Wonderful campground that could use some state's money for some TLC to bring it back to it's past glory. Besides the obvious lack of care, this place is a gem of the Ventura coast line. Lovely being just feet from the ocean, seeing dolphins in the distance, and shell collecting early morning. I actually enjoy the sound of the train passing throughout the day - it's just part of the Emma Wood experience. Definitely a repeat stay. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is one of the worst examples of the neglect of California's State Parks. No maintenance or improvements have been made in years. Sites are disintegrating are difficult to level up on. This is the closest you will ever camp to the ocean, but it is desperately in need of MONEY for repairs. We camped here in a Motorhome.
You can't get much closer to the ocean than this campground. I used to like this place much better, but things have "slipped" here. For instance the rules that they have posted are not enforced by anyone. Park employees do not patrol, and law enforcement is scarce. This has allowed homeless to frequent the park. One individual drove in after hours, slept in his car, defecated next to the car, and drove off and left it (restrooms are NOT available at this location). The site numbers on the pavement are nearly completely worn off, and the sites could use a little regrading. The state is clearly putting no money into this park. I won't stay here again, for the price I will pick a different beach location. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Nice State campground right on the water. Sites are back-in or pull-in, some of the pads have deteriorated due to closeness to the ocean, making leveling a bit of a challenge. Nearby to shopping, a nice bike path and downtown Ventura. The downsides, like many beach side campgrounds in CA, its close to the 101 freeway and train tracks. Also a friendly ranger warned me to bring my generator in at night. Very busy on weekends especially during the summer. I'd advise making reservations on Reserve America. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This a small, narrow park. All sites are in a single row, facing the the ocean. If you are in a larger or longer rig, you may have to go all the way to the end (about one mile) to turn around. Bring plenty of leveling blocks. The back half of most of the asphalt pads have eroded away, dropping about two inches to the dirt, which also slopes down another few inches or more, the further back you go. The ocean is about thirty-five to forty feet in front of you. Conversely, the train tracks are thirty-five to forty feet behind you. The trains run daily, at full speed, about a half-dozen times a day when I was here. The last freight train of the day was around ten-thirty in the evening, everyday. A little further behind the train tracks is the 101 freeway, which seems to run downhill over the bridge, as I would often here the semi trucks using their "Jake" brakes late at night. The sites are pretty close together. When I was here, one side was empty and on the other side, I was fortunate to have two very nice "mature" ladies for company. As I was camping alone, after the recent loss of a beloved family member. This is not a sand beach. Or a place to do a lot of activities. However, near the edges of the campground, there areas to swim, body surf and stuff. The shore is nothing but rocks and boulders of various sizes. Walkable but use caution. Now, if you want tranquility, a place to chill out and relax, read, write, do nothing or contemplate whatever! This is the place!. The traffic noises and other small inconveniences aren't even noticed after the first day. The view of the ocean, the lull of the surf, the not annoying squawk of the birds, the seals and porpoises strolling on by, all make for an relaxing and memorial stay. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
It is a beautiful part of the CA coastline. The sites are cleaned up or not by the person staying at it prior to you. If you you are uncomfortable by dumpster divers this may not be the place for you. We had someone come up to our site asking for water. I wanted to mention that upon check in the "ranger" in charge was going to charge us an additional $10.00 per night for our towed vehicle!!!! When my husband challenged him on this he backed down and said he thought the car was not connected to our RV! It is pretty obvious when a car in such close proximity to an RV is being towed and not driven in. We felt there was something fishy about this. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I am giving this park a 10 because of the views from each site. The park has no hook-ups, no restrooms, no Wi-Fi, and park needs some maintenance. But, if you want to be close to the ocean, this park is great. We were fortunate in that the park was not full, so we had space between rigs. It could get a little crowded if all spaces are filled. We have a 40' fifth wheel and easily backed into the space. At high tide we were less than 50 feet from the ocean. Watched dolphins swim 100 yards from rig. We had planned to stay at Rincon Parkway, but our rig and truck would not fit in the parallel spaces so we ended up at Emma Wood and were very happy as these were back-in sites. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Awesome views! Totally dry camping. No facilities, just an out house. About 5 trains come by a day (the track is only 50 feet from the sites). The 101 highway is right here too, so there is noise from that. It's quite rocky, too. BUT: for $30 you get ocean front property! We camped here in a Motorhome.
One cannot get closer to the sea than this campground. There are no services so come prepared. What a wonderful place to camp with the sea, surfers, Channel Islands and the sound of the surf. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The Pros: Awesome beach front camping, beautiful views. Not much traffic, campers only. The Cons: Spaces are small and people park any direction they want. Some people park on the right, some on the left, so you end up with motorhomes 6 inches away in some cases. Also they seem to let rigs in that are really too big. They squeeze in but it is very tight. Neighbor's fire was about 5 ft from my rig. We camped here in a Motorhome.
If you want to be close to the ocean, this is the campsite. You are just feet from the water at high tide. Dry camping only with no facilities at all - not even water. Sites are very small. Just enough room to park our motorhome with a small area for eating outside. Very noisy with the trains rumbling by and the highway above you but the crashing of the waves drowns out most of that. Very close to Ventura and we biked into town each day on the bike trail which ran just above the site. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Absolutely no services whatsoever other than trash dumpsters, so make sure your water tank is full and your grey and black are empty if you'll be staying a while. You can't get any closer to the beach then this. They actually have to close this park at times with high water levels. I never slept so well with the sound of the waves crashing all night, very soothing. No enforcement of the dogs must be on leash or no dogs on the beach rule. Great place to swim, surf, surf fish or just sit and stare at the water. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Emma Wood is a must for beach lovers who dont mind 'roughing' it. You need a fully self contained rig to come here: no hook ups, no showers, no water or dump. To refill your tanks and dump you have to go along to McGrath park which is a few miles away. You are paying for the peace and quiet here with direct beach access. Not all spots have a beach that is suitable for walking on, or for the kids to build sand castles, but if you go to the park entrance there is a lovely small beach where you can spend the day relaxing and watching the surfers. Altough you can't camp with a tent, on this visit I noticed some of the RVs had tents in their spots too, handy for changing out of wet suits, or for the kids to sleep in. Lots of families and people enjoying walks, cycling or building fires to sit round once its dark. There are no set fire pits, but most slots have stone built ones from previous campers and the beach offers lots of building material if you need to make your own. The camp is right next to a train track and the freeway so you might notice a night freight train going through, but if you are like us by the second night you tune them out, I think there is only one or two during the night time. Close to Ventura for shopping and restaurants or use it as a base to explore the Pacific Coast highway, Santa Barbara is lovely too. We always stay here no matter the time of year, but you need to book for the summer months and be warned its very very busy so book early or you might not get the days you want! Enjoy!! We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a great place to camp and enjoy the sun, wind and sea right on the beach. We camped here in a motorhome, so dry camping wasn't a problem. There was a voucher to dump at McGrath state park if needed. This is a very basic campsite on a 2 lane beach road with parking off pavement in the sand/dirt. The beach is on the end of the site and rocky, but full of birds and surfers. Excellent! We will camp here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We enjoyed our stay at Emma Wood immensely. I would rate it a "10" except for the fact that there is no dump station. Train/highway noise did not bother us at all and the beach down at the end of the campground is very nice. Downtown Ventura is nearby as well. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Can't beat Emma Wood for ocean front beauty! No matter which site you choose, you're right on the beach and most sites are wider than we expected. Big drawback is that the beach on the majority of the sites is extremely rocky and no good for playing in the sand or the water. Sites 1-10 have a great strip of sandy beach, and sites 80-90 have a nice little strip of sand beach immediately adjacent. If you have kids, I would recommend the sites at the end as some people have trouble following the posted 15 mph speed limit. We saw several pods of dolphins, some sea lions, and generally had a great time. We didn't find the traffic noise bothersome at all. Great getaway. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The sites are for 40 ft max. Much more than that and you will be in the next site. Our neighbors were friendly and cooperative. There is a sign posted on the money collection post warning of theft and advising that you should not leave anything outside but rather store it out of sight. We chained our bikes to our coach and had not issues. We will be back and yes its "dry camping" but worth it for the view and beach. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We've been a couple of times. It's OK for off season camping. The sites are not well marked, and we had issues with people parking way over the line; as in 10 feet over. We also had another camper knock on our door late at night, and we found out she also went through our truck. Rangers with guns came out and determined that she forgot to take her medication. So much for a relaxing weekend. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Nice campground right on the ocean. I'd rate it higher but there aren't any real amenities besides the view and there was some stuff stolen from other campers while we were there. We chose a "wall" site, but the back in sites are pretty nice as well. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We camped during the week (Tues-Fri). The campground was only 30% full. We had a great time, just watching the ocean. It is a beautiful site but primitive and pretty rocky. We would definitely go again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
No services whatsoever, but when you can park 100 feet from the ocean for such a reasonable price, there isn't much to complain about! The beach is beautiful. Trains go by but the sound of the surf is so loud that you can't really hear them. There's no dump here, but there is one that you can use for free at a nearby park. Make sure to ask the ranger before you leave and he or she will direct you there. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We went to Emma Wood State Beach this past weekend - without reservations. Although the sites were full, they offered us a spot in their "Group Camp" area. The area was nice and clean, although we did have to cross railroad tracks to reach the beach. Once at the beach we realized that there was not much of a sand area and a straight drop off of 6 feet at the end of the trail, a little further to the south we found an acceptable place to climb down some rocks to the beach. My rating reflects the Group Camp area, the Ocean front sites are beautiful, and a pleasure to camp at. The Group camp area is ok for a night. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I had reservations on site 26 and went to look at it before I came here. Was I glad I did. You have nothing but gravel and rocks, and no sand or swimming area. Sites 1 to 22 were OK, but you can't get them because everyone who has been here knows which ones to get. This was my first time to get reservations. With kids, you can not let them get in the water as its all rocks. Its OK if you just sit and look at water, but you can't walk on the beach. Not for me. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Pro: If you want to be right on the beach, this is the place! Sleep with the roar of the ocean waves in your ears. Con: Several people lost generators to thieves the weekend we were here -- even those with security cables. Don't leave anything outside you don't want to lose! Trains run by frequently, and the freight trains are loud and shake your RV. Takes a while to get used to them. We camped here in a Motorhome.