We had a very nice camping experience at Cotillion RV Park. The helpful staff was pretty much there for all of our needs. The park is very clean, restrooms, showers and all. As others have mentioned the sites with full hookups are pretty close to each other and backing in can take some time. (The staff has great pointers for backing into the tight spots). The scenery was exceptional, tons of tall redwood and a running creek go through the park. There are several nice hiking trails. We lucked out an got 2 last min cancellation sites the weekend of the big Halloween Event at the park. There is is a nice size pool, but it was closed for the season. Overall, for all the amenities, you could not find a better place in the redwoods and so close to Santa Cruz.
Overall, Pinnacles campground is good. Realize it is 30miles away from any major city (Hollister or King City) and there are no other camping parks in the area. There are quite a few tent campgrounds which looked nice but the hike to the showers/restroom is long. We stayed in the RV park section in a travel trailer which was pretty much dirt spaces and faded caulk lines. There is very little shade in the campgrounds and from walking the RV site area, sites # 91 and 95 are probably the best. The RV sites do have 30amp hook-ups, but that is it. For water, you need to fill your tanks at one of 5 areas. There is a dumping station on site which is nice. There is a nicely stocked general store and a good size pool in walking distance from all campgrounds. This is the 1st national park we have stayed at with a pool. The story goes it actually used to be a KOA property and now managed by someone else. I believe the campground is run separately from the Pinnacles Park itself. If you are a hiker, you need to drive from the campground over to parking areas to hit the trails. The trails are well maintained, but the caves might not all be open; check with the general store prior to hiking. Also, if you like camp fires at night, call in advance as extreme fire conditions did not allow us to burn anything i.e no wood fires or BBQ with briquettes. Gas stoves were OK. This place gets real hot, so bring plenty of water and coverings for shade. Finally, there are lots of critters as mentioned in other posts, so lock your food items up.
Overall we enjoyed our stay at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. The park is in a great location, close to downtown with lots of stores and restaurants. The property is right on the beach within a 10 min walk. There is a general store, pool and game room for the kids. The park is very clean and the staff accommodating. The only real downside is the spacing between site (thus 3 stars). The sites sit right on top of each other, side by side. There are like 400 spaces like this so, if like more than just 5ft of space on either side of your rig for privacy, this is not the place for you. Outside of limited space, we enjoyed the park.
We stayed at Sunset Beach for 1 night to break-in our travel trailer. The park is set right near the ocean with a 10min walk to the beach (quite a few hills and steps to get there). There are no full hookups or dumping stations available. The sites are good in size and some a pull-through (we stayed in back-in site 19). There are no onsite stores so, make sure you bring what you need as it is a 15 min drive to one. The wind did pick-up at night, and the temps dropped to 50's so plan to dress warm or have a heater. Phil's Fish Market (25 mins away) has great Cioppino for the cold nights. The bathrooms were well maintained and the quarter operated showers were warm. You cannot beat the location for the price. We will stay again when the weather warms-up
We stayed at Glory Hole Rec Area / Big Oak Campground for 3 nights while attending the Calavaras County Fair/Frog Jumping weekend. The campground is about 15 minutes from the fairgrounds. The camp sites are fairly good in size (we stayed in site 111) however, there is little to no shade. The weekend we spent there it was over 105 F. and could use a few trees. AC and a good generator allowed us to stay. There are no full hook-up, and water connections are not very friendly for filling your rig. There is a nice new dumping station but, it is closed until sometime in 2009. As of May 2008, the water is very low at the lake and the swimming areas is basically dirt so, there is no place for kids to swim.
We spent 4 night at Cachuma Lake in our travel trailer. Our overall experience was good. The park is rather big as there are 400+ sites available however, only 100 have full hookups. As some of the other reviewers have written, the check-in process is over complex (especially checking in after hrs). For after hrs check-in, drive around and find a site, park your rig, and then drop 1 nights payment in the over night slot indicting the # of nights you will be staying. Pay the remaining nights the next day around noon after they collected the drop money from the night before. Discounts offered to several clubs so ask. (Note, no RV parking/setup after 10pm) In terms of the full hookup sites, some of them are pretty beat with big pot holes, we stayed in site 55 which was nice, minus the leaking water value. There is a nicely stocked general store onsite with a gas and propane station (prices were high like everywhere else) but, convenient. There is a nice boat dock and ramp with boat rentals which we did not uses. While the campground is a bit inland, it is still pretty close to Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos and great wine tasting.