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Bolsa Chica Beach: Camping, Fire Pits, Parking


Free to the public, Bolsa Chica State Beach is a quiet and peaceful place north of Huntington Beach, CA. After years of neglect, post World War II, it became a state beach in 1963 at the urging of local activists. Stretching 3-miles, it's adjacent from the edifying Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and south of Sunset. There's plenty of relaxation ranging from the fire pits for a bond fire, surfing, fishing (license needed), biking, and sunsets. It offers respite from the mundane.

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  1. Fire Pits
  2. Tips
  3. RV Camping
  4. Resources

For swimmers, lifeguards are on duty and patrol year round. The best time to visit is in the fall or spring as it's less crowded. Weather is generally comfortable throughout the year. August is the hottest month with average highs of 85º. December the coolest with a high of 69 and lows of 46ºF.

Bolsa Chica State Beach camping is a major draw with the RV park and campground steps to the sand. There are picnic tables and public restrooms. Nearby restaurants exist, however, they're likely going to be a little pricey. Drive a few miles out. Many have take out options.

For A Picnic, Grab Some Sandwiches To Go.

Bolsa Chica State Beach is a great spot for group activities such as volleyball. There are no volleyball nets so you'll need to bring your own. How much for a good volleyball set? You can expect to pay north of $140. If you're doing a lot of out of office team building, it's a wise investment. One of the big draws is the fire pits for a bonfire.

For surfing beginners, there is no better place. The waves are smaller but the area is less crowded than HB. Expect breezy conditions, at times, since your oceanside with no trees. A few words of caution. First, there is a riptide. Second there are stingrays. Should you get stung from stepping on one, seek immediate medical attention.  

Another great group activity to keep the workaholics in shape is the 8.5 mile Bolsa Chica Multi-Use Trail. It runs from Sunset Beach to the peninsula in Newport. You'll feel it the next day but it's a small price to pay. This bike ride affords great scenery and respite from the mundane.

Tips for Visiting

Bolsa Chica Fire Pits

The Bolsa Chica Fire Pits are a major draw. Although they number in the hundreds, they're highly sought after. Securing one is no easy task. First come, first served they go quickly.

Yelpers claim it's so competitive that you need to get here at 6am when it opens to claim one. Just because you place your stuff there is not enough. Someone needs to physically occupy the space or it will be taken. Public restrooms are available.

So how do I obtain a fire pit at Bolsa Chica State Beach? Your best bet is to reserve one unless you can there early. Prices start at $100 a day and can top $200. Reservations don't guarantee parking. Tel: 714-377-5691.

Hours for The Bolsa Chica Fire pits is from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm. The patrol will ask that you start packing up prior. Barbecuing is permitted. If you're bringing a grill top, it needs to measure 3 feet wide and 18" deep to fit. Propane grills are allowed but must be 18" off the ground to comply.

For groups, you can get an alcohol waiver if you reserve a picnic area. The cost is pricey. Up to 100 people is $500. You must have a monitor which is $79.00 per hour with a 4-hour minimum. All of which means this will put a hole in your wallet unless you do a corporate write off.

  • Bring a Kite
  • Buy Firewood Locally
    (home stored may have pests)
  • Bring Grate Top To Grill For Fire Pit
    (3 feet wide inside and 18" deep)
  • Free Parking at Warner/PCH
  • Beware of The Riptide!
  • Reserve a Fire Pit in Picnic Area
  • Measure Propane Grill (Must 18" High)
  • Watch out for Stingrays!!
  • Wear Flip Flops Due To Broken Shells in the Sand

Bolsa Chica State Beach parking is $15. If you're planning on visiting the state beaches in Southern California frequently, buy the $125 state parks pass.

Been mulling a road trip but no RV? Outdoorsy, a peer to peer rental platform connects owners with renters. See the resources section.

What's Not Allowed:

Bolsa Chica Fire Pits

Bolsa Chica Fire Pits

  • No Balloons
  • No Tent Camping
  • No Dogs on Sand
  • No Alcohol
  • No Glass Bottles

Bolsa Chica RV Camping

The Bolsa Chica RV park and campground is located at 17851 Pacific Coast Highway. There are 50 campsites with electric (30 & 50 amp) and water hookups. Here's the drawback; RV parking is tight and you need tokens for the showers. The benefits are numerous. You're literally on the sand and falling asleep to the ocean is a nice way to end the day.

Bolsa Chica Camping is $50 or $65 beachside for a hookup. A non-refundable reservation fee of $8 is added.

  • Showers
  • Public Restrooms
  • Partial Hookup
  • Waste Station

Bolsa Chica State Beach Address

The Bolsa Chica State Beach Address is 17851 Pacific Coast Hwy. Tel: (714) 846-3460

Hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday thru Sunday with the gate closing at 9 pm.

  • Camping Reservations: (800) 444-7275
  • Picnic Reservations: (714) 377-5691

A purchased ticket gets you in and out or into any other State Parks on the same day until closing. State Parks Nearby include:

• Crystal Cove
8471 N. Pacific Coast Highway
Drive Laguna Beach 92651
Tel: (949) 494-3539

• Doheny
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point 92629
Tel: (949) 496-6172