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What it like out there...this spring: Morro Bay State Park Campground & Morro Strand State Beach Campground, San Simeon Creek Campground and Washburn Primative Campground Cambria California...

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Photo of my campsite right on the beach in the sand at Morro Strand State Beach, iconic Morro Bay Rock and Smoke Stacks in the back; click photo to enlarge.
Morro Strand Camp
Don Smith comes back from surf perch fishing, happy but no fish. Click this Morro Bay fisherman picture to enlarge.
Morro Strand SB
Morro Bay State Park Campsite photo: most campsites at Morro Bay Campground have picnic tables, fire-rings, and secure food storage like shown in the photo. Click this Morro Bay Campground campsites picture to enlarge.
Morro Bay Camp
Morro Bay State Park Campsite photo: most campsites at Morro Bay Campground have picnic tables, fire-rings, and secure food storage like shown in the photo. Click this Morro Bay Campground campsites picture to enlarge.
Morro Bay Camp
Pacific Ocean View Sunset photo with Don Smith: This California central coast vacation picture shows the beautiful sunset from my campsite table and me on the side. Click this colorful sunset campground ocean view campground campsite by the sea picture to enlarge.
Pacific Coast Sunset Selfie
Morro Bay State Park Campsite photo: most campsites at Morro Bay Campground have picnic tables, fire-rings, and secure food storage like shown in the photo. Click this Morro Bay Campground campsites picture to enlarge.
Camp Sites MB
Photograph of a warm fire burning for a camper and enjoy the warmth of the best Central California Coast campground Ponderosa Campground a USFS Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road near Army Fort Hunter Liggett; Click to enlarge this warm inviting fire at Ponderosa Campground next to the Nacimiento River invitation photo.
Photograph of a fire-ring and barbecue grill unuseable because fire restrictions no camper can enjoy the warmth a campfire or delicious food from the barbecue because of drought induced fire restrictions; Click to enlarge this sad fire restrictions campfire barbecue ban at Ponderosa Campground next to the Nacimiento River invitation photo.
Rock mountains seen from hiking trail through the Morro Bay tidal flates picture: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail in Morro Bay. Click to enlarge this photograph of a boardwalk near the Morro Bay California Marina.
Morro Bay Trail
Pretty bright yellow wildflowers seen from hiking trail through the Pinnacles National Park picture: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Pinnacles landscape. Click to enlarge these lovely wildflowers photograph.



Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.


A neat little cottontail rabbit to show how this wilderness camping area is teaming with wildlife; near Fort Hunter Liggett in the Los Padres National Forest Big Sur high country. Click to enlarge this cute bunny near to the Big Sur Escondido campground picture.

Photograph of the highway signage before entering San Simeon Creek Campground; Click to enlarge campground San Simeon Creek Road sign to locate San Simeon Creek campground photo.
San Simeon Creek Campground Sign

Enjoy the Outdoors NOW but DO BE CAREFUL! Fire restrictions may be implemented early because of drought...
Notice low fire danger; campfires, charcoal fires, portable stoves and lanterns all allowed in campgrounds and the forest. low on the coast moderate inland: click for current fire restrictions


1. San Simeon State Park Campground - Washburn Primitive Campground : FEES: starting at $20/25 for tent camps & up RVs ; over 100 campsites so there is usually room for you but you still might consider online reservations but their online reservations are not site-specific so to get a preferred site I just showed up on a week day mid-morning/mid-week. This is the campground nearest Hearst Castle and the beach is right across the highway; one of the best campground choices good for recreational vehicles up to 35 ft, there is a dump station etc.
Attention, water shortage because of drought! ATTENTION still in affect: San Simeon State Park has been declared a Stage 3 Drought Emergency. In order to meet the park's basic water needs, San Simeon has been forced to take a number of drastic measures. The showers and water faucets in the campground have been shut off. They anticipate that the permanent flushing toilets will be closed, and porta potties will be installed. CAMPERS NEED TO BRING WATER FOR CONSUMPTION, hand sanitizer set out on your table is a good idea too. The Dump Station is open for the time being. The latest water and fire restriction information; also make a campsite reservation at ReserveAmerica.
2. Morro Strand State Beach - 15th of March: I spent a night at Morro Bay’s Morro Strand Campground around the middle of March and found some things had not changed; there are still numerous tent sites right next to the beach in the stand (each with fire ring and picnic table) sheltered from the direct ocean breeze only by some scrub brush and small sand berms; one of the few places you can still camp right on the beach (tent sites are still $33.00 for seniors and $35.00 for others). There are no day use areas near the camp sites, which is nice, keeps the riffraff away; there are nice day-use areas at the very south end of Cayucos and on the Embaracadero near Morro Rock. There was no trouble finding a great spot on a Sunday afternoon and I had a fine but all to short stay the weather was nice (still you should take a kite to fly in the afternoon) but the truth is the campground was a real mess; they are just finishing up a major construction project there.
Get ready for a dream come true if you are an RV camper. The construction mess was from a whole line (about 30 new RV pull-ins) of long concrete pads with full hook-ups on each; sorry no cable but who wants to watch TV when you are on a Pacific Ocean front beach camp anyway?). New sites on the land side of the campground designed for ocean views provided to RVs up to 50 feet long. The only downside is that it will also cost you $50.00 per night but you will have to travel a long way before you will find an RV site that can compare. The state reports that the sites will be available to the public now so come and enjoy!
Also a great asset to have Morro Bay so close a short drive to play and since I didn't catch perch it was delicious fresh rock-fish and chips at Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant & Fish Market or Giovanni's Fish Market & Galley. There is also Haufbrau with the best in the world French Dip for you beef eaters and a nice bayside walking path to work off those calories.
No showers at the campground but there are flush toilets and washing sinks in the restrooms and spigots scattered around the camp also there is an outdoor shower available free by the restrooms at the rock.
Central California Coast Camping Tips:
1. Take Water: take along water and or jugs to carry and plan to purify; bottled drinking water and a big bottle of hand sanitizer for the table are good ideas too. Morro Bay State Park can provide drinking water and has showers too.
2. Go Soon As Possible: it will of course get busier as the season progresses but the real dangers of waiting are the lack of water and possible campfire and barbecue restrictions.
3. Plan Ahead, all good sites get reserved online Fridays, Saturdays and holidays: many people now reserve online if possible, this can assure you the most desirable site and keep you from being pushed out of the park back onto the highway

last spring 2015 Big Sur camping report attention graphicCastle Country Camping Update: Wildflowers are still in bloom but some hills are turning golden so get outdoors and enjoy the emerald green grass and wildflowers today! Postponing your trip until the last minute in this poor drought ridden land could cause disappointment. It is truly beautiful hurry quickly don’t miss it.
If you plan on a Memorial Day Weekend or post Memorial Day visit get your Memorial Day weekend or anytime after reservations as soon as possible; it may already be too late, most good sites are already reserved for Fridays and Saturdays, it is going to get busy and as previously mentioned fire restrictions and drought related problems will start soon (like some water restrictions are already in effect on the coast).
But do out and enjoy and appreciate the Hearst Castle Country…Happy Camping!

Big Sur California Coast camping vacation picture Pacific Coast Highway 1 San Simeon Creek Creek California State Park Campground: California camping trip vacation photo, campsite 61 San Simeon Creek campground. Click to enlarge this Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 camping San Simeon Creek California State Park campground photograph.
San Simeon Creek
Big Sur California Coast camping vacation picture Pacific Coast Highway 1 San Simeon Creek Creek California State Park Campground: California camping trip vacation photo, campsite 61 San Simeon Creek campground. Click to enlarge this Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 camping San Simeon Creek California State Park campground photograph.
Red-Tailed Hawk
Photograph of the San Simeon Creek campground at San Simeon California State Beach; click for a larger file of this aerial photograph of San Simeon Creek Campground on the beach central California coast.
Aerial San Simeon Creek Campground
Click Morro Bay Natural History Museum photo to visit museum website.
Morro Bay Museum
Campfire  picture: California camping trip vacation photo of the me by a warm fire. Click to enlarge this camping picture.
Me fire grilling a T-Bone steak. Click to enlarge this tasty meat on the firw with me picture.
Ancient indian grinding stones near the secret waterfall picture: where the indians used to grind acorns and such near the Nacimiento River and Ponderosa Campground a secret waterfall where you can bath or whatever; near the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in the Los Padres National Forest Big Sur high country. Click to enlarge thse ancient indian grinding stones near the Ponderosa campground picture.
Coast Ridge Road CutoffPicture: California camping trip vacation photo of sign beside the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road for the Coast Ridge Road.
Pacific Coast San Simeon Creek Beach Sunset: Click for larger file Pacific Coast San Simeon Creek Beach sunset photo.
San Simeon Creek Beach Sunset





Rock mountains seen from hiking trail through the Pinnacles National Park picture: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Pinnacles landscape. Click to enlarge this redish stone mountain photograph.
My campsite #4 at Memorial USDAFS campground. Click to enlarge this Big Sur camp site picture taken at Memorial Campground north of Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base photograph.
Another campsite at Memorial USDAFS campground featuring the stunning sandstone mountain view. Click to enlarge this Big Sur camp site picture taken at Memorial Campground 12 miles north of Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base photograph.
Some wildflowers I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Campground picture; Purple Owls Clover: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana landscape. Click to enlarge these pretty wildflowers photograph.
Some wildflowers I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Campground picture; firecracker penstemon with a stone pinnacle in the background: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana landscape. Click to enlarge these pretty bright red wildflowers photograph.

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