Ventura County Beach Camping Guide
Ventura County is a beautiful coastal region in California that offers an abundance of natural beauty and recreational activities, including beach camping. There are numerous camping opportunities available in the area, with options managed by both the county and the state. These campgrounds offer a range of amenities and outdoor experiences for those looking to spend time in nature.
Point Mugu State Park Campgrounds
Point Mugu State Park, located in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, offers an abundance of natural beauty with its five miles of ocean shoreline, hiking trails, river canyons, grassy valleys, and Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area. The park also provides two camping options: Sycamore Canyon Campground and Thornhill Broome Beach Campground. Reservations for both campgrounds are made through the Reserve California website.
Sycamore Canyon Campground
Sycamore Canyon Campground, located about half a mile inland from the ocean, offers 58 campsites nestled in a lovely canyon of Sycamore and Oak trees. The campsites can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs up to 31 feet in length. All sites are on a reservation system, except for the hike/bike campsite, with a limit of 8 people and 2 vehicles per site. Each campsite comes with a table, fire ring, and grate.
Thornhill Broome Beach Campground
Thornhill Broome Beach Campground provides 69 primitive campsites that stretch for two miles along PCH, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. The campsites are basically parking spots along the highway and can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 31 feet long, with a maximum of 2 vehicles and 8 people per site (with a trailer counting as one vehicle).
A few sites are suitable for tents and you can camp with a tent on the sand at these spots. Each site includes a table and a fire ring, with a few having grills.
Rincon Area Campgrounds
The Rincon area is a section of the California coastline located in Ventura County between the cities of Ventura and Carpinteria. It is known for its scenic beauty and popular surfing spots, and is often referred to as the “Queen of the Coast”.
The area includes the Rincon Parkway, which is a stretch of highway 101 that runs parallel to the coast and offers scenic ocean views and beach access for RV camping. The surrounding beaches are also popular for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing – and camping.
There are three campgrounds in the area – Faria Beach, Hobson Beach, and Rincon Parkway – that let you post up and take advantage of what this remarkable stretch of coast has to offer. Reservations are made through the Ventura County booking system.
Faria Beach Campground
Faria Beach is located at the north end of the private gated Faria Beach Colony in Ventura County. Managed by Ventura County, Faria Beach Park Campground is a neat little coastal campground located off the Ventura Freeway.
With its spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands, this small and picturesque park is a popular destination for camping enthusiasts. There are 42 sites available, offering both hook-up and non-hook-up options, and allowing for tent and RV camping. However, it’s important to note that some sites don’t allow campfires.
The campground has a 6-person maximum number of people allowed per campsite. Amenities such as showers and restrooms are available to campers.
Reservations are made through the Ventura County booking system.
Hobson Beach Park Campground
Hobson Beach Park Campground in Ventura, California, is another campground managed by Ventura County. The park is located off Highway 1, just north of Faria Beach Park (see above) and the Rincon Parkway Campground.
With its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, campers can enjoy beautiful sunsets and easy beach access. offers stunning views of the Channel Islands and the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains. The campground features tent and RV sites, with full hookups, showers, and Wi-Fi available for guests. There’s even a concession stand on-site for those looking to grab a quick bite.
Rincon Parkway Beach Campground
Rincon Parkway Campground is essentially a bunch of large parking spaces along the coastline. But that doesn’t do it justince. It’s a remarkable location for RV camping and offers stunning views of the Pacific coastline and the Channel Islands.
It is situated between Faria Beach Park and Hobson Beach Park (see above), located on Highway 1 off the Ventura Freeway. The campground has a total of 127 parking spaces available for recreational vehicles, but unfortunately, tent camping is not permitted under County of Ventura Ordinance.
All RVs must meet the requirements set forth in California Health Code Section 18010 since there are no electrical hookups, dump stations, shower/bathroom facilities, or water onsite. Visitors should also note that there are no tent camping options available at this campground. Despite these limitations, Rincon Parkway Campground is still a popular choice for RV enthusiasts seeking a scenic and peaceful camping experience on the California coastline.
Emma Wood State Beach Campgrounds
Further south from the Rincon area, Emma Wood State Beach is another coastal state park that offers camping along the Highway 101 west of the city of Ventura.
The state beach is a popular destination for swimming, surfing and fishing, with catches including perch, bass, cabezon and corbina. Visitors to the park can enjoy the sight of wildlife such as raccoons, songbirds and great blue herons, as well as the occasional sighting of dolphins offshore. The park also features the ruins of a World War II coastal artillery site, and offers views of the offshore Channel Islands.
The park offers two distinct camping options for visitors. Reservations for both campgrounds are made through the Reserve California website.
Emma-Wood State Beach Family Camping
The first option is primitive camping for fully self-contained vehicles ONLY. This option is not available for tents, and amenities such as water, restrooms, electricity, fire rings, or phones, and dump stations are not provided. The 90 available campsites are not level and may contain a mixture of asphalt, dirt, cobble, and ocean debris. Due to small turnaround areas, the maximum vehicle length is 40 feet. Visitors should be aware that high tides may close the campground at any time, and the adjacent railroad tracks and Highway 101 can create significant noise.
Ventura River Group Camp
Alternatively, group camping is available at Ventura River Group Camp, which is separated by two freeway miles from Emma Wood State Beach. The group sites offer developed tent camping for groups of up to 30 people and primitive RV camping for groups of up to 50 people and 20 vehicles. The maximum RV length allowed is 45 feet. Reservations are required year-round for the group campground.
McGrath State Beach Campground
McGrath State Beach, located along the southern coast of California, is a haven for bird watchers due to its proximity to the lush riverbanks of the Santa Clara River and the sand dunes along the shore. This beach provides an excellent opportunity to observe a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitat. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the nature trail that leads to the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve, where they can observe even more wildlife.
The beach itself offers two miles of stunning coastline, where visitors can enjoy surfing and fishing opportunities. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or just looking to catch some fish, this beach has something for everyone.
The state beach also offers a campground, but it has been cloased since 2019 due to flooding. Presumably it will reopen at some point…
Leo Carrillo State Park Campground
Leo Carrillo State Park is a beautiful state park located along the Pacific Coast Highway in California, approximately 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica. The park boasts 1.5 miles of sandy beach, which is perfect for a variety of activities such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing, and beachcombing. Visitors can also explore tidepools, coastal caves, and reefs that are found along the beach.
In addition to the beach, the park features giant sycamore trees that provide ample shade for the main campgrounds, and visitors can also enjoy back-country hiking. The park offers Junior Ranger and campfire programs during the summer, as well as school field trips throughout the year.
While not right on the beach, Canyon Campground at Leo Carillo State Park is a great option for families and groups looking for a camping experience in a beautiful natural setting.
The campground offers 135 family sites, each equipped with a table and fire ring. Restrooms and coin-operated hot showers are conveniently located nearby. For those who prefer to hike or bike, hike-and-bike campsites are located near campsite #1. The Group Campground, located at the back of the canyon, can accommodate up to 50 people and has picnic tables, two barbecue pits, and restrooms with coin-operated hot showers. The canyon is shaded by beautiful sycamore trees, offering a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
Reservations for both campgrounds are made through the Reserve California website.
As you can see, Ventura County offers a plethora of beach camping opportunities. With its breathtaking ocean views and cool sea breeze, camping on Ventura’s beaches is one of the best ways to experience the southern California coastline.