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Old 02-01-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Looking for camping on the beach north of Malibu, CA

We are planning a trip to California to New Mexico in April to catch glimpse of the whales migrating back to Alaska from their winter calving grounds. We usually stay for a few days at Thornhill Broom Beach at Point Mugu State park. Which allows rv camping and our standard poodle Meka, right on the beach. But the campground and the PCH are closed due to mud slides and erosion from recent storms. Anybody have any alternatives camping locations. Dry camping is OK. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:08 PM   #2
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Camping North of Malibu

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Originally Posted by ssopko View Post
We are planning a trip to California to New Mexico in April to catch glimpse of the whales migrating back to Alaska from their winter calving grounds. We usually stay for a few days at Thornhill Broom Beach at Point Mugu State park. Which allows rv camping and our standard poodle Meka, right on the beach. But the campground and the PCH are closed due to mud slides and erosion from recent storms. Anybody have any alternatives camping locations. Dry camping is OK. Thanks!
Try some of the beaches all the way north to Big Sur. Get on the web to reserve your spots NOW though.

Carpenteria SB
Emma Wood SB

Kirk Creek (LPNF)
Plaskett Creek (LPNF)

We were able to see several pods of greys off Big Sur last April from route 1 so your chances are very good.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:13 PM   #3
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Malibu RV Park just north of Malibu Colony is up above the highway with many ocean view sites. During the off season it's not crazy expensive...it is a parking lot be forewarned but it's run by airstream owners and they are really nice people.


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Old 02-02-2015, 11:08 PM   #4
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Our favorite is El Capitan State Beach north of Santa Barbara. It's dry camping, but the sunsets are terrific, as is whale-watching in season, and it's right on the bluffs above the ocean. Across highway 101 ( and not on the beach) is Ocean Mesa RV Park- full hookups, kinda pricey, and some nice views. It's quite a walk , though, to get to the beach.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:10 AM   #5
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Hi SSOPKO,
I like Jalama Beach in Lompoc
Jalama Beach

Some sites are on the sand. Some on a bluff with an amazing view!! Strongly suggest you book asap! However, they do have some first come first serve sites available.

Best of luck and Safe Travels!
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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If you really want to camp ON the beach and are a bit brave, you can camp on the beach in Oceano (part of the 5 cities by Pismo Beach):

Oceano Dunes Sand Dune Guide
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:31 AM   #7
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I'm not sure that the northern section of PCH north of Malibu is still closed - or will be when you travel, & could still be accessible via US 101 to Camarillio say, & dropping south to get to your usual place.

AAA has some great NoCal & SoCal Camping Maps & their CA Tour Book has good camping info., but you may have to order them online or at your NM AAA branch.

In addition to Pt. Mugu, El Capitan & the others noted above, there are a few others available from Malibu North.

Camarillo SP is nice, if you don't mind what is essentially a big parking lot. There is also Gaviota & another SP up by El Capitan north of Santa Barbara.

There is also the private & more pricey El Capitan RV Resort on the hill above El Cap SP on the inland side of 101, where they hold a couple of Vintage Trailer rallies a year, which has a long view out over the ocean on clear days for whale watching.

Jalama Beach CP is great, but be aware that the road to Jalama Beach is narrow & twisty, so take it slow - & the jalapeno burgers at the shop there are great! :-P

Jalama Beach

.

Also the CA state parks website has info & online reservations...

Camping Info: Camping Information

Camping Fees: Camping Fees

Online Rez: Online Reservations

Have Fun & Safe Travels!
Tom
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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Theres also the Rincon Stretch in Ventura
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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Thank you all, for the info. I will do some research on your suggestions. We can't wait to "be on the road again."
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:42 PM   #10
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My friends and I just booked a weekend at Emma Woods:
Emma Wood SB

Booking online was difficult to understand, read ALL of the fine print. But the images for the campsites - it is beautiful, and right on the beach, and can accommodate our 31' Sovereign.

Can't wait! We'll be there the weekend of aug 21.

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:28 PM   #11
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Great question.

We are from the Central Coast of CA and have camped it from end to end. We agree with all the insight provided, e.g. El Capitan, Ocean Mesa, haven't done Point Mugu, but concur with the Carpenteria and Camarillo analogy, parking lots at what used to be wonderful state parks (lets see how many campers we can get in per square inch?)
Going all the way up to Kirk and Plaskett Creek, may be a bit far north, but incredible; you are talking five-six hours plus from the Malibu area at least.
One obvious omission: Refugio State Park, although not on the bluff like El Cap, much easier beach access and e-z whale viewing. El Cap, Refugio and Ocean Mesa are about 25 minutes max north of Santa Barbara. Problem with virtually all CA state beachs, very few allow dogs on the beach, many won't even allow them if leashed. (My cousin got a $250 ticket for having his dog on the beach at Refugio, which laughably pooped (the dog not Uncle Bob) right at the ranger's feet while the ranger wrote the ticket and we and about 70 other family members camped in the Bouchard group site watch from the bluff. Remember that Uncle Bob?) I love this stuff!
Ocean Mesa is a very, emphasize "very" nice RV park with all the amenities, but a bit expensive. Contrast this with the aforementioned state parks, all being boondocking...it depends on one's preference and what one wants to spend. Jalama also is a nice county park, seriously out of the way, and can be a bit windy particularly in the Spring, and it too can feel like a parking lot at times but is secluded from virtually everything...if you select Jalama, great whale watching from the bluff as you chow down on a famous Jalama burger (someone has already commented on)and suck back a brew or two.
Now, all that said...in my oh so humble opinion, and you know what they say about opinions...best two state beaches hands down for space, great ambiance and access to "stuff", Pismo State Beach North (be sure you get into the north campground) and Morro Bay State Park. If you really want to watch whales, go out on one of the many charters out of Morro Bay, what a thrill, whale watching plus 10.

Best of luck...Too many choices and so little time...
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:59 PM   #12
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We go to Ocean Mesa one a month and love it, private and semi private pads, dogs OK but you will need binoculars to see any whales and you have to request an upper section location, $75 a night, with store, heated pool and very nice showers and restrooms. Well maintained and worth the price. Usually several Airstreams there also. A View of 4 Airstreams on a recent visit to Ocean Mesa on the upper level.
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