Margo A.


Creston, CA

Joined September 2020

Retired traveler

Day Use Only

This beautiful 40 acre oceanside park is perfect for hanging out by the beach for a picnic or bbq, play volleyball on 3 courts take to the water in a wind or kite surfer, outrigger and canoeing. The white sand beach is surrounded by trees and bike paths. A lifeguard office is manned and equipped for rescue. Outdoor showers and water taps available and there are 4 parking lots with 189 parking spaces.

Day Use Only

Red Rock day use campground is adjacent to the Santa Ynez River and has high rocks for jumping into the water. There are 28 sites with picnic tables and vault toilets. This area is found by taking Highway 154 N. Out of Santa Barbara and turn right on Paradise Road for several miles. Vehicle fees are 10-50$ depending on the size of the vehicle. Summer temperatures are over 100° but it’s very popular due to the fog that comes in to Santa Barbara in the summer. Usually you can find young people with music blasting, drinking beer jumping off rocks.

Great Family Camping

We took 2 small children in a rented camper and went to this lake in a recommendation from friends in Mt. Shasta .. we were not disappointed! They were plenty of trees in the campground everybody was friendly, short walk with our water toys to the nice sandy beach and lake. We rented kayaks One day and the next we rented a pontoon boat and our friends joined us. We found a rope swing hanging on a tree and tied up and did some rope swing fun into the lake. We also enjoyed a short drive up to Castle lake at a higher elevation a lot less people not much sand but really nice for a picnic lunch. Everybody really had a great time.

Bring your ATV join

Turkey Flat is a great place for groups to camp and drink beer around a fire. Wake up and fire up those off - road vehicles and maybe take a gun out to where they hunt turkeys or wild boar. It’s pretty removed from and residential developments so noise is no problem! 2 Vault toilets, picnic tables, no water, 20$ overnite/10$ day use, first come first served

Camping, Fishing, Boating, and Riding Horses at Santa Margarita Lake

Santa Margarita Lake is a lovely, quiet medium size lake used for drinking water in San Luis Obispo County, Los Padres National Forest. There are 60 campsites; 54 tent/RV, 2 Boat-in and 4 horse camps. There is a playground and a pool available in summer as swimming in the lake is not allowed. Canoe/boat rentals are available as well as a launch ramp and marina store. This lake is popular with smaller fishing and recreational boats. Amenities include flush toilets in main camp, picnic table, fire pits but no hook ups. Reservations are online except for horse camps which require a phone call to County Parks 805-788-2387, fees run 38$-36$ per night.

A little bit of everything ..

The first time I went to Lake San Antonio was with a birdwatching group looking for bald eagles. It was another hot summer and the water level of the lake was low. That didn’t deter the eagles as they flew across the lake to try to dive down and catch a fish. San Antonio Lake is 17 miles long and narrow with both north shore and south shore campgrounds. The South Shore Campground has more amenities such as flushing toilets, showers and a marina, launch ramp and boat rentals. There are 4 group sites with hookups and 3 large family campgrounds each with 100 or more sites. Only sites with hookups can be reserved. Fishing can be good with lots of striped bass in the lake. Fees include 15$ per car/boat. Currently the lake is open but the campgrounds have closed at various times due to the fires in Monterey County. Summer droughts can reduce water levels significantly. Check the status prior to visiting at 805-472-4311 or Monterey County Parks website.

Camping by the Beach

I lived in Ventura County for many years and this beach/campground was always a favorite. Separated from the ocean by a sand spit, the campground has hot showers, fire rings, pets allowed and more. Known for great fishing and birdwatching, the beach also had gorgeous sunsets. Reservations are suggested. At this writing the park is closed due to flood damage. Four stars due to homeless like this place and it closes often.

Camping, fishing, boating and a water park

Casitas Lake near Ojai in Ventura County has something for everyone, especially parents with children off from school in the summertime. The campgrounds are spacious and clean and there are at least six different types from basic tent on dirt all the way up to executive motorhome with all hook ups. Prices vary from 35 to 55$ for tents on dirt to 65-75$ for RVs with hook ups.There is also a charge for a vehicle, boat, pet, etc. The highlight for families though is the waterpark. Open during the summer, it’s perfect for the younger kids when it’s hot.Always check current Covid restrictions as most water parks are closed.

Backpack campground

Took the ferry from Vermillion Resort/Campground to the other end of Edison Lake to begin a weeklong hike into the Sierras. The campground at the east end of the lake is simple, mostly backpackers and a nice lake view. Beware store your food in bear boxes this is bear country .

Vermillion Campground at Lake Edison

Being at Lake Edison and Vermillion Campground is like being at the top of the world. It’s a rigorous climb up a one lane bumpy road once you travel past the paved road but it’s worth it. The campground is near to the Vermillion Resort (with a restaurant and store )and Edison Lake. Trailheads begin here and hikers can also take a small ferry to the other end if the lake for easy access into the Sierra mountains and many small lakes. The camp sites are gravelly with pine trees with nice lake views .. the lake goes down near Labor Day as it is used for electricity. Don’t expect cell service, or much in the way of comfort amenities.28$ single 48$ double and 10$ each vehicle . Closed in late fall/winter.

Kings Canyon Campgrounds

Of all the places we took our kids on their first camping road trip (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone etc)it was right here in California that they found their favorite here at Kings; big trees ( and fallen giants you could walk through) cave tours, hikes, rivers .. they loved it. So much to cover its best to go to and choose your camp area. Highly recommended by this family !

Camping by Lake Nacimiento

This lake and the one up the road, San Antonio Lake , are very popular motor boating locations in north San Luis Obispo County. Camping in the summer months are very hot and crowded and not cheap. On the positive side, the lake is huge with narrow passages where you can get off the main lake and fish or just have fun. Jet skis, kayaks etc are permitted. There is a beach for kids near the marina area campground. The campground is part of the private Lake Nacimiento Resort located near the marina and extends along the shore toward the dam with various types of sites. Some sites have direct access to your temporarily moored boat. It gets a bit noisy in the evening as college students party after a long fun day on the lake. All services are available even a store. Three stars for noise and crowds and prices ( tents 35$ hookups 50$, plus pet fee, vehicle fee,etc.)

Dirt Camping along the Colorado River

If you’re looking for dirt camping along the Colorado River and amazing Red Rock cliffs before you head into Moab for some great local beer, this is the place. First come first serve, tents only, 20$. Toilets but No water or hook ups.. Don’t go in the river…this reviewer nearly got washed away.

Camping on Mount Pinos

It’s been awhile since I camped on Mt. Pinos but it was a very memorable experience. I went with a group to bird watch and hike .. gorgeous meadows and views, nice temps in summer, and astronomy groups set up in the peak that welcome you to look at Saturn. A great place to walk, mountain bike, camp and in winter it snows .. you can pull off the hey and make a snowman at the base in winter. Camping was easy and plenty of room. Pit toilets and some people may be sensitive to the nearly 9000 ft elevation but it’s worth a trip up.

Tent and Group Horse Camping

Montana de Oro is a beautiful treasure located along a wild coastline, sand dunes, tall peaks and high cliffs above beautiful beaches. Tent camping is limited but the availability of group horse camping is a rare treat. With pipe corrals, pit toilets and trails to the ocean, these site are primitive but worth it. The park has plenty of sun and shade, with mostly eucalyptus trees, great hiking trails and a beach with car parking that is popular with tourists and a few secret beaches locals know. Wildflowers abound in the spring and a car friendly paved road takes to the end and back with plenty of bathrooms and a State Park office/store you can get maps and tips.

Morro Bay Strand State Park Campground

You can’t get much closer to the beach than this campground in Morro Bay. Located just off Highway One between Morro Bay and Cayucos, the grounds look somewhat like a parking lot with trees and shrubs separating it from the sand dunes and the ocean. RV parking is basically a parking space whereas tent camping is along the dunes with protection from large shrub trees to keep the wind down. There are two large restrooms and a camp hosts. Bike trails head out at each end and breaks in the trees allow direct path access to the beach. This is not comfy cozy camping, but if you like the beach and crashing waves this is the place. Close to restaurants and stores, the fishing town of Morro Bay and the small coastal gem of Cayucos. Reservations made on the State website ..35$ tent/50$hook I have were taken when closed due to Covid in June 2020. Four stars for lack of showers but flush toilets are a plus.

Solo or family friendly campground by Shaver Lake

As a solo traveler, seeking a camping spot in the mountains near Shaver Lake, Dorabelle Campground was recommended to me by a long time local. I made a reservation after looking over maps to ensure walking distance to lake for swimming and fishing. A fairly close rest room was important too. I reserved a corner space with a nearby toilet and water spigot. I was please to find the walk to the lake was less than 5 minutes. What really impressed me was 1. Very friendly check in kiosk (who gave me fresh grapes) . 2. Very clean, including the restrooms . 3. My campsite was large , clean, with sunny and shade spots and separated from other sites by trees . The cove is wonderful for swimming and mostly kayaks/SUP with plenty of beach space, water temp was perfect . Happy campers all, one lady let me use her kayak. The cost to camp is very reasonable at 35$ for a big tent site compared to the larger more commercial campground up the road. Yes, smaller with narrow one way roads, but quiet at night, easy access from Shaver Lake businesses and food and nicely kept sites. I’ve been camping for 50 years and I haven’t come home and raved about a campground in a long time ! A four star rating for lack of showers/place to wash dishes.