Discover Camping in Julian, California: an idyllic escape just an hour from San Diego. Dive into 14 campsite reviews, history, and local attractions
Julian is a small town nestled in the mountains outside of San Diego. It’s known for its history, gorgeous scenery and impressive wineries. And if you’re camping near Julian this summer, there are plenty of things to do! I grew up in San Diego and have taken many camping trips to Julian over the years with my family. Here are some tips on how to make your trip as fun as possible:
Julian camping is perfect for a family weekend getaway
Camping in Julian is an amazing escape for a family looking for a fun, outdoorsy weekend in Southern California.
As a family, you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of Julian and its surrounding areas. If you’re looking for more than just camping but also want to spend time in nature, consider bringing bikes and biking along the trails. You can bike from campground to campground, exploring all that this region has to offer!
Julian camping is perfect for families looking for a fun, outdoorsy weekend in Southern California. You’ve probably heard about how beautiful it is here and how much fun you’ll have with your family at campgrounds like ours. With so many different activities available during your stay here, it’s hard not to have an unforgettable experience!
Plenty to do at Julian
Julian campgrounds offer a lot of activities to keep you busy all weekend long, from swimming and hiking to fishing and birdwatching.
Julian is known as “America’s Little Switzerland” because of its breathtaking views and hiking trails. There are several short hikes available for those who just want to enjoy nature for a few hours, but if you want something longer or more strenuous then these activities may be more up your alley.
Julian has over 50 miles of hiking trails that wind their way through beautiful oak forests and meadows filled with wildflowers. Some of these trails lead up into the mountains where there are breathtaking views at every turn! It’s easy to find your way around since most trails are marked by signs with arrows pointing toward the
The Crystal Basin Trail is one of the most popular trails in the area because it offers views of Mt Woodson, which is one of the highest peaks in San Diego County. The trailhead begins at a parking lot on Highway 78 (near mile marker 12). It’s a 2-mile round trip hike that takes about two hours each way. At the top of Mt Woodson there are fantastic views of Julian, Cuyamaca Peak, Guatay Mountain and surrounding areas. This hike is rated as moderate difficulty but some parts can be steep with loose rocks so make sure you wear appropriate footwear!
Visit the Apple Pie Factory – The Apple Pie Factory is located near the entrance of town and offers free samples of their delicious pies! They also have baked goods available for purchase during regular business hours (Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm).
Go wine tasting at one (or more) of the local wineries; there are lots within 20 minutes’ drive from the center of town! You’ll find your best selection at Rancho de los Caballeros Winery & Vineyards and Hacienda La Solana Winery & Vineyards, both located within five miles of Julian. Both offer tours and tastings daily from 10am-4pm.
Another popular activity is biking. Many people choose to rent bikes from one of the many local shops so they can see more of the area than they could on foot or by car. Biking is also a great way to get some exercise while you’re out on your trip!
Camping at Julian
Camping in Julian is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get back to nature. The campgrounds in this area are serene, beautiful and quiet, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.
There are several campsites available that have varying amenities and rates. Some of these sites include:
Julian Mountain Inn Campground
This campground has a large grassy field for tents as well as RV hookups. There are plenty of trees for shade on sunny days and there is also a playground for children. The bathrooms and showers are located nearby so you don’t have to walk far if you need them during the night or early morning hours.
Julian Lakeside Resort
This resort offers RV camping sites, tent camping sites, cabins and even yurts! All of these accommodations come with access to a lakefront setting with beautiful views of Lake Cuyamaca. If you want more than just a tent site then this is definitely an option worth looking into!
Julian Gold Campground
This campground offers tent camping as well as RV hookups with water and electric service available on every site.
If you plan on getting a more rustic camping experience, this section is for you!
If you’re looking for a campsite in Julian California, there are plenty of options available. There are campgrounds located throughout San Diego County and even into neighboring counties like Riverside and Orange. The following are some of the best places for camping in all of Southern California:
Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve
Located in Julian, California, this campground is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle. You can enjoy nature at its finest with 2 miles of hiking trails, as well as access to swimming pools and a playground area for children. There are also 5 cabins available for rent at this location.
This campground offers river-side sites for those who want some privacy while enjoying all that California has to offer! If you’re looking for something more rustic than just tenting out on the ground, this is the perfect option; they even have cabins available too! The site has been around since 1977 but will always be remembered as being one of the best places ever created by humans (or aliens).
Lake Cuyamaca is a reservoir located in the San Diego County, which is a popular destination for camping and fishing. The lake is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains, and it’s surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest.
The lake was drained in order to construct Camp Cuyamaca, but it was restored after World War II ended. Today, this area has many campsites available for rent at Lake Cuyamaca State Park (in addition to other nearby state parks).
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, located in San Diego County, California is an oasis of green surrounded by desert. The park is named after Juan Bautista de Anza who was the first European to explore this area in 1774 during his expedition from Sonora to Monterey. The park has more than 800 miles (1280 km) of dirt roads and trails that lead you through some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. You can explore everything from ancient volcanic mountain ranges, to deep canyons and vast valleys with numerous prehistoric sites including pictographs and petroglyphs carved into rocks by Native Americans over thousands of years ago.
Laguna Campground is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and it is open year-round. Located in the Cleveland National Forest, it’s part of San Diego County. The campground was the largest in the national forest until it closed due to wildfires in May 2016. The fire caused significant damage to some areas within Laguna Campground, but as of 2017 all amenities were accessible again as repairs had been completed.
Laguna Campground has more than 100 campsites available on a first-come first-served basis, including RV hookups and tent sites. There are also group camping areas that can accommodate up to 40 people each—a great option if you’re planning an event out there!
Cleveland National Forest
If you’re looking for some good camping in Southern California, Cleveland National Forest is a great option. Located in San Diego and Riverside counties, it’s also close to the Orange County line. The national forest is large and covers about 1 million acres of land. It’s located in the southern half of the San Bernardino Mountains and extends from Palomar Mountain northward to Big Bear Lake.
Cleveland National Forest has over 800 miles of hiking trails with many that can be accessed directly from your campsite if you want to explore during your stay with us!
La Jolla Indian Campground
La Jolla Indian Campground is located off Highway 78 in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is itself located an hour east of Julian. Amenities include showers, restrooms and RV hookups—all those are standard in most campgrounds these days.
Though La Jolla Indian Campground does not offer any activities at its location, there’s plenty to do in this beautiful desert park! There are many hiking trails including one that leads to viewpoints atop some of the highest peaks in California. If you want something more relaxing than hiking then check out one of their hot springs that range from 72ºF -104ºF!
If you have an RV but still want a nice camping experience without having to lug around all your gear then check out Sunset Vista RV Resort located right next door! Here they offer all kinds of amenities including pool tables and golf courses as well as other fun activities such as miniature golfing (because who doesn’t love miniature golf).
San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area
San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area is a great place to go for bird watching. This wildlife area is located in northern San Diego County and has over 6,000 acres of land. The area offers about twenty miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore. There are also several campsites available as well as cabins, yurts, and tent camping areas.
William Heise County Park
William Heise County Park is located in the city of Julian, California. This park offers tent camping, RV hookups and cabins. The park also features an amphitheater for concerts during the spring and summer months.
Located in a desert climate zone, William Heise County Park has cool winters and warm summers with low humidity levels throughout most of the year. The average daily temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius). During winter months, temperatures can drop below freezing at night but climb back up to 50 F (10 C) during daytime hours. Visitors should make sure they have warm clothes when visiting this area during winter months because snowfall is common between December and March every year.
The park has multiple hiking trails that lead through pine forests or over rugged terrain with rocks scattered around them; these trails are open all year long except when they get covered by heavy rainstorms which can cause landslides or other dangerous conditions such as flash flooding so visitors should exercise caution while hiking through these areas if there has been recent rainfall within 24 hours before coming out here
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a year-round campground that is perfect for any family vacation. Its amenities include a swimming pool, store, restaurant and hot tub. There’s also laundry facilities, dump station and playground for children. The park has more than 300 campsites to choose from with trails in the forested area that lead to nearby lakes and streams where you can fish or take your dog for a walk along the water’s edge.
Pinezanita RV Park & Campgrounds
This campground is located approximately 1 mile north of the town of Julian and features tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. While there are no hookups available at this location, it does offer water and restrooms. All litter must be packed out of the park upon departure. The roads are unpaved but well maintained. While pets are permitted on leashes in designated areas, they must be kept on a leash at all times while in any area that is not designated as an off-leash dog play area (there are two of these). Pets may not be left unattended at any time and must always be controlled by a competent person who can control them. Dogs must also wear their tags inside their collars at all times when outside their vehicles or tents/cabins.
Just an hour away from San Diego
One of the best things about Julian is that it’s only an hour away from San Diego, making it easy to turn your camping trip into a tour of the city. You can spend the day in San Diego and then retreat back to Julian at night. Or if you want to be closer to nature, stick around in Julian for longer.
The beauty of this area is that there are plenty of activities nearby so if you don’t feel like going into San Diego every day, you won’t have to!
A lot of History
Julian was founded in 1869 and named after its founder, John Bolling Julian, who was one of the first settlers in the area. The town’s official website says that “he came to California in 1846 as a member of Company C, First Regiment United States Dragoons.” In 1862 he married Mary Ann Walker at Fort Yuma, Arizona and together they started a family on their ranch in Julian.
The first schoolhouse was built in the 1860s, but it wasn’t until almost 100 years later that the first high school opened its doors. The first yearbook was published in 1952.
In 1889, gold was discovered east of town and this caused Julian to become one of the richest mining areas in California history. Many buildings were constructed during this time period using bricks made from clay found on site that glowed red in the sunlight due to manganese oxidation. These buildings have now become part of what makes Julian so charming today.
Whether you want to explore the city or stay close by and enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of campsites in Julian for every type of camper. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot by the river or an RV park with all the amenities, there’s something here for everyone. We hope this article has given you some insight into what makes Julian so special and why it should be your next destination!