El Capitan State Beach 2018


In August 2018 we decided to escape the heat wave at home by taking our RV to El Capitan State Beach, just north of Goleta, CA. When we made reservations on the ReserveCalifornia website, it showed only a couple sites available, but one of them looked nice, so we booked it. When we arrived at the campground, there were very few campers, and a ranger said that they get a lot of "no shows". If those people don't call to cancel, then they lose their money, and those campsites sit empty.

The road into the campground was almost a tunnel of trees.

Our campsite turned out to be one of the best in the park! It was quite large, on a bluff overlooking the ocean, with a nice distance between neighboring sites.

When making the reservations, the website said that the campsite could only accommodate vehicles less than 24 feet in length. Our RV is 31 feet, but I was fairly sure that we would fit, if we backed-in and let the portion behind the rear axle hang over the end of the pad. It turned out to be a very tight fit, and we only managed because we were able to straddle one of the concrete "wheel-stops".

Here's the view from our living room...

... and from our bedroom.

After getting situated, we decided that we would enjoy a gin & tonic cocktail, but discovered that we didn't pack the tonic water! So we rode our bikes to the campground store, and learned that it's only open on the weekends. A guy passing by told us that the next nearest store was across the highway at the El Capitan Canyon resort, so we rode out of the State Beach to the resort. That store didn't have tonic water, but we bought some sparkling mineral water, which yielded some "passable" G&Ts.

Since we were already on our bikes, we rode along the Aniso Trail.

This is the view from our picnic table.

We had never seen picnic tables decotated with beer bottle caps before.

From the edge of the bluff, we could see the stairs down to the beach.

When we weren't simply enjoying the view and the sound of the surf, we played some board games, like Rummikub...

... and Bananagrams...

... and Sequence.

We cooked steak on the grill one night, and salmon another night.

We explored the campground to find other good potential campsites, and found another one that we liked. We'll definitely return to this campground if we can reserve one of our two favorite sites.

Someone on the next bluff enjoying the "golden light" of late afternoon.

Of course, sunsets at the beach are always nice...

... and so are campfires!

Heading out of the campground on our way home. But we'll be back!