Derek & Braedon R.
Oceanside , CA
Joined June 2019
Camping and fishing, exploring and hiking..
City camping, but still a getaway

Strength of Guajome is that it’s easy access (as long as you reserve well ahead of time) and everything is literally right outside the park. It’s in the city, so camping here shouldn’t come with a big expectation of really getting away from people. It’s right off Highway 76, so you can hear some of the traffic, but not too bad, you’ll probably be surprised how quiet it can still be sometimes. Campsites are pretty close together, but added bonus is that campfires are allowed (fire rings) as long as fire danger isn’t high. Bathrooms are pretty good.

Great hiking

Make sure to reserve, spots fill up in the summer. Awesome hike and great campfire, camp host was nice and helpful. Site number 8 is great, also 7 (double site) and 29. Equestrian sites up the hill. Saw a few rabbits and lizards, not too loud, it’s peaceful and good distance between some sites. Heads up, site 3 is so small that I genuinely don’t know how anyone ever uses it. Even a one man tent would have to squeeze in. Most other sites have plenty of room though. Had a good time here. FYI: You can get firewood at Vail Lake RV Resort, right at the gate. $8 a bundle. Camp host let us know when we got in to Dripping Springs that some people had problems finding firewood. Another tip is to gather some kindling from the trails.

Very close to the lake, good tent sites

Great forest area, this site is right by Lake Hemet, about a 1 min drive (seriously) but some sites still have burned out area nearby. Bathrooms and showers are fairly good. I was surprised at the very nice paper towel dispensers. Burned out area was behind the far back sites (we stayed at site 108 and it was fine) but not in the actual camp area. Fun area and worth it. Lake Hemet is absolutely gorgeous. TIP: If you want to fish go to the market (the only one right off the road by the lake and Hurkey Creek) and buy your fishing license if you don’t already have it. You can also pay your day use fee there but FYI if you ask to use the state park side, it’s much less out of your wallet.

Hidden gem

Rangers keep things respectable. Lake is well maintained, good looking place. Nice camping, just do a little research, some spots have great privacy and shade, some less. Great views in the camping area. Stayed with my son, we had a great time. Bonus: No CA fishing license needed! Just the lake permit of $7 per adult. Big fish in this lake. Warning: Beware the Poison Oak. If you’re hitting the trails or fishing the bank, there’s a lot of it (June 2019). Also popular here is boat rental. You can rent a “motor” boat (really a trolling motor attached) for all day rate or half day. If it’s summer and weekend, you’d have to get down there early to rent though, they’ll sell out. They also have paddle boats and peddle boats.