South Carlsbad State Beach – North End Review

California beach camping seems to be a basket of mixed good.  Our trip to Carpentaria State Beach showed us how small a camping site could be.  Our trip to South Carlsbad State Beach showed exactly how awesome a campsite could be if you are ok being up on a cliff.

Our site – from tree to shining tree.

What do I mean by that? Well the sites in South Carlsbad are huge, but you are perched up on a cliff overlooking the beach and the ocean.  This is good or bad depending on what you really want.  Good because you have a campsite along the coast, bad because you have to tromp through the camping ground to find a stairway that leads to the beach.

View from the beach looking up to the campground.

Our site, site 10, was considered a premium, oceanfront spot with no hookups.  We paid $50 per night.  This seemed a little steep, price wise, for a spot that offered you a fire pit and a table.  Then I watched my first sunset form the site and realized you can put a price on the beauty that takes your breath away. 

Ocean Sunset

The reality of it is, the campground facilities were clean, the staff friendly and helpful.  The general store sold a wide range of fun stuff, camping related stuff and practical stuff.  The other RVers, for the most part, were considerate of the quiet hours.  As with every campground I’ve been in, there was that guy who brought his guitar and found it necessary to sing through the night.  Yes, I went to sleep listening to a bastardized version of the Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”   Fitting I know.

Fire Pit and Table $50/Night

If you have the chance and want to experience Southern California coastal camping, where you aren’t piled on top of each other, try South Carlsbad State Beach – North End.  The campground can accommodate anything from tent setups to good sized RVs. The max trailer length is 35’ which is good size for coastal camping in Southern California.

All in all, it was worth it.

Make reservations at California State Park Reservation website