With more than a dozen campgrounds in San Luis Obispo you are sure to find the right spot for your next adventures. Camping in San Luis Obispo offers a wide variety of settings including the beach, mountains, lakes and vineyards – so whatever your preference you’ll be sure to find a spot perfect for your camping vacation.

San Luis Obispo is one of the most sought after camping locations due to the mild weather, surrounding natural beauty, and numerous nearby activities. Typically the temperature in SLO only changes about 15 degrees through out the year with highs ranging from 64 degrees up to 80 degrees. Lows range, on average, from 40 to 55 degrees. Other parts of the county see greater temperature swings, but overall the temperature is pretty mild year round. Make sure to check out the weather at your specific campground as there are several microclimates all over SLO County.

In SLO you’ll find campgrounds operated by state of California, San Luis Obispo County, The National Forest Service, as well as privately operated campgrounds. Many can reserved up to a year in advance while others are first come, first serve and are great for a spontaneous weekend trip. This guide includes an overview of some of the best camping in San Luis Obispo as well as a map showing where you can find these one in a million campsites.

 

Best Campgrounds in San Luis Obispo

image credit: flickr / Creative Commons

Montaña de Oro Campground

Montaña de Oro is a California state park just outside of SLO, in Los Osos, known for it’s classic Northen California-esque beauty. Here you can find rugged cliffs along the coastline right alongside cliffs piercing the sky, reaching elevations over 1,300 feet. Montaña de Oro is a great camping spot for the outdoors adventurer, offering the ability to experience some of the best mountain biking and hiking in San Luis Obispo along with some fantastic kayaking, surfing, and beautiful relaxing beaches. If you have horses, you can bring them along. There are plenty of great equestrian trails and you can camp with your horse at the Hazard Canyon Horse Camp.

There are a few different campsites at Montaña de Oro. Islay Creek Campsites are the main spot that most campers will be familiar with and are located at Spooners Cove and feature 28 different campsites. There are also environmental campsites at Montaña de Oro – these are primitive sites that you must hike in to see and do not allow campfires or dogs. Finally there is the Hazard Canyon Horse Campg that features stalls for horses.

  • Fees: standard Islay Creek sites: $25/night. Horse Camp standard sites: $50/night. Horse Camp 50 person sites: $150/night. Environmental sites: $25/night
  • Reservations: Can be made inbetween 2 days and 7 months in advance. Book Online
  • Facilities: Restrooms, trash, ranger station, water

Montaña de Oro Photos

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Montana de Oro Campground

image credit: flickr / Creative Commons

Cerro Alto Campground

If you’re looking for a San Luis Obispo campground, Cerro Alto is a great choice. Located in the Los Padres National Forrest, this campground is nestled in the trees at the foot of Cerro Alto peak which has an altitude of over 2,600 feet. From your campsite, you’ll be able to reach the trail head for Cerro Alto Trail which provides some of the best panorama views in San Luis Obispo.

The Cerro Alto campground is located off of Highway 41 half way between Morro Bay and Atascadero. It is a quick drive to head out to Morro Bay and spend some time at the beach or eating at waterfront restaurants. If you head up Highway 41 towards Atascadero, you can easily venture into Paso Robles where you can find world class wines.

  • Fees: $25/night
  • Reservations: Recreation.gov
  • Facilities: Tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Potable water. No hookups.

Cerro Alto Photos

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Cerro Alto Campground

image credit: flickr / Creative Commons

Morro Strand State Beach

Morro Strand State Beach offers some of the best beach camping in California along their 3 miles of sandy beaches. For Ocean sports enthusiasts, and the beach bums who just want to hang at the beach, Morro Strand is a great choice for a campground as you can find great surfing, kite boarding, kayaking, fishing, and sand castle making.

Located off of the iconic Highway 1, Morro Strand is a great basecamp for your Central Coast vacation. You can take an easy trip up Highway 1 for a day trip to check out Hearst Castle, Big Sur, or Cambria and still make it back in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset from your campsite. Similarly, you are close to San Luis Obispo so you can head in for the world famous Farmers’ Market or to have dinner.

  • Fees: $35/night
  • Reservations: Reserve America
  • Facilities: Tent & RV camping. Restrooms. Potable water.

Morro Strand Campground & State Beach Photos

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Carriage House Cottage

image credit: Public Domain

Lake Nacimiento Campground

Lake Nacimiento is the premier water skiing and wakeboarding lake on the Central Coast offering a whole range of activities for the family including boat rentals, tubing, paddle boarding and fishing. While you can stay at a campsite at Lake Nacimiento, if you prefer some of the conveniences and comfort of your home, you can rent RV trailers, modular cabins, lodges, or even a cottage for your vacation.

On this beautiful 18 mile long lake, there are seven different campgrounds from you to choose from. While Rocky Canyon, Oak Knoll & Sandy Point campgrounds require reservations, the others are first come, first serve. If you are planning a group trip, you can reserve spacious group campgrounds at either Sandy Point or Rocky Canyon campgrounds.

  • Fees: No Hookups $32 ($27 off season) // Hookups $42 ($37 off season)
  • Reservations: 1-800-323-3839
  • Facilities: Restrooms, potable water, marina, store, dining

Lake Nacimiento Photos

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Lake Nacimiento Resort

image credit: flickr / Creative Commons

Hi Mountain Campground

Set in a grove of oaks at 2,200 feet elevation outside of Pozo, Hi Mountain Campground is one of the hidden gems of San Luis Obispo camping. If you are looking to go camping in solitude and enjoy panoramic views of nature look no further. As Hi Mountain Campground is relatively remote, it isn’t uncommon to be the only people camping at the location. While some of the 11 campsites have astonishing views of the wilderness, Hi Mountain Condor Lookout is just a short drive up the road which offers unparalleled views.

Be warned that this campground isn’t for the faint of heart. To get to the campground, you must go up Hi Mountain Road, which is a un-maintained dirt road; you should have 4 wheel drive to go camping here. A Prius definitely won’t make it up the road. Additionally, while there are vault toilets, there is no water or trash services or even a ranger station. Before heading up, check their website to make sure the campground isn’t temporarily closed.

  • Fees:  Adventure Pass or Annual Interagency Pass, Senior Interagency Pass, or Interagency Access Pass required. Adventure Pass is $5/day or $30/year.
  • Reservations: First come, first serve
  • Facilities: vault toilets

Hi Mountain Camp Photos

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Hi Mountain Campground

image credit: flickr / Creative Commons

Oceano Dunes SVRA

The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is one of the premier camping spots in San Luis Obispo County. Just a short drive from downtown SLO and you’ll be camping on the beach. Here you’re able to drive out onto the beach and setup camp. As the Oceano Dunes are a state off road vehicle area, this is the perfect spot if you ride ATVs, dune buggies, or have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that you want to take out and have some fun in the sand.

While the Oceano Dunes offer beach front camping that is unmatched by any other campground, there are a couple things to keep in mind. The first is that all of the campsites are south of a large stream that feeds into the ocean. This means that the campsites are really only accessible to 4 wheel drive vehicles. Second, you’re camping on the beach in an offroad vehicle area. This is great if you want to get rowdy on an ATV, but it also means that you might not be the peaceful camping experience that some are looking for. It also means that there are no facilities which might be a deal breaker for some people.

  • Fees: $10 per vehicle per night
  • Reservations: Reservations must be made at least 2 days in advance and can be made up to 7 months in advance of your camping dates. Reserve your spot at Reservation America
  • Facilities: none

Hi Mountain Camp Photos

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Oceano Dunes

Map of Campgrounds Near San Luis Obispo

Oceano Dunes State Recreational Vehicle Area

OCEANO DUNES SVRA
100 Pier Ave
OCEANO CA 93445

Phone Number:
Information: (805)473-7220

Reservations & More Info

Pismo Beach State Campground

Pismo Beach North Beach Campground
399 S. Dolliver St.
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Reservations & More Details

Montana de Oro Campground

MONTANA DE ORO SP
3550 PECHO VALLEY ROAD
LOS OSO CA 93402

Phone Number:
Information: (805)528-0513

Reservations & More Details

Pianetta Ranch & Winery Camp

5276 Indian Valley Rd
San Miguel, CA 93451, USA

Reservations & More Details

Morro Bay Campground

MORRO BAY SP
STATE PARK ROAD
MORRO BAY CA 93442

Phone Number:
Information: (805)772-7434

Reservations & More Details

Rustic Cabins Paso Robles

Morro Strand State Beach

MORRO STRAND SB
STATE PARK ROAD
MORRO BAY CA 93442

Phone Number:
Information: (805)772-8812

Reservations & More Info

Cerro Alto Campground

Cerro Alto Campground
Los Padres National Forest, CA-41
Morro Bay, CA 93442

Phone Number
(805)434-1996

Reservations & More Info

Santa Margarita Lake Recreation Area

4695 Santa Margarita Lake Road
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

Phone Number
(805) 788-2397

Reservations & More Details

Hi Mountain Campground

Hi Mountain Campground
Los Padres National Forest
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

More Info

Carriage House Cottage

108-116 Booker Rd,
Templeton, CA 93465

Reservations & More Info

Lake Nacimiento Camp Campground

Lake Nacimiento Resort
10625 Nacimiento Lake Dr
Bradley, CA 93426

Reservations & More Info

Lopez Lake Recreation Area

Lopez Lake Campground
6800 Lopez Dr
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Phone Number
(805) 788-2381

Reservations & More Info

San Simeon Creek Campground

SAN SIMEON SP
VANGORDON AT SAN SIMEON CREEK
CAMBRIA CA 93428

Phone Number:
Project Office: (805)927-2035

Reservations & More Info

El Chorro Regional Park

State Highway 1 @ Dairy Creek Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Phone Number
805.781.5930 x 4

Reservations & More Info