was beautiful trails around the campground. I would stay again.

Fun if you want to hike

Lots of trails to hike. Family friendly.

Very nice

A great campground for San Diego. Great, mountainous feel with pine, Sycamore and oak trees (mostly pine). Campground itself is very clean and well maintained. But there are large groups all around us partying, playing loud music and dogs barking nonstop. We’ve gotten used to dispersed camping so maybe this is just how established campgrounds are nowadays? Or maybe we just came on the wrong weekend. I’m sure midweek would be nice and quiet. It’s not that bad. It’s just really noisy.

Desert Bliss

This campground is awesome, it is perfect for roaming the desert in peace. The dirt road is well maintained and my dogs were able to explore our whole loop.

Great spot to camp, noisy neighbors.

This camping site is great, clean, beautiful and spacious. Only complaint is quiet hours were not enforced. Me and my buddies took a trip here to relax on our first day off work in weeks. Couldn’t sleep or hear each other with the amount of noise and music the neighbors created. Other than that the trails were beautiful and there are spots to swim within the water falls.

Surround by Oak Trees

Potrero is a good little campground in a big park. There a play park for the kids and an exercise path for the adults. The bathrooms are clean and there is electrical and water hookups. It makes for a quick getaway from the city.

Limited cell service. There's a market 2 miles away.

Constant miss communication

We really did try to make the best of the situation. The lake is beautiful but that’s all this place has going for it. There was constant miss communication with the staff and rangers. We got one of the tent sights and ended up about 25 feet away from a raccoons nest they are very bold and will try to get your food right in front of you. The yellow jackets come out during the day and we got stung multiple times. But truly it was the staff that was right up our back side the entire time making us feel like we were doing something wrong. The park host even came over at one point to bugs us about a paper not being posted that no one told us about. She asked in a condescending tone if we paid for the extra car we had with us and I said of course we did. Her tone quickly changed after that. That evening I hear my name being called with an authoritative tone it was the same ranger that let me in at 7pm the previous evening. He was scolding me for not going down and registering my camp sight. I in fact did go down to the guest service to let them know I was there and pay for the extra parking and got food and a boat pass. The next day around 11am buy a fishing pole and to all day fishing permits for the lake thinking I was going to be leaving at 7 PM so we have plenty of time to fish. At 1 PM a Ranger came over to our camp telling us we were supposed to leave by 12 pm so yet again more miss communication. I felt like I was being discriminated. If your a young family with crazy working hrs don’t go here they treat you like suspects.

Wonderful Gem in San Diego County

William Heise is one of the hidden camping Gems in San Diego. It's located about 5 miles from the rustic town of Julian. There's over 100 camping spots ranging from RV to tent. There are a number of trails that leave from the campground. Try the Desert View trail that gives you a great view of the surrounding area; its only 2.25miles.  There's also a Wolf Sanctuary outside of Julian that's worth a visit. Enjoy!

Cell Service: Roaming

Close to the harbor

Tiny. But if what you need is a place to park while you explore cute little southern California beach towns then it gets the job done. It’s pretty shabby but it is right near the harbor which is one of the most picturesque areas in Southern California.

As far as RV parks go ... it’s nice ce

Lots of space for a big RVs however the amenities are a little chincy. “Picnic area” is lame but the laundry room is nice. Palm trees all around but the back spots are RIGHT up against the coaster (train) tracks which means LOUD noises at all hours. Great antique shop next door. Lots of great restaurants around. Close to Carlsbad Village.

If you need an RV park instead of a campground, this is the one

Great pool/ hot tub area. Pretty basic but clean. Each spot has a table & chairs. Laundry room is nice and convenient. Not in the best are but it’s a short drive to the ocean. Little area for a pup off leash so I appreciate that!

Hike the PCT from Lake Morena

The campground at Lake Morena has around 80+ spots that range from hookups for RV to basic tent camping. There's a indoor entertainment room and multiple bathrooms. The campground is not located right on the lake but a 15min walk away. The cell service is roaming but was decent; around 500kb download. The PCT goes thru the campground and there's an area designated for thru hikers camping. The campground can get crowded during the weekend. The adjacent town has a small store.

Great Escape from the Crowds

Fly Creek is a great campground that's not far from the city. It's about two miles from the Palomar Observatory. There's a nice trail that goes there form the campground and has good views of the little valley. There are plenty of spots and all of them are shaded. There are a few spots in the back that are even more secluded. There's not a lot of parking for extra vehicles though. The restrooms were clean. The only cell service is about two miles away at the local store. This is where you can buy firewood and supplies.

Beautiful and well maintained

We lived less than a mile from this campground and would bike there almost every night for years. Always a friendly, peaceful, and beautiful place to visit.

Worst Experience with A Thousand Trails

If you have ever felt like your kids and family where not going to be safe and you knew you were not going to be able to sleep at night. This is how I felt at Thousand Trails Pio Pico. Don’t let the Pictures fool you; Yes, the South side of the camp is a great place to be, I’m Sure. With all the amenities and security of the staff being there. Its possible you will feel safe. But you are not allowed to setup on the south side when you arrive. You have to go to the northside, well from what I can see the northside section H is where most people head to because of this; but, my family and I, where forced into section G, which looked like a rundown trailer park where trailer and RV’s go to die. If you’re going to stay at Pio Pico you better have a toilet, shower, and be selfsustained aboard your rig. This we were not. We Picked a spot next to the bathroom and next to a nicer looking rig in section G. After setting up our Popup Trailer my son needed to use the restroom. This is where we found out the condition of the restrooms in Trailer Park section G. The showers had not heads, handles, or curtains to take a shower; if one was brave enough to do it in section G, in the first place. Though the bathroom looked clean and where stocked with paper and hand towels, the walls looked old and falling apart. Likewise, the sink looked as if a mechanic washed his oily and grease hands in it every day and cleaning it was not going to be enough. I have spent my whole youth and tricenarian“Ruffing it” via backpacking, dry camping, and Tent camping. So not taking a shower is not the worst thing in the world. But when the other people around you look like they live their full time and some even looked a little shady. While some are doing drugs, because we could smell it, and come out of there campers spun out and half naked. It takes ruffing it and turns it into a borderline safety issue. As dawn came and we decided that it was not a smart idea to stay here. We started breaking down all of our stuff and packing up the trailer, because it was either head home or find a new camp ground. While in the middle of packing up we over heard the people in the trailer next to us saying“I’m not going to buy that for you, they have it you should have stolen it while you had the chance.” We pulled out of there and we lucked out as we got reservations for another RV park. As a member of TT and spent my whole childhood with TT, I am appalled that this TT Park has come to this low of standards. As a child we went here a few times and never had anything close to this lack of management. I would not recommend this for anyone whom has children or whom may leave you rig unattended for the day or longer. If it is better in section H I hope they can make changes to the camp grounds to fix and improve section G. My family will not be returning. And I hope no one runs into this at TT.

Adequate Adventure

This was my lady’s and I first camping trip and it was memorable. We enjoyed the scenery and views from our camp location. We were at site 38 and we had a view of Escondido. The rangers were very helpful and accommodating. The only thing I would have done differently was go during the cooler months. Overall decent experience. Pros:

  • Nice view
  • Good privacy between camps
  • Helpful rangers
  • Clean campsite Cons:
  • BAD yellow jacket problem during this time of month (very aggressive and got into your food/face)
  • Critters heard roaming around campsite at night (either a raccoon or coyote came within 5 feet of our tent while we were sleeping)
  • No shade at most campsites Recommendations:
  • DO NOT cook meat during the day because it will attract a lot of wasps
  • Make sure to keep trash secured
  • Keep a light on over night at camp to deter critters
Good place

This camping is really good, spots are large and great and landscapes around are beautiful. Water, flush toilets and coins hot showers are available. I loved this place. I just take one star off because of the owner, he was really not polite and not nice.

Don't have high expectations and this place is great

This campground feels more like rolling hills with designated areas to park than a real campground.  It's great for little kids to run around though.  There are nice trails here that give you a mixture of open fields and "woods" and it's pretty much like a stroll rather than a hike.  There's a very pretty pond/lagoon and it's a great place for a dog walk.  Lots of wildflowers in the spring!

Love it... Great tent camping!

Love it… I’ve been camping there since the 1990’s… the camp sites are great… lots of room on your sites, trees, hiking, beautiful. I have camped other places but this is my favorite.

Did Picos--County Park

This park is County operated. You have to drive to the RV dump to dump. It’s close but you don’t have the convenience to dump at your site. There are park rangers available. It’s a good place for kids to run around. Ramona is close to: shop, eat, etc.

Overrated

I get that this is some people's idea of amazing camping… it's just not mine.

The sites are overpriced in a major way.  $50+ and I'm sorry but it's ridiculous that they charge $20 for a second car when it can easily fit within the confines of your site.  And the sites have so little privacy between them that we wanted that extra car simply to create a barrier from noisy neighbors.

It's great that sights on the west side overlook the cliffs, but there's an ugly chainlink fence that makes it feel ghettoy to look out over the water.  When you have to watch a beautiful sunset through a fence, it's a bit less magical.  They need to tear it down and put up a low-sitting wood barrier.  It's a shame.  

That being said, we got the site on the far south side and because of that we didn't have neighbors on one side.  BUUUT we did have people playing kickball in the little cul-de-sac next to us that got really annoying really fast.  

Save your money, go to the woods.