The lovely thing about all of the campgrounds in El Capitan is that they all have easy access to the beach. In addition to the 123 tent/rv/trailer/van sites, there are also 5 group sites (Portola, Ortego, Cabrillo, Drake and De Anza), one of which is handicap accessible. Nine of the tent/rv/trailer sites are specifically set aside as RV sites. The sites are clustered fairly close together, but lots of shade and close proximity to the beach call for a great camping area. Word on the street is that 85 is the best, but 82-84 are also good, as are 101, 103, 105 and 107.
Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers, RVs
133 sites
Up to 8 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Potable water available
Showers available
Picnic table available


Offered near the campground.


We think that a cruise down one of California’s most beautiful (and most popular) beaches sounds like a pretty great way to spe...Read more


That endless horizon calls sailors of all kinds, and while you may not be able to launch motorized boats here, those under the ...Read more


These sparkingly blue Pacific waters are known for some seriously good fishing, and, honestly, who could resist wading along th...Read more


So, maybe you don’t want to spend ALL day soaking up the sun and playing in the surf on the beach. Actually, that’s crazy; scra...Read more


If awesome paddling adventures down the Pacific Coast sounds like your idea of a weekend getaway, look no farther than El Capit...Read more


Surfers keep a weather eye on those waters, because some of the best to be had can be found here at El Capitan. On a good day, ...Read more


The ocean water can be a little bit chilly, but dedicated marine lovers will have no problem plunging into the protected waters...Read more

Wildlife watching

The lush forests that surround the shoreline make for some truly excellent wildlife watching, as the observant will see band-ta...Read more


Natural features you'll find at El Capitán Campground.

River, stream, or...
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15 Reviews

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Drop some El Capitán Campground knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Allison
Allison C.
recommends this listing.
February 8th, 2017

The raccoons are bold here! Put away and safely store your food immediately before you leave your site.

Hipcamper Bryn
Bryn K.
didn't provide a recommendation.
April 28th, 2015

If you're looking for a group-friendly campground with an ocean view, you've found it. Just bring layers because it can get pretty cold at night.

Hipcamper Elsa
Elsa E.
recommends this listing.
March 29th, 2017

no comment

Hipcamper Mike
Mike S.
didn't provide a recommendation.
May 13th, 2020

We stayed at El Capitan and loved it there. We enjoyed the campsite which sits high above the ocean with some magnificent views of the Pacific. Our campsite was large and full of chipmunks!
The beach was rocky and full of driftwood which we used to build an awesome campfire. You can hike along the beach and enjoy all of the wildlife along the shore.

Hipcamper karim
Karim O.
didn't provide a recommendation.
September 26th, 2015

Great location by the beach and close-ish to Santa Barbara for picking up bbq supplies. Great swimming beach (but occasional tar spots) and plenty of hiking across the road or up at Gaviota.

Hipcamper Gary
Gary K.
didn't provide a recommendation.
February 18th, 2017

Stayed 2-13 to 2-16. Due to recent rain area A & C closed. Stayed in area D at Site "I" in Portola group area. Nice site with ocean view & close to restroom. Showers are $0.25 for 2 mins. We heard timers were water savings device to keep from looong showers. 4 mins. Worked out well for us. Nice bike/walking trails but watch out for poison oak. Beaches are very rocky, check with Ranger about tides so you don't get stranded at high tide. Rocks are slippery as well. I fell trying to get to tide pools and hurt my shoulder. Abundant wildlife around. Raccoons are VERY smart and aggressive. Got into food bin we thought was animal proof. Put water and cast iron cookery on bins and coolers and seemed to work OK. Had a great time. Will be back.

Sun setting day before the storm.NOT Huntington Beach!Lots of friends.Looking South from access stairs
Hipcamper Xanthe
Xanthe &.
recommends this listing.
February 19th, 2017

For better views, try to grab a site on closest to the cliff edge.

Just keep going down the coast and you'll find good surf spots.
Hipcamper Destiny
Destiny I.
recommends this listing.
March 8th, 2017

Bring Bikes!

Hipcamper Nancy
Nancy S.
doesn't recommend this listing.
May 30th, 2017

The group campsite is right off the highway. Train tracks also run along the site. This means that trains come all times of the day and night.

El Capitán State Beach
United States
Phone Number
(805) 968-1033
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
34.462° N, 120.03° W
Unknown price
RV / Trailer: 9 Sites
(Up to 8 people per site)
Unknown price
Tent Only - Group: 3 Sites
(Up to 60 people per site)
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer - Group: 2 Sites
(Up to 32 people per site)
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer: 119 Sites
(Up to 8 people per site)