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Oceanfront Camping at State Parks in California, USA

For an inexpensive family vacation with gorgeous scenery, try reserving a spot at a State Park campground near the ocean in California.

A lot of families think of camping in the woods, but beaches are also an option. There are several State Parks in California that offer oceanfront camp sites. Rather than going for a traditional hike in the forest, you can frolic in the waves and spend the afternoon building sandcastles before retiring to your tent.

Moro State Park Campground

In Orange County, California, check out the new Moro State Park Campground. Located between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach in the Crystal Cove State Park, the campground has spectacular ocean views and miles of hiking trails that lead through the coastal brush.

For only $50 to $65 a night, campers can pitch a tent or hook up their RV. The newly built 35-acre park is a bit sparse and edges the often noisy Pacific Coast Highway, but access to the beach is readily available and the picturesque sunsets are breathtaking.

With the recent threat of State Park closures, this $15 million dollar project which took nearly three years is quite a feat.

Campground Amenities

The following details apply to all campers:

  • Check in is at 3:00 p.m.
  • Check out is at 1:00 p.m.
  • Pets are allowed
  • No open fires are allowed, propane only
  • Maximum of 8 people per site
  • Reservations can be made online

Those looking to rough it in a tent need to make sure it can stand without stakes. If you’re interested in a bit more comfort, the RV sites offer the following amenities:

  • There is an electricity and water hookup
  • There is no sewer hook-up
  • There is a picnic table on-site
  • Tents are not allowed on RV sites

Hike-In Campsites

For a more secluded camping experience, the park offers three hike-in campsites located on 2,400 acres of undeveloped land. The hike is a strenuous three-mile uphill climb. The campsites are located inland, but the park does include 3.2 miles of beach.

Beach Cottages

Located on the beach in Crystal Cove State Park’s Historic District are 14 renovated beach bungalows. The charming area also includes the oceanfront Beachcomber Cafe that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The park also offers an extensive educational program that includes things like plein air painting classes and nature hikes.

Other camping spots in Orange County include Regional Parks and Catalina Island. For a complete list of campgrounds in the Orange County area and to make a reservation, visit


Making Camping Reservations in State and National Parks in the US

Park reservations can be made online, however a staff of qualified agents are a phone call away. These agents take reservations and can assist a customer in making them online. Since holding times for making reservations are long, being prepared to make a reservation saves time.

Some circumstances require making reservations while on the road. When doing so, try to pick a quiet place from which to make the call. Sitting on the beach may be a comfortable place to make the call, but wind noise can make accuracy difficult to achieve. Further, cell phone reception is often poor when camping and may not last long enough to complete the transaction in which case the process will have to be repeated.

Tips to Making Quick and Accurate Camping Reservations by Phone

  • Know the actual name of the campground/park.
  • Popular names often differ from the actual name.
  • Plan the trip and have alternate campground and/or dates in mind.
  • Consult maps of the campsite on line to pick the most desirable.
  • Prepare all contact Information.
  • Interagency Senior and Access Pass, or Golden Age Passport card number.
  • A credit card is required.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Do not put the reservation agent on hold since the software may cancel the call.
  • Make the reservation several months or at least several weeks in advance.

Yosemite Camping Reservations

Obtaining reservations to any of the campgrounds in Yosemite National Park is difficult. If reservations are desired within the coming two months the best solution is to find a cancellation on line. Yosemite campsites go on sale the fifteenth of every month at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

  • All campgrounds sell out very quickly.
  • Establish an account online.
  • Search and reserve any site in any park.
  • Refresh the web browser often.
  • Do not get discouraged.

Online Camping Reservations

Making online reservations at a National or State Park is quicker than waiting for an agent on the phone. Although great effort has been made to make the process easy, many find the process confusing. Be sure to verify your choices before placing the order. If you make an error a fee will be charged to correct it when you call an agent to correct the error. The agent does not have the authority to waive a fee.

Either site requires an online account before a reservation can be made. Both sites will show availability, however they default to searching only for sites available for reservation. They will not show the first come first serve sites (designated by “W”) unless the search is adjusted to do so.

Clicking on the “Book Now” tab removes the campsite from available status to allow time to complete the reservation. After providing a credit card number, the screen will show the reservation number and an email confirmation will be sent within 48 hours. If no confirmation/reservation number appears on the screen the transaction has failed. The campsite will be returned to inventory in about a half hour.

Interagency Senior Pass

The Interagency Senior Pass is available to US citizens and permanent residents 62 and older. The pass allows a 50% discount on user fees such as camping, swimming, boating and guided tours.

Interagency Access Pass

Available to US citizens and permanent residents that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability regardless of age. There is no charge for Interagency Access Pass lifetime pass. The pass allows a 50% discount on the same user fees as the Senior Pass.

Increased demand for campsites required a reservation system to fairly allocate sites to everyone. Of the two ways to reserve a site the online option is quicker, however a phone call to the US based agents allow direct conversation and advice from a knowledgeable person.


Sea of Cortez RV Parks – Travel to RV Parks & Campsites in Mexico

The Sea of Cortez is a narrow gulf bordered to the west by Baja California and to the east by the coastline of northern Mexico. It’s famous for its sunshine, sandy beaches and the amazingly bountiful aquatic life. In fact, this is one of the premier fishing destinations in the world. The numerous small communities sprinkled along the shores of both sides are popular travel destinations for American “snowbirds” and their RVs. Drive-up camping sites, both with and without electricity or other utilities, have appeared over the last couple of decades in towns throughout the area to meet this need. A few of the best RV parks/campgrounds in this area are highlighted below.

Puerto Penasco, Mexico – The Reef RV Park at Sandy Beach

The Reef RV Park at Sandy Beach is a new RV park that offers full-size RV camping sites right on the beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. You can walk out of your RV and enjoy swimming, fishing or extended walks along the sandy shore. The Reef offers full RV amenities including water and sewer connections, 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups, and a dumping facility. Other services offered are 24-hour security, clean bathrooms with nice showers, a reasonably priced buffet, a store, free wireless Internet and laundry facilities.

There are a few other RV parks in Puerto Penasco including Playa de Oro RV Park, Playa Bonita RV Park, and Bonita RV Park.

Loreto, Mexico – Loreto Shores Villas and RV Park

A couple of hundred miles to the south, Loreto, Mexico is nearly two-thirds of the way down the Baja peninsula, and has turned from a sleepy fishing village into a growing resort area in the last few years. Loreto Shores Villas and RV Park is a quality RV park located in Loreto, offering direct access to the beach and all amenities. Loreto Shores RV Park has a huge 5-acre gated RV campground with 24-hour security, and provides Wi-Fi internet, and short- or long-term storage.

El Golfo, Mexico – El Golfo RV Park

El Golfo, at the northern tip of the Sea of Cortez and just 60 miles from Yuma Arizona, is another area that has developed into a thriving resort community and offers great fishing, snorkeling, hiking, and even ATV driving if that is your thing. El Golfo RV Resort has direct beach access, and is a full-service resort including a large pool and a cabana restaurant/bar. El Golfo also provides water and electricity hookups as well as dumping facilities for RVs.

Playa Hautabampito, Mexico – EL Mirador Hotel and RV Park

El Mirador RV Park is located in Playa Hautabampito, Mexico, not far from Los Mochis at the southern tip of the Sea of Cortez on the western coast of Mexico. El Mirador RV Park is a wonderful spot off the beaten track. You can park directly in front of an endless romantic beach with no other travelers around for miles and miles. El Mirador RV Park offers 40 RV hookups and 25 of these have 30-amp electrical connections. A nice palapa-style restaurant that offers fresh and tasty seafood daily is associated with the adjacent hotel. The Hautabampo region is famous for its big game fishing, especially during the late summer.


Best Camping Hammock in 2017

Are you planning a camping trip and want to try using a hammock instead of a tent? Tired of the endless information available on the web? Then you have come to the right place. Hammock camping has changed my life, and after this guide I hope it changes yours.

Hammock camping is an amazing experience, but novice and expert alike have trouble finding the right products, and all the information available for them. I have gone over the best camping hammocks out there, and put together this list for you.

I have already gone over the specifics of the hammocks, and can show you which hammock would be ideal for the type of camping you plan on doing. Size, material, and cost are all considerations.

Alright well let’s get to it. For those of you who just want the list I am going to link the products first with my highest recommended hammock at the top of the list:

The Best Hammocks for Camping

1. Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Classic

2. Clark NX-270 Four-Season Hammock Tent

3. Grand Trunk Double Parachute Nylon Hammock with Carabiners

4. Eno Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock

5. Kammok Roo Hammock

6. Hammock Bliss Double – XL Portable Hammock

7. Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge

8. Grand Trunk Nano Hammock

9. Lost Valley Premium Camping Hammock

10. Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock

There you have it, a quick and dirty list of the best hammocks for camping. Read below for the reviews of these hammocks, and how I came up with this list!

hammock for camping

Camping Hammock with rainfly

PictureHammockWeightBuy Now!Rating
Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Classic41 OZ4.8
Clark NX-270 Four-Season Hammock Tent60 OZ5.0
Grand Trunk Double Parachute Nylon Hammock with Carabiners20 OZ4.8
Eno Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock20 OZ4.9
Kammok Roo Hammock24 OZ4.8
Hammock Bliss Double – XL Portable Hammock22 OZ4.5
Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge68 OZ4.6
Grand Trunk Nano Hammock7 OZ4.4
Lost Valley Premium Camping Hammock57.6 OZ4.2
Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock12 OZ4.4

How to choose the best hammock for camping

There are multiple things I take into consideration when I pick a hammock for any activity. The type of hammock, Material, Size, Maximum Weight, Hammock Tree Straps, Insulation, Accessories, and ease of use. So, let’s get right into it.

Hammock Type

Hammocks come in 3 main varieties, the one you choose depends on its intended use.

Ultralight Hammocks are the lightest hammocks, and are made to be super compact. These are best for hiking trips, or hard to reach camping spots. Ultralight hammocks sacrifice comfort for weight reduction.

Parachute Hammocks are usually made of durable and weather resistant nylon. These are ideal for extended outings where moisture is a concern. They breathe easily, and are still semi compact. These would be ideal for several nights in a row, and are a bit more comfortable than Ultralight Hammocks.

Expedition Hammocks are made with the heaviest and most high end products. They are usually heavy weight, and made to withstand the worst that mother nature can throw at you. These hammocks are ideal for extended camping trips, and hammock camping in more extreme locations.


Most hammocks are made of cotton or nylon composites. They both have different benefits.

Nylon hammocks are your ultralight and parachute hammocks. They are much lighter and have decent wear protection, but don’t offer much in protection other than keeping you dry and keeping the wind off you.

Cotton hammocks are bulkier, and look better, but they are more difficult to transport. Properly seasoned cotton will not leak, but will need to be air dried after the camping trip or mildew may become an issue.

Hammock Size

Hammocks come in many different sizes. The length and width affects load, and carrying capacity. A single hammock is thinner than a double hammock because it is meant for one person. A double hammock can accommodate two people, or be roomy for one person. Taller people should look for hammocks that are 8 feet in length or greater.

Maximum Weight

The maximum weight of a hammock is important. A hammock can only support its maximum weight load. So, before hammock camping it is important to recognize your weight, your partners weight, and any gear you plan on taking into your hammock’s weight. Do not overload a hammock as even if it works the straps may give, or you may wake up smacking into the ground through a torn hammock.

Hammock Tree Straps

It is important that you understand the type of hammock tree straps your hammock has, and how to use them. Make sure at home you test the hammock suspension system, and all parts are included.

More versatile suspension systems include more spots for anchoring attachments, and will provide better options for where to place your hammock.

It may be worthwhile to purchase aftermarket hammock tree straps to provide the most versatility in your camping site. Planning is everything, so consider your site carefully before leaving unprepared.


Insulation is an important factor when considering a hammock. Most nylon hammocks are great for warm months, but provide little protection during winter months. There are aftermarket blankets available that drape inside and outside your hammock to provide better insulation and warmth during winter months.

Cotton hammocks on the other hand are often warmer by default. So it is worth checking out your hammock and planning your camping trip so you can have the proper level of insulation.


Hammocks can come with several different accessories. A rainfly is probably what comes to mind right away. These go over your hammock, and attach to the ground and your anchor points. Keeping dry is important while hammock camping.

If you plan on camping in a more humid area it may be worthwhile to look for or purchase a mosquito net. This will save you from being devoured by the annoying insects throughout the night, and in some more remote areas save you from serious disease.

Ease of Use

I include ease of use because some hammocks appear to have been made by evil mad scientist/engineers. Hammocks must be easy enough to set up that you will actually take them out with you when you go camping.

Always test set up before you leave for your trip, and take notes of any difficulties you have. It is important to have a safe trip, but a frustration free trip is just as important.

Camping Hammock Reviews

Our top 10!

Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asum Classic

My favorite pick is the Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Classic. It features an integrated mosquito net and rainfly. It is an expedition hammock, so it is heavy. But it comes with premium materials, so it will last even the harshest mother nature has! This is a must buy.

Clark NX-270 Four-Season Hammock Tent

One of the best all-season hammocks for camping, the Clark NX-270 Four-Season Hammock Tent outperforms many other models. It is made to support wet and cold environments. This model is quiet expensive, but it is also the best hammock available out there. This is a one purchase and your done product!

Grand Trunk Double Parachute Nylon Hammock with Carabiners

The Grand Trunk Double Parachute Nylon Hammock with Carabiners is an affordable hammock that is light, and built for 2 people. It is extra roomy if used alone. It comes with all the accessories you need, so purchase this and set it up all in one go!

Eno Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock

ENO hammocks are one of the iconic hammock brands. These are name brand hammocks, and you can expect the best from ENO. The Eno Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock is our favorite lightweight double hammock on the market. It is perfect for hiking to a remote campsite, and large enough for two.

Kammok Roo Hammock

The Kammok Roo Hammock is a great choice for beginners. It is a lightweight hammock, and is easy to carry. It does not come with any additional accessories, but they can be added with ease.

Hammock Bliss Double – XL Portable Hammock

The Hammock Bliss Double – XL Portable Hammock is on our list because it is the easiest to use. It is super wide, and comes with 100 inches of cord to set it up. It’s ease of use comes with a smaller price tag, but you also lose additional features. Purchase rainfly’s separately for this one.

Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge

The versatile Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge is a hybrid hammock design. It can be used as a tent or a hammock for camping. It includes a pair of arch poles which raise the attached mosquito net to appear more tent like. This also comes with a detachable rainfly, and is a perfect option for multiple applications.

Grand Trunk Nano Hammock

The Grand Trunk Nano Hammock weighs and impressive 7 ounces, and is one of the best ultralight hammocks on the market. If your camping site is difficult to get to, or requires hiking in, then this is the hammock for you!

Lost Valley Premium Camping Hammock

The Lost Valley Premium Camping Hammock is great for beginners as it is a bundle that includes everything you need. Rainfly, Mosquito net, and hammock tree straps are included. It is easy to set up, and takes less than 3 minutes.

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock

The Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock is another example of a perfect camping hammock for a beginner. It is lightweight and inexpensive, but not very durable. This would be a great hammock for established camping sites.

There are many options, but the hammocks I have listed here are my best hammocks for camping. Don’t take my word for it, check out the other reviews for these hammocks. They are all great for their own uses, so be sure to read around, but you should be confident you purchased a great hammock if you choose one of these.


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