Though California is known for their stunning coastline, the real beauty lies inland, as the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is prize possession of Southern California.
Named after the 18th-century explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, it takes up one-fifth of San Diego’s county and is the largest park in California.
The park itself has 800 km of dirt roads, 12 designated wilderness and 180 km of hiking trails, thus, visitors are able to use various ways to experience the beauty of this park.
Surrounding areas also include the Laguna Mountains and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
Camping in Temecula
Where can I camp in Temecula?
Pete’s Camp El Paraiso
Meaning ‘Paradise’ in Spanish, Pete’s Camp focuses on showing campers what paradise really looks like. Situated perfectly between land and sea, campers are given plenty of options when thinking about what they’re going to do that day.
The campground comes with 79 spaces which are located in the campground. It campground itself is somewhat basic with amenities, though it comes with everything you need.
There are toilets, showers, internet, a dump, city water and it’s also pet-friendly. If you’re feeling the desert heat, close by is Lake Skinner County Park and is a beautiful spot to take a dip in and cool off.
If you’re looking for some good hiking spots, well, you came to the right place as Pete’s Camp is surrounded by national and state parks. To the west of the park, within a short drive, you’re accessible to South Fork San Jacinto Wilderness, Beauty Mountain Wilderness, Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness and Santa Rosa Wilderness.
All these parks have exceptional scenery, wildlife and hiking trails for you to explore. In addition, if you want to head to a beach, the Californian coast isn’t far away with beach towns such as Oceanside available for you.
Indian Oaks Trailer Ranch
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Located right in the wine country of Temecula, the Indian Oaks Trailer Ranch offers campers with year-round camping services and activities.
If you’re tenting, each campsite comes with water, a picnic table and BBQ to use. There’s a little bit for everyone as this campground is situated perfectly.
You have access to an assortment of wineries in the area, golf courses, Pechanga Casino, Old Town Temecula and of course, the national and state parks. Though, if you’re interested in relaxing at the campground, you’re well supplied with activities to keep yourself entertained.
There’s a beach for you to relax at, where you can take a swim or go fishing as you’re allowed to catch and release without any licenses or use the outdoor grill to cook yourself a juicy steak.
The campsites are quite large as they’re able to fit comfortably 10-12 people per site. So, if you have a large family or are going with a group of friends, this will be perfect.
In addition, if you have a keen eye for birdwatching and photography, there are hundreds of birds in the woodlands of Indian Oaks ranging from Woodpeckers to Red-Winged Blackbirds.
Though, if you want to leave the campground, there are various parks for you to check and explore such as the Anza-Borrego and Palomar Mountain. These natural attractions are filled with winding trails, jaw-dropping views and wildlife.
Tucalota Springs RV Park and Campground
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Tucalota Springs RV Park and Campground is a campground with a lot of history. Many of the oak trees on the 60-acre campground are dating over one hundred-years-old and have provided shade from the Californian sun for campers for many years.
This campground focus on preserving wildlife as they house wild barn owls on the property. The campground itself is bushy and shaded which provides campers with the perfect amount of shade during the day.
The campsites themselves are fully equipped for tents and RVs as it comes with full hookups, wireless internet, showers and restrooms.
The campground also offers campers with a variety of activities such as a heated swimming pool, outdoor lounge patio, mini petting zoo, catch and release fishing pond and three clubrooms with kitchens.
Thus, families with children will have no problem keeping them entertained as there’s plenty to do. Surrounding the campground, you have an endless amount of hiking and bike trails to explore.
Around the camp, you have Lake Elsinore, Lake Skinner, Temecula Wineries, hot air balloon rides and national and state parks such as Anza-Borrego Park and Cahuilla Mountain Wilderness.
What’s there to do in Temecula?
Temecula is a southwestern city belonging to Riverside County. The city is mainly a tourist destination as it’s well-known for Temecula Valley Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, and festivals such as the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival and the Temecula Valley International Film Festival.
With over 40 wineries in the area as well as the historic old town which is filled with historic buildings, museums, restaurants and antique dealers, there’s something for everyone. In addition, the parks surrounding Temecula are some of the best for hiking and fishing.
Camping in Palomar Mountain State Park
Where can I camp in Palomar Mountain State Park?
Lake Henshaw Resort
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The Lake Henshaw Resort sits perfectly on the lake which is nestled at the foot of the Palomar Mountains. The resort offers campers with the option of tenting, RVing or staying in one of their cabins.
You’ll be able to sleep under the stars on their campground as it has the perfect balance between vegetation and clear sky. They have upper and lower campgrounds both which rest under a canopy of oak grove trees.
The campground offers basic camping and RV amenities such as full hookups, water, restrooms and showers. In addition, they also provide their campers with a clubhouse, swimming pool, spa, children’s playground, grocery store and laundry facilities.
Thus, no matter if you’re staying in a tent or RV, you have everything you need for a memorable trip. As the campground is on the foot of the Palomar Mountain, you’ll have easy access to hiking and bike trails throughout the mountain area.
In addition, you’re situated close to other parks such as the Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve and Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness. It’s a perfect spot if you have children as they’ll be able to go swimming in the lake and get in touch with nature.
La Jolla Band of Indians
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The Jolla Band of Indians campground is situated on the west side of the Palomar Mountain State Park. The campground is on an Indian Reservation that was established in 1875. In the 1930s, the La Jolla Band decided to form this campground and it’s been in business ever since.
The reservation consists of almost 10,000 acres of and as the base of Palomar Mountain. Most of the land is of completely undisturbed wilderness, covered by thick vegetation with trees such as Sage, Oak and Chia.
The campsites themselves are very natural and blend into its surroundings. Campers can either choose to tent or RV as the campground is fully equipped with hookups. A nice feature is that the campsite allows for group camping with up to as many as thirty cars per group.
The campsites are also situated along the river, thus, campers get the beautiful scenery of both mountain and water. As the campground is located at the foot of the Palomar Mountain, you have easy access to hiking and bike trails.
In addition, you’re also located close to other parks and natural attraction such as Lake Henshaw, Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve and Beauty Mountain Wilderness Study Area.
Oak Knoll Campground
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The Oak Knoll Campground has become somewhat famous in the area. In the 1950s and 1960s, Oak Knoll was owned by UFO contactee George Adamski.
He had built his own wooden observatory on the campground and photographed objects during the evening, claiming that his findings were of UFOs. Though since then, no UFO sightings have been reported, the campground is now recognized for its amazing services and stunning views.
The campground is filled with oak trees and family-friendly activities such as hiking, stargazing, bird watching, swimming, boating, and biking. The park is open year-round, thus, if you’re a fan of winter, you’ll love to experience the cold night sky on Palomar mountain.
The campsites are beautifully shaded by Oak trees and they’re fully equipped with all the essential amenities such as full hookups, wi-fi, BBQ facilities, showers and restrooms. In addition to these amenities, the campground also offers a swimming pool and playground for children.
Surrounding the campground, you have easy access to Palomar Mountain and other natural parks in the area such as Agua Tibia Wilderness and Lake Henshaw.
What is there to do in Palomar Mountain State Park?
Palomar Mountain is a mountain ridge in northern San Diego County. This area is famous for its outdoor scenery as well as the Palomar Observatory and Hale Telescope which are located in the Palomar Mountain State Park.
The park is filled with dense woods such as oaks, pine, cedar and fir. The area is ideal for stargazing, photography, hiking, and off-roading as it’s filled with beautiful scenery. This area is also exceptional for motorcyclists and sports car drivers as the drive in this area are challenging in nature.
Southeastern San Diego County
Where can I camp in Southeastern San Diego County?
DeAnza Springs Resort
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The DeAnza Springs Resort is a little different than your regular campground. It’s one of the largest and newest clothing optional resort in the USA. The resort sits on 500 acres of high desert at 2600 feet and is ideal for year-round camping.
The resort has 311 spacious RV and tent sites which are fully equipped with hookups. The campground is manicured with luscious green lawns, shady trees and swimming pools.
The resort is situated in a perfect location as it’s surrounded by three hills of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, meaning, you’re extremely close to exploring the park on either foot or bike.
In addition, the campground also offers two heated pool, a hot tub, tennis court, volleyball and shuffleboard courts, bocce ball, horseshoe spits, laundry facilities and a children’s jungle gym.
The campground is properly enclosed, thus, it’s pet-friendly and there’s also wi-fi access throughout the entire resort.
If you’re looking for more entertainment, you’re on-hour away from San Diego where there’s the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and Wild Animal Park. However, if you were looking to get away from the city life, this is the perfect place to go.
Sacred Rocks Reserve
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The Sacred Rocks Reserve is focused on providing their campers with a peaceful and tranquil stay. The campground is a perfect place to recharge your batteries and rest in one of the healthiest places in the USA.
The campground is open year-round for both RVs and camping enthusiasts. The campground offers campers with various amenities such as fire circles, a clubhouse, swimming pool, kiddie pool, hot water showers, firewood and wi-fi.
In addition, they also offer horse boarding services if you need somewhere to board your horse. The campground also offers sacred rock drum circles, stargazing and a Labyrinth.
There are over 160 tree-lined acres with acres of Oak trees offering you shade from the sunshine.
You can explore the surrounding area by foot, bike, or horse as there are tons of trails for you to check out. If you’re into rock climbing, the area offers great boulders to climb. If you leave the reserve, there are trails which head up north along the property line.
If you wish to leave the reserve, there are an abundance of national and state parks to choose from such as Anza-Borrego State Wilderness, Pine Creek Wilderness, Hauser Wilderness, and Carrizo Gorge Wilderness Area.
What is there to do in Southeastern San Diego County?
The Southeastern San Diego County is an area that’s highly rich in nature. Though there are towns in this county, a majority of it is made up of national and state parks and wilderness reserves.
Towns such as Campo have historic museums as this area is well-known for the Pacific Southwest Railway development. However, much of the attractions in this area are nature-based.
Laguna Mountains, Cleveland National Forest and Cuyamaca Mountains consist in this area and are ideal for hiking and bike trails. This area is promising all year-round as there are skiing, snowshoeing and sledding activities in the winter as well.