West coast going south without going to the SW desert
We have been going to the desert SW for several years and we are becoming bored with it. Any suggestions - maybe towards the southern California coast - for extended stays? Thanks
San Diego is really nice! Great weather and beaches. Not much free camping or boondocking though. Close to the populated coastal areas camping prices rise and availability drops. State parks can be very busy places. RV resorts are expensive.
Thanks Ray. The coast from San Simeon and south was my initial thought, followed by somewhere between San Diego and Anza Borrego.
Not knowing the size of your rig, I’ll give you a general answer. For the California coast, timing is everything! I hate to say it but without reservations, June, July and August are tough months. September and October are much better and the weather is awesome!! Cool nights, warm days.
There is little in the way of boondocking along the coast, so campgrounds are the go-to. There are some state campgrounds in San Simeon, but once you get into Big Sur and south to Ventura and LA counties, pickings are slim.
In San Diego County, there is Carlsbad State Beach and Silver Strand State Beach, but they’re typically booked up in the summer. Campland By the Bay in San Diego’s Mission Bay is very popular, but spaces are on top of each other and the place is crazy busy with kids and families.
Between the coast and Borrego, Mt. Laguna has various USFS campgrounds and one state park campground. Most take reservations, but typically they are older campgrounds with smaller, uneven spaces and pit toilets.
One local secret is Santee Lakes Campground, inland by maybe 20 miles from the San Diego coast. It’s owned by a local water district and is well maintained. They have both daily and monthly rates.
Being San Diego locals, we typically escape up US395 to the Eastern Sierra or head to the Arizona/Utah border area in the summer. The Arizona Strip and the north rim of the Grand Canyon have some unbelievable boondocking opportunities in the pine forests. If you like the summer heat with a lake, Lake Powell is the place. Same goes for Sand Hollow SP in St. George, UT.
Thank you Willie. We have a 30' 5th wheel. We are actually thinking about February-March. The last several years we've been going to Palm Springs and then Yuma. Last year we did 3 months moving around Arizona and we stayed in a mix of RV parks and campgrounds. We know the weather won't be as dependable on the coast but last year in Arizona we experienced a lot of wind and freezing nights. We aren't bothered by a bit of rain (being from Oregon). Your comments about tight sites along the coast match what I've read. So far I've been focusing my research from San Simeon toward Morro Bay. Are places like Silver Strand difficult to get into in the "winter"? Thanks!
Rick - We really like Morro Dunes, great views of the rock & right next to the beach. Morro Strand state park close by is nice, as is Morro Bay State Park.
Hearst San Simeon Park is dry camping, spots are very close together, and we were told there's a theft problem there.
If you head south into the LA area, make sure you check out Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground off the 10/210 freeways in San Dimas. It is truly a diamond in the rough; green grass, cliff spots with great views and a lake. We went there for a Grand Design rally, and really liked the park.
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