Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunset State Beach, California

The state parks of California's central coast are special.  Unfortunately, with the fiscal crises is California it appears that the state government has made the decision to state parks must be self-supporting.

The flaw in this argument is that the state parks, national forests, national parks, and the public lands managed by the BLM were never designed to be self-supporting.  They were designed to provide a quality camping experience for the typical American family. 

So now we have a situation where it costs more to camp in a state park that rent a motel room or a vacation home for an extended stay.

Here is what $35/night buys you at Sunset Beach State Park.   You get a picnic table and a fire pit.

No water, no hookups.  The toilet is down from the campsite.  It was clean.

The wildflowers are pretty, but I believe they are an invasive species!!  So much for the natural environment of our state parks.

If your over 30 feet you will have problems fitting into these sites.


Talking to the campground host use is down in the state parks.  The host noted that people are still showing up, but staying only three or four days instead of the usual seven.  This year the price is the same.  

Forget the private campgrounds.  The local KOA was $75-100 per night for a campsite. 

The Los Padres National Forest has some campgrounds up Chews Ridge that can accomodate small rigs.  Also Pinnacles National Monument has a campground just off Hwy 101, but that will require a drive to the coastal areas.  Still this part of the coast is pretty special and you should experience at some time or other.

The other alternative is to rent a vacation home in Carmel for $2,000 month.  For two couples that is cheaper than staying in a California State Park!!  What in the world!!

We have just returned from a short side trip to Mexico.  We will continue posting on sites in Arizona.  Then it is back to Washington State for the start of spring wildflowers and fishing season.   And most importantly, FREE CAMPING!!

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