I love this park! Have been going here for years, When we had a smaller rig we stayed at the bottom, and when we got too big we stayed at the upper sites. Both are great. I love the hiking trails, very kid friendly and both my boys learned to ride their bikes here. Just a great place with lots of good memories. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Reservations are not site specific, but I was a bit surprised by the procedure on arrival. I was instructed to drive around the campground and look for AT LEAST three sites I might want, then come back and they would confirm that one of them was available. There are two campgrounds here. Campers in the Washburn campgrounds are not allowed to use the showers. For campers in the San Simon Creek campground, showers are an affordable 25 cents per 3 minutes. The beach is a short stroll away (walking under the highway). We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
I arrived here on a busy Friday with no reservations. Being as the primary (and more expensive) camp was full, I was relegated to the more primitive back campground. Talk about a blessing in disguise! This area is beautiful. Though further away from the ocean, it's actually higher, with views. Plus, by being further back, it's less crowded and more quiet. Hiking trails are close by and there's always a nice cool breeze. Neither camp has hookups. Both have water spigots scattered around the campgrounds. The only difference is the primary area has flush toilets and showers, while the the other camp has only vault/pit/chemical style toilets (not sure what the differences are). However, these were clean and big. This is one very nice and good priced campground that I'll be sure to come back to and spend some time at. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
This is dry camping at its finest. There were only a dozen people there at any one time during our five days. It is quiet, and beautiful. It is a short walk to the beach. It is two miles to the Castle, which is worth the trip by itself. There is a good dump station, though it has only two lanes for that large facility. There are water spigots at every few sites. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Clean campground. Free dump station for paying guests. No water at site but available at host station. Host was very nice and informative. Pay showers and very clean bathrooms. We camped here in a Motorhome.
It was an okay place to stay (for lack of any other RV facilities near the Hearst Castle/San Simeon area or the coast from Cambria to Big Sur). It was late, so we needed to stop driving after our tour of the castle. Due to low season, most of the park was not open. It was quiet, and we didn't stay more than the one night. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We spent Christmas and New Year's here. It is a state park with the normal expectations. Easy access to the beach, Castle, shopping in Cambria, wine tasting just over the hill. Great coastal views. We had loads of rain which made the trip special. Not an RV resort, but a great state camping trip. There were two sections: one down in the canyon and one up at the top of the canyon. Both tents and RVs were here. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Only choice in the area to camp and fairly isolated. Stayed one night and went to Hearst Castle next morning. Nice campground but no hookups. Other campers ran their generators beyond the allowed hours so it was pretty noisy. We felt bad for the tent campers. We camped here in a Motorhome.
My wife and I spent 2 weeks at the Washburn Campground in this state park and we loved it. One of the best spaces to stay at in the park are: 235 , 236 , 237. Because of the view of San Simeon Bay. The Sunsets are amazing and it is so quiet here. We Paid $10.00 per night with our CA state park discount pass, but even at full price of $20.00 it is well worth it. We camped here in a Motorhome.
I love this park. If you are yearning for some peace, quiet and serenity this is the place. The only negative is the dead grassy stuff is full of burrs that get caught in the dog's paws and tummys (long haired doxies). My favorite area is off to the left as soon as you enter the park. Most of these spots have amazing views. Even though there aren't trees giving you privacy between spots, they are pretty large and the views are worth it. Bring your chairs, a book, a glass of wine, and a coat (usually pretty cool here) and sit and veg out. Enjoy! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Not great, but it has some positives going for it. Sites are OK: nice and wide, etc. The firepits were good with kids. Showers are pay showers and not all have hot water. Nice and close to Hearst Castle, so a simple overnighter was OK. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed here for one night on the way up to Hearst Castle. Of the different areas available we went to the highest area, and almost had the whole place to ourselves. There were no hook-ups, and it was just a nice place to stop overnight. The next morning we saw how beautiful it was; you have green hills and mountains in the background and a view of the ocean towards the West. You can find a few short hikes and just enjoy the general park-like feel. You're a bit secluded in that there is no nearby town, so plan on bringing what you need. There is a dump station and place to get water but it's towards the entrance. Nothing too exciting, but a wonderful place to overnight and just relax. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We loved the beautiful wooded sites with easy access to the beach. In fact, you just walk under a highway bridge, and you’re right on the ocean. This gorgeous unspoiled area also has almost no sky brightness, so the stargazing is awesome. Our site was perfectly level, unlike many places where we’ve paid a lot more money. The park does have a few downsides though. About half the sites are too shallow to accommodate anything but a pop-up camper. We had to drive around some, but we eventually found a space that was deep enough to set up. In addition, the campground has no hook-ups, but they do have a nice dump station and plenty of water spigots throughout the park. This campground is also convenient to Hearst Castle and a viewing station for elephant seals. We noticed a distinctly skunky smell when we pulled in, so we scattered a few mothballs and managed to keep any skunks away. The coin-op showers were Spartan and unheated but adequate (the water was nice and hot). We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We stayed in the lower loop: site 90. The sites are very large with lots of grass and trees between sites. It's a short walk to the beach on a nice wooden board walk. The only problem we had was the pet areas in the park are limited and dogs are not allowed on the beach due to nesting birds. There is a very good dog beach a few miles south in Cayucos. For a boon-docking site this was one of the best. Would definitely stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The campground supplies no power or water at the site. You can fill up your reservoir at a fresh-water station near the dump station though, so you're not totally without fresh water. The park Rangers were friendly and knowledgeable, however the camp "hosts" were aloof and crabby. The scenery was fantastic -- it's a two minute walk under the highway and you're on the beach. It's quite close to Cambria and Hearst's Castle. Just make sure your battery is up to snuff; it's 25 miles to Paso Robles if you need a new battery. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We stayed on the Washburn loop which was well and truly primitive: pit toilets and no shower facilities or hook ups, and we loved it!! Beautiful scenery, rangers came round and told off eager campers who had turned their generaters on before the alloted time. Sites were a bit uneven and slightly narrow but we knew that as we had squeezed in our 33ft two slide outs in to a site too small!! Highly recommend this place for great back-to-basic camping. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a pretty popular spot reservations are a good idea it’s right off of the pacific coast highway. Ranger patrol on the weekends gave each of my 3 kids a ranger sticker. We saw a couple bats, wild horses; skunk approached our camp site at night while we were at the camp fire. We heard the coyotes at night and saw a shooting star. A few hiking trails and beach access at the lower end of the camp ground (walk the trail under the bridge). That’s what I would consider the good. The bad: hose bibs are sparsely located and don’t expect to fill from one its against the rules and they aren’t threaded. Although the ranger on patrol was nice the young kids at the gate didn’t know about a camp fire program seemed annoyed that I even asked about it. Dry camping with a family of 5 for 4 days for me meant only enough water for one set of showers luckily we have family in the area so we were able to use their shower. Don’t plan on having a water supply without driving down to the dump station if your staying on the upper loop. If you try to conserve water by using the camp ground toilets be warned the upper loop has pit toilets. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We stayed in the upper loop, pit toilets and no showers. The toilets were clean, but they are what they are. Very pretty area, had a view of the ocean if we walked up the embankment. No wind, sites well spaced, but open. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This park is close to the beach with lots of trees and grass. It's very popular with tent campers. It's a short walk to the beach. There are plenty of rest rooms--individual, gender neutral--and coin-op showers, which we didn't use. There are also water spigots around, sinks to watch dishes, fire pits. It was pretty clean and quiet for a state park. The $7.50 per reservation online charge is a ripoff (the price listed here is without this fee included). It's only a few miles up to Hearst Castle. The park only allows generators between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., which makes preparing breakfast difficult; we ended up driving to a nearby parking lot to plug in the coffee maker. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Hope I am giving reviews on the correct campground: San Simeon Creek Campground. We stayed here in March, 2009 so not in the season. The campground was pretty empty and quiet. We liked that. Beautiful park, huge trees, nice and clean sites with a lot of wildlife (squirrels, rabbits, scrub jays, ducks etc.). What I did not like: although they allow dogs on a 6ft long leash, you can not take them to trails or to the beach or leave them in the car. Now my husband, me and the dog obviously could not take a walk together to the beach or on the trails , which is not ideal on a vacation. The beach is OK because of the nesting birds but they should allow dogs on the trails. And another problem is that the highway is right next to the camping so there is some car noise. There are sinks to wash the dishes but awfully bad design (you can not fit anything into the sink) and there were no place to throw the leftovers so I had to run back and forth to the trash with leftover pieces that would have clogged the drain. They sell firewood for a pretty good price ($10 for a full wheelbarrow). We camped here in a Truck Camper.
Nice open space, not crowded, good walking trails to beach, no hook ups. Did have water and dump station. Did have clean restrooms and pay showers. No cell coverage in the drop down area, picnic table and fire pit. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This was our second visit to San Simeon State Park. We stayed in the lower campground area known as San Simeon Creek. Parts of the campground can be windy, depending on the orientation of your campsite and the number of trees and shrubs around your site. This is a very family-friendly campground and relatively quiet. We felt very safe here and the State Park Service regularly patrolled the grounds. There are no hookups but the dump station has easy access and there is a potable water fill station near the entrance. Each campsite has a paved parking spur, picnic table and fire ring. Most of the campsites are level and well-spaced with native shrubs and trees providing privacy between sites. There is also a large grassy area in the center of the lower campground area where children are often seen playing. Tip: Campsites with a blue marker plate on the sign post accommodate the larger coaches up to 35' in length. In addition, many of the parking spurs are wide enough for two vehicles to be parked side-by-side. This is a plus for motor homes with a dingy. San Simeon State Park is a great place to stay with Hearst Castle and Cambria nearby. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We originally had a site in the lower campground. If you want to use the restrooms and showers, this is where you will want to stay. This area has hedges between the campsites and trees for shade. The roads are all paved, as are sites. It also rests on a low point, so the sunset isn't visible from this campground. To us it felt like we were in a hole. Fees here are $20 per night. We chose to move up to Washburn Point, the primitive area. Fees here are $11 per night. Restrooms up here are pit toilets. We like sites 242-238. The ocean is visible from some of these sites. There are great trails to access from Washburn Point. It can be dusty in the summer as the roads in the primitive area are all gravel. Springtime views from Washburn Point would be absolutely magnificent. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Pros: plenty of grass and trees, breathtaking sunsets, large sites, nice walk to the beach, plenty of shells for kids, near Hearst Castle Cons: WINDY, WINDY, WINDY I have camped here twice and both times I had to spend several hours in my trailer because it was so windy We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
A gorgeous area near Hearst Castle and the sea lions. Friendly folk. Nice hiking trail up over a wooden footbridge into the Monterey Pine forest. A generally pleasant experience. Right next to the beach! We camped here in a Tent.
I really did like this spot but rate it a 7 because there were no hook-ups and it was fairly primitive. Sites weren't very level and you had to improvise a bit. However, in some of the upper spots there were great views of either the ocean or the hills. The lower sites had more bushes and trees between the sites. The individual rest rooms were spacious and spotless. Access was very good (I don't think there were any showers). Camp staff allowed you to cruise through and pick a site before registering. Primitive sites were only $11. Beach was a short walk or bike ride away. And Hearst Castle was about 5 minutes away. We stayed there during some pretty rough weather and still enjoyed it. If you don't mind dry camping and being a little creative, this one is for you. We camped here in a Motorhome.
A very nice campground 5 miles south of Hearst Castle. If you don't mind dry camping,
it's the place to stay to visit the castle. You can walk to the beach under the highway bridge. Sites are spread out, you don't feel crowded. There are fire "barrels" at each site, and water is available throughout the park, but not for permanent hooking up. There is a dump station and water fill-up station and the host sells firewood. Some sites on the hill have a view of the ocean. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
I agree with previous (2002) reviewer. This state park is on a spectacular stretch of coast between Cambria & San Simeon. The lower sites (36-134) are nicer than the upper sites. Stay in San Simeon Creek campground, as Washburn has no trees or showers. You can access the beach via a short trail under highway 1, but there are no beachfront sites. Also, due to budget cuts, sites are now $20. However, it is worth it due to proximity to Hearst Castle and Central Coast. There is an elephant seal sanctuary up the coast a few mies past Hearst Castle, as well. You can actually see the campground from the air if you go to the website listed above, and click on a photo link. Nice, quiet campground. You can even hear the waves. Couldn't give it a 10 because there are no hookups. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Right across street from beach. CLEAN restrooms. Clean park. No hookups but dump station and water is onsite. Now charge 7.50 to make a reservation, needed March through Sept. We planned a 2 day stop, stayed 2 weeks. Has a river to the sea, hiking trails. This place is NICE! We camped here in a Motorhome.