Everything You Need To Know About Lake Nacimiento Camping

With great weather always in California, I could not think of a better family-friendly destination than Lake Nacimiento Resort. It is one of the most beautiful and beloved Monterey County parks.

This San Luis Obispo County gem has much to offer travelers, including 165 miles of sandy shoreline, terrific water sport opportunities, and unique camping accommodations. It is also continently located in the heart of Paso Robles Wine Country, leaving plenty of fun to be had by grown-ups at the region’s various vineyards.

There are seven campgrounds situated across Lake Nacimiento. Each offers scenic views of the lake and Santa Lucia Mountain Range. The majority of these campgrounds require reservations, with the exception of Eagle Ridge and Rocky Canyon, which are walk-in only. I suggest arriving early in order to reserve your campsite since there is limited space, especially if you plan to visit the lake resort during peak season.

To help you plan, I prepared a guide featuring what to know before camping at Lake Nacimiento Resort. I hope you will find the perfect accommodations for your family, from the picturesque Rocky Canyon Campground to the spacious Pine Knoll Campground.

Table of Contents

How To Get To Lake Nacimiento

Getting to Lake Nacimiento is straightforward from the state’s central coast. It is roughly a thirty-minute drive from Paso Robles taking travelers through Nacimiento Lake Drive.

You may also take the scenic route along California Highway 1 from Monterey to catch next-level views of Big Sur on your RV road trip. Though this route takes longer, it will surely make for a memorable experience.

Plus, doing so allows you the opportunity to see some other noteworthy destinations along the coastline like Carmel By The Sea, Lake San Antonio, and Morro Bay.

When To Visit Lake Nacimiento

Lake Nacimiento is open year-round to the public. Although, the prime time to visit the waterfront region is from April to October since that is when temperatures are the warmest. Crowding is common, especially during the summer months, so plan ahead in terms of accommodations. Luckily, we will go into that subject further below.

Camping at Lake Nacimiento Resort

Thomson M, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

RV Parks at Lake Nacimiento

Below are the campgrounds suitable for RV travel in Lake Nacimiento Resort. Nightly rates for full hook-up sites begin at $55 and $45 per vehicle for primitive sites. You may also find more RV-friendly campgrounds at nearby Lake San Antonio.

Oak Knoll Campground

This serene campground is the ideal setting for a relaxing vacation. Oak Knoll is home to over forty full RV hook-up sites and is the first campground visible from Lake Nacimiento Resort’s entry gate. Each campsite features a grill, picnic table, and fire ring in addition to water, electric, and sewage hook-ups.

Pine Knoll Campground

Pine Knoll Campground boasts over ninety RV and tent camping sites, making it the largest campground in Lake Nacimiento Resort. The campground features a pool, dump station, and communal restrooms complete with flush toilets and showers. There is also a seasonal movie theater set up during peak season. Pine Knoll can accommodate trailers up forty feet long. However, full hook-up sites are unavailable.

Tent Camping at Lake Nacimiento

The following Lake Nacimiento campgrounds offer primitive tent sites. They are not recommended for RV travel due to the narrow roads leading up to the campsites themselves, which can be pretty dangerous for large vehicles.

  • Eagle’s Ridge Campground
  • Rocky Canyon Campground
  • Sandy Point Campground
  • Quails Roost Campground

Lake Nacimiento’s Recreational Opportunities

As I mentioned earlier, there is much to do at Lake Nacimiento Resort. Below you will dive into some of the most exciting outdoor recreational activities available for a day of family bonding in The Great Outdoors. 

TarynLessi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Exploring the crystalline lake by boat is the perfect way to take in the picturesque views. Lake Nacimiento Resort boasts full and half-day boat rentals beginning at $300 with a deposit of $500. You may also bring your own boat from home to store at the marina for $40 per day. Just remember to attain a permit beforehand, following the campground’s guidelines.


This San Luis Obispo County lakefront resort has stellar fishing opportunities. Some species you will find include bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. Lake Nacimiento is also the only one in the state with a white bass population, usually found in Canada and The Mississippi River.

Forgot your fishing pole at home? No need to stress! Lake Nacimiento Resort offers fishing pole rentals starting at $15 per day.

Swimming & Water Sports

Many visitors swim and sunbathe along the sandy shores of Lake Nacimiento. Partaking in water sports is also extremely popular amongst guests. You will see plenty of jet skiers and surfers taking advantage of the waves. Non-motorized water vessel rentals are available, such as kayaks, paddleboards, tubes, and water skis. Rates vary per hour and for the entire day with a required deposit of $200.

Thomson M, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dining at The Dragon Lake Grill

After spending a day out on the water, head over to The Dragon Lake Grill for some tasty bites. I believe it is always handy to have access to a restaurant within walking distance from your RV campsite. Travelers may also want to check out the nearby city, Paso Robles, featuring an abundance of pubs, restaurants, and wineries worth visiting. 

For another great RV Campsite, visit Lake Berryessa.

Feature image Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons