Renting wilderness cabins in San Diego county is a great way to get outside AND have a roof over your head at night. Fortunately, there are dozens of San Diego cabins available throughout the county, managed by private owners, local municipalities or larger state and national parks authorities.
You can always rent private houses via AirBnB and VRBO, but there are also many cabins available that are not listed on the vacation rental sites.
Here’s a run down of public campgrounds and some private destinations where you can rent cabins in San Diego county:
San Diego county parks and recreation department oversees a number of cabins in San Diego, located in park campgrounds throughout the county. To reserve the cabins visit San Diego county’s campground reservation page.
Agua Caliente Park is a regional camping park nestled in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The park is best known for its geothermally heated springs and rugged desert hiking.
The park now offers seven new camping cabins outfitted with temperature controls to beat the heat, a table with seating for four, two queen size bed frames, a sink, a bathroom, and a fire ring. No pets are allowed in or around the cabin area. This is a smoke-free facility.
Located in Ramona, Dos Picos is surrounded by ranch land and steep, rocky slopes and offers two cabins in San Diego county. These are some of the closest cabins in San Diego to the coast.
The park offers a playground and a pond which provides catch and release fishing, as well as many hiking trails. The cabins in the park campground are each 200-square-feet. The cabins feature a double bed and three bunk beds, a table and chairs, and a bathroom and porch. Fire rings and picnic tables are located outside. No pets allowed.
Guajome Regional County Park offers playgrounds, a basketball court, hiking trails, and two ponds that are habitat to an abundance of fish that will test the skills of any angler.
The park offers one 600-square foot cabin. The cabin has a double bed and two fold out sleeping cots, a full kitchen, a table and chairs, a bathroom, and a porch. Fire rings and picnic tables are located outside. No pets are allowed in or around the cabin area. This is a smoke-free facility.
Lake Moreno Reservoir, in San Diego’s east county, lies in the middle of 3,250 acres of chaparral, oak woods and grasslands. The campground offers ten 156-square-foot cabins with views of the lake. Each cabin offers one queen bed and two twin-sized bunk beds. Separate restrooms are located near the cabins. No pets allows.
This is a more urban park than the others, offering Much of the 132-acre Potrero County Park consists of picnic areas, and visitors can also enjoy ball fields, an enclosed pavilion, playgrounds, and hiking trails.
There are two cabins for rent in the campground. Each has three rooms with inside privacy doors, 1 full size bed and 3 twin beds, no bedding/ padding provided, dining table and four chairs, flushable toilet bathroom, sink, propane heater, lighting, and several electrical outlets. Located outside the cabins are a fire ring and picnic table. Cabin has full shade and showers nearby.
Situated 4,200 feet above sea level along the northern extremity of the Laguna Mountain Range, William Heise County Park spans over 1000 acres providing an undisturbed setting for miles of scenic hiking and equestrian use.
The park offers fourteen, 224-square feet comfortable cabins. Each cabin offers wifi Internet access, insulation, interior lighting, table and chairs, a food pantry, and a large sitting room. One small tent is allowed on site. No pets are allowed in or around the cabin area. This is a smoke-free facility.
The state parks in and around San Diego offer vast spaces and a few cabins for rent. Reservations are made through the Reserve California website.
With over 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States, offering 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails.
If you’re looking for one park that has many cabins in San Diego, Tamarisk Grove Campground offers 11 cabins for rent. There are no mattresses/bedding. The cabins have no electricity, so no lights, air conditioning, or heating. There is no wood stove or fireplace inside the cabins and the campground has no potable water.
The beautiful park offers camping and hiking in an oak woodland forest, with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks. There are over 100 miles of trails which accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Paso Picacho Campground sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet.
The most popular hikes start from this camp, including the 2 mile hike up Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,700 feet), and the 3.5 mile hike up Cuyamaca Peak (elevation 6,512 feet), both which offer breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca at the bottom.
The campground offers five cabins for rent. You’ll need to bring your own bedding and shared restrooms are in separate structures nearby.
Mount Laguna Cabins
Laguna Mountain Lodge rents out small hotel rooms (2 adults max) and one-,two- and three- bedroom cabins. Call 619-473-8533 or 619-473-8630 between 9 am and 5 pm to make a reservation. The lodge is privately owned but operates under a Special Use Permit with the U.S. Forest Service.
These cabins and those on Palomar mentioned below can be a great way to visit San Diego’s mountains when it snows. For tips on visiting the mountains during snow, check out our San Diego snow guide.
Palomar Mountain Cabins
Bailey’s Palomar Resort is a rustic resort on Palomar Mountain that offers a range of cabins, yurts and quonset huts.
The resort is part of a property originally homesteaded in 1888 and some of the historic cabins are more than 100 years old. This is a popular destination in winter when storms bring snow to San Diego’s mountains.
The historic cabins are rustic — think thin walls, crooked floors, patched together in places. They aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for that true old cabin feeling they will hit the mark. The newer yurts, quonset huts, tent cabins, and tiny house cabins are more recently constructed.
Bailey’s is convenient as the cabins and other shelters come with firewood (when there is a stove), linens, kitchens, and other amenities.