The Best Camping in San Diego

Looking for the best camping in San Diego? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around San Diego. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top camping spots in and near San Diego

  • San Diego, California

    Hike the Visitor Center Loop Trail

    1.4 mi / 190 ft gain
    The Visitor Center Loop Trail is a 1.4 mile hike in San Diego that features river views and allows dogs. This trail allows for the practice of a variety of activities: rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, birding, camping horseback riding, and hiking. There are shady spots available eve...
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  • San Diego, California

    Visitor Center Loop Trail

    1.42 mi / 148 ft gain
    Visitor Center Loop Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near La Mesa, California.
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  • San Diego, California

    Kwaay Paay Peak Trail

    2.4 mi / 846 ft gain
    Kwaay Paay Peak Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Santee, California.
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  • Santee, California

    Kubota Trail and Toyen Trail Loop

    1.37 mi / 85 ft gain
    Kubota Trail and Toyen Trail Loop is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
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  • Encinitas, California

    Oceanview Camping at San Elijo

    4.5
    This campground is located right next to the beach as well as next to the San Elijo Lagoon. Head to the beach during the day for a swim. This is also a great place to catch a sunset. If you want to stretch your legs and get moving a bit, you can hike around the San Elijo Lagoon to the east of the...
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  • Carlsbad, California

    South Carlsbad Campground

    5.0
    South Carlsbad Campground is a picturesque experience. Imagine gorgeous sea cliffs overlooking a lovely beach, with ample activities to pursue (or just lay in the sun and enjoy some quiet time). The most popular campsites, 1-70 and 156-222, are perched on the edge of a bluff and feature the best ...
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  • Carlsbad, California

    South Carlsbad State Beach

    3.83 mi / 23 ft gain
    South Carlsbad State Beach is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Carlsbad, California.
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  • Jamul, California

    Hiking Otay Mountain

    5.0
    15.3 mi / 2903 ft gain
    The trek begins on the Otay Mountain Truck Trail at Pio Pico Resort & Campground. You can either park and hike the entire trail, or drive up to a point a couple miles and park before the road becomes steep and rough. The distance on here is if you hiked the whole way. If you have a 4-wheel dr...
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  • Escondido, California

    Camp at Dixon Lake

    2.1 mi / 295 ft gain
    Dixon Lake is Escondido's best kept secret! A man-made reservoir located right next to Daley Ranch, Dixon Lake offers overnight camping, boat rentals, fishing, and hiking, along with picnic areas, a kids park, and more.  The campground is open year-round and is located next to the lake with a lof...
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  • Descanso, California

    Harvey Moore Trail

    9.59 mi / 1165 ft gain
    Harvey Moore Trail is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Descanso, California.
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  • Julian, California

    Camping at Paso Picacho

    Paso Picacho, 5 miles north of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, 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 breathtak...
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  • Julian, California

    Hike Stonewall Peak

    4.7
    3.82 mi / 820 ft gain
    This hike is one of the most popular in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. When you reach Stonewall Peak's summit, enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. Although you'll be gaining 800 feet, the hike is relat...
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  • Julian, California

    Kelly Ditch Trail

    11.76 mi / 2500 ft gain
    Kelly Ditch Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to Palomar Observatory from the Palomar Observatory Campground

    5.0
    4.4 mi / 718 ft gain
    Situated in the Palomar Mountains of Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Observatory Campground offers many amenities for enjoyable camping and exploring the area.  A portion of the campsites loop has been cleared of trees with level cement pads to allow campers to set up their own telescopes.  Dr...
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  • Julian, California

    Oriflamme Canyon Trail

    16.08 mi / 2835 ft gain
    Oriflamme Canyon Trail is a loop trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Julian, California.
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  • Pine Valley, California

    PCT: Boulder Oaks to Pioneer Mail

    25.66 mi / 4239 ft gain
    PCT: Boulder Oaks to Pioneer Mail is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Campo, California.
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