Posted by: cvancil | July 13, 2009

Camping at Lake Lopez

It’s the height of camping season and one of the most popular spots in SLO county is Lake Lopez.  Below is the post from April 6.  I hope you find it useful!

Before I get started, here’s a couple of great websites to check out should you want to research more on your own about SLO campgrounds:

San Luis Obispo County Parks –
California State Parks –

Another a great way to experience a new area, SLO or otherwise, is camping. Thanks to my friend Cindy for reminding me of another way to travel cheap (hostels are also another inexpensive option for those who don’t like to sleep on the ground). Per her request, I did some research and found not one, but two viable camping options that would be fun at anytime of the year! Today’s post features Lake Lopez, and I’ll post about the other one in the next week or two.

Lopez Lake Recreation Area
Just 10 miles from Arroyo Grande, Lake Lopez is an ideal spot to get away from it all and enjoy all that SLO has to offer.  This is one of the premiere areas to go because not only is the water warm (70 degrees in the summer), there is something for everyone to do here.  From fishing to boating, hiking to swimming, picnicking, wind surfing, horseback riding, canoeing, the list goes on and on!  Lake Lopez offers so many activities that it’s easy to find something to do.  Of course, you can always just relax amongst the beautiful natural setting under a shady tree or in the comfy sunshine.  The warm (and mild) seasons make Lake Lopez an ideal destination year-round.  There are 354 total camping spots and reservations are required.  Check out the link associated with camping spots to see what camp sites look best to you, and follow the instructions in order to make your reservation.

SLO State Parks says “Many visitors to the Central Coast make Lopez Lake their staging area for visits to wineries, golf courses, historic sites, and Hearst Castle. The warm climate of the Central Coast makes Lopez Lake the ideal, year-round recreational destination. Once covered by the sea, the surrounding hills of Lopez Lake are rich with relics of ancient days and studded with oak trees. Over 175 species of flowering plants, and more than 150 species of birds have been identified within the park. The naturally beautiful canyons were once hunting and fishing grounds for the Chumash Indians. Later homesteaders and ranchers inhabited the area and harvested grain crops for Mission San Luis Obispo. Lopez Lake was then created in 1969 to provide domestic water for the Five Cities area of the Central Coast.”

I guess the man and I are going to need to invest in some camping gear!   What a great way to enjoy the outdoors in an area where I love to be outside.  Bonus, it’s even cheaper that the last minute deals you can find at the B&Bs!  Thanks for the suggestion, Cindy, and count me in!  Just need to get a tent…and some sleeping bags…

Photo courtesy of San Luis Obispo County Parks website.


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