Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
I’ve been reading the RV Travel Newsletter for a couple of years now. We are planning a trip to California in October then to Yuma, Rocky Point, back to Arizona and Utah, then home to Denver, about 5 months total. As I’m planning I’m having a hard time finding spots to boondock. Our first stop is Monterey Fairgrounds with hookups, then south to San Diego. I found 3 Harvest Host sites but not much else. I’m also finding the RV parks to be very expensive. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks. —Mike from Denver
You won’t find many boondocking opportunities between Monterey and San Diego, and Route 1 below Big Sur is currently closed and not due to reopen until the new bridge is completed — which is scheduled by September but I wouldn’t count on it.
There is no dispersed camping (boondocking) allowed in the Los Padres National Forest that I know of. If the road is open by then, there are two Forest Service no-hook-up campgrounds: Kirk Creek, that sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, and Plaskett Creek a few miles farther south on the inland side of the road, that cost less than private campgrounds. From there down to San Diego, not much, unless you just want to sleep overnight and use a Walmart or truck stop.
But when you get over to Arizona there are lots of places where you can boondock in the desert on BLM land. Visit the BLM website or one of the regional offices (you can get these from the website) and ask about “dispersed camping” locations. These will not likely be shown on any official maps but the local offices can provide maps and the new Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) if they are available for the locations you are visiting. Also check out the Forest Camping website that shows the locations, information and camping opportunities on all National Forests.
Have a great trip!
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .