San Elijo State Beach Campground California

2050 S. Coast Highway 101
Cardiff, California 92007
760 753-5091
Lat / Long:

33.02472, -117.28556

San Elijo State Beach campground has 165 campsites on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego County. The campground has easy access to a large and beautiful sandy beach. Approximately 1/3 of the campsites have unobstructed oceans views.

There are 26 campsites with full hookups including 10-15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 101-108 and 111-116.

The San Elijo State Beach (Grunion Run) Group campsite is site #128. It is just south of the campground entrance and can accommodate up to 40 people and 10 vehicles. It also has 1 pull-thru full-hookup site (up to 35 feet). Watch our video about Grunion Run group campsite on YouTube! Campsite #94 is the “hike and bike” campsite.

Amenities include drinking water (spigots and faucets at restrooms),  flush toilets, hot showers ($), and amphitheater, trash collection, a dump station and even a ‘doggie beach’. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grill. Restaurants, shops and convenience stores are also within walking distance of the campground. Cell service is good in the area.

There is also a limited opportunity for individuals to utilize a hike or bike campsite (#94) at San Elijo State Beach. The shared site (#94) is available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is permitted after 4PM and occupants must vacate the site no later than 9AM the following morning. The hike or bike site is available for one night only. The fee is $10.00 per person and must be paid before entering the campsite.

You might also like South Carlsbad State Beach, Silver Strand State Beach or Dixon Lake Campground (in Escondido).

San Elijo State Beach Area Recreation

Besides its beautiful Mediterranean-type weather, the area has a world famous surf break right by the campground. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, whale watching and beach combing. The ocean temps are warm (averaging mid-70s in the summer). You’ll also find dozens great restaurants within walking distance of the campground, Most all of San Diego’s most popular attractions are within a 45 minute drive.

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Best Campsites

2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 57, 59, 60, 61, 77, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 160, 162, 163, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171

Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • Full Hookup
  • Group
  • Hike/Bike
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer

Year Round



# of Campsites:


# of RV Campsites:


  • Amphitheater
  • BBQ Grills
  • Campfire Center
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service - Good
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Firewood Available
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Ice
  • Lifeguards
  • Pets OK
  • Picnic Tables
  • Ranger Station
  • Recycling Center
  • Rentals
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • RV Hookups
  • Showers
  • Trash Collection
  • Wood
  • Beach
  • Beach Access
  • Beach Combing
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating (non motorized)
  • Body Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Ocean
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Skin Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Surf Fish
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tide Pools
  • Wading
  • Water Sports
  • Whale Watching
  • Wildlife Viewing

San Elijo State Beach Photos

San Elijo State Beach Comments & Reviews

Visited San Elijo 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 San Elijo State Beach?

34 Replies to “San Elijo State Beach”

  1. John Boyer says:

    Links to book CA campsites need to be changed from Reserve America to Reserve California

  2. Perhaps the best beach campground in all of California. Campground is currently working on lifeguard station so some campsites are not available, but should be by end of 2019

  3. Trisha Handy says:

    Our home away from and our favorite place to be.

  4. The Parks page,, shows there is a hiker/biker area. Is this anywhere on the park map?

    • Hi Tim,
      I’m not familiar with the hike/bike campsites at San Elijo State Beach (and I live close and visit often). I’ll see if I can search the campground next time I visit, but I don’t think there are any hiker/biker sites there.

  5. megan rangel says:

    Hi, do you know if you are allowed to dry camp with RVs on the premium (non hook ups) camp spots by chance?

    • Hi Megan,
      Yes you can dry camp with RVs on premium (non hookup) campsites at San Elijo State Beach.

      • megan rangel says:

        Awesome!! Thanks I’ll book today then!

      • Best of luck – San Elijo State Beach is very popular and usually sold out. If so, you may consider using our Campsite Assist tool. It will send you a text and email alert if/when a campsite becomes available (through cancellation). The alert includes a link to try and reserve the site. You need to be quick though – click on the link ASAP as others are constantly monitoring for availability.

  6. Curious if there was any follow-up to Tim’s question about hiker/biker campsites… if there is even an opportunity for a biker to camp at San Elijo.


    • Hi Ron,
      I was able to find this information on the California State Parks page:
      There is a limited opportunity for individuals to utilize a hike or bike campsite at San Elijo State Beach. The shared site is available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is permitted after 4PM and occupants must vacate the site no later than 9AM the following morning. The hike or bike site is available for one night only and is designed to permit the individual a stop over point prior to continuing on their hike or bike journey. The fee is $10.00 per person and must be paid before entering the campsite. Photo ID is requested upon check-in to verify name. Hike and Bike campers are limited to 10 days per calender year.

  7. This site needs updating. Not sure when the photos of the sites were taken but it looks like they are at least a few years outdated. San elijo hasn’t had a camp store or snack bar/food service for over 2 years.

    • Hi Gina!

      Fortunately our office is right around the corner for San Elijo State Beach and we are sure all campsite photos are current and up to date. The latest campsite photos were taken in late 2020/early 2021. You’re right though – there is currently not a camp store there. We will remove the photo of the store.

      • “Snack bar” is also listed under amenities on this website.

      • Thanks Jackie!
        Also spotted ‘gift shop’ was still listed too. We removed ‘snack bar’ and ‘gift shop’. Hopefully they will open up a camp store again – and maybe similar to the one they did at South Carlsbad State Beach!

  8. What is happening with the San Elijo store/snack bar? Will it be opening for the summer? South Carlsbad has a new and improved store/snack bar. San Elijo sure could use one.

    • The camp store/gift shop has been closed for a few years now with no plans to reopen soon. Last we heard was that the State of CA had some pricing/stipulations (in proposal/contract) that didn’t make sense to future operators/owners. Nothing will open this summer, but hopefully next year.

  9. Can we have a 28 ft. travel trailer, mid-size truck, a 4-man tent along with a compact car on site 19? Is this allowed and will we fit?

    • Hi Janet,
      The parking pad length is 23 feet for campsite #19, but there is 4-5 feet of overhang off the back. All wheels need to be on the paved parking surface. Your trailer should fit, but final call comes from ranger/host. I think they will let you do it.

  10. Hi there! Are we able to rent camp on spots with hookups? We want to utilize the hookups even though we don’t have an RV. Thank you!

  11. Hi, how do I find out the dimensions of campsite 151? Just had a RV rental tell me that their unit will not fit into the spot. Also is says that there is no fire ring in spot – but I think I see one in the photos? Thanks!

    • Hi J.H.
      San Elijo campsite #151 definitely has a fire ring. You can find the site’s dimensions on ReserveCA (under ‘Unit Details’ and ‘Amenities’). With that said, ReserveCA site dimensions are not always correct. It lists site #151 as having a width of 51 feet and ‘pad length’ of 23 feet. It also indicates a site length (road to back fence) of 35 feet. The RV Rental company is probably referring to this (pad length). We are local to the area and visit the campground often. The site length is probably closer to 40-42 feet. You can definitely fit a trailer or RV up to 35 feet (moving the table) . . . even longer if you park it across the site (width). It can also accommodate up to 3 vehicles and 8 people.

  12. We just booked site 162 which is beach front but you don’t list it as a star “best campsite” Just wondering why that might be? Thanks!

    • Hi Heather,

      Good catch! We should have included campsite #162 as one of the “best campsites”. It’s a great site – you’ll love it. I’ll update our list an include it.

  13. CAParksCampers says:

    We want to book San Elijo 114 or 115 so we have hookups but pad says 23 & 24 ft will our 31+ ft rv fit? What is the actual length of parking space and will they let you park across the site? I know it’s always a risk till you’ve been there but the parks are so off on their site lengths adding an actual estimated length would be super helpful. Some are just dead wrong and like twice as long and others are not, so you never know (like Doheny). Also, how’s the view from that back row? I love your site/photos so helpful, but adding a site or general area view photo would be super helpful, so we can see what we the view we will be enjoying from that site, too. Thanks, I read you were locals and know it well.

    • Hi CAParksCampers!
      And thank you for your kind words and support. I’m with you on the parking spur measurements listed on ReserveCA – not correct most of the time. I wish we had the time/capacity to measure each site when we take photos. San Elijo campsites #114 and #115 have two parking areas. The shorter one is about 14 feet long and the longer one is closer to 28 feet. With that said, both of these have quite a bit of room (overhang) in the rear – about 4 feet. Neither have a view and they both back up to Highway 1 so you’ll have some traffic noise.

  14. Brad Tobin says:


    Same kind of question – headed from Idaho for thanksgiving week – never been down there. We are in site 113 (don’t know how I was lucky enough to snag it online). Pad length says 26 feet and our rig is 30. Will we fit? How strict are they?


    • Hey Brad,
      Way to go scoring site #113 at San Elijo State Beach. If the paved surface is 26 feet (which sounds / looks right), you have room out the back so your 30 foot rig will fit. All wheels ‘should’ be on pavement. Have fun and a great Thanksgiving holiday!

  15. Melissa Cardoza says:

    I booked site 14 at San Elijo with hook ups. Pavement is only 23 feet but my motor home is 30ft. It’s for July and I don’t want to let it go unless I have to. Advice? Will the motorhome fit? Can I still fit an extra car after that or can I park the car somewhere else?

    • Hi Melissa,
      The longer paved parking spot is about 23-24 feet. Fortunately there is a good amount of space/overhang off the back that would have enough room for a 30 foot RV (and you’d be able to park your 2nd vehicle in the smaller parking spot to the right). With that said, all wheels are required to be on the paved parking surface, which I think you could do. I believe it’d all fit, but the final ‘okay’ comes from the camp host and/or ranger. Looks like the camp host is right next door.

      FYI – you’d need to have the table off to the side (as shown in the picture). A previous camper may have moved it back toward the rear. The tables are heavy but can be lifted/ moved buy a few people.

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