PCH 1 Sign for Kirk Creek Campground
Enjoy the Big Sur Outdoors NOW but DO BE CAREFUL! NOTICE: "…Due to extremely dry vegetation and an increasing fire danger, Los Padres National Forest officials announced that Level III fire restrictions will go into effect beginning today, May 6, 2015. The following restrictions will be rigorously enforced until this Forest Order expires:
DO get out and enjoy and appreciate the Big Sur…Happy Camping!
Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except for designated Campfire Use sites; however persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of designated Campfire Use Sites. California Campfire Permits are available for free download at the preventwildfireca.org website"...
low on the coast moderate inland: click for current fire restrictions
6. Nacimiento Campground - March 30th 2015, FEE: $15 (the only reasonable fee), I like this campground a lot, it's right next to a creek (the Nacimiento River), shaded by giant trees; you can pull your rig next to the camp. Like Ponderosa and Kirk Creek there seems to be no water. The Coast Ridge Road is close-by for scenic off-roading.
7. Ponderosa Campground - March 2th/30th 2015, FEE: $20; some nice sites by Nacimiento River, more camp sites in the hills above, I stayed in the shade of some nice oaks site 16 for several days; very pretty a little more open and warmer than Nacimiento. Also near the Coast Ridge Road for scenic off-roading.
7. Botcher's Gap Campground - May 4th/5th 2015, FEE: $15; some nice forested walk in sites behind the restrooms and a few moutain view drive-up-to sites by the parking lot; only 10 sites open now and only 12 at full capacity. This campground is hard to reach being 7.8 miles inland at the end of Palo Colorado Road, a narrow one lane road. Just 20 miles south of Carmel camping here is becoming popular especially when the coast is filled so don't count on finding an empty site and they are all on a first come basis. The elevation of this campground is over 4,000 so it can get nippy but it sure has a view! There are a couple of nice hiking trails that take off from here.
8. Pinnacles National Park Campground: - March 28th, 2014, Nice inland camping alternative with over 30 miles of beautifully maintained trails in another-worldly landscape with caves. Prices are reasonable ($23 per for my tent site); this is a popular park you probably want to make online reservations.
9. Carrizo Plains National Monument: April 7/14, 2014, NO FEES: Get away from the crazy coast and everything else at Carrizo Plains National Monument: Spring Break craziness and overcrowding on the Big Sur Coast caused me to find a nice peaceful place to camp and sightsee not too far away. The park has two nice fee-free campgrounds, 250,000 thousand diverse and unique acres to explore and hundreds of miles of jeep roads to get around on. A few of the unique features are the San Andres Fault, a soda lake, plains and two ranges of mountains, there are also some ancient Indian pictographs. This monument provides countless adventures that are best enjoyed in the spring; it is the sunniest place in California and often exceeds 100 degrees in the summer.
Big Sur Camping Tips Spring 2015:
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.
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