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About TV Tower Road Dispersed Camping [Closed until Nov 3rd, 2021]
Bureau of Land Management
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Alcohol Allowed
No Drinking Water
No Electric Hookups
No Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
No Picnic Table
Not Reservable
No Showers
No Toilets
No Trash
No WiFi
+ More
RVs and Trailers
No Sanitary Dump
No Sewer Hookups
No Water Hookups
TV Tower Road Dispersed Camping [Closed until Nov 3rd, 2021] is located in California
35.3453 N
-120.644 W
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8 Reviews of TV Tower Road Dispersed Camping [Closed until Nov 3rd, 2021]
Closed as of 9/20/20

Closed due to fire hazard since 9/7. Gate blocking road up.

Closed til December

Saw all the awesome reviews and wanted to go the first weekend of September, drove three hours and they have completely closed off the road due to covid. Sign says it has been closed since may 7 but reviews on hear say otherwise. Hope to do it soon

Go here!!!

We were amazed by this site! I have never seen anything like it. The drive up is a bit treacherous but nothing unbearable. Our car can off road quite well, but our friend had a Volkswagen Golf and it also did perfectly fine and never bottomed out. There are three pull offs to park and camp at the top of the mountain and each one had 2-3 cars when we were there which still left plenty of space. Very quiet and views were unbelievable (get there for the sunset!!!). This place is a gem and it’s free, don’t miss it!

Perfect for a night

I love this spot. The sunset is out of this world. I was there Saturday night and there were some party people, but there’s enough room to spread out with the two flat areas, and then there’s some single pullout spots. It doesn’t feel like an intentional campground, but camping is allowed here. A tent would be rough only because the wind is so strong. I slept in my car with a fan for the early evening (the residual heat from the day lasted for a while) and lots of shades and blackout curtains for the morning, since there’s zero shelter from the sun. Another bonus about this spot is that it’s not far off the 101, maybe 3 miles. The road is definitely bumpy, windy, and a bit scary since it’s narrow and there’s no guardrail just cliff edge. But it’s definitely doable and totally worth it

Ocean views!!

Amazing views! The road is a little scary with lots of large drop offs without guardrails. We used our 4 wheel drive all the way. It did get pretty windy at night but it was worth it.

You can find a video of our trip here:

100% worth it...but get there before sunset!

Ok so my first encounter with this road (TV Tower Road) was after 10 p.m. in mid-July. We were trying to find a spot to camp near San Luis Obispo and hoped to find a place in Los Padres Natl Forest. We saw the road in our map book and aimed to follow it.

It was dark, and we had to anticipate the road off 101 S, because it comes quickly and the signs are easy to miss. We were able to exit and follow the one-lane road (it’s narrow) as it began to wind up the hillside. We weren’t counting on gaining so much elevation, but we were pretty stoked because after two switchbacks we had an amazing view of the sky. The pavement ended and we continued on a packed dirt road.

It is quite narrow at parts, but there are spots along it where 2 cars can pass each other. There are bumps and rough patches, but nothing you haven’t encountered if you do much backwoods driving. Anyways.

That night was a Friday, and it was also a peak viewing night for the comet, and there were SO many (like 8) cars that we had to pass/maneuver around. In the dark, without knowing the road, it was pretty high pressure, and we chose to turn around about halfway up, without knowing how the road ended.

So, disappointment. However, after a fun day in Los Osos and Morro Bay, we decided to tackle the road in the daylight. We got there around 6, in full summer light, and only encountered one driver coming down. 

When you reach the top of the ridge, the road opens up. It’s the bumpiest here, but there’s a lot of space to spread out & set up. We saw probably 12 other cars (vans, SUVs, RVs) there, and some people had set up tents. The views are incredible. It’s a super peaceful place to spend a night or two.

We had binoculars for stargazing, but with them we could explore the details of the hills and landmarks. If you’re into radio, reception is very clear. The temperature was overall very comfortable, and we had a great night car camping. 

The biggest caution is driving—expect to have to deal with some cars going the other way. Also, keep an eye out for hikers and mountain bikers who also use the road. If you’re down to try it, this spot is so worth it!!

Bring food, water, a flashlight…the regular. There are no bathrooms, so be warned.

Sweet place

This place was awesome. Heard about it from a friend who goes to school at SLO. We arrived around 4pm on a Saturday and all spots were open except for one. The road is a bit rocky and steep but we were fine in an old ass 2WD 4runner. We settled on a nice spot nestled in the trees. There was a pre made fire pit which we may or may not have used. The road is a hiking trail as well so we went on a little walk to watch the sunset. Only bad thing was the flies. These bitches were on the offense. Bring bug spray and citronella candles or be smart and don’t go in mid july like we did. It’s close to downtown slo which is very charming with great food. On our way out we ate at seeds for some delicious smoothies and paninis. Overall very great place and have recommended it to friends.

First to Review
Ranger Review: Escape Campervan at TV Tower Road

My husband and I decided to do a road trip along the PCH up the coast (with Big Sur as the final destination). Along the way, we made multiple stops and camped at TV Tower Road since we heard so many phenomenal things about the view.

[ PROS ]

  • VIEWS VIEWS VIEWS!! The view is spectacular up this mountain. You can see Morro Bay, Los Osos, and San Luis Obispo. And to top it all off, you also get an ocean view in the distance. You can even see the infamous Morro Bay Rock and the 3 smokestacks in the horizon.
  • It’s FREE! When you’re doing a road trip along HWY 1 during the summer, you’ll notice that almost all campsites are full if you haven’t made a reservation months in advance. This place is perfect for last minute campers who need a place to park for the evening.
  • Stargazing is out of this world. We had the clearest night sky with very little light pollution, and we were able to see the Milky Way so vividly. We also saw multiple shooting stars.
  • This campsite is off the beaten road, so it’s very remote. We saw two other campers nearby but other than that, we had the entire place to ourselves.
  • Great hiking spot! It’s only a 1.5 mile hike up to the campsite, but it’s steep. You can find the entrance to TV Tower Road at the West Cuesta RIdge Trailhead. Lots of cyclist and morning hikers come through at dawn.

[ CONS ]

  • Really terrifying drive up the mountain with a few sharp turns and a narrow one-car dirt road. We were able to take our Escape Camervan up the mountain with no problem, but this road is for confident drivers. There are some parts of the road where two cars can fit, but just make sure you drive slow and check weather conditions.
  • No toilets, no showers, no water, no hook ups, no amenities. Make sure you bring your own food/water/supplies, practice LNT, and be safe.
  • There is practically no shade on this mountain ridge so it can get hot during the day with the sun beaming down on you. Just prepare for that.

Pro Tip: Drive up TV Tower Road before sunset. 1) Sunsets are magical here 2) Better visibility of the road while the sun is still out. There are no road or street lights to guide you.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - this weekend I was incredibly BLESSED with the opportunity to test out the Maverick Camper by Escape Campervans. This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time since my cat recently just passed away, and I do not take a second of this for granted. So where did we decide to go? First on the list, Morro Bay! My (now) husband and I fell in love in Morro Bay 6 years ago, and then he proposed to me at the Morro Bay Rock 2 years later. We figured we would bring our cat’s ashes to “The Rock” as a final resting place so we can make an effort to return as often as possible. After our day in Morro Bay, we continued on along the majestic Pacific Coast Highway until we reached Big Sur on Hwy 1.

I’ve done this road trip many times since childhood, but it felt like an entirely new experience doing the trip in a campervan. I am, now, totally convinced that the #vanlife is for me. Here are my thoughts on the Maverick #JetsonVan.

  • TRAVELING IN STYLE - I just LOVE LOVE LOVED the custom painted design on our campervan. Just seeing the beautiful colors and design put a smile on my face and made me happy. It brought out my inner-child and a reignited a new sense of adventure and curiosity that I haven’t felt since I was in grade-school. We need more of this in our everyday lives. Thank you Escape Campervans for reminding me of this.
  • ROAD TRIP READY - I’ve done road trips, but never like THIS! The Maverick has everything you need to have the most relaxing, easy, and hassle-free experience ever. The campervan is so well-designed and packed with handy and useful features that really make your trip a breeze. I was able to spend less time packing and setting up, and more time to play. Escape Campervans also came with everything you can think of -- chairs, bedding, pots/pans, bowls/cups/utensils, you name it! There was very little that we needed to pack from home. Below are a few of our favorite features
  • Rooftop sleeper - This is a MUST! It was so fun sleeping on the roof of the van. It’s a little tricky at first to get up and down, but we were able to get the hang of it in no time.
  • Solar powered refrigerator - I don’t know how I lived without this. It was so nice having our food and drinks chilled without having to worry about a cooler of melting ice sloshing around.
  • Storage - there is so much storage for all your gear so it’s so easy to stay organized.
  • Trunk Kitchen - The kitchen is so convenient and it facilitates spur-of-the-moment cooking with very little set up or clean up required. The counter space was really nice for prepping and easy to clean.
  • THE ROAD TO FREEDOM - Our Maverick became our home away from home, and the best part? We were able to bring it with us everywhere. It’s super easy and smooth to drive, and we had the freedom of the open road ahead of us. I loved being able to just pull over during lunch time and enjoy a meal wherever we decided to park. While we did our day trip to Big Sur, we picked a quiet, shady spot to park with an EPIC VIEW of the Pacific Ocean. And if you’ve ever driven along the PCH past Hearst Castle to Big Sur, you’ll know there are so many lookout points to stop for sightseeing.

Tips for maximizing your campervan experience!

  1. Make it your own! Bring some stuff from your house to really make your campervan feel cozy and homey. Be careful not to overpack, but a couple throw pillows, blankets, and even a houseplant can make all the difference. You don’t normally get this opportunity in a regular car, so take advantage of the space.
  2. Bring a partner in crime or 2! Road Trips are more fun with people who you know are going to be flexible, spontaneous, and up for the unknown. Every trip can have unexpected obstacles and can be exhausting so bring a playmate who will be up for the challenge and up for an adventure.
  3. A little planning goes a long way. While my favorite part about road trips are the random little stops along the way, but it makes a huge difference when you do a little research on the route, conditions, and place to stay for the evening ahead of time.
  4. Split the load! Whether it’s taking turns driving, or alternating who cleans the dishes, make sure everyone throws in a helping hand.
  5. Make a playlist. Having music ready for those long drives can be super helpful when your car stereo loses goes out of range. While I prefer having conversations on road trips over music, sometimes some tunes really help break up the drive.
  6. TREAT YO’SELF. Don’t forget to allow yourself to splurge a litttllleee even if you’re on a tight budget. It’s nice to be able to cook your own food on the road, but it’s also totally okay to eat out a few meals or unwind with a nice bottle of wine after hours of driving or after a stressful day of navigating the road. Just make sure you’re parked for the evening when you uncork!