Camping at El Capitan – A complete guide

A little about camping at El Capitan State Beach

Looking for a scenic getaway along the coast? A nice camping spot on the beach? Hiking with an ocean breeze?

Sounds nice huh?

If you are you should consider camping at El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbra, CA. lets talk about camping at El Capitan or El cap. The campsite is located on the bluffs above the state beach and features a trail that leads you right to the sand so the beach is very accessible. There are 132 possible campsite you can reserve including family campsites, group campsites, hike/bike campsites, and RV sites.

El Cap can be pretty popular in the summer months however, they do allow reservation free camping year round so don’t be afraid to just roll up. If you don’t feel comfortable just rolling up to a campground without a reservation, no worries you can make one using the following link. Importantly, be sure to make a reservation during El Capitan’s peak season.

Below I put together a small list of all the things I love at El Cap but, there is actually a lot more you can do such as: snorkeling/scuba diving, guided tours, BBQ, swim, sun bathe, and picnic. Above all, make sure you take advantage of everything the beautiful El Capitan State Beach has to offer. 🙂

Things to do at El Capitan State Beach

activities to do when camping at El Capitan State Beach

Things you might need camping at El Capitan

A good tent. Remember that ocean breeze you loved during the day? well, sometimes it can be your worst enemy at night so when camping at El Capitan make sure you have a good wind resistant tent.

Sleeping bag and camping mat. As mentioned before it is cold at night so try to have comfortable sleeping arrangements. Invest in a nice padded sleeping mat along with an insulated sleeping bag.

Hiking shoes or comfortable shoes are also good to have. If you are just there to go on the beach and lay out sandals are fine however, if you wish to explore the neighboring hills and trails I recommend some nice hiking shoes.

A decent fishing pole. Fishing is always fun and there are a lot of beautiful native fish in the area.

A good pair of binoculars are a must if you want to see all the pretty birds in the area.

You should also consider getting a nice camp kitchen set or at least a camping stove and jet boil. If you like just cooking on the fire pit then go for it but it saves a lot of time having some basic camp cooking gear.

Definitely bring a surfboard! Even if it is just a foam board there are fun surf spots at and around El Capitan.

Lastly, I recommend bringing a powerful lantern. There isn’t that much light pollution at El Cap and it gets pretty dark.

El Capitan State Beach Park Info:

Address: El Capitán State Beach Road Goleta, CA 93117

Phone Number: (805) 968-1033

Regular Campsite: $45 with a reservation fee of $7.99

Occupancy: 3 vehicles and max 8 people

Group Campsite: $320 with a reservation fee of $7.99

Occupancy: 60 people and 15 vehicles

Map of El Capitan State Beach

If you have any other information on El Capitan that you want me to include be sure to leave a comment and I will try to throw it in this guide. 🙂

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