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Cachuma Lake Recreation Area was rated 8 out of 10 based on 30 user reviews. Phone: (805) 686-5055
CGID3439

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

Camp Information
Sites
435
Date of Stay
April 2014
Latest Rate
$47



Hookups
Electric
yes
50amp
yes
Water
yes
Sewer
yes
Wireless Internet
no
Cable TV
no
Accommodations
Pull-Thru Sites
yes
Big Rig Access
yes
Waterfront Access
no
Shade Trees
yes
Pool Access
yes
Pets Allowed
yes
Tents Allowed
yes
Family Friendly
yes
Latest Review Information
Ratings (Last 10 Newest/Oldest)
6   8   5   8   8   8   8   6   8   8   
Clean Restrooms (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
question  question  yes  yes  yes  
Clean Showers (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
question  question  yes  question  question  
Review Rating
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[ 6 / 10 ]
April 2014
$47
This is the second time we camped here, last time was about three years ago. It's a great campground but there are a couple issues that came up this trip. First, the lake is down about 60 feet. I know this isn't the campgrounds fault, but it does make fishing a little challenging from the shore. You have to hike down a ways. Also, some of the fingers of the lake are now dried up. Really sad, actually. The second thing is they are removing all the nice cement fire rings, you have to bring your own now. Didn't make sense. Something about the big RV's running over them. With these two issues, I would expect the price to come down a little. $48 seems a little high. But if the rain comes and fills the lake up again, we will go back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

Adertisement:
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[ 8 / 10 ]
January 2014
$43
There was so much to do here that we didn't even take a planned side trip into Solvang. The drive up from Santa Barbara wasn't *that* bad if you're taking your time. Lots of trails, space, and shore to explore. Nice play structure for the kids. Saw a sign for a dog park, and there's a laundry facility on the campground map. Rented a boat and cruised the lake. Site was completely level. Minus one for general wear and tear, and minus one for fireproof firewood at the store. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 5 / 10 ]
September 2013
$48
Lots of sites available with shade. $3/day/dog additional fee. Lake to look at, but do not touch. We were there only 1 night. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
July 2013
$48
New online reservation system 2013 for a majority of the park. Some sites are still first come first serve. This is a nice park with a large lake that now allows Kayaking. Incidental water contact only lake. Family friendly and lots of safe areas for kids to ride bikes. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
April 2013
$45
Had a delightful week here in the spring. Campground was clean, quiet and pretty. Only drawback was no swimming allowed in lake. The rangers give a wildlife boat tour of the lake that is actually quite informative and fun. Close to great biking, wine tasting, antiquing, etc. We would stay here again! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
September 2012
$45
Our first time to this park and we really enjoyed it. Some sites were pretty hard to get level; front end would be up off the ground which we avoid if possible. There were branches from trees hanging down pretty far (needed trimming) at one site we tried to get into. So far we have only found 30amp service which was a bit of a problem as the temp got to 100 yesterday and needed to start our generator in order to run 2 ACs to cool down coach. We would come back! We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
May 2012
$45
You go and choose your site then return to the office to check in. There are plenty to choose from. Sites where we were all had concrete pads, didn't see all of campground. There are two large swimming pools which looked lovely but they are only open Memorial Day to Labor Day. (No swimming in the lake.) There was a laundry by the pool but that was all closed up too. There is a good general store and a gas station. The only receipt I had was my credit card slip and I had to hand it back in when we left which I was not very happy about. Didn't use the showers but I see there is a charge of 50 cents per 3 minutes of hot water. Nearest town in Santa Ynez nine miles away. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 6 / 10 ]
April 2012
$45
I agree with the last two reviews. The park is very big rig friendly. We camped in site 28 and had a beautiful view of the trees and green grass beltway. The lake is beautiful. It's unfortunate that maintenance is so lacking. Grass is not being mowed, picnic tables covered with bird droppings, with concrete pads very cracked and uneven. Outside light posts do not work. There are several full time residents that live for free and apparently are suppose to do maintenance, but I don't see it. Our weekend had beautiful weather, all hook ups worked fine. It is a shame to spend $45 a night and not really see the place maintained. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
October 2011
$40
Although it's listed in Santa Barbara, Cachuma Lake is closer to Santa Ynez (10mi.away). You have to go over the mountain to get to Santa Barbara(approx. 30mi.). It's a nice park with very clean bathrooms/showers. If you want your satellite TV to work be careful where you park. Trees near some sites will block the signal. We were originally going to set up on a 50amp site, but they had too many trees. They let you pick out which site you want and then go back to the gate and pay. We instead opted for a 30amp to get satellite. They have designated trails around the lake. Not strenuous at all. It's certainly quiet, but that might be the time of year. I would think it would be a pig in a poke to get in during the busy time since they don't at the moment take reservations. We also thought the rates were a little high for the latter part of Oct. Also they had excellent security. The only reason we stayed was because of our reservations in San Diego were for Nov. 1st., and we needed some place to burn a few days, and this was a nice place to do it. Nothing really bad to say about it. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
October 2011
$40
This is a county park situated about 21 miles from Santa Barbara on Lake Cachuma. It is a very large area that has full service RV sites in addition to Dry and Large Group Camping. It is easily accessible off of Hwy 154 and Big Rig friendly. As with most county parks it is a little, "Rough around the edges." Many of the sites need some major pruning as low lying branches can damage your roof. The concrete pads are cracked and not level. My friend's power service had the polarity reversed. This is a very large area so you will always find a spot. The park is well run with excellent security. The roads are wide for big rigs but watch the trees! We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
September 2011
$24
Stayed over Labor Day weekend with a church group in a group site. This is a big park and has a lot of things to do. Boat rentals are available. Lots of hiking and fishing, although we didn't catch any. They also have an astronomy program once a month. We will definitely be back. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
February 2011
$28
We liked this park very much -- it's large. The laundry facilities weren't operable when we visited. They charge for the swimming pool, however, we didn't use (low season and it was closed). It's a large, quiet park, but needs some repairs and maintenance. We enjoyed our visit and were pleased with the close proximity to Solvang. The area is beautiful. Definitely would stay again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
May 2010
$38
Very spacious and well maintained campsite. Has level concrete pads. Great facility with general store, propane, bait and tackle. Nicest boat launch I've ever seen. Great area for walking. Very unusual for a public campground. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
March 2010
$28
This is an absolutely beautiful place. We camped in the dry camping area with our motorhome sideways to the lake - I mean right on the edge of it! We looked at the hookup areas, and they looked nice, too, but we really wanted to be in the best spot possible. The staff is very . This was an off time, too, so it wasn't crowded at all. I will note that our GPS was way off -could be that it's a TomTom (getting a Garmin - another subject). We arrived after dark, so it was a little difficult finding a site. Basically the ranger said go in, look around, and then let us know where you are, and then pay (they even gave us a ride to the station, too!). They have changed their pricing, too, and have added "premium" sites (which this was - #134) which cost a little more. The only reason I didn't rate this higher is that they also charge $3 per dog (and we have three) so three nights, three dogs cost us $27! Also, make sure your dogs (cats) have Frontline or Advantage up to date as there are ticks here, too. Access was good with a few overhanging trees, but not much. Lots of good hiking and an overall neat area close to the city. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
August 2009
$30
For a county-run facility, this campground is better than most. The place was well-managed, the staff was friendly and eager to help is get the site we wanted. But unless you're staying at one of the group sites, it's first-come first-serve here. I showed up to get a site at 6:30 AM on a Friday morning and there was only one RV site left. They usually sell out for the weekend by Thursday night. There were plenty of disgruntled campers being turned away throughout the morning. The southeast side of the campground, sites 12 -121, feature electric-water-sewage. Sites 125-176 are water and electric only. There is no Wi-Fi or cable TV. If you have a strong enough antenna you can pick up the local ABC affiliate ch.3 from Santa Barbara. Our AT&T & Verizon cell phones and our XM radio had great reception in the campground. If you want space for tents or peace then you should get one of the sites along the water. Not all of them have a view of the water but it's much better than getting one of the more-cramped back-to-back sites. I would've liked to swim in the lake (this is a fishing-only lake) but it was still nice to cool off by the shore from the nice breeze. All in all, we had a good time and will come back in the off-season when it's empty. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
May 2009
$28
Rate reflects a weekly, discounted one. Very nice large shady trees with lots of hummingbirds and acorn woodpeckers. Full hookup sites are paved, but pavement varies greatly among the sites. Some new concrete, others very broken. Nice affordable option from the coastal camping and quiet. Lots of room with most sites. Lots of speed bumps. Had good service with Verizon and ATT. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
September 2008
$18
We stayed in the full hook up section for two nights to check out the area. A very nice park to use as a base to go do other things. We went into Solvang and checked out Danish Days. I don't fish and the lake allows no human contact so bring your boats and fishing gear! The lake views are nice but unless I start seriously fishing I don't see a reason to go back. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
May 2008
$28
We spent 4 night at Cachuma Lake in our travel trailer. Our overall experience was good. The park is rather big as there are 400+ sites available however, only 100 have full hookups. As some of the other reviewers have written, the check-in process is over complex (especially checking in after hrs). For after hrs check-in, drive around and find a site, park your rig, and then drop 1 nights payment in the over night slot indicting the # of nights you will be staying. Pay the remaining nights the next day around noon after they collected the drop money from the night before. Discounts offered to several clubs so ask. (Note, no RV parking/setup after 10pm) In terms of the full hookup sites, some of them are pretty beat with big pot holes, we stayed in site 55 which was nice, minus the leaking water value. There is a nicely stocked general store onsite with a gas and propane station (prices were high like everywhere else) but, convenient. There is a nice boat dock and ramp with boat rentals which we did not uses. While the campground is a bit inland, it is still pretty close to Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos and great wine tasting. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
May 2008
$28
I'm really trying to like this park. This was the second time we've stayed there. We like the lake and the hiking. People are surprisingly quiet on a holiday weekend for a county park. The price is right and being first come first served made it a great option for late planners. Here are my gripes: They have a window for checking in, however they don't use it. I was asked to pull ahead so I don't block one of the two lanes entering the park. There were already too many cars parked in the "pull ahead" area, and nobody was beside me or behind me. When I asked where I was supposed to pull ahead to and mentioned all the spots were filled, he told me "it doesn't matter, I just don't want you blocking the lane". My response was "so it's ok to block the lane as long I do it down the road and have to walk all the way back?". I don't think he was getting the concept, but that's ok. This was a minor complaint. My biggest complaint was about all the extra fees they charge. They charged us $10 a day for our car. If it were towed in, it would have been included. It would have been towed if my didn't have to run to the store really quick. I wanted to just disconnect the RV, take it outside the park, connect it up, and drive back through. But they said I'd still have to pay. I also have a well trained golden retriever (which couldn't hurt a fly if he tried) and I had to pay $3 a day for him. Did he really cost the park $3 a day in "maintainance"? Not to mention the constant baggering about being on a leash. So, the extra charges, the constant baggering and lack of firepits in the full hookup area are the reasons this rating is a 7. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
April 2008
$34
Beautiful setting and worth the drive into Santa Barbara. The RV sites have some broken cement but are huge. The lake was busy with a fishing tournament when we were there. We are planning on returning there at some point. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
March 2008
$30
Nice campground. Not much to do here if you don't fish. Take notice that the bait and tackle shop is closed Monday/Tuesday. (I found out the hard way.) Had to drive into Santa Ynez for fishing hooks. The shoreline is not easily accessible from the RV (hookup) areas. Had a great time though. Would recommend. Nice nature center for the kids. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
January 2008
$20
We enjoyed getting back to nature at this park. Plenty of room to pull our 40' coach in and didn't feel too close to our neighbors. Many critters in the evening to watch, including raccoons and skunks, which were very used to being watched by vacationers. The lake was beautiful and we enjoyed sitting out and having breakfast at the little restaurant at the lake. The price was right and surroundings were so enjoyable that we hated to leave and continue our trip. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
January 2008
$28
Rustic sites overlooking very large, beautiful lake, high up on a mountain. Quite a climb if coming up from the Santa Barbara side. Bring “IT” with you as there is no Wal-Mart down the street. Everything from tent sites to full hookup pull-throughs. Nicer than the average county park. A great place to spend time with the family or a large group get-together. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
November 2007
$28
Large sites with concrete pads. Pads not very level. Lots of shade trees in the full hookup section. Several trails along lake and campground. Boat ramp at Marina was closed due to construction. Nature center has a nice collection of stuffed birds, animals and a Chumash Indian display. There is even a naturalist at the center. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
August 2007
$22
I really can't complain too much about this CG. There really wasn't any major problems to speak about. But there were some little annoyances that add up to me ultimately not enjoying our time there. Some of them are under the control of the CG, some weren't. First of all, it was hot. I mean really hot. Every day was over 100 degrees. This is the aspect that isn't under their control. However, not allowing people to enjoy the lake (i.e. swim in the lake) is ridiculous. "No human contact allowed" is well marked all over the place. I don't understand this. I understand it's the primary drinking source for Santa Barbara, but I would hope they would still treat the water regardless before it hits Santa Barbara homes. If a bear can take a dip in the water, why can't I? The second issue I had was with the fees. Sure I got two dollars off my rate being military. But $6 a day to have a car there is ridiculous. If you tow the vehicle in, you don't have to pay anything. But if you drive it in, $6 a day. Then they want $3 a day for my dog. Are you kidding me? What does the dog do that makes the CG spend time, effort, or money on the fact that my dog was there? I picked up his messes, not them. An then there's the pool. I have been to park pools before where you had to pay to swim. I'm good with that. But it's not a flat rate here. It is a dollar per hour of use, per person. If you get a family of 5 that wants to cool off in the pool, your paying $5 an hour. When you do that for two hours a day times 5 days, that's $50 in pool fees. The last bit that annoyed me was when I registered. They gave me a list of open spaces I could choose from. As I went through, there were many open spots that weren't on the list that I would have rather had, but they didn't offer them and they couldn't give me a valid reason why when I asked. I think they were holding them for friends personally. Overall, it was a decent CG with better than average security. Would I go back? Maybe when it's not so hot and we could enjoy the couple of trails they have and do some kayaking on the lake. For the money though, you won't find a nicer CG in this area. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
May 2007
$22
Very nice park with large lake access and a few good hiking trails. Lots of teens in the tent areas but the RV area is great and more quiet. Only 30amp hookups. Each site has a grass area and a good distance from the neighbor. Cons: No Wifi. Concrete pad is not level. No reservations accepted (first come first get). We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
May 2007
$25
There are a wide variety of camp sites in this park. The map of the park made it appear that the full hookup sites were jammed together, so we looked at water & electric sites first. The full hookup sites were actually well spaced with concrete pad, and many sites were shaded by large trees so we chose to stay there. There is a store, a laundry, boat rentals, and many optional services. There are 7% grades between Santa Barbara and the campground. We would stay here again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
April 2007
$22
Wonderful campground between Santa Barbara and Solvang. Large level cement sites in wooded setting with beautiful large lake and BIRDS everywhere. Full service, but only 30 amps. Many wineries in area. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
January 2007
$19
We love it here! Only inexpensive place we could stay near Santa Barbara that could fit us (37' motorhome + 27' car trailer) and weekly rate is only $132/week ($22/night, pay for 6 nights and 7th is free) so ends up $19/night! Plenty of room on our site for the motorhome, trailer, jeep cherokee, and motorcycle, as well as a picnic table and bbq grill. Full hookups. Dogs are supposed to be $3/night extra, but they didn't charge us for ours. Only 17 miles up Hwy 154 from Santa Barbara and 10 miles from Solvang, Los Olivos, and wine country, 8 miles from big Indian Casino. Boat rentals available also. We love it here so much, we are staying for the max 90 days they will allow us! Not crowded either, plenty of space which is good since they don't take reservations. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
March 2005
$25
Santa Barbara County Park system. No body contact with the lake water. Fishing is allowed. Dogs are $2/night. AAA/Senior discounts. Full hook up sites have concrete pads with lawn (watered year round)and large trees. Water & Electric only and dry sites are all lawn or dirt as the season (rain) dictates. Quiet campground, we stay there frequently. Staff is very friendly. Solvang and Santa Ynez close by. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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