Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review: Del Mar Beach, Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, California

We camped here March 23-27, 2007

This is the view from the rear window the first night.

Address: Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base (GPS Coordinates: 33.221026, -117.405385
Phone: (760) 725-2134
Website: http://www.mccscp.com/lodging/index.cfm
To make a reservation: Must be done by phone; time restrictions based on rank. (Active duty, for example, can call months in advance, while retirees can only call a couple of weeks in advance)
Rates: $30 per night

General Information:
# Sites: 100 (they’ve built some new ones)
# Sites with hookups: 100
Dump station: Not sure if there’s one. All sites have sewer, so it’s not really necessary.
Size of sites: They’re pretty close together. If you have slideouts next to slideouts, it could be a bit cramped.
Office hours: 8 am to 5 pm, I think.
Interstate access: You access this campground by exiting Interstate 5 and going through the gates of Camp Pendleton. It’s about a mile from the main gate to the campground, and the roads are wide and easily navigable by big rigs. There’s also a gate you can use near the Del Mar Housing area to go directly back and forth between the campground and Oceanside Harbor.
On site staff? Friendly, helpful? : The two young women working the desk were friendly and competent, and we had no problems with our reservation.

Noise info: This is a military training base, so you have squadrons of marines running by 3-4 times a day, chanting, and about once a day tanks come though from maneuvers in the area to the north. But this is minor noise, which is muted somewhat by the sound of the surf.

Restrooms: Two buildings house the restrooms; one to the south, which is mainly for the sunbathers and surfers, and the other in the middle of the campground. These are made of concrete block, and do not have roofs.
Showers: In both buildings.
Pool: No- you’ve got the ocean.

Cell phone reception (I have Cingular): Strong.
Laundry: In the south bathhouse.
Store: There used to be a shoppette, and there are still signs for it, but it’s not there any more. There is one about a half mile away.
Notes: I don’t really understand why you wouldn’t want one of the sites right on the beach. They’re wonderful. All have large fire rings, so on the chilly nights you can keep warm, toast marshmallows, and enjoy the evening. Lifeguards are on duty during the day if you’re swimming.

Notes for future reservations: Don’t camp in site #1, since there’s a site #0 which they assign to tenters. One night we had a group of 17 (4 adults, 13 high school cheerleaders) in 6 tents next to us.