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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I make camping reservations?
How do I pay for reservations?
How much does a camping reservation cost?
What is the difference between a full hook-up, a partial hook-up, and a non hook-up site?
What about other park fees?
What if I pay for a reservation and cancel?
What if I want to change my reservation date, or add or drop a day?
Am I allowed to have a campfire when I go camping in a County Park?
What are Resident Discount Cards?
Is there a senior or disabled discount card?
Do you offer parking passes?
Can I bring alcoholic drinks to the park?
Can I reserve an area for a picnic in a County Park?
What about fishing and boating?
Where can I go swimming in a County Park?
We love to camp and fish at the lakes of San Diego County. Which ones are operated by the County Parks and Recreation Department?
What types of recreation programs do you have?
Are there trail maps for San Diego County Parks?
Can we take our dog to the park with us?
Are we allowed to bring firewood to a Park?
How can I find out more about the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP)?
Parks are beautiful places. What are the wedding possibilities in County parks?
Can we run our generator at a County Park?

How do I make camping reservations?

In person, by phone, on line or at the park during park hours. Please note that all reservations must be paid in full when you make the reservation.
Reservations: (877) 565-3600, or (858) 565-3600 local.  
Our on-line reservation system is now ready to take your camping reservation. Visit this page to get started on this exciting new reservation process.

How do I pay for reservations?

For your convenience, we accept cash, check, money order, VISA, or MasterCard
 

How much does a camping reservation cost?

A list of camping fees for each park is on this page.

What is the difference between a full hook-up, a partial hook-up, and a non hook-up site?

A full hook-up includes water, electricity, and sewer. A partial hook-up includes water and electricity. A non hook-up site has water available nearby.

What about other park fees?

A complete list of park use fees are available here.

What if I pay for a reservation and cancel?

For cancellations, please call 858-565-3600 (local) or 877-565-3600 (toll free from San Diego County) Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

  • If a reservation is cancelled more than 90 days prior to the arrival date, the camping fee will be refunded less the $5 non-refundable reservation fee and a $5 cancellation fee.
  • If a reservation is cancelled between 30 and 90 days prior to the arrival date, the $5 reservation fee, a $5 cancellation fee, and the first night's camping fee are non-refundable.
  • For reservations cancelled less than 30 days from the first day of your camping stay, all fees are non-refundable.
  • Reserved sites will be held until 1:00 p.m. on the day after the scheduled arrival date. The site will then be given out on a first come, first serve basis until the next scheduled reservation for that site. 
  • All refunds will be credited directly back to the specific bank card used for the transaction. If paid by cash or check, only a credit voucher can be issued. Sorry, no exceptions.

 

What if I want to change my reservation date, or add or drop a day?

To transfer or reschedule a site, or change your arrival or departure date, there will be a $5 fee. Transfers are only allowed within the same park. Transfers or changes cannot be more than 90 days from the original arrival date. For changes, contact the reservations desk at (858) 565-3600.

Am I allowed to have a campfire when I go camping in a County Park?

Campfires are allowed in designated fire rings between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. (All campfires must be extinguished between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.)

An open-flame ban shall go into effect whenever a Red Flag Warning is posted by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and will remain in effect until the Red Flag Warning is lifted by NOAA. Because a Red Flag Warning is a weather-related event, no refunds will be given due to an open-flame ban.

Propane stoves and lanterns are permitted in all camping parks.

For up-to-date information on campfire status, please contact the Reservation Desk at 877-565-3600, or ask the ranger when you arrive at the park.

What are Resident Discount Cards?

Anyone who lives in San Diego County is eligible for a County Resident Discount Card. The cost of the card is $35.00 and is good for one year from the date of purchase. CAMPING FEES: The Discount Card holder is entitled to $1.00 off per night when camping in a San Diego County Park, and the $5.00 convenience fee is waived.

Is there a senior or disabled discount card?

Residents of San Diego County who are 62 years or older, as well as disabled residents who have a 50% disability and a valid DMV placard/license plate, can purchase a discount card for $15.00. These cards are active for 1 year from the date of purchase and include the following discounts:

  • Waiver of the $5.00 reservation fee
  • $1 off per night for Friday, Saturday and any night before a Holiday (Holiday is any day the County of San Diego offices are closed)
  • Sunday through Thursday - $4 off per night for any full hook-up site and $3 off per night for partial hook-up and tent sites


PLEASE NOTE: Discount cards apply to only one site per night, and are not transferable. For more information, call 858-565-3600, or write to askparks.lue@sdcounty.ca.gov or the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department, 5500 Overland Ave., Suite 410, San Diego, CA 92123.

Do you offer parking passes?

We have several categories of parking passes:

Family Pass ..........$40/year
Senior (62+)............FREE if a San Diego County resident
Disabled ................FREE if a San Diego County resident (Current California Disable Placard Honored in All Regional Day Use Parks)

Parking passes are available at any of the camping and picnic parks or at the Reservation and Information Center at 5500 Overland Ave., Suite 410. (Please note that parking passes are not valid at Agua Caliente or Wilderness Gardens.)

Can I bring alcoholic drinks to the park?

Alcoholic beverages are permitted in most County parks, providing the alcoholic content does not exceed 20%. No alcohol is allowed at Collier, Eucalyptus, Goodland Acres, Lamar, Lindo Lake, Nancy Jane, Old Ironsides, Rainbow, Spring Valley, or Sweetwater Lane parks. No alcohol is allowed at Hilton Head Park from May through October.

Can I reserve an area for a picnic in a County Park?

Yes, you may reserve specific areas in each of our regional day use parks, and we recommend reservations for large groups. Call the reservation center at (858) 565-3600 (local) or (877) 565-3600 (toll free) Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.. Staff can recommend a park and area for you, and provide you with the fee information. You may also picnic without a reservation, and areas have been set aside outside of the reservable areas for the general public. If an area is not reserved, you are welcome to picnic there as well.

To check availability of the day-use areas in our parks up to a year in advance of your picnic or event, go to this page.

What about fishing and boating?

One camping park operated by San Diego County Parks and Recreation, Lake Morena has the additional attraction of fishing and boating. LAKE MORENA is located off I-8, 63 miles east of San Diego and fishing, boating and sailboarding can be enjoyed all year, seven days a week, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. No swimming. Rental motor boats are also available.

An information line, (619) 478-5473, is changed daily with fishing and sailboarding updates. 

 

Where can I go swimming in a County Park?

Because Lake Morena serves as a reservoir for the City of San Diego, no swimming is permitted in the lake. Agua Caliente County Park offers three naturally fed pools that provide different ways of enjoying the park's mineral water: two large outdoor pools are a natural 90 degrees, and an indoor therapeutic spa is heated to 102 degrees and outfitted with Jacuzzi jets. (Check pool hours here.)

We love to camp and fish at the lakes of San Diego County. Which ones are operated by the County Parks and Recreation Department?

The Parks Department only runs  Lake Morena. Among the lakes operated by the City of San Diego Water Utilities District are Barrett, Chollas, El Capitan, Hodges, Miramar, Murray, Otay, San Vicente, and Sutherland. Information on these lakes can be obtained by calling (619) 668-2050. 

What types of recreation programs do you have?

The Department operates three community centers: Fallbrook (760-728-1671), Lakeside (619-443-9176), and Spring Valley (619-479-1832). They have programs for all ages. Each of the pages for the above community centers has a link to its own program guide, or you may contact them directly for information. We now offer registration for these programs on line

We also offer programs and activities in many of our regional and historic parks.

Are there trail maps for San Diego County Parks?

Many San Diego County residents and visitors are unaware of the recreational HIKING TRAILS, BIKING TRAILS, and HORSEBACK RIDING TRAILS available throughout the region. There are more than 100 miles of trails within County Parks alone. A full-color brochure, Experience San Diego County Trails, offers a brief description of the trails in nearly 30 parks and preserves. It is available at many of our parks or on line here.

 

Can we take our dog to the park with us?

Dogs are allowed in most County Park with the exception of Volcan Mountain, Wilderness Gardens Preserve, and the trails at Agua Caliente. Companion dogs accompanying the unsighted, deaf, or disabled are allowed into these parks.  Assistance dogs, including guide dogs, signal dogs and service dogs, are welcome at all County Parks and Recreation facilities.  We ask that the handlers of assistance dogs comply with all applicable regulations related to their dog.  Dogs that are out of control or pose a demonstrated risk to others may be asked to leave.  When in the park and on any trails, all pets must be on a leash no longer that 6 feet and must be attended at all times. The fee for dogs in camping parks is $1.00 per night per dog, and the pet must have current license and vaccinations.

Are we allowed to bring firewood to a Park?

Firewood collection is not permitted at any San Diego County Park. We discourage visitors from bringing in their own firewood to prevent the spread of forest pests such as the Goldspotted Oak Borer. For added convenience, you can purchase firewood right at the campground.

To learn more about how firewood can harbor insects and diseases that threaten California's valuable forest resources visit the California Firewood Task Force

 

 

How can I find out more about the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP)?

You can now learn about the MSCP on line. Here is the link to the MSCP web site.

Parks are beautiful places. What are the wedding possibilities in County parks?

Many County Parks have unique areas for weddings and receptions, including gazebos, pavilions and a historic temple. Visit our Wedding Pages or call for detailed information.

INFORMATION: (858) 694-3049
RESERVATIONS: (858) 565-3600 (local) or (877) 565-3600 (toll free)
E-MAIL: askparks.lue@sdcounty.ca.gov.
 

Can we run our generator at a County Park?

Generators are not allowed at any County Park.