Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds

San Luis Obispo County


Santa Margarita Lake (February, 2016)


Lake Santa Margarita Campground, Los Padres National Forest, CA

Santa Margarita Lake Campground

Southern Monterey County and San Luis Obispo County Attractions

Southern Monterey County and San Luis Obispo County offer wonderful attractions and many scenic points of interest. Those who stay at Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds have both the lake and the nearby beaches to enjoy.

  • Take a splash at Ravine Water Park near Paso Robles.
  • Fish from Pismo Beach's 1370-foot pier.
  • Explore the tide pools at Shell Beach.
  • Head out sea kayaking through the Dinosaur Caves.
  • Set out on a wine tasting tour through the San Luis Obispo countryside.
  • Hike up the Valencia Peak Trail.
  • Watch elephant seals at Piedras Blancas.
  • Explore Montana de Oro State Park.
  • Enjoy Lake San Antonio for boating, waterskiing, and fishing. Find good camping, hiking, and mountain biking.
  • Head over to nearby Lake Nacimiento with excellent camping, fishing, and boating. Waterskiing is popular on the lake along with jet skiing. Visit the Lake Nacimiento Resort.
  • Take a tour of the famous Hearst Castle.
  • See all the animals at Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero.
  • Spend a day at Morro Bay, visiting shops, beaches, and other attractions.
  • Go stand-up paddleboarding at Avila Beach or Morro Bay.
  • Visit old Mission San Miguel.
  • Go cycling around Cambria, set out on scenic Highway 1 or pick a quiet country road.

Key Santa Margarita Lake Campground Regulations

  1. Dogs must be kept on a leash and under adult supervision at all times. Dogs must be confined to a vehicle or tent at night.
  2. Quiet Hours extend from 10 PM to 7 AM.
  3. Campfires are only allowed in the designated fire pits.

Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds

Santa Margarita Lake is off Highway 58, east of San Luis Obispo and southeast of the town of Santa Margarita. The lake is popular for boating and fishing. Because the lake serves as a drinking water supply, no body contact allowed with the water. Instead, a swimming pool is open at the lake during the summer. Visitors to the lake enjoy the adjoining Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.

Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds include 60 campsites spread among 4 campgrounds. Campsites have picnic tables and fire pits. None of the campgrounds has hook-ups.

  • Coyote Campground has 13 tents-only campsites close to the lake.
  • Roadrunner Campground has 7 tents-only campsites close to the lake.
  • Grey Pine Campground has 24 RV or trailer campsites. It is located on a hillside near the entrance to the park, a short distance from the lake.
  • Osprey Campground has 10 RV-only campsites along the lake's edge.

There are also 2 Boat-in Campgrounds for individuals or groups. They also have a separate Group Campsite.

Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds Basics
Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds Location: 4695 Santa Margarita Road, off Highway 58, southeast of the town of Santa Margarita
Campground Open: year-round
Distance from major cities: San Luis Obispo: 21 miles
Santa Barbara - 116 miles
Elevation: 1,300 feet
Number of Sites: 54
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1 ($13 fee for 2nd vehicle if space allows)
Pets: On leash, always attended
Park Ranger Office: (805) 788-2387

Reservations for Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds
Reservations available: Reservations available up to one year in advance
Maximum Vehicle Length: 40 feet
Wheelchair accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $25 per night + $9 reservation fee.
Reservations: San Luis Obispo County Parks Reservations
Check-in, Check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out 11:00 AM

Santa Margarita Lake Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire pits; no hook-ups
Campground: Restrooms with flush toilets, piped water
Showers: Yes
Dump Station: No
Attractions near Santa Margarita Lake Campgrounds : Visit the Santa Margarita Lake Marina with boat rentals, launch ramp, and store. Cool off in the Swimming pool (summer only). Clamber around on the playground. Explore area hiking trails, horseback riding trails, and mountain biking routes.

Sapwi and Khus Boat-in Campgrounds

Sapwi and Khus are remote, boat-in campsites. They are accessible via the Blinn Trail from River Road Access and Staging Area. Campers must bring in their own water and firewood. The 5 campsites at each campground are equipped with fire pits with benches and picnic tables. Chemical toilets are located close by. Food must be stored in a safe way to prevents bears from getting to it. What you pack in you must pack out. Check-in time is 3:00 PM, check-out at 11:00 AM.
Fees: $21 per night plus a $9 reservation fee
Reservations: (805) 788-2397.

Lake Santa Margarita Pool, CA

Santa Margarita Lake Pool

Lake Santa Margarita's Group Campsite, CA

Heron Group Campsite

Santa Margarita Lake's Heron Group Campsite

Heron Small Group Campsite is a tent campground near the main facilities at the lake. Heron can accommodate up to 50 people and 8 vehicles included in the reservation price. A maximum of 15 vehicles can be parked in the Heron group area. Vehicles beyond the first 8 will be charged $21 per night. Heron has 2 chemical toilets. Restrooms are a short drive away. The campsite has shaded picnic tables, BBQ, and a campfire circle. The campground is available from May through October.
Fees: $195 per night plus a $27 reservation fee
Reservations: (805) 788-2397.

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