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San Diego Camping

San Diego Camping Overview

San Diego

Campgrounds in San Diego number in the hundreds. Find San Diego campgrounds with conveniences like flush toilets and showers, as well as popular and unique campgrounds to help you narrow the choice. These include State Parks, State Beaches, National Forests, State Forests, County Parks and privately owned camping resorts. Camping in San Diego varies from beach camping to the mountains surrounding Julian and several recreational lakes. San Diego campgrounds of notable interest include San Elijo Campground for its amazing surf breaks, Observatory Campground for its telescope-friendly portion of camp, William Heise Campground situated near Julian and Agua Caliente Campground with its natural hot springs. We've included as much detail as possible so you have a better idea of what to expect and whether camping reservations are required in advance.

PETS: Dogs are allowed at almost all campgrounds but must be kept on a leash, picked up after, and never left unattended. Most beach camping allows dogs in the campground but not on the beach.

pdf CAMPING CHECKLIST - download our checklist of common camping supplies and you won't forget anything at home.

REI - rents camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, lanterns and more.

Looking for some late night campsite entertainment? Check out www.seasky.org for their celestial calendar including meteor showers.

Beach Camping

San Onofre State Park Campground is located off both Christianitos and Basilone Road exits off Interstate 5. Choose from 2 campgrounds. San Mateo Campground off the Christianitos exit offers 149 campsites for tent and RV camping. Campground resides inland from beach, but a paved bike path leads to Trestles, one of California's best surf breaks. Campground amenities include a small convenience store. San Onofre Campground off the Basilone exit offers 176 campsites atop a bluff. Few campsites have direct oceanviews. San Onofre has a huge sandy beach that's good for swimming and surfing and is accessible by several dirt trails. Amenities for both camps include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. Reservations required.

San Mateo Creek Campground
830 Cristianitos Road
San Clemente, California 92672
(949) 492-4872
Map San Mateo

San Onofre Campground
Basilone Road
San Clemente, California 92672
(949) 492-4872
Map San Onofre
Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Guajome Campground is located off Highway 76 midway between Interstates 5 and 15. The park is situated in the middle of urban sprawl, but offers many rural activities including hiking, camping, fishing and horseback riding. an historic adobe structure resides within the park. Shore fishing is available at a very small lake. Campground features 35 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station. Reservations recommended.

Guajome Campground
3000 Guajome Lake Road
Oceanside, California 92057
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


South Carlsbad State Beach

South Carlsbad Campground is located off Tamarack Avenue south of Palomar Airport Road exit, off Interstate 5. Campsites are located atop a bluff with several staircases that lead to wide sandy beaches below. Carlsbad State Beach has some of the best beach camping in Southern California. Campsites are huge to accommodate motorhomes and are separated by tall shrubs. Most campsites feature expansive oceanviews. An on-site general store offers firewood, a laundromat, board rentals and other supplies. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. Reservations required.

TIP: You're going to want an oceanfront spot at this park. They're very popular and reserve up many months in advance even in winter. Some oceanfront spots have no campsites across from them, which adds a little more privacy. These spots include 62, 156 through 179 and 186 through 193.

South Carlsbad State Beach Campground
7201 Carlsbad Blvd
Carlsbad, California 92008
(760) 438-3143
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Eli Howard Surf School, San Elijo State Beach

San Elijo Campground is located off Interstate 5 south of the Encinitas Boulevard exit on Highway 101. Pronounced San A-lee-ho, this campground is situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just a short distance from San Elijo Lagoon and the ever-popular town of Solana Beach. Descend steps to a narrow beach offering swimming and surfing with an adjacent reef that's popular with snorkelers and divers. Several great surf breaks are situated along San Elijo's shoreline and the big wave producing Swamis is a short distance north of the park. This is one of the best campgrounds for beach camping and surfing in Southern California. Campsites are large to accommodate motorhomes and separated by tall shrubs. Many campsites feature expansive oceanviews. An on-site general store offers firewood, a laundromat, board rentals and supplies. A food stand offers huge breakfast burritos, local steamed clams and more. Eli Howard Surf School is located within the campground. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. Some campsites have power and water hookups. Reservations required.

TIP: You're going to want an oceanfront spot at this park. They're very popular and reserve up many months in advance, even in winter. Also, the day-use parking is located to the north which adds traffic through the northern portion of the campground.

San Elijo State Beach Campground
2050 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007
(760) 753-5091
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Silver Strand Campground is located 4.5 miles south of the upscale city of Coronado on Highway 75. Silver Strand is basically a long sandbar that separates San Diego Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. This is a long, wide beach with volleyball nets, fire rings, camp spots, public restrooms and showers. Beaches on the harbor and ocean sides are separated by pedestrian tunnels that go underneath the roadway. Activities include surfing, swimming, beach camping, sunbathing, fishing, water-skiing, volleyball, biking, skating, boating and beach parties. Campground features over 100 campsites for RVs and trailers with self contained systems only. Restrooms are shared with day use beach goers. Reservations recommended.

Silver Strand State Beach Campground
5000 Highway 75
Coronado, California 92118
(619) 435-5184
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Palomar Mountain Camping

Palomar Mountain Campground is located east of Pala off Highway 76. Nestled in a conifer forest resembling Sierra Nevada terrain, Palomar Mountain offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Small 30 site campground accommodates tents and small RVs. Campground has running water, flush toilets and showers. Activities include picnicking, hiking and fishing. Several hiking trails branch out from the campground leading to nature trails and panoramic lookouts.

Palomar Mountain State Park Campground
Highway 76
Pala, California 92059
(760) 742-3462
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Observatory Campground is located east of Pala off Highway 76. Camp is nestled in a conifer forest resembling Sierra Nevada terrain. Being only two miles from the Palomar Observatory, this camp caters to amateur astronomers with telescope-friendly portions of camp. Non-astronomers are welcomed to join in The Explore the Stars Program. Campground features 42 campsites for tents and small RVs. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. Campsites are First-come first-served.

Observatory Campground
35899 Canfield Road
Palomar Mountain, California 92060
(858) 673-6180
Map  |   No Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Wild Rose

Oak Grove Campground is located south of Aguanga off Highway 79, east of Temecula. Camp is nestled among shade-bearing oak trees. Campground offers 81 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring with grill, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. Campsites are First-come first-served.

Oak Grove Campground
Highway 79
Aguanga, California 92536
(858) 673-6180
Map  |   No Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Dos Picos Campground is located off Highway 67 northeast of Poway. This small county park is nestled among oak trees and centrally located near several fishing lakes. Nature walks, camping, picnicking and fishing are popular activities. Campground features 75 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station. Reservations recommended.

Dos Picos Campground
17953 Dos Picos Park Road
Ramona, California 92065
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


La Jolla Indian Campground is located east of Pala off Highway 76. Situated on an Indian reservation with the San Luis Rey River running through it, one of La Jolla's most popular activities is inner-tubing when the river is high enough. Campground features campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, porta-potties and showers. General store and inner-tube rentals available on-site. Reservations recommended.

La Jolla Indian Campground
22000 Hwy 76
Pauma Valley, CA 92061
(760) 742-1297
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Lake Henshaw Campground is located off Highway 76 east of Pala. Camp is nestled among shade-bearing oak trees along side a large recreational lake. Activities include boating, fishing, hiking, swimming and more. Facilities include a marina with boat rentals and bait, a swimming pool, grocery store, restaurant and laundry room. This campground by the lake offers 95 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring with grill, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. Reservations recommended.

Lake Henshaw Campground
26439 Highway 76
Santa Ysabel, California 92070
(760) 782-3487
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Julian Camping

William Heise County Park

William Heise Campground is located off Highway 94 west of Campo. Heise park is located among oak trees and rolling hills near the beautiful town of Julian and only minutes from Lake Cuyamaca, one of San Diego County's most productive fishing lakes. Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming and sightseeing. Heise is considered to be San Diego County's most beautiful park. Campground features 103 campsites for tent and RV camping and 6 wilderness cabins. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV electric hookups and dump station. Reservations recommended.

TIP: Choice spots include 8, 10 & 11 for RV requiring electric hookups and 23, 24, 31, 39, 40 (pull through), 46, 48 and 56 for tent and RV camping. Tent campsites 62 through 103 are tightly packed and grouped in bunches.

William Heise Campground
4945 Heise Park Road
Julian, California 92036
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Lake Cuyamaca

Cuyamaca Rancho Campground is located on Highway 79 between Highway 78 and Interstate 8, south of Julian. Lake Cuyamaca is located in a forest of oaks & pines with beautiful meadows and streams. The nearby Lake Cuyamaca offers swimming, boating and fishing. Other activities include mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and more. Two campgrounds offer a total of 166 campsites for tent and RV camping, and several wilderness cabins. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump stations at both camps. Reservations recommended.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Campground
12551 Highway 79
Descanso, California 91916
Reservations: (800) 444-7275
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Agua Caliente Campground is located south of Highway 78 along Road S2, southeast of Julian. This large county park is best known for its natural mineral springs. Several hot springs are located throughout the park that are naturally heated to 90 degrees or more. Hiking, camping, picnicking and wild flower viewing are popular activities. Campground features 140 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and spring-fed thermal showers. RV dump station. No Pets allowed. Reservations recommended.

Agua Caliente Campground
39555 Road S2
Borrego Springs, California 92004
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Campground Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Mt. Laguna Camping

Burnt Rancheria Campground, Mt. Laguna

Burnt Rancheria Campground is located off Interstate 8 just east of the Highway 79 turnoff, on the Sunrise Highway. Camp is nestled in a mixed conifer and oak forest on Mount Laguna. The Visitor Center on Mount Laguna offers free tickets for 'Star Parties', an opportunity to observe space from the Mount Laguna Observatory. Campground features 111 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring with grill, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. A general store and Visitor Center are located within walking distance north on the Sunrise Highway. Reservations recommended.

Burnt Rancheria Campground
Road S1 (Sunrise Highway)
Mount Laguna, California 91948
(877) 444-6777
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Laguna Campground is located off Interstate 8 just east of the Highway 79 turnoff, on the Sunrise Highway. Camp is nestled in a mixed conifer and oak forest on Mount Laguna. The Visitor Center on Mount Laguna offers free tickets for 'Star Parties', an opportunity to observe space from the Mount Laguna Observatory. Campground features 104 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. A general store is located just a short distance south near the Visitor Center. Reservations recommended.

TIP: campsites 12 through 15 in Meadow Loop offer beautiful views of Laguna Meadow.

Laguna Campground
Road S1 (Sunrise Highway)
Mount Laguna, California 91948
(877) 444-6777
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Inland San Diego Camping

Wild Turkeys

Lake Dixon Campground is located near the intersection of Highway 78 and Interstate 15, in north Escondido. Lake Dixon offers camping, picnicking, boating and fishing opportunities. Boat rentals available. This campground by the lake features 47 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers.

Lake Dixon Campground
1700 North La Honda Drive
Escondido, California 92027
Reservations: (760) 741-3328
Map  |   Reserve by Phone  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Lake Jennings Campground is located off Interstate 8 northeast of El Cajon. The small Lake Jennings Park offers hiking, camping, picnicking and fishing opportunities while remaining close to densely populated regions. This campground by the lake features 96 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station. Reservations recommended.

Lake Jennings Campground
10108 Bass Road
Lakeside, California 92040
(619) 390-1623
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Sweetwater Summit Campground is located off Highway 54 east of Interstate 805. This large county park offers hiking, camping, picnicking, mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities while remaining close to densely populated regions. Campground features 60 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station. Reservations recommended.

Sweetwater Summit Campground
3218 Summit Meadow Road
Bonita, California 91902
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Poison Oak

Lake Morena Campground is located off Interstate 8 and south on Buckhorn Springs Road. This large county park offers hiking, camping, picnicking, boating and fishing opportunities. Boat rentals available. This campground by the lake features 86 campsites for tent and RV camping and a limited number of cabins. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. Reservations recommended.

Lake Morena Campground
2550 Lake Morena Drive
Campo, California 91906
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Potrero Campground is located off Highway 94 west of Campo. Located among oak trees and rolling hills, Potrero is only minutes from the Mexican border town of Tecate. Activities include camping, picnicking and hiking. Campground features 39 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a fire ring, picnic table, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station nearby. Reservations recommended.

Potrero Campground
24800 Potrero Park Drive
Potrero, California 91963
Reservations: (877) 565-3600
Map  |   Campground Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

National Forest Camping

Primitive and developed camping from Corona in the north, south to Mexican border. Most offer a table, fire ring and vault toilets. Many do not have running water. Reservations required at some campgrounds.

Cleveland National Forest
10845 Rancho Bernardo Road
Suite 200
San Diego, California 92127
(858) 673-6180
Website  |   Other Ideas

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