Emma Wood State Beach, Ventura, California

People seem to be divided on this one. I have come across people who love Emma Wood, and others who don't care for it. I am in the latter group on this one. Although you have an oceanfront site that has spectacular sunsets, there are too many cons to justify a stay here. Sites are fairly small, rocks prevent you from accessing the beach at most sites, some sites are up against a cement wall, the campground is composed of an orange dirt that blows everywhere and gets your rig filthy, trains come right past all campsites (many people have
been killed by these trains) and transients frequent the campground in search of cans. There are a few nice features including the campground's proximity to downtown Ventura, making it a quick bike ride away on the walking/biking path that leads you from camp. Of course you have to cross the dangerous train tracks to access this path. The sandy beach at the entrance of the campground is nice, however it seems susceptible to rip tides and due to its size, gets crowded rather quickly. This campground does close often in winter due to high tides, as it easily floods.

Good Sites: 1-12
Poor Sites: 13-90
Hookups: None
Potable Water: No
Dump within Facility: No


AngelaVenturaCA said…
The train does pass near this campground but as long as you look the visibility is good. You do have to walk away from your campsite to access the beach. Surfers enjoy this particular stretch because the nearby Ventura River deposits cobblestones into the beach (the reason for the rocky beachside) which creates good wave action.

You also wake to the sound of the surf and often catch dolphins swimming up the coast. There's also a bike path and trail that leads down to Ventura or up the coast to Santa Barbara. You can access by walking past the ranger station if you wish to avoid crossing the train tracks.

The estuary at the mouth of the Ventura River is breathtaking and worth the short ride/walk to get there.