Crystal Cove State Park

Overview:

Crystal Cove State Park is a great place for any van or RV nomad looking to explore the Southern California coast while in the middle of Orange County California. The park has camping, hiking, surfing, and a federally listed Historic District, an enclave of vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built as a seaside colony. 

Adventure:

Crystal Cove State Park is a great place to spend the day enjoying a wide variety of activities. These main activities include camping, hiking, surfing, and mountain biking. The park is Orange County’s largest park with 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, and an offshore underwater area.

Map: Crystal Cove Map

Hiking & Mountain Biking

The park offers 18 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout the native Southern California wilderness. The trails are rated from easy to moderate and offer great opportunities to see wildlife along with great vistas of the Pacific Ocean.  

Map: Moro Canyon Trail Map

Beach

Crystal Cove State Beach comprises four beaches.  All of these beaches offer visitors a great experience from sunbathing, reef exploration, surfing, body boarding, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, and kayaking.  The four beaches include:

  • Moro Beach
  • Reef Point
  • Historic District
  • Pelican Point

Camping

The Moro campground, which is located on a bluff overlooking the beach, provides unparalleled ocean views, features 27 hookup sites, 30 non-hookup tent sites, both of which include 3 ADA-accessible sites each.

There’s also primitive hike-in camping in the park’s backcountry, which has 32 sites across 3 camping areas.

Map: Moro Campground Map Moro Canyon

To reserve a campsite, visit www.reservecalifornia.com, or call (800) 444-7275.

Explore Historic Beach District

You will enjoy the federally listed Historic District located on the beach at Crystal Cove. It consists of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built as a seaside colony in the 1930s & ’40s nestled around Los Trancos Creek’s mouth.

The park provides cottages for visitors, educational and community programs, a restaurant, and 21 cottages for overnight use. This historic district is one of the last few remaining beach communities of the past.

Map: Crystal Cove Historic District Map

Parking & Info

There is plenty of parking lots throughout the park. Each beach section has one with the Historic district being the smallest.

  • Open 6:00am to sunset; Historic Park open till 10:00pm
  • There are four entrances: two along the bluffs at Pelican Point and Reef Point, and two inland at Los Trancos and School/State Park.
  • Day Use Fee $15

Directions:

The park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, California.  Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, passes directly by the Park. There are parking areas on the ocean side of PCH at stoplights (Reef Point and Newport Coast), as well as inland parking areas at the stoplight, School/State Park, located next to El Morro Elementary School. A few miles north from Reef Point is the Los Trancos parking area with trolley access to the Historic District.

References and Other Adventures:

Beach

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is a must-stop over for any van or RV nomad looking to surf and spend time on the beach. The shoreline stretches for 10 uninterrupted miles making it a paradise for surfers. With the name Surf City USA, the beach attracts professional surfers from around the world.

Read More »
Surfing

San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach is a wonderful place for any van lifer to spend time camping and surfing on the California coast. The park is a 3,000-acre and 3 miles south of San Clemente on Interstate 5 at Basilone Road. The state park is leased to California by the United States Marine Corps.

Read More »
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