Date of Stay: October, 2012
We stayed Thursday and Friday nights in the middle of October. Very few campers on Thursday. Surprisingly, there were still a few unoccupied sites on Friday. We drove in around 10 PM and got lost because of the ups and downs and curvy roads within the campground. Fortunately, we found the cordial and friendly camp host who walked us to our site. When we were there, the temperature ranged from the low 50s to the low 80s, sunny with some dark clouds, and a light breeze during the day. Black Rock has 9 water spigots spread throughout 99 sites. Water is free. We stayed in site 20 which is a pull through site. We were able to level front to back without using leveling blocks, but we did not have enough blocks to level side to side. I would suggest spending 2 to 5 minutes at the Nature Center to learn about the history of the park. Black Rock does not charge the $15 entry fee that the other 3 entrances charge. If you wish to visit the rest of the park, the $15 entry fee is good for 7 days. Dump fee is $5. The downsides: I don't like the desert, Black Rock doesn't have the spectacular rock formations like some of the other campgrounds, and the entrance road is full of potholes. Touring tip: Skull Rock, about half way between the West and the North Entrances, can be easily seen by standing in the blue handicap walkway across the street from the Skull Rock Trail sign and by looking directly above the Skull Rock Trail sign.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
Reserved and stayed Sunday night. It could be that restrooms and showers are not cleaned on Sundays, but they were sorely in need of cleaning as of 11 AM Monday. Jet noises slowed sometime after 1:30 AM when I last looked at the clock. They started back up around 5 AM. When we staked out a fire pit, I had to clean out several fireworks casings. Some time after 10 PM when the County workers left, the illegal fireworks started. The pops and whistles were louder than the jets flying overhead. This may have been a one-time occurrence, but a group of partiers whooped it up until after 1 AM. The park prohibits the use of mopeds and bicycles in the campground, but at any given time, there were 2 to 3 times as many cyclists in the park than on the bikeway. We paid $60 per night plus a $10 reservation fee for site 36 because there were not camping sites across the greenway from us. The beach was littered with wrappers and bits of styrofoam, a broken toy shovel, and a green glass bottle, just enough to make it noticeable walking to and along the water. That said, for a metropolitan beach, I was surprised to see so few people on the beach. Just a few hundred feet to the north on the day use side, strangers were sitting within a foot of each other, similar to other urban beaches in the summer. If I had to stay here again, I'll definitely remember to bring ear plugs or stay after my hearings gone. By the way, all that jet noise can't be good for all of the kids there.
Date of Stay: November, 2011
We arrived early to enjoy the beach. The person manning the entrance kiosk allowed us to enter and recommended that we ask the camp host if our site was ready. Although check in time was 2 PM he allowed us to occupy our site around 1 PM. We backed into our site which was right next to the bike path and the beach. Great for people watching from the back of our motorhome. Across Highway 1 is the wonderful Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Unfortunately, there are no crosswalks nearby and jaywalking is out of the question with cars whizzing by at 50 MPH. As a previous reviewer noted, the highway is noisy; however, it dies down enough at night so that you can hear the surf. The entrance gates close at 9 PM; however, campers can enter the Warner Ave. entrance after hours using the combination gate lock. Next time, we'll take advantage of the fire pits on the beach.
Date of Stay: August, 2011
This appears to be an older park. The restrooms and the showers are in need of some minor cosmetic maintenance such as a thorough grout cleaning and clearing the insects out of the overhead light fixtures. The exercise equipment next to the adult pool are in the open, and therefore, are usable but not pretty to look at. The noise from I-5 is noticeable, but not onerous. Free Wi-Fi for the first 30 minutes only. On the positive side, the managers are very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They even escort you to your site. If you need to stop overnight or stay in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley, this oasis along I-5 is better than most in that area.
Date of Stay: August, 2011
Their website says Wi-Fi is available, but it wasn't operating in the 3 nights we were their. This appears to be a common problem so don't rely on their Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi is available just north of the park at McDonalds and Starbucks. Only the asphalt part of the park was open. Several of the motorhomes were jacked up so high that the wheels were off the ground. Our site was not as slanted, but the levelers I normally use were not enough to completely level our RV, but enough to keep the refrigerator working. The 3 camp hosts who manage the park were very friendly and helpful. The restrooms, showers and the grounds were clean and well maintained. I plan to return here again, but I'll bring jacks next time.
Date of Stay: August, 2011
Very clean restrooms and showers, the grounds were well maintained, and the staff was friendly. An occasional inconsiderate boater did cruise by with their radio up full blast, but overall this is a peaceful park. I recommend this place for anyone stopping in or near Stockton.
Date of Stay: July, 2011
This state park also has another campground, Stone Creek with 46 campsites. Idyllwild Campground is in a forest next to the town; Stone Creek is 6 miles north surrounded by manzanita bushes. Out of 30 sites at Idyllwild Campground, 9 are tent only and the rest are tent & RV, 2 pull throughs. Water and sewer hook ups are available in a few sites such as site 26 where we stayed. Almost immaculate restrooms and showers. Activities within 2 miles include antiquing, restaurant/bar hopping, nature viewing, hiking, rock climbing, fishing at Strawberry Creek and campfire programs on Saturday evenings in the summer. The staff are serious about enforcing noise and 8 person per site rules. The only drawback was Camp Maranatha next door which had some raucous activities.
Date of Stay: May, 2011
$35 per night on the inland side and $50 per night on the ocean view side. We arrived on Sunday afternoon. All of the dumpsters were overflowing with trash, but they were emptied on Monday morning. My wife and I liked the privacy afforded by the large sites and tall bushes or trees between each site. Some sites had room for two 40' RVs and a car. Unlike many ocean campgrounds in Central and Southern California, we were not near a busy highway nor trains. In the future I will try to stay in sites 169, 177, 178, 185, 186 or 187 since they have ocean views, but no campsites across from them. Unless you like bright night lights shining on you, I would stay away from those sites directly across from the restrooms and those near intersections with signals and bright street lights.
Date of Stay: March, 2011
The restrooms and showers were neat and clean. It is a bit of a walk to Las Vegas Blvd. Go through Circus Circus Casino instead of walking on Circus Circus Drive. The staff were very friendly, helpful and courteous.
Date of Stay: February, 2011
This was our 2nd time out in our RV, so we were not fully prepared. We are grateful to the camp hostess who gave us a number of tips on RV camping and for letting us borrow her clean-water hose. The restrooms were typical of the California State parks. They were clean, but cold. Showers were not hot but warm enough to warm you on a cold day. The campground is lush and green this time of year. My wife and I saw lots of ground squirrels and a few deer in the campground.
Date of Stay: January, 2011
This was our maiden voyage in our RV. We stayed overnight and left the campsite before 10 AM to go to the visitor center. The camp hosts and other volunteers were very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. You could tell that they cared about the sea and the state park. We didn't want to use our restroom so we used the park facilities exclusively. Fortunately for us, the restrooms and showers were clean and neat. Side note: even though there was a recent fish kill, the area does not smell like dead fish. Due to the high salinity, the fish just desiccate.