Campground Suggestions - March -SoCal - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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We are fairly new to camping here. I know the state parks open reservations for March tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions of good places for a weekend camp in March (state park or otherwise)? Anywhere in the SoCal area is good (meaning Carpinteria area south to the border and inland.)

We live in Orange County (between LA and San Diego) and are looking for driveable distances and nice weather. Good time to hit the deserts perhaps?

Thanks!
-michelle
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:54 PM   #2
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Can't beat San Elijo, SP hanging on the cliff. I like sites around #149

Carpinteria we all loved as well. While the camping is just an old parking lot you were right on the ocean and absolutely had a great time in the lil town.

Imagine they'd be a bit chilly in March, but gorgeous chilly beach walking can be a good thing.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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We stayed at Carpinteria State Park when we wanted to see things around Santa Barbara. These are the options we had in 2006: Gaviota SP, Refugio State Beach & El Capitán SB but no dump stations and Carpinteria SB nice one with long beach area & a dump site.

Then we wanted to be near Malibu. Near but not too close to Malibu: Point Mugu SP also nice but small beach, Leo Carrillo SP excellent & with nice tide pools & Wi-Fi Service but small rocky beach. We stayed at Carpinteria and Point Mugu that summer, and have stayed at Leo Carrillo and Refugio earlier years.

Closer to Malibu: Point Dume SB & Zuma County Beach seem to have some camping in or by them if memory serves, we have stopped at Point Dume with its nice sand beach but not camped.

Leo Carrillo's campground and Point Mugu Sycamore campground are in wooded canyons up from the beach areas, Mugu has some beach camping as well off a roadway parking area type.

We also stayed at McGrath State Park between Ventura and Oxnard in 2006. A very nice campground with trees & shade, a wooded, bamboo area with trails. A small river running by not far, not too neat a river. The the real downside, it is a long walk to the beach and the beach is not a nice one at all. It has a nice campground, not bunched up, sadly the beach was dangerous at best, with coarse broken shell-sand and very steep bank/drop off to the water. Lot of sand dunes getting to the beach. No Photos of the beach.

McGarth was a good place to base for seeing Ventura & Oxnard. We enjoyed it there as we did Carp and Mugu. We drove to the Getty Villa from Mugu. But Carrillo might be a nicer place to try of the two. But Mugu is close enough to see Ventura & Oxnard & Getty Villa / Malibu.

Carpinteria State Park has some parking lot like campsites, but have others that are not. The one farthest back along the park road are nicest, up on a small "bluff".

Nice tital pools off Leo Carrillo's beach, also small scale ones at Point Mugu's small but sandy beach.

This site might help: http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/California/

In Santa Barbara, we had good seafood at the FisHouse, close to the visitor information place near the wharf. Situated on Cabrillo Blvd across from East Beach and Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara FisHouse is a perfect destination for ocean-side dining, offering patio seating by an open fire pit. There is parking at the visitor center. The Wharf is in walking distance.
http://www.sbfishhouse.com/
There are also places to eat on the wharf with higher prices.

The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
Where to Find Us
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
Please note that access to the Getty Villa entrance is only from the northbound right-hand lane of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Getty Villa is on the way to Malibu on PCH in Pacific Palisades, one mile north of Sunset Boulevard. http://www.getty.edu/visit/hours/index.html
What to See
Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities arranged by themes including Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and the Theater, and Stories of the Trojan War and Roman-inspired architecture and gardens.
Admission to the Getty Villa and to all exhibitions is FREE. An advance, timed ticket is required for each adult. Each Villa general admission ticket allows you to bring up to three children ages 15 and under with you in one car. (This does not apply to tickets for events, such as lectures and performances.) Parking is $10 per car or motorcycle.
http://www.getty.edu/visit/


Photo- Point Mugu State Park
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Point_Mugu_State_Park.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:17 PM   #4
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We are fairly new to camping here. I know the state parks open reservations for March tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions of good places for a weekend camp in March (state park or otherwise)? Anywhere in the SoCal area is good (meaning Carpinteria area south to the border and inland.)

We live in Orange County (between LA and San Diego) and are looking for driveable distances and nice weather. Good time to hit the deserts perhaps?

Thanks!
-michelle


Hi Michelle

One of the campgrounds that we really like is Lake Casitas near Ventura.. close to Ojai. We have a rally there every year, in fact, the rally this year is Oct 29-Nov 2. March is a good time for camping at Lake Casitas. Here is the website. http://www.lakecasitas.info/camping.html

If you would like to join us at the rally, look on this website for rally information.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=35092



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Old 09-01-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone! I should have been more specific mentioning that we have the following reservations already setup:

Sep-San Onofre (who doesn't want to camp out at the local nuclear plant?!?!)
Oct-Pt. Mugu
Jan-Carpinteria SB

I will try San Elijo since I've always wanted to see Quail Botanical Gardens! Hopefully we can also squeeze in the Lake Casitas trip. I thought it was specifically for 'Casitas', oops! I also got one for Anza in Feb since the wolves already got all the weekend sites in March (I logged on at 7:50am!!!) Same for San Elijo, didn't get a bluff site since they were already gone at 8:01. Oh well! At least we are getting out there!

I think we will try Malibu Creek sometime late spring. It will definitely be a good hopping off point for Getty Villa which we haven't seen. When I first moved out here it was closed for renovation/repairs. I have been to Getty Center so the Villa should be equally amazing!

Thank you for the great advice! Hopefully we'll start meeting fellow fiberglass RVers! We get excited when we see the rare one on the freeway these days, hahaha!
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
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I recently camped at the Dogwood Campground in the San Bernadino's near Bluejay/Arrowhead. It's the only one up there that I know of that has sites with full hookups, really nice showers and super clean bathrooms. During the week it's really quiet up there, too.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #7
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When I was a kid (30+ years ago...) we enjoyed camping in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park - both in the improved campground and also boondocking wherever we found a nice place to park.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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Does anyone have any suggestions of good places for a weekend camp in March (state park or [b]otherwise)?
Living in San Diego, and being able to day-trip to the beach anytime, makes me less inclined to either pay an exorbitant price or attempt to "snipe" the reservations system for a "coveted" spot near the water which will be equally crowded and just as noisy as my inner city neighborhood. I prefer to get away from all that, and my favorite places to do that nearby are in The Cleveland National Forest:

Cibbets Flat US Forest Service Campground is in Southern San Diego county, just off Interstate 8 east at Kitchen Creek Road just past the Buckman Springs Rest area. It is a small campground (only 25 sites) and very popular. Since it is "1st come- 1st served" (no reservations taken), to get a spot for the weekend we have to go out there on Thursday night and I have to commute back to work on Friday.

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Oak Grove US Forest Service Campground is in Northern San Diego County. The easiest way to get there is to take I-15 to Temecula in Riverside County, and take State Route 79 South back into San Diego County. It is a larger campground (81 sites) but more off-the-beaten-path, and is almost never full - even on weekends (first-come first-served, no reservations). It is so underutilized that the camp host often closes one loop. The last time we went there, only 4 other campsites were occupied during the whole weekend.

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Neither campground has full hookups. Cibbets Flat has Vault Toilets. Oak Grove has some Vault Toilets and some Flush Toilets and sinks, but no showers. There are plenty of water spigots at both campgrounds to fill your water tank.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:40 PM   #9
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Frederick, I would agree. Those do sound like very sound advise, esc. for over a week-end.

I was thinking, is March too late for cool weather for visiting Joshua Tree National Park?

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the parks I would like to visit. We pass by the turn off on I-10 many times each year, but never gone to check it out.

I was wondering if it would be a good place for Michelle's March Trip? I am thinking it would be.

Yes - No
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:52 PM   #10
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I was thinking, is March too late for cool weather for visiting Joshua Tree National Park?
March is about the latest time I would try... April is when the desert really begins to heat up. I have been comfortable-ish in Palm Springs in March. I have gone to Palm Springs in MAY, but I have friends with Air Conditioning there...
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:34 AM   #11
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We live in Orange County (between LA and San Diego) and are looking for driveable distances and nice weather. Good time to hit the deserts perhaps?

Thanks!
-michelle
You've already booked two of our favorites, San Elijo and Carpinteria. (We're really Californians who now happen to live in Colorado.) But another suggestion was Anza-Borrego. Late February, early March should see the desert wildflowers in peak bloom---depending on rainfall.

Also check out Idyllwild State Park (which is right in town), 90 minute drive from your base. Fun little mountain village. Lots of art galleries and music, particularly during summer. But the Idyllwild S.P. is one of the state parks that the state is threatening to close for the duration. There are other federal, state and Riverside county campgrounds within a few miles too, such as Hurkey Creek.

And if you want to travel further and don't mind winter powerboat crowds, there are some beautiful campgrounds on the AZ side of the Colorado River.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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I recently camped at the Dogwood Campground in the San Bernadino's near Bluejay/Arrowhead. It's the only one up there that I know of that has sites with full hookups, really nice showers and super clean bathrooms.
It actually doesn't have FULL hook ups, but it does have water and electric sites. Unfortunately, it is a Forest Service campground and it does not open until April.

If you are interested in that area, you can try Big Bear, Serrano is open year round and practically on the lake. It has water and electric sites too.

Applewhite CG in Lytle Creek is open year round and easy to get to of the 15 at Sierra, but the locals are colorful, to say the least, be aware of your surroundings.

Also in that area, Mojave River Forks, a San Bernardino county park near Silverwood lake, and Silverwood Lake State Park itself leaves the dry camping sites open year round. MRF is out on a plateau and has very little in the way of trees in the full hook up areas, but the view is great.

Several of the campgrounds on Lake Isabella are open, as well as private parks on the Kern River above it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #13
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Living in San Diego, and being able to day-trip to the beach anytime, makes me less inclined to either pay an exorbitant price or attempt to "snipe" the reservations system for a "coveted" spot near the water which will be equally crowded and just as noisy as my inner city neighborhood. I prefer to get away from all that, and my favorite places to do that nearby are in The Cleveland National Forest:

Cibbets Flat US Forest Service Campground is in Southern San Diego county, just off Interstate 8 east at Kitchen Creek Road just past the Buckman Springs Rest area. It is a small campground (only 25 sites) and very popular. Since it is "1st come- 1st served" (no reservations taken), to get a spot for the weekend we have to go out there on Thursday night and I have to commute back to work on Friday.

Attachment 23065


Oak Grove US Forest Service Campground is in Northern San Diego County. The easiest way to get there is to take I-15 to Temecula in Riverside County, and take State Route 79 South back into San Diego County. It is a larger campground (81 sites) but more off-the-beaten-path, and is almost never full - even on weekends (first-come first-served, no reservations). It is so underutilized that the camp host often closes one loop. The last time we went there, only 4 other campsites were occupied during the whole weekend.

Attachment 23066


Neither campground has full hookups. Cibbets Flat has Vault Toilets. Oak Grove has some Vault Toilets and some Flush Toilets and sinks, but no showers. There are plenty of water spigots at both campgrounds to fill your water tank.
Oh, how I miss Cibbet Flats! This is a great little campground, the creek should be flowing nicely in March as the snow is melting from the mountains. This is highly recommended by me! The last time my friends and I stayed, the camp hosts were awesome! Very clean. I appears on the way up that there are no trees, not until you get there do you see how beautiful it is, with plenty of trees. This is definitely one of the spots I am going to stay in on my return visit in Jan/Feb.

Also more inland is the Imperial Valley, a lot of free BLM land out there, it is desert, but in March is is superb! There will be some off roading going on, so if noise (not usually excessive) bothers you, then it is not for you. It is wide open spaces and there is plenty of room to have a place to yourselves. You can google Superstition Mountains if you are interested. It is about another 30-45 minute drive from Cibbet Flats off interstate 8. Let us know where you choose to stay! Have a greate time!
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:54 PM   #14
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It actually doesn't have FULL hook ups, but it does have water and electric sites. Unfortunately, it is a Forest Service campground and it does not open until April.

Oops! My bad! Since I have traditionally tent-camped and my trailer doesn't have a bathroom I guess I forget that the sewer line is part of a full-hook-up scenario. Water AND electricity is pretty luxurious by me and having an indoor pooper . . . wow! At this point, I'm just getting used to the idea of solid walls.
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