Local San Diego Review: Laguna Campground

Laguna Campground is located in the Cleveland National Forest just under 60 miles from the city of San Diego. Close enough to spend more time camping and less time driving, yet far enough away to relax, unwind, and explore. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised and had an incredible experience camping here.

To get the to Cleveland National Forest you can either take the 78 through Ramona and Julian to Sunrise Highway or you can take the 8 East toward the desert to Sunrise Highway, depending on which part of the county you live in.

In my opinion, Laguna campground is probably one of the best campgrounds you could chose in the Cleveland National Forest area. The campground is pleasant, beautiful, peaceful, and so close to miles upon miles of great hiking trails. I could imagine that a weekend would be busier, but we were camping from Sunday-Tuesday, so crowds were nonexistent. In fact, there were only a handful of people staying on the entire campground. If you can avoid the weekend, I would highly recommend it.

To stay at the campground, you can either make a reservation in advance through Reserve America or you can show up and pick a site. About half the sites are able to reserved, the rest are on a first-come, first-served basis. Since our dates were set, we reserved a campsite in advance to guarantee us a spot and have no worries regarding availability.

Although many of the sites are fairly close to one another, that wasn’t really an issue for us during our stay. We stayed on site 42 in the Shady Loop. We liked our site quite a bit, but the one con is that it was near the main road. During a busy time, there might be a lot of cars driving through. Otherwise, the site was close enough to the water, bathrooms and showers to be very convenient, but not annoying. We just had our truck and small tent, but the site was plenty big for multiple people and vehicles.

While we were there, we did some reconnaissance to scope out other sites we would chose in the future. We came to the conclusion that the best loops are the Hillside and Shady Loops. In the Shady Loop, site 43 seemed to be the best. Compared to ours, it was significantly more private, away from the main road, yet still very close to the water, bathroom, and showers. The Hillside Loop is more secluded and private than the other loops, but further from the flush toilets and showers. We thought the best sites would be 57, 58, and 61 (61 being the best because it was private, but still close enough to the better bathroom and showers). The Meadow Loop has a pretty view of the meadow, but the campsites are very exposed and your neighbors are quite obvious. The Meadow Loop would not be our first choice during peak season. For more information and to check out all of the campground’s amenities visit: Reserve America – Laguna Campground.

Hands down, the best feature of the campground was that you could park your car, set up camp, and never have to get in your car again the entire time you’re there. From the campground, you can walk a short distance to all of the best trailheads in the area. We spent most of our time out and about, hiking and exploring.

Stay tuned for the upcoming post on our hiking adventures in the Cleveland National Forest!

Have you been to the Cleveland National Forest? Have you camped at any other campgrounds in the area or have any other recommendations? Share in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Local San Diego Review: Hiking in the Cleveland National Forest | Fit To Wander

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