• icon-facebook
  • icon-twitter
  • icon-linkedin
  • icon-pinterest
  • icon-youtube
  • icon-instagram

El Capitan State Beach Campground California

4/10/2024 - El Capitan State Beach is OPEN. Reservations can be made now for a short window of availability between April 2024 and November 2024. The campground will be fully closed to camping for approximately nine months beginning Winter 2024.

El Capitan State Beach Overview

El Capitan State Beach 006

El Capitan State Beach campground is a relatively large campground and has 142 single-family campsites located next to a spectacular beach on the central California coastline.  Campsites can be reserved from April 1 through November 30. The rest of the year sites are first come, first served.

Campsites can accommodate tents, trailers and motorhomes (up to 42 feet).   Sites 124-132 are for RVs and trailers only. There are no hookups in the campground. ADA Campsites are 8, 9, 20, 26, 33, 38, 39, 40, 80, and 83. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grill. Quiet hours are from 10 PM to 6 AM. Three vehicles and 8 people maximum are allowed per campsite. However, your reservation fee will pay for one vehicle and one towed vehicle.

Five group camping areas are also available (Cabrillo, DeAnza, Drake, Portola and Ortega) and overlook the ocean. They can accommodate 40-60 people (tent camping). Paved parking (for autos and small RVs) is available at the group sites. There are also a few hike-in and bike-in campsites north of the group camping area. Overflow parking is available.

Facilities at the campground include flush toilets, drinking water, coin operated showers, a laundromat, a day use/picnic area and campfire center. Firewood is also available for sale from the campground host.

El Capitan campground has lots of shady areas with many oak and sycamore trees throughout the park. Some of the campsites also offer beautiful views from the cliff-top. There is also a sandy beach with tide pools and many hiking trails.

El Capitan State Beach Area Recreation

The coastline in this area boasts high cliffs, sandy beaches, rocky tide pools and lots of surf. Keep your eyes peeled and you may be lucky enough to spot majestic dolphins, elephant seals, and sea lions in the water! You also have a good chance of seeing some whales during their migration to/from Mexico.

Outdoor recreation includes swimming, surf-fishing, surfing, ocean kayaking, hiking, biking, sunbathing, beach combing, picnicking and wildlife viewing.

Three other campgrounds in the area include Gaviota State Park (39 campsites),  Carpinteria State Beach (216 campsites) and Refugio State Beach (66 campsites).

Make a Reservation for El Capitan State Beach

  • Amphitheater
  • BBQ Grills
  • Camp Store
  • Campfire Center
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service - Good
  • Drinking Water
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Available
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Hike/Bike Campsites
  • Ice
  • Iron Ranger
  • Laundromat
  • Overflow Parking
  • Pets OK
  • Picnic Tables
  • Ranger Station
  • Recycling Center
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • Showers
  • Beach
  • Beach Access
  • Beach Combing
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating (non motorized)
  • Body Surfing
  • Creek
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Trails
  • Ocean
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Skin Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Stargazing
  • Surf Fish
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking Trails
  • Whale Watching
  • Wildlife Viewing
10 Refugio Beach Rd.
Goleta, California 93117
805 968-1033
Become a Pro Member to See Campground Map

Upgrade to Campsite PRO Membership

Get 20% off availability alerts, entry to prize drawings, and enjoy an ad free experience!

Get Started

Make a Reservation

El Capitan State Beach Availability Alerts

El Capitan State Beach sold out? Get an alert when a campsite becomes available at El Capitan State Beach!

Create Campsite Availability Alert
Best Campsites
Become a Pro Member to See a List of Best Campsites
Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • Hike/Bike
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer
# of Campsites:



Year Round



El Capitan State Beach Photos

El Capitan State Beach
El Capitan State Beach 001
El Capitan State Beach 002
El Capitan State Beach 003
El Capitan State Beach 004
El Capitan State Beach 005
El Capitan State Beach 006
El Capitan State Beach 007
El Capitan State Beach 008
El Capitan State Beach 009
El Capitan State Beach 010
El Capitan State Beach 011
El Capitan State Beach 012
El Capitan State Beach 013
El Capitan State Beach 014
El Capitan State Beach 015
El Capitan State Beach 016
El Capitan State Beach 017
El Capitan State Beach 018
El Capitan State Beach 019
El Capitan State Beach 020
El Capitan State Beach 021
El Capitan State Beach 022
El Capitan State Beach 023
El Capitan State Beach 024
El Capitan State Beach 025
El Capitan State Beach 026
El Capitan State Beach 027
El Capitan State Beach 028
El Capitan State Beach 028A
El Capitan State Beach 029
El Capitan State Beach 030
El Capitan State Beach 031
El Capitan State Beach 032
El Capitan State Beach 033
El Capitan State Beach 034
El Capitan State Beach 035
El Capitan State Beach 036
El Capitan State Beach 037
El Capitan State Beach 038
El Capitan State Beach 039
El Capitan State Beach 040
El Capitan State Beach 041
El Capitan State Beach 042
El Capitan State Beach 043
El Capitan State Beach 044
El Capitan State Beach 045
El Capitan State Beach 046
El Capitan State Beach 047
El Capitan State Beach 048
El Capitan State Beach 049
El Capitan State Beach 050
El Capitan State Beach 051
El Capitan State Beach 052
El Capitan State Beach 053
El Capitan State Beach 054
El Capitan State Beach 055
El Capitan State Beach 056
El Capitan State Beach 057
El Capitan State Beach 058
El Capitan State Beach 059
El Capitan State Beach 060
El Capitan State Beach 061
El Capitan State Beach 062
El Capitan State Beach 063
El Capitan State Beach 064
El Capitan State Beach 065
El Capitan State Beach 066
El Capitan State Beach 067
El Capitan State Beach 068
El Capitan State Beach 069
El Capitan State Beach 070
El Capitan State Beach 071
El Capitan State Beach 072
El Capitan State Beach 073
El Capitan State Beach 074
El Capitan State Beach 075
El Capitan State Beach 076
El Capitan State Beach 077
El Capitan State Beach 078
El Capitan State Beach 079
El Capitan State Beach 080
El Capitan State Beach 081
El Capitan State Beach 082
El Capitan State Beach 083
El Capitan State Beach 084
El Capitan State Beach 085
El Capitan State Beach 086
El Capitan State Beach 087
El Capitan State Beach 088
El Capitan State Beach 089
El Capitan State Beach 090
El Capitan State Beach 091
El Capitan State Beach 092
El Capitan State Beach 093
El Capitan State Beach 094
El Capitan State Beach 095
El Capitan State Beach 096
El Capitan State Beach 097
El Capitan State Beach 098
El Capitan State Beach 099
El Capitan State Beach 100
El Capitan State Beach 101
El Capitan State Beach 102
El Capitan State Beach 103
El Capitan State Beach 104
El Capitan State Beach 105
El Capitan State Beach 106
El Capitan State Beach 107
El Capitan State Beach 108
El Capitan State Beach 109
El Capitan State Beach 110
El Capitan State Beach 111
El Capitan State Beach 112
El Capitan State Beach 113
El Capitan State Beach 114
El Capitan State Beach 115
El Capitan State Beach 116
El Capitan State Beach 117
El Capitan State Beach 118
El Capitan State Beach 119
El Capitan State Beach 120
El Capitan State Beach 121
El Capitan State Beach 122
El Capitan State Beach 123
El Capitan State Beach 124
El Capitan State Beach 126
El Capitan State Beach 128
El Capitan State Beach 130
El Capitan State Beach 132
El Capitan State Beach Amphitheater
El Capitan State Beach Cabrillo Group
El Capitan State Beach DeAnza Group A
El Capitan State Beach DeAnza Group B
El Capitan State Beach DeAnza Group C
El Capitan State Beach DeAnza Group D
El Capitan State Beach DeAnza Group E
El Capitan State Beach Drake Group
El Capitan State Beach Hike & Bike
El Capitan State Beach Ortega Group
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group F
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group G
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group H
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group I
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group J
El Capitan State Beach Portola Group K
El Capitan State Beach Restroom
El Capitan State Beach Sign
El Capitan State Beach Store
El Capitan State Beach View

El Capitan State Beach Comments & Reviews

Visited El Capitan State Beach Campground lately? We'd love to hear about your adventure. Did you find us useful? Did we forget something? Anything our community should know before heading out to El Capitan State Beach?

119 Comments on “El Capitan State Beach”

  1. Cecilia Muniz says:

    Many years ago we camped at El Capitan in a pop up trailer. It was wonderful! We drove by there last weekend and it seems campers can no longer camp under the trees! There are now cement pads to park your RV or trailer on! Has anyone camped there recently? I’m not happy about the change.

    • RVs are parked on asphalt drives, but the rest of the site is all dirt w/ trees so tents may be put under the trees and you can still have the shade of trees at your site, just not right where the camper is parked.
      I go there almost annually with friends and it’s very nice.

  2. Julieann Collier says:

    At El Capitan State beach the sites in Loop One nearest the beach are still primitive sites, Loop 2 as well…i think you may be refereing to loop three and four which are the loops you see from the road, those are the group sties and have been reconstructed and revamped. THE TREES are missing in LOOP 3 and 4 Because of a large fire years ago.

  3. Julieann Collier says:

    At El Capitan State beach the sites in Loop One nearest the beach are still primitive sites, Loop 2 as well…i think you may be refereing to loop three and four which are the loops you see from the road, those are the group sties and have been reconstructed and revamped. THE TREES are missing in LOOP 3 and 4 Because of a large fire years ago.

  4. Pat Kramer says:

    This is a very nice camping place although we had an access road passing by the back of our site and just a bit further over, a train track with a train passing by in the night. If, however, you are lucky enough to get a group site, you can actually sit by the cliff over the beach and really enjoy the awesome views! I think it’s a very nice place, overall.

  5. Ginger Baker says:

    Kids went camping there a few days ago. Apparently the place has been wiped out due to a tsunami. So sad!!

    • Hi Ginger,
      Rest assured that El Capitan State Beach is safe and sound. There has been no tsunami to hit California since March 11, 2011 as a result of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake off of Japan. The resulting 2011 tsunami in California was very small resulting in minor damage mostly in the Crescent City area of California. El Capitan State Beach had no damage and is open.

  6. Can anyone please tell me what is the best website I can use to make reservations to tent camp here at El Capitan State Beach? Thank you!

    • Hi Mayse,

      During summer and weekends, it is difficult to get a reservation at El Capitan State Beach. ReserveCalifornia.com is the agency that handles reservations. The reservations work on a 6 month rolling window. So, for example, if your arrival date is July 1, then the first day you can try and make a reservation for a July 1 arrival is on January 1 at 8AM PST.

      There is also a ‘bot’ site that is grabbing reservations with its speeding computers/connections and then reselling the campsites for an additional $39 per night. ReserveCalifornia.com and the State of California Parks department are aware, but don’t seem to care. You can read more about in the comments HERE.

      • Jim Grooters says:

        Why can’t anyone do anything about the “bot” sites and why does’nt the SOCParks department not care? How can one get in touch with them and ask about this situation? Can you give me info on who to call?

      • Hi Jim,
        Yes, it is a bad situation with the “bot” sites snagging reservations. We ran a poll on our Facebook page earlier in the year to gauge the satisfaction with ReserveCalifornia and the response was overwhelmingly negative. There have been several comments on our ‘Tips to Reserve A Campsite‘ blog post where you’ll see what some people have done (to complain). CampsitePhotos has contacted both ReserveCalifornia and California State Parks about the situation. They have indicated they are “aware of the situation”, but so far no progress.

      • The “bot” option has been blocked by Cal Parks software and is no longer easily available as of 2019. This means it’s back to peering at the computer at 7:59.59 am, 6 months in advance, to sign in. The best spots are gone within 5 seconds (really). Is this really an improvement?

    • @Mayse There are three ways that work best to make reservations at popular sites like El Capitan:
      1) Go through the process of the 6 months in advance at opening time. Cons are plans can change.
      2) Make a reservation just a few days before you want to go. This is when cancellations come up – it seems if I try this method and check for a few days and refresh the computer when necessary I am usually able to get a nice site.
      3) The same as above but just look for one day openings and then move to different sites if necessary.
      3a) If you get just one day then you will be on site to check on next day cancellations at the entry kiosk(I personally do not like the hassle of this method)


      • Thanks Hops!
        Option 3a is no longer an option though. They no longer allow you to pick up cancellations at the entry kiosk. And of course, you can always try our Campsite Assist tool to get email & text alerts if/when a campsite becomes available. In the alert there will be a link to try and reserve the site.

  7. Are there any campfire restrictions in place at this time?

  8. Hi there, was invited to El Capitan this weekend (first time) and very excited. I’ve tried to confirm that in fact a small pop-up trailer is allowed, regardless of what site we have reserved (Loop1,2,3 or 4)… I am not sure of our exact campsite but I’m certain it is not a group site…. we would have two vehicels total and one of those would be towing the pop-up which is 15ft long and 6ft wide… so is the info I copied from above in fact correct? —“Three vehicles and 8 people maximum are allowed per campsite. However, your reservation fee will pay for one vehicle and one towed vehicle.”

    • Hi Jay,
      That’s correct – at El Capitan State Beach campground you can have up to 3 vehicles (including the towed vehicle), but the third vehicle will cost extra (per night).

      • hi so to clarify the pop up trailer counts as a “vehicle” ?? meaning can only have 2 cars and a pop up trailer max at a site that says “3” vehicles? or can you have 3 cars and a pop up trailer ? regardless of the cost? thanks

      • Hi Robbie, So 3 vehicles is any combination of autos, trailers or RV. In other words, 2 cars and one popup trailer = 3 vehicles. They won’t let you have 3 cars and a popup trailer in the same campsite. If overflow is available, you’ll need to park the 3rd car (4th vehicle) in overflow, and there will be an additional fee.

  9. Jim Grooters says:

    Am inquiring about whether or not you have hookups ( EWS). If not do you have availability of potable water and dump station? Which sites could I park a 30′- 5th wheel in? Thanks

    • Hi Jim,
      CampsitePhotos.com is not affiliated with the campgrounds listed on our site. We provide the photos of each campsite, camp info and link to make reservations. With that said, there are no hookups at El Capitan State Beach. Campsites 125-132 are large (RV and trailer) sites only and your rig will fit in one of those. Many sites throughout the campground will accommodate rigs up to 42 feet. It would be best to click on the “Make A Reservation” button to check with ReserveCalifornia on sizes of all campsites.

  10. Pam Marqez says:

    Anyone know if there is a dump station at El Capitan? If not, can you recommend one nearby?

  11. Are there any spots in the lower loop 1-28 that will fit a 30 ft class A motorhome?

    • Hi JR,

      Looks like a couple of sites will fit your 30 foot motorhome in campsites 1-28 at El Capitan State Beach. Check out sites 1, 3, 4, 7, 11 and 12. Although sites 1 and 3 may have a few tree limbs to deal with.

  12. Hi! I just made a reservation for my Cub Scout group, Pack 114. We are very excited to visit in a few months. I was hoping to get information about hikes, trails, tide pools, caves, and anything of the like. I’d so appreciate anything you can offer. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Cheryl,
      That is great news about getting a reservation for your Cub Scout group at El Capitan State Beach. There are some nice trails throughout the campground, and of course the beach will offer some great opportunities to explore (beach combing, tide pools, caves, etc.). You’ll find the tide pools and a few small caves close to the campground. You may also want to drive up El Capitan Canyon. There’s a parking area and trailhead at the end of the road where you can hike along the creek and through the hills. The camp ranger (at check in) should also have some brochures and ideas for you too! Have a great time!

  13. Hello:

    I have a couple of questions related to ADA access at El Cap.

    We have a 30′ class A motorhome with a wheel chair lift on the passenger side. My husband is a wheelchair user and has the disabled discount pass.

    Q1: What campsites would be suitable for us to camp in? How can we assure they are available (during the non reservation season) before we drive up there?

    Q2: What other features are available for my husband using his wheelchair?

    Thank you,
    Katherine and Tony

    • HI KTrver,
      El Capitan State Beach ADA campsites are: 8, 9, 20, 26, 33, 38, 39, 40, 80, and 83. Unfortunately there really isn’t anyway of knowing if any of those sites will be occupied (during the non reservation season). You may try calling the Park directly (before you go) at: 805 968-1033. El Capitan State Beach also has ADA restrooms in the campground. The amphitheater is also ADA.

      • Thank you. Which ADA sites will accommodate a 30’ motorhome with side wheel chair lift?

  14. ScottyCR says:

    Camping with a church group soon and need clarification on a group camp site. Group site has already been reserved but is there a limit on how many RVs can park in one RV space? Are there even designated RV spaces within the group sites? Total length of 2 van/truck type RVs will be shorter than 42’ total.

    • HI Scotty,

      El Capitan State Beach has 3 group camping areas available (Ortega, Cabrillo and Drake). They can accommodate 40-100 people (tent camping). Paved parking (for autos and small RVs) is available at the group sites.

      • You state that small RVs may park at the group sites with a group camp reservation. How long can the RV be?

      • Hi Anne,

        That’s a good question! Not sure how large an RV can park in the group sites, but we will be heading up there in a few weeks to take new photos. I’ll see if I can get you an answer. In meantime, you may try calling the park to check at: 805-968-1033.

      • Thanks for the reply, Camp Ranger! I’m having trouble getting anyone at the campground to pick up the phone. Wondering if RVs can park in the parking spaces at the Tent Only Group Campsites (Ortega, Cabrillo, Drake).

  15. I am curious which of the 3 loops are closer to the ocean ?

    • Hi Edina,

      Click on the ‘Campground Map’ button for El Capitan State Beach and you’ll see which loops and campsites are closer to the ocean.

      • Edina Rush says:

        It looks like they are equal distance from the photo’s was hoping for a little more input from you 🙂 Thank you.

  16. I also wondered , is there any electricity anywhere in the campground for blowing up a air mattress for the tent?

  17. Is there cell service there? Wondering if my children will be able to contact me if need be? Sycamore canyon has no cell so curious.

  18. Corey C says:

    I heard that this beach allows horses on it is that true? If it is, are they allowed on a small section of the beach or the whole thing?

  19. Rey Lavalle says:

    Q: What does the “R.V. Fill Station” supply? Can I “water up” from a hose-bib there?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Ray,
      We know El Capitan State Beach has an RV dump station, but not positive if they have potable water for tank fill up at the dump station. We do know there are water spigots located in the campground where you can fill up your tanks. You may want to call the park directly to confirm: 805 968-1033

  20. Just to be clear, Dec thru march no reservations, walk in only? When can i begin making reservations for april through next summer?

    • Hi Edina,
      You can make a reservation at El Capitan State Beach (during the reservable time period) 6 months to the day prior to arrival. For example, if you want to arrive July 6, then the first day you can try and make a reservation is on January 6 at 8:00am PST. Be sure to try and reserve a spot right at 8:00am as the campground generally sells out within minutes during peak/summer (or weekends).

  21. Hi – I am trying to determine if our trailer will fit in site 82 – wondering how far the overhang is in this spot? We have 28′ trailer. Thank you for any feedback!

    • Hi SC,
      The pad length on El Capitan State Beach Site 82 is 25 feet, and you have plenty of overhang (past the curb) – probably 8-10 feet until the tree and more to left of tree.

  22. Thank you for your response! It seems that our back wheel to tongue is 25 feet. The info for site 82 says it has a pad length of 25, but also “Site Length(Camp Space/Unit Max Length) 23”. Any idea what the Site Length of 23 refers to? We will need the entire 25 feet. 🙂 Thanks so much for your feedback!

  23. Can you give me more information on the primitive hike in site/s?
    1. How far from the parking?
    2. How do you reserve?
    3. Is it usually taken?

    Any and all information will help. Thank you!

    • Hi John,
      We are not aware of any primitive/hike-in campsites at El Capitan State Beach. There are 142 standard sites (drive-up for tent, trailer and RV). There are also 3 group camping areas (for parties between 40-100 people). For the group sites, the walk to the camping area is very short, maybe 30 to 40 yards from the parking area (see photo). All sites (standard and group) can be reserved by clicking on the ‘Make A Reservation’ button, where you can check availability , pricing and make a reservation. Sites book quickly during peak season.
      El Capitan State Beach Group Campsites

  24. Yes, there are a few hike-in and bike-in campsites at the far west end of the group campgrounds. According to the brochure they can be booked by those on foot or bike at the campground entrance.



    I reserved a site here and it mentions the 3 vehicle and 8 person limit however I was wondering since the sites are fairly large if 1 vehicle and two trailers is ok. I have a trailer and an rv with one car. 7 people total. Thank you!

  26. We are going to El Capitan for the first time last this summer. We booked campsite 70, only one available, how close are we going to be to the bathroom? I’m worried about the smell.
    I was also wondering about beach access, are there stairs or ramps to go down to the beach? and how long will this walk be?

    Thank you all for your help!

    • Hi CS,
      El Capitan State Beach campsite #70 is not too close to the bathroom so you don’t have to worry about the smell. The beach is about 400-500 feet from your campsite and there are stairs down to the beach. Have a great time!

  27. Is El Cap still not open for reservations till April 1st 2020?

    • ReserveCalifornia.com has a 6 month rotating reservation schedule for all California State Parks and Beaches. For example, if you want to start your camping on July 1, then the first day you can make a reservation would be 6 months prior or Dec 1 at 8am PST.
      If you wanted to begin your stay on July 2, then December 2 at 8AM would be the first day/time you could try and reserve a site.
      Hope this helps!

      • Thank you for your quick response.

        Lastly, I am unfamiliar with the blue walking man icon on the reserve california website when you want to click on a site and reserve, what does this mean? thanks!

      • The meaning behind the blue walking man icon has stumped people for ages. It may reference a campsite that requires a ‘short’ walk or hike from the vehicle to the camping area. I recommend calling ReserveCalifornia to confirm.

  28. Jen Redekopp says:

    We are hoping to book a group site in the spring. Does El Capitan still have the smaller group site (I think it’s for 35 people or less) that is more shaded and NOT close to the train tracks? Is it currently available or closed due to COVID-19?

    • Hi Jen,
      All of the group camping areas are over by the train tracks and have little shade. However, all El Capitan State Beach group campsites are closed due to Covid restrictions.

  29. hard to tell from campground map but is the only beach access/path from the campground down to the beach that paved path from the day use parking lot? trying to figure out the closest campground to the beach path since we have toddlers. thanks!

    • Hello Z!
      There are two beach access paths (both paved – walking only) from the day use parking lot/area at San Clemente State Beach. The one closest to the campground is shorter and maybe a 1/4 mile walk down to the beach.

  30. I’m a little confused by the hike-in/bike-in campsites.
    Where are they located?
    How far do we have to hike from parking to get there?
    What amenities does it have?
    And how do I reserve a spot?
    I tried clicking on the site on the reservation, and it won’t allow me to book the site.

    • Hi Mare,
      Great questions! The El Capitan State Beach Hike & Bike campsites are located down past the group camping area. Amenities include drinking water, flush toilets and showers. The sites are reservable on ReserveCalifornia.com, but they must be sold out on your dates if you’re not able to reserve. You can try calling ReserveCalifornia to confirm at: 800-444-7275
      El Capitan State Beach Hike & Bike Map

  31. Greetings
    We have reservations this month-October 2020. Do we need coin for the showers? Will the camp store be open for fire wood and ice?

    • Hi Terrir,
      Unfortunately (according to California State Parks page), the camp store at El Capitan State Beach is closed (Covid restrictions). The showers may be closed too, but I have not been able to confirm. If open, the showers take coins and there is a coin dispenser machine for $1, $5 bills).

  32. You almost answered by question with your last response, but not quite. I’m hoping to hike in this weekend, and want to know if firewood is available to purchase at the camp host. I have seen some older posts various places regarding buying firewood from a camp host, but not sure if that’s still available with COVID.

    • Hi Matt,
      Unfortunately I can’t confirm whether the camp host is still selling firewood at El Capitan State Beach. I would assume it is still being sold (they have all year). Sorry I couldn’t confirm.

  33. Hi. Is there any outlets in the bathroom. or by the campsite?

  34. Your web page has provided myself a lot of beneficial info, and
    for that I thank you so much. This informative article is one
    of the best I’ve read so far on your web site,
    and so I felt I needed to take time to post a comment.

    You’ve given me a number of tips to assist me going forward.

  35. Can more than one 24 ft RV fit in spot 85? Hoping to share but not sure that’s allowed.

  36. Hi! I am so excited to have booked a spot for the first time at El Capitan. I am wondering if a large tent can fit on site 94? Thanks!

    • Hi Lydia, You should really like El Capitan State Beach/Campground! Campsite #94 has a fairly large area behind the table. I’d estimate about 20×20 feet, maybe a bit more. Your large tent should fit – depending on its size. Have fun!

  37. KARIN J RUBERIO says:

    If we have a truck, trailer and one other vehicle, is there an extra charge on top of our reservation cost??

    • Hi Karen,

      Your camping reservation at El Capitan State Beach covers one vehilce + a towed vehicle (your trailer). You can park another vehicle, but there will be an extra charge of $10 per night for the extra vehicle.

  38. Hi, We have to cancel one of our two spots at El Capitan, site #23 or #25. Any suggestions on which of the two may be the better one to keep?

  39. Hello. We have the Portola Group campsite reserved for next month. We have 5-6 families coming for tent camping. It’s a little hard to tell on the campground map how this group area is arranged. Can you tell me what campsite numbers are included in the Portola group campsite? Are there enough trees/shade there? Does it usually get fairly windy at the campsite during the afternoon? Are we a little “isolated” from other campers in the group area? Is campfire wood being sold there? Is the general store now open? And lastly, is the highway noise fairly loud from the Portola group area?? Thanks so much for your help with all these questions.

    • Hi DK,
      The Portola Group campsite includes group sites F, G, H, I, J and K. I’ve also included an aerial view of the Portola Group campsite so you can get an idea about shade. As you can tell, the Portola Group campsite is not that isolated from the single-family campsites in the area, but you do have a big group area. You will get some ocean breeze most days and it could be more than a breeze if a weather front moves though, but generally fairly mild (kite flying wind). There is not a camp store on premises, but there are grocery stores in the area. Usually you won’t hear much highway noise, but you will hear more of the ocean/waves.

      Portola Group Site Map

      Portola Group Site Aerial

      • Thanks so much for that helpful info! In the aerial picture, are you saying that my group will have the entire area within the “D” looking area bordered by the concrete roads?? Or is it just a portion of that “D” area where you have the blue arrow (bottom right portion including thr large parking area)? If that is the case, then that entire area looks like there could be multiple different groups within the “D” area.. groups F through K? Appreciate your clarification. Will be great to hear mostly sound of the waves/ocean rather than highway noise overnight!

      • HI DK,

        Unfortunately we do not have a CampsitePhotos.com employee on site at El Capitan State Beach. I asked the photographer, but he doesn’t recall the details of the group sites. In fact, we still need to get photos of the group sites. I recommend you call the campground directly to follow up: 805 968-1033

  40. If my car doesn’t fit in the space with the RV, can I park my car overnight in the day use area?

  41. I have reserved campsite 30 for El capitan. Do i get the corner land or just that front strip in front of the designated parking? thanks

    • Hi Omar,
      Your camping/campsite area for site #30 is from the front of the parking pad all the way back to the bushes behind the table/fire pit; it also includes the area to the right of the parking pad to about 10 feet from the firepit in the adjoining site, and it includes the area along the tree line to the left.
      El Capitan State Beach Campsite #30

  42. Jen Van Riet says:

    I want to let everyone know that camp sites 57 and 60 have had all the big trees removed. They essentially are 100% sun. When I booked, all the pictures made the sites look extremely shady. It was disappointing to have no shade. Most other sites have big trees and shade though. I hope this helps anyone booking in the future.

    • Thanks Jen for update on those two campsites. We’re actually planning to reshoot the campground this fall. Sorry the trees were cut down and you didn’t have he shade you expected.

  43. Darlene Tavares says:

    Newbies here. We have a 24′ m.h. no slide outs. We.like camping where we have some shade. Close to bathrooms. We have 1 small dog and just us 2. What campsites would you recommend? We don’t tow..so if close or view of ocean would be great. Thanks! Darlene

    • Hi Darlene,
      Welcome to camping! You’re going to love staying at El Capitan State Beach.
      I’d recommend clicking on the ‘Campground Map’ and then referencing which sites are closer to restrooms. For example, campsites 46, 48 and 50 are close to a restroom and each has some big trees that provide nice shade. Campsites 79 and 88 should work too (shade / close to restrooms). Those that have a view of the water tend to be away from the restrooms and don’t have shade.

  44. Jaime Whitt says:

    Perfect camping for families. Spots are secluded and some are pretty private depending on the trees. Close to secluded beaches.

  45. I am hoping to find out how much shade to expect at SITE 94? Thanks!

  46. Mark VanDyke says:

    PROS – The beach is spectacular and the walk to the breach from our loop (#2) was quite short. In terms of the quality of the sites this campground is a big step up from the “parking lot” style campgrounds that are right on the beach. Another perk is the fairly close proximity to Goleta and Santa Barbara. We had an amazing time bringing out dog to the off-leash beach (Arroyo Burro). Another positive is that we never heard the train at night, which was a concern for me going in. The mixture of white noise from the ocean and the wind drowned out the sound of the train passing by (if it did at all, we don’t know because we didn’t hear it!).

    CONS – Our site (#37) was listed as a top site here on campsitephotos, but it was not a good site. It was close to the bathrooms and you could see the ocean in the distance, but the site was wide open and we felt like our neighbors’ tents were right on top of our fire pit. This openness also meant exposure to strong winds that blew off the water through the night. That is more of a seasonal concern, but be aware that the idyllic images of an ocean view don’t reveal the 20 mph blasts of wind that can shake your camper/tent all night in the spring.

    Overall, the campground gets 4 out of 5 stars. We hope to return and, when we do, will book a site that is more sheltered from the wind.

  47. Lois E Weyler says:

    We have a 30 ft travel trailer and we have reserved site #130 at El Capitan. Can we park in the parking spaces above those sites? And will it be a problem getting into the 42 ft site if there are other campers in the spaces next to us?

  48. Lois E Weyler says:

    Can someone tell me what the dimensions of site #130 at El Capitan are? I know it shows 42 ft length but I need to know what the width is.

  49. We will be camping in a few weeks. Our sites are #106 & #102. How current are the pictures on the website? Trying to figure out if our sites get some shade. Thanks!

  50. Hello, Is it possible to set up 3 tents at site number 78?
    I have one small 4-person tent and 2 6person tents. And is there a slope?
    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Hope,
      Campsite #78 doesn’t have a huge area for tents, but I think you can squeeze in all three – barely. You can have up to 3 vehicles and 8 people in that site. And it is relatively flat.

  51. Hi! I have two sites booked for an upcoming trip but with a smaller group I need to cancel one. Sites #30 and #37. Are they both suitable for a 6 person tent? Which site do you think is nicer? Thanks!

    • Hi Erika,
      Both campsite 30 and 37 are really nice (on our favorite list) – level, large. Either one can also handle a 6-person tent. If I had to pick, I’d lean toward #37. Have fun!

  52. Thank you! We were leaning that way too so that’s helpful! I haven’t camped there since I was a kid and taking my daughter now so we’re excited! 🙂
    P.S. Love the site- thank you!

Your Comment / Rating / Review:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields marked *

Great Deals on Top Rated Camping Gear

Great Deals on Top Rated Camping Gear

Find everything you need for camping, including hiking supplies, tents, coolers, sleeping bags, cots, survival & first aid, food processing, and more!

Shop Now
Unique RV Camping

Unique RV Camping

Over 2,000 Wineries, Breweries, Farms and more!

Harvest Hosts is a special type of membership club for RVers, offering overnight RV camping accommodations at 2,365+ locations across North America!

Learn More
Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park


Douthat State Park has a total of 87 single family campsites and some have wonderful views of Douthat Lake. The Park also has 35 cabins and lodges for rent.

View Campground
Beverly Beach State Park

Beverly Beach State Park


Beverly Beach State Park is in forest-sheltered area right on the Oregon coast and is a very popular campground featuring a beautiful trail to and along miles of sandy beach.

View Campground
Henry Cowell State Park

Henry Cowell State Park


Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park includes 4,650 acres of beautiful forest and open land. The 40-acre old-growth redwood grove is a 5 minute drive or a short hike from the campground.

View Campground
Essential Camping Gear and Equipment

Essential Camping Gear and Equipment

Get everything you need to enjoy your outdoor adventures from bags and packs to air beds and sleeping bags, insect repellant, cooler bags, and 2-burner stoves.

Shop Now
Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park


Jay Cooke State Park offers one of the best places for bikers, backpackers, horseback riders and skiers to hook up with the Willard Munger State Trail.

View Campground
Lake Perris State Recreation Area

Lake Perris State Recreation Area


Lake Perris offers a variety of water recreation, including swimming, fishing (shore, pier and boat), boating, sailing, waterskiing, and a special area for scuba diving.

View Campground
Take the Family on a Perfect Road Trip!

Take the Family on a Perfect Road Trip!

Save up to 25% on your family travel costs in 2021 by booking an RV through RVshare

Find Cheap RV Rentals
Earn Money Renting Your RV

Earn Money Renting Your RV

List for free and earn up to $40,000 per year!

Learn More
Experience RVing

Experience RVing

Take the Family on a Perfect Road Trip! Rent an RV from RVshare

Find Cheap RV Rentals
Doheny State Beach

Doheny State Beach


Doheny State Beach is located right on the beach in one of the premier Southern California coastal areas. There are 33 premium beachfront sites and all can accommodate tents, trailers or RVs (up to 35 feet).

View Campground