Kate W.
Oceanside, CA
Joined August 2019
“I tramp a perpetual journey” - Walt Whitman
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!

It's obviously nice, just not my fav

This campground is great because of its location and yes, you look out over a beautiful view.  I felt like it was a little too open for my liking because I prefer some privacy when I camp, but you can't be too picky in paradise.  Take advantage of all the amazing hikes - especially because most will lead you to a waterfall.  And walk down to the beach because you might find a jade stone or see an elephant walrus!

Beach & Woods... Best of both worlds

This is a great campground that I would highly suggest.  The sites aren't big, but who cares!  #1 has an amazing ocean view, #29, 23, 24, 25 have amazing redwoods surrounding them.  There's a little creek running through that goes out to the water. The beach is rocky but beautiful and private.  The trail leads to a gorgeous waterfall.  You can't lose, this place is one of a kind!

Tropical paradise with a killer rip tide

This is a GREAT campground with a beautiful beach that is tucked away.  It's way up the west side of the island but worth the trip to get away from the more touristy areas.  The sites were clean and clear and there was a nice amount of privacy.  The sites are right up to the beach but be careful because the rip tide can be killer!  It's one of the scariest experiences to get stuck out in the ocean and not have the capability of swimming to shore - it's just not possible.  Please be careful because there are no lifeguards out there and stop at a store before you drive out because it's pretty far from everything.  It's the farthest you can drive clockwise before you hit the N'Pali Coast.

Memorable and COLD

We camped here on our way to summiting San G (as we lovingly call it).  Although it was May and the weather was beautiful at sea level, it was cold up here!  There was snow on the ground but the air was the coldest I've ever felt.  

We got to the camping area and it's tucked in the woods so there's lots of nooks and crannies even though it's a primitive open group camping area.  It's right next to a dry lake - go figure - and there are lots of areas to go explore beyond the trail that leads to the top.  

The ranger was there to spend a few nights and said that the night before hit negative digits!  We thought we were prepared with our "all weather" bags and backpacking tent, but I promise you I have never been so cold in my life.  I laid there awake the entire night, and couldn't move a muscle or freezing air would seep in.  The ranger said it only got down to 7 degrees.  When light finally hit we heated some water and went to sit on the frosty ground in the open field/lake and when the sun finally hit us it was like life-changing.  

FYI it's leave no trace and don't attract bears

A once in a lifetime experience

This was probably one of the most epic camping experiences ever, but I wouldn't do it again.  The hike to the peak was nuts - we stayed at halfway camp in negative degree weather - and then summited on day 2.  My hands turned yellow from holding my pack and accidentally cutting off circulation and my boyfriend got altitude sickness with 50 feet to go.  It was rough.  But we summited right at sunset and after a quick celebration picture we hurried to set up our tent and crash.  There are a few "campspots" that people have outlined with a rock barrier to protect from wind, although it was still insanely difficult to set up camp in that blowing wind and cold air.  One quick sip of whiskey and then we were out like a light.  Morning came fast and the wind never quit so we packed up camp and hiked down for 20 minutes before pulling out coffee to have breakfast in peace.  There were a couple kids who hiked in shorts and barely any equipment - they were crazy & in love and I'm sure didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

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!

If you can get a site, do it!

I really love Idyllwild and Fern Basin is one of the few campgrounds there.  This is the definition of small mountain town so make sure to stop and check out the little coffee shops in "town".  The campground is fairly small and off a pretty rugged dirt road, but it's worth it.  I've stayed here a few times and it's always peaceful and quiet.  This is a tenter's campground if you ask me.  There's lots of hikes around the area - some steep, some like a dirt road.  There's an area off the far end of the campground that has big boulders that you can climb up on for a perfect view of the sunset.

We lucked out with this little gem

We were looking for a place to plop the night before hiking Bridge to Nowhere and stumbled into this little campground.  There wasn't a lot of options since it's first-come, but we found a great little spot right on a stream to set up.  The ranger came buy to say hello and he ended up giving us some advice on the weather and a warning about the hike.  If there's weather coming it can get dangerous fast!  The skies were blue on the hike out but suddenly hail started and it down poured!  I've never been so scared of a flashflood in my life so we ran the 5 miles out to safety.  It was pretty memorable!  Definitely do that hike if you stay here!

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.

Primitively Awesome

This is the only true primitive campground I've been to, but it was the most unbelievable experience!  The "campground" is in the middle of nowhere and not the easiest to find, but once you get down that crazy desert road and up the little rise to the open area, it is exceptionally unique.  The grounds sit nestled next to big rock formations with a wash going through that if you have a capable car - power + not too big - you can go exploring to the cool world hidden back there.  

Within 5 minutes of unpacking a black (military?) helicopter came beating out from the wash and we felt like we were on a movie set.  We had to bring a dish in order to have a campfire, and the toilets were pit - but hey, at least there were toilets.  

The drive through the wash is so unique with the slanted walls of rock jetting out at you.  Then parked the car and walked up to the wind caves and climbed around and looked out over the elephant leg-shaped mountains.  It was beautiful and memorable and unique.

We lucked out !

Can’t believe we got a last minute spot here! This is one of my favorite local campgrounds. Site had lots of shade from the hot HOT sun. Vault toilets but a unanimous approval of the toilet paper. Great hike right out of the campground but we opted to drive down the road to Laguna Campgound and hike the flat lake area.

OK but there are better campgrounds

This is quite the drive down a bumpy road on the far side of Big Bear Lake but worth it if you want to get away from people. We came for a long weekend(Sat, Sun, Mon) and come Sun afternoon it cleared out completely with the exception of a group of older men who got drunk and spent the day trying to get a drone out of a tall tree(unsuccessfully). There's some hiking around but even my apps had a hard time finding a true trail. In the end we just wandered. We went into"town" and went to the local thrift store and each picked up a book to bring back to the site and read since there was little else to do but lay in the hammock and relax. Nice and quite(with the exception of the drunk men)

Beautiful, filled with trees, ladybugs, and cows!

This was a great little find tucked close to Kings Canyon and separated only be a crazy, winding backroad.  The host is very helpful and kind.  There is a field with cows.  COWS!  Mountain cows if you ask me.  There were a ton of ladybugs but the feeling of seclusion was great.  There are some awesome sites right on the stream but I didn't write down their numbers.  We had a great time!

Unexpected fun in the Mojave Desert

This is a simple campground but it's quite and spread out enough that you have privacy.  We saw some great wildlife when we came across a few deer and a gorgeous jack rabbit!  The sunsets were unreal!!!  Don't expect much from this simple campground except a place to come back to after a day of exploring the desert.  It can also get a little windy, but sites 11 & 24 seemed the best to avoid the wind.  

Be warned - we took a backway unknowingly to the light tunnels and ended up in a pretty dicey situation even for a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Service is touch and go in a lot of the desert.

If you can go, go!

Parson's Landing is a super unique campground.  I would say it's the only TRUE beach camping I've ever been able to find.  You have to coordinate the ferry to Two Harbors on Catalina Island and then hike about 8 miles to the far end of the island.  It's not a bad hike, just long and around the perimeter.  You can plan ahead to have a bundle of wood and a gallon of water waiting for you in a locker.  The campground is a secluded beach with a rock wall on one end.  Site 1 is tucked around next to the wall - very cool!  Site 2 is great too but a little more exposed.  After that the other sites are basically spots spread out on the beach and designated by a picnic table.  The beach in narrowish and rock - a lot of the sites have rock walls built up to protect the fire pit from wind.  Unfortunately a dead seal had washed up on shore near site 1 and when some people tried to push it back into the ocean it released the most horrid smell ever.  There's hiking around that end of the island but beware that it is extremely steep in some areas!  We only did a couple miles and going down the trial/roads were scarier than going up.  Also, almost stepped on a rattlesnake.  I promise you though that this is a special place and a trip you will never forget!  Just be prepared to rough it.

If you can make it happen, do it!

This is such a unique experience! You have to set up a boat trip here and back so do your homework because it takes some coordinating. We picked site 1 unknowingly and it turned out to be the best! It was away from others and felt private with the most spectacular mountains to our back. VERY WINDY! The water tasted icky but after a 10 mile hike we didn't care. Take advantage and hike as far as you can- it's unreal! But bring a ton of water because you'll want it! The crows are unruly so watch your belongings, and the fox are cute but sneaky. Also, there was a dead seal over by the water which was sad, but as the rangers told us, that's nature.

A great campground in the mountains!

I love this campground because it is so close to San G mountain trail!  We stayed here before and after hiking that enormous mountain and love the area.  There is a great trail off the backside of the campground as well.  It can be a bit loud and the trees are tall and skinny so there's not a ton of privacy, but it's woodsy and beautiful.  Site 14 has a HUGE Christmas tree and I think it's a group site.

There's a great lake area to hike to nearby and lots of mountain biking around the area.