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

Nature's best primitive camping

These sites are beautiful - especial #9!  It pokes out over the mountains and has the most unbelievable view!  The hiking is great around here and there are lots of trails to explore.  Hike up to the watch tower and check out all the hummingbirds!

This is yellow post camping so it's hit or miss if you can get one.  Do your homework and learn what you need to know ahead of time - esp regarding fires.

One of my favorite local campgrounds for San Diegians

I love this campground because it's woodsy and close to home.  You get that far away feel without being too far away.  There are a lot of first-come sites, which I don't like because I'm a planner, but there are some reservable sites too.  There's lots of hiking nearby and the sites feel private enough if you stick to the outskirts.

Desert camping with a clean hot springs pool

This is a great campground in the middle of nowhere.  A lot of RVs are in the center and seem set up as full-timers, but along the perimeter are some great, tucked-away sites.  There are also a number of "cabins" in a row.  Not a ton of privacy, but they're clean cabins with the basics - a bathroom, sink, bedframe, table/chairs.  The best part is sitting out on the little deck.  Personally, I like cabins 5-7 the best.  

It can get a little noisy if a motorcycle gang comes around, but the hiking is nice.  There's a good trail right from the campground but stay on the path because the cactus will get you!!!

The hot springs pool is great and has adult-only hours at night which is fantastic.  

I've been there a few times now and it's always a fun getaway with a different feel than going to the mountains.