Moro Campground, Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach, California

This bluff-top campground is a newer addition to the California State Park system. Previously a privately owned trailer park, this section of the park was converted to a campground offering 60 sites in 2011. The campground overlooks the Pacific and we were pleasantly surprised that every site has a striking, expansive ocean view. Of
the sixty sites here, 30 offer electrical and water hookups exclusively for RVs, while the other half are "eco friendly, low impact" sites, as they refer to them, for tents. We discovered on our most recent visit (Aug 2019) that the "low impact tent only" sites were substantially occupied by RVs. The traditional RV sites are higher up on the bluff and further away from Pacific Coast Highway, offering a quieter sleep, however the noise of PCH on the lower sites enjoy the sound of breaking waves. All site pads are hard packed dirt, wide and offer a nice, private, patio area where a picnic table is provided. There are no wood or charcoal fires permitted here due to the dry hills behind and adjacent to camp. This deters many winter campers. Small native shrubbery has been strategically placed by state park officials and offers a fair amount of privacy between sites. During our summer 2019 visit, most of the natural landscape around our campsite was bone dry and crispy brown despite the massive rains we experienced in SoCal over the previous winter and spring. We also noticed many dirt site pads covered with baby powder chalk rings. This made us wonder what critter was trying to invade camper's rigs. On our second morning, we doscovered ants had invaded our motorhome. After quite a bit of time defending our rig, we decided to just leave a day early. Ants are a big problem here and I'm surprised park staff isn't doing anything about it. An abundance of activities await campers here including: mountain/trail biking, hiking trails, a Visitor's Center, Outdoor Nature Center, group and day use picnic areas and of course, the beach. A steep but short walk takes you from the bluff to the beach through a tunnel under PCH. The beach is clean, beautiful, and just a quarter mile or so down the beach, a ramp can be found that takes you up onto the boardwalk/bike path that runs adjacent to PCH. Along this bike path you will find The Shake Shack and the coveted Crystal Cove Cottages. Lots of historical sites await you here. The cottages, some built as early as the 1920's, are a sight to see and are slowly being renovated and are for rent through the state park system. A gift shop, the Beachcomber Café, Bootlegger Bar, small visitor's center and historical exhibits offer history and entertainment. We chose to forego the ramp from the beach to the bike path and instead walked the mile or so to enjoy lunch at the Beachcomber Café and explore Crystal Cove. The walk was beautiful and tide pools stretch along most of the walk. In summer 2019 we noticed a severe decrease in the tidepools. In our first visit we spotted probably 40 starfish, a couple of keyhole limpets, several sea hares and thousands of sea anemones. We were pleased to see State Park officials at the tide pools to not only help you identify various tide pool animals, but to also help keep the sea life in its place and free from poachers. In our most recent visit we saw NOTHING and a park ranger was not present. Overall, this campground offers so much for visitor's to explore, you will need several days here. Weekends are busy and reservations are recommended and sites fill rather quickly. Note that check-in is at 3pm and is strictly adhered to.

Best Sites: Any
Poor Sites: 16, 17, 45, 46
Hookups: Water and Electric at some sites
Potable Water: Yes
Dump Within Facility: Yes