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Camping between Dana Point & SD

Old 03-22-18, 11:41 PM
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mwilliamson1
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Camping between Dana Point & SD

Where do you camp between Dana Point and San Diego?

From what I am reading online, the state parks don't seem to have hiker/biker sites in South Carlsbad SB and San Elijo SB. Those are the ACA campground suggestions for the route. Am I missing something? Do you have some other suggestions? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help or information.
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Old 03-23-18, 05:40 AM
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I'm pretty sure I stayed at San Elijo in October of 2016 and they had HB sites. Not sure if it's changed since then though.
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Old 03-23-18, 09:04 AM
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Stealth/ wild camping
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Old 03-23-18, 10:08 AM
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I'm not aware that any state/federal campgrounds in So California that have hiker/biker sites (and their discounted rates). You'll either have to pay the full 'car camper' fee or stealth camp. Another option I've used to keep costs down is hostels; a lot of them are on Booking.com. Check with each one as they provide different services - some require you bring sleeping linens (or a sleeping bag) and/or a towel, etc.

FWIW: These day I'm a 'whimp' - I like doing credit card touring and staying at hostel or hotel at night.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:43 AM
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Stay at a Hostel? one in San Pedro still there?
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Old 03-23-18, 11:52 AM
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Here is your best option: Hike and Bike Camping (San Elijo hike and bike).

Other than that, along the coast its tough for that stretch. Camp Pendleton limits everything and then stealth camping is not a very good option unless you want to just roll the dice of an encounter with homeless, police, or landowners. Churches might be an option though.

That said, inland and a few places more along the coast there are some viable stealth camping options if you go in after dark and get out before dawn (and keep the lights off). You just really need to know the area. I can PM you some possible sites if you're interested in that.
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Old 03-23-18, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Stay at a Hostel? one in San Pedro still there?
I can't say specifically what's in San Pedro, but there are quite a few along the coast in Southern California. It wouldn't be a problem arranging a trip along the coastal route using hostels each night. Some are even associated with hotels, so if you had a tough day and were just not up to the communal living style of a hostel that specific night you could opt for a regular hotel room (and its increased cost).
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Old 03-23-18, 01:58 PM
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You could always ask politely to share an already occupied site, say one that has a nice couple in a massive RV. They have the RV, and you set up your little tent outside. Even if you are turned down, odds are that you will find someone willing to share pretty quickly.

Some of the state parks also have group sites, and the leader may be willing to let you share that site with the rest of the group for a quick overnight stay.
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Old 03-23-18, 02:07 PM
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1986 I helped lead, a AYH arranged/reservation scheduled tour for teens, a mix of Hostels , and camping..
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Old 03-24-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I'm not aware that any state/federal campgrounds in So California that have hiker/biker sites (and their discounted rates). You'll either have to pay the full 'car camper' fee or stealth camp. Another option I've used to keep costs down is hostels; a lot of them are on Booking.com. Check with each one as they provide different services - some require you bring sleeping linens (or a sleeping bag) and/or a towel, etc.

FWIW: These day I'm a 'whimp' - I like doing credit card touring and staying at hostel or hotel at night.
There are many hiker-biker sites inland from the coast in Southern CA; it's just the beach HB sites that turned into de facto homeless camps with the attendant problems that led to the closures of most of them. Since the inland ones are away from urban areas, they don't have that problem and remain open.
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Old 03-24-18, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
There are many hiker-biker sites inland from the coast in Southern CA; it's just the beach HB sites that turned into de facto homeless camps with the attendant problems that led to the closures of most of them. Since the inland ones are away from urban areas, they don't have that problem and remain open.
I thought most were simply changed to RV-oriented sites since RV owners will pay big bucks to 'camp' near (or on) the beach. I've seen some RV campsites for around $100/night, the cost of a basic hotel/motel room, and when you figure the RV owner is probably making payments on the RV too, its an expensive combo vs using hotels or just basic car camping with a tent while traveling.

The homeless still try to camp on the beaches here in Orange County, but the local LEOs are pretty well versed in their stealth camping tactics and kicking them off.
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Old 03-25-18, 01:51 PM
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Because of the homeless, you have to ask about the HB sites. If they have space the head ranger might approve you.

If you go downtown, try here: https://www.hiusa.org/hostels/califo...diego/downtown
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Old 03-25-18, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I thought most were simply changed to RV-oriented sites since RV owners will pay big bucks to 'camp' near (or on) the beach. I've seen some RV campsites for around $100/night, the cost of a basic hotel/motel room, and when you figure the RV owner is probably making payments on the RV too, its an expensive combo vs using hotels or just basic car camping with a tent while traveling.

The homeless still try to camp on the beaches here in Orange County, but the local LEOs are pretty well versed in their stealth camping tactics and kicking them off.
At least at San Clemente and San Onofre, the HB sites were just on a bit of open ground that they put a table and fire ring onto, not a complete campsite with vehicle parking, much less RV pullthru or hookups. Nothing prevents any of the beach campgrounds from doing the same sort of setup to create HB sites except the prejudice against them from the past homeless troubles. The inland state parks have much the same setup as far as the ones I've seen, too. Perris Lake SRA just has a table next to the horseshoe pits, Silverwood SRA has some little walk in spots off in a corner, while the two campgrounds in Cuyamaca SP will let you camp in their picnic areas if you set up your tent near dusk and take it down reasonably early in the morning. That's a really nice way to do it, since the picnic areas are at least several hundred meters from the busy and noisy main campground, but still have their own restrooms with flush toilets, and showers are within walking distance. The beach campgrounds are extremely cramped for space except for San Onofre.
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