Crystal Cove State Beach Camping
Sitting on the hillside overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, you'll find Crystal Cove State Park. Just a ten-minute walk from the beach, it's the perfect Southern California camping destination for those traveling near Laguna Beach.
If you're interested in camping in Crystal Cove State Park, knowing the ins and its is crucial. Luckily, you've come to the right place, as we do all we can to provide accurate information about camping in California.
Come dive in with us as we explore all there is to know about Crystal Cove State Park so you can make the most out of your trip.
ADA, RV, Tent, Trailer
# Of Tent Sites: 30
# Of Hook Up Sites: 28
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
south of Corona del Mar
Crystal Cove Campground
Crystal Cove State Park houses Moro Campground, near several vintage beach homes, tide pools, and Moro Beach. To this day, it is one of the most popular solo and group campsites in Orange County.
Crystal Cove State Park has everything you could possibly ask for in a beach camping experience.
You can explore sandy beaches, natural seashore, rolling surf, sloping hills, tide pools, and deep, wooded canyons, all in the span of a few minutes.
When you consider this unique contrast to the urban setting of Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove becomes that much more exciting.
You'll find Crystal Cove State Park off the bustling Pacific Coast Highway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.
There is no other place in Orange County quite like it when it comes to natural shorelines and open space.
You'll find 30 sites for tents and 28 sites designated for RVs and trailers. The RV sites have electrical hook-ups and water. The other sites are called "low-impact" campsites. These are only made for van conversions, soft-sided trailers, and tents.
There are also 32 backcountry sites, which the park refers to as "primitive campsites." These particular tent campsites come with picnic tables and pit toilets, though they do not have any other amenities beyond that. You will need to pack out everything that you bring in.
The climate can best be described as "Mediterranean," with fog in the early summer mornings that eventually burns off by noon to bring warm, sunny days.
You have 2.3 miles of coastline to enjoy plenty of water activities, including scuba diving, skin diving, surfing, swimming, and more. In fact, this is probably one of the most popular beaches in Orange County for scuba divers. If you end up going scuba diving, you'll get to enjoy exploring the wreckage of a Corsair F4U.
Those who aren't as akin to beach activities might prefer to explore the 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness. You can even connect the two at the nearby offshore underwater area. In the inland region, you'll often find hikers and mountain bikers.
If you want to get in touch with nature while you're there, we recommend speaking with the state park staff to see if any interpretive programs are going on during your stay. For example, you can often find tide pool walks, guided hiking experiences, and geology talks.
The park expands 12.3 acres and is home to 46 rustic cottages originally part of a 1930s seaside colony in Los Trancos Creek. There aren't many examples of Southern Californian coastal developments left in the early 20th century, so visiting the Historic District is an absolute treat.
If you end up making it to the Historic District, make sure to stop for a bite at Beachcomber Cafe.
This recently-restored oceanfront cottage offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with spectacular ocean views and a mellow atmosphere.
Moro Campground only allows self-contained gas stoves, compressed gas BBQs, or outdoor fireplaces. In addition, the park does not permit wood or charcoal fires as of right now.
If you bring a tent, it must be free-standing. Tent camping does not allow for tents with stakes.
The campground allows two vehicles per campsite, which must be parked on the concrete within the campsite area. As for capacity, each campsite can hold up to eight people.
You will find restrooms on-site, which the park maintains and keeps relatively clean. There are also token-operated showers.
While you are allowed to bring dogs, you must have them on a leash at all times and stay with them throughout the duration of your stay. The beach nearby does not permit dogs, and during the night, you must keep your dog in your vehicle or tent. Dogs are also not allowed in the Upper Moro Canyon, Lower Moro Canyon, and Deer Canyon campgrounds, with service dogs as the exception.
If you must take your dog on a walk, make sure to stay on the paved roads! The staff at Crystal Cove State Park does not want pets interfering with local wildlife.
You may operate generators, though they must be turned off between the hours of 8 PM and 10 AM.
Quiet time in the campsites starts at 8 PM, though you can still enjoy time roasting marshmallows over the fire pits or stargazing.
The park throws a unique sea glass jewelry-making program as well, in which you can make your own jewelry to bring home.
If you're worried about having access to amenities, know that there are nearby cities where you can restock on food, water, and other essentials.
Crystal Cove Camping Reservations
The Historic District recently underwent restoration, which now provides visitor services and cottage rentals. As a result, you can enjoy everything from cottage rentals (studios & one-bedroom or two-bedroom houses) to hostel-style dormitories during your stay. Plus, the rental prices are surprisingly low for what you get, allowing as many visitors to experience this beach stay as possible.
You can reserve campsites and cottages on the Reserve California website. This same website has information regarding all California State Parks, perfect for planning a multi-location camping trip.
We recommend booking a site at least six months in advance. Because this site offers some of the best camping in California, the sites go very fast.
If you are unable to find an open spot, there are plenty of other great beach campgrounds nearby, including:
Crystal Cove Camping Map
See 9 more beautiful coastline camping locations on our Beach Camping California resource page.