San Elijo Campgrounds

The San Elijo campgrounds are located just South of Encinitas and just North of Cardiff. The campground is located right on the bluff of these beautiful beaches and has some of the best views and waves in the surrounding areas. About 5 minutes North is Pipes and about 10 minutes South is Cardiff and Suck outs. There are over 170 camp sites located at these grounds which make them able to handle a lot of campers, families and surfers!

I personally have camped here a few times and have not had one negative experience. The staff was friendly, the campgrounds were clean and well maintained and the surf was pumping while I stayed there, which is always a great thing.

Campground Information:

Reservations: 1-800-444-7275

Direct Line: 1-760-753-5091


General Rules:

  • 3 Licensed vehicles and 8 people allowed per campsite.

  • Maximum speed in campground is 15 MPH.

  • Animals must be on a leash and in owner's control.

  • No alcohol or glass on the beach.

  • Campsite check out time is 12:00 PM.

Click Here for Directions to the Campgrounds

Cost for Camping:

  Peak Season
Off Season
Inland Campsite: $ 25.00 $ 20.00
Oceanfront Campsite: $ 35.00 $ 30.00

The entrance to the San Elijo campgrounds are located right of the bluff of the coastline as you are driving down Old Highway 101. The entrance is only accessible from the North as you can not turn left into the campgrounds from the South.

The road leading through the campgrounds

Once you enter the campgrounds, there are two campgrounds to the North and to the South so wherever your particular spot is, head on over and set up camp. the speed limit is 15 mph in all of the campground so abide that limit and be careful of kids, animals and other vehicles.

A beach front camping spot

The view from a beach front spot

There are two kinds of camping spots located at San Elijo and about 1/3 of these spots are ocean front which is the way to go in my book. Waking up next to that ocean sound and smell is one of the most tranquil feelings in my book and should be experienced by everyone at least once!

Each camp spot, whether inland or ocean front has a dirt parking lot to park your RV, camper or cars, a bench for meals, and a fire pit that is setup for a late night bonfire. You can see all items in these pictures.

The inland camp spots at San Elijo

The majority of the camping spots at this campground are inland spots which are still awesome but without the great view all the time. These spots can actually tend to be a bit larger then the ocean front spots due to the layout of the campgrounds so that can be beneficial.

One of the many beach access' in the San Elijo Campgrounds

There are many ways to access the beach in the San Elijo campgrounds and they are all easy to locate. there are sets of stairs leading down to the beach every 1/4 of a mile or so. They are very well maintained and in good shape for all the traffic they see.

A shower and beach access seen from the walkway

On top of multiple ways to access the beach, most of them have a shower at the top of the stairs which is awesome after a long surf session or long day on the beach.

One of the many lifeguard towers on the beach

There are many lifeguard towers located throughout the beach at San Elijo and they are open exclusively during the Summer months. If you are camping during the off season, make sure to take caution when entering the water because more than likely, there will not be a lifeguard on duty.

However, even though there might not be a lifeguard on duty, the lifeguards routinely drive up and down these beaches if there is an emergency and you need help.

The restrooms that can be found in the campgrounds

There are several buildings throughout the campgrounds which are the designated restrooms. There is usually about 8 restrooms per building and on top of that, there are also sinks to wash the sand out of your stuff. All of the restrooms are well maintained by the campgrounds and in no way grungy or gross.

On top of the clean and well kept restrooms, most restroom units contain showers as well. They are free for campers and are in also clean condition. Just look for the word "Shower" by the door and you're there!

The Shower's at San Elijo campgrounds

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