Click to enlarge this Washburn Primitive Campground on the hill top and
the road up to it at Hearst San Simeon California State Park aerial photo.
Description: Washburn Primitive Campground uses the same entrance and kiosk as San Simeon Creek Campground; Washburn Campground is about a mile further inland so it is about 3 miles from Cambria and 6 miles south from the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument Visitor Center. These primitive campsites are 1 mile inland from the beach on a plateau with views of the Santa Lucia Mountains as well as the Pacific Ocean and California Coast. Washburn campground facilities include a fire ring and picnic table at each campsite; communal drinking water spigots, chemical toilets and an RV sewer dump station and water fill-up. Campsites $20.00 per night peak season. Fees include entry for 1 vehicle and 1 legally towed vehicle or trailer, additional vehicles will be charged $10.00 per day.
Location: Washburn campground is a little less than a mile past the San Simeon Creek Campground which is approximately 100 miles south of Carmel or 5 miles south of Hearst Castle State Historic Monument or 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo or 2 miles from Cambria just off the Pacific Coast Highway 1. This campground is approximately 1 mile inland from the beach on a plateau overlooking the Santa Lucia Mountains as well as the Pacific Ocean; 35.594721,-121.113628.
Directions: Since they share the same entrance directions for the entrance to Washburn Campground are the same as for San Simeon Creek Campground is just west of Van Gordon Creek Road off San Simeon Creek Road, just 1,000 yards off the Pacific Coast Highway 1. So you get to the campground following the Pacific Coast Highway 1 either 3 miles south of San Simeon Acres (the group of motels south of Hearst Castle) or 2 miles north of Cambria and turn east (inland) on San Simeon Creek Road for 1,000 yards; the campground entrance is well marked on the right (just west of Van Gordon Creek Road). Stay to the left after the kiosk and just follow the signs past the RV dump station the Washburn Campground is on the hilltop about ¾ mile further down the road.
Camping Facilities: Washburn Primitive Campground has about 70 ocean bluff top campsite each with a pull in pad, campfire ring and picnic table; water spigots and chemical toilets are reasonably close; campers are also allowed use of the RV dump station and fill up water hookup. Overnight fee is $20.00.
Click for a large file of this colorful fiery sunset photograph taken at Washburn Primitive Campground.
Activities: Outdoor recreational opportunities abound at Hearst San Simeon State Park. Camping is paramount the campground environment is long established native trees and shrubs providing some privacy and the large campfire pits bring the camping groups together and there is all the necessary for camping support either on site or nearby. When you leave the campground there is wildlife and other nature related study to be enjoyed everywhere, there is a nice beach and self guided interpretative nature trails photo opportunities around every corner. Besides the self guided nature trails there are sometimes ranger guided hikes or for groups they can be arranged; for the younger set there is a Junior Ranger Program with regular talks and activities. The ocean and beach areas are expansive, inviting and for most, accessible for exploration and enjoyment; beachcombing, picture taking, surf fishing, bird and whale watching just to mention a few of the possible outdoor recreational opportunities.
the include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, surfing, beachcombing, bird watching and whale watching. The Junior Ranger Program is a regularly scheduled interpretive program for children. Interpretive walks of the San Simeon Trail may also be available.
Click to enlarge this Hearst Castle photograph, visitor point of interest near San Simeon Creek Campground.
Close by Points of Interest: There are too many places and opportunities to include here but just to begin very close by to the north is Hearst Castle, San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst State Beach, the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse and Elephant Seal Rookery, to the south is the tourist friendly village of Cambria and just inland is a completely different climate and great wine country.
Pets & Misc. Regulations: Pets are banned from the beach to protect the snowy plovers. All pets must be in a tent or vehicle during the night and in the immediate control of the owner at all times. During the day pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet. They are not permitted on trails or on the beach in San Simeon State Park.
Helpful Hints: Watch for poison oak and ticks. This coastal climate on the cool, moist and breezy side requires layering of clothing for comfort.
Click for larger California coastal photos and information at California Coastline Records Project Website.
Washburn Primitive Campground at Hearst San Simeon State Park (San Simeon State Park)
Phone: 805-927-2035 or
500 San Simeon Creek Rd
Cambria CA, 93428
Van Gordon Creek Road at San Simeon Creek Road;
Reservations: Campground Reservations can be made from March 15 to September 30 by calling 1-800-444-PARK (7275).
Recreational Activities: camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, beachcombing, jogging, kite flying, bird watching and whale watching, horseshoe pitching; Junior Ranger Program; interpretive walks of the San Simeon Trail may also be available.