This article about camping near San Diego is brought to you by Travellers Autobarn. If you’re looking for a Southern California road trip, try their RV rental in Los Angeles and drive south to these San Diego campgrounds.


There are many well-equipped and perfectly positioned areas for camping near San Diego. Whether you’re looking for an RV or tent site, hiking trails, or local fishing, there’s a campground for everyone in and around the area.

Here are seven top-quality campgrounds, all within a couple of hours’ drive from sunny San Diego.

1. Lake Jennings

pier at lake jennings





You’ll find this county-operated campground a few miles to the northeast of downtown San Diego. It is open all-year-round and is well-equipped for any kind of camper, with its RV, tent, and yurt sites. Each of the 35 RV sites has a full-hookup to running water and electricity, while there’s plenty of room between individual lots.

“They also have free Wi-Fi, and it’s pretty fast Wi-Fi at that. That was a real plus since most RV parks have slim to none available.”Tom W.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $30-$75
  • Number of sites: 97
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Kumeyaay Lake Campground

people standing next to water

Image from The Dyrt camper Jose V.

This small, lakeside campground is only a few miles north of San Diego. There are plenty of rugged trails nearby, and the mountain biking is second-to-none. The shower and toilet facilities are relatively basic but clean. You can only stay overnight on Friday and Saturday. This helps the campground staff preserve the site’s craggy natural allure.

“No hookups here, but they have great clean bathrooms and hot showers. Lots of hiking/biking straight from your campsite. This place is a gem, being so close to most parts of San Diego.”Teegan S.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $24
  • Number of sites: 46
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. South Carlsbad State Beach

boy eating ramen with jeep and rooftep tent in background

Image from The Dyrt camper Katie O.

This ever-popular campground rests right by the South Carlsbad State Beach, about a 30-minute drive north from San Diego. There’s a well-preserved set of stairs from the campsite down to the beach, where you can go paddle boarding or surfing. You can also rent out the nearby Campfire Center for large gatherings or events. If you’re planning to stay here, book ahead since this campsite is reservation only.

“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.”John F.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $35-$75
  • Number of sites: 223
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

4. William Heise County Park

person raising arms in elation with dog at their feet

Image from The Dyrt camper Cynthia G.

You’ll find this attractive campground about 4,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by wildflower meadows, mountains, and oak forest. It’s just south of the mountain town of Julian, along the dramatic Laguna Mountain Range ridge.

The surrounding forests are home to a wide range of flora and fauna, from bobcats and wild turkeys to native California wildflowers. Besides RV and tent sites, this park also includes yurts and cabins for the more glamorous camper.

“This place is off to the side and secluded, so it really does feel like you’re out in the woods and not at a developed campground five miles away from the town of Julian. If you’ve never been to Julian, you have to try some of their apple pie!”Alicia W.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $24
  • Number of sites: 118
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

5. Burnt Rancheria Campground

camp set up in meadow

Image from The Dyrt camper Jesse W.

This campground lies at the height of 6,000 feet in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, around 50 miles to the east of San Diego. Despite the elevation, you’ll find lots of characterful trees because the site is in the middle of a grove of oaks. The campground also provides exceptional, panoramic views of the nearby Californian desert. The Sunrise Scenic Byway trail runs right by the campsite.

“The campground is very well-kept, and the bathrooms were probably the cleanest campground bathrooms I’ve ever seen!”Kiana M.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $25
  • Number of sites: 124
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

6. Oakzanita Springs RV Campground

rv's parked at campground

This RV camp is situated just to the south of the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, a 45-minute drive northeast from San Diego. Open through the summer, this campsite is well-equipped, with plenty of amenities: there’s a lodge area, camp store, and free Wi-Fi. You’ll love fishing and swimming in the nearby Cuyamaca Lake, while the mountains provide ample opportunity for refreshing hikes and trail runs.

“If you want seclusion and quiet, then this is the place. The best thing about being here in the Cuyamacas is its beauty!”Tom W.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $34-$56
  • Number of sites: 118
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: No
  • Pets allowed: Yes

7. Paso Picacho Campground

woman reading book by campfire

This campsite lies in the center of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, a short drive northeast of San Diego. You can walk in the nearby wildflower meadows, creeks, oak groves, and mountains. Many of the best regional trails begin at the Paso Picacho, including the hikes up both Stonewall Peak and Cuyamaca Peak. Each of the campsites has a fire ring so that you can keep a controlled campfire.

“Lovely campground, lots of shaded spots. We came during the week and essentially had the place to ourselves. Short walk to Stonewall Peak trailhead.”Kayla S.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $30
  • Number of sites: 85
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

 

There are plenty of campsites all over San Diego that provide excellent hiking, swimming, and fishing options. These campsites are just a small selection of opportunities throughout this area. To get more ideas, have a look at The Dyrt’s full list of the best campsites in and around San Diego.

 


This article about camping near San Diego was brought to you by Travellers Autobarn — the#1 name in cheap RV rentals.

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