Dos Picos County Park is a hidden secret in Ramona, a couple weeks ago Mrs. Kit Fox and I decided to give it a try. We have been in Ramona for a few years now and it always seems like you miss out on exploring close to home. Well not this weekend, after teaching some of our Backcountry skills classes I loaded up the truck and headed down the road.
What makes this a great campsite, it’s probably the close proximity to Poway, San Diego and the local area while getting you up the hill. The park its self is not huge but has three main areas two of which are mainly for day use and cost three dollars to park. But the day use area offers ample picnic area a couple large well maintained play grounds and a decent sized pond you can fish. Mix that in with plenty of parking and restrooms it’s a great family day trip.
When I pulled up I went in and checked in with the Rangers, they had a couple open spots and where very helpful with helping me find a spot then they gave me a rundown of the rules, which include no smoking, no alcohol over twenty percent and all fires are to be out buy eleven pm with quite hours from ten until eight. They also want a copy of the vehicle registration and you license to put into their system.
I pulled away and into the loop, it was getting dark but I could see many of the campsites where occupied and mostly seemed to be RVs and trailers. The campground seemed really open with oaks throughout the grounds. When I finally came around to my spot I had a parking spot for one a little bit from my site along the road. So the boss who was showing up later had to park over in the spill over lot by the bathrooms, not a big deal just a good to know. The spot was pretty nice but right on the road most of the tent sites seemed to be along the north side and with the cost of the additional car I thought it might have been worth getting a RV spot for the extra room.
So I set up camp and enjoyed the full moon rise and started some dinner for us. The camp as a whole was filled with families and the RV crowd which made for a quite evening. It’s nice to because the rangers come by and remind you about quite hours and when the fire needs to be out so you don’t accidently get carried away enjoying your evening. One of the only really major down sides is you don’t exactly feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. There is civil lighting and you can hear the occasional cars driving on roads nearby.
But don’t get me wrong, this is a great campsite and I will tell you who for and why. It is great for new campers or people who just want to get away for the night. Its local clean and the staff is friendly. They have staff lead events and there is a bunch of fun stuff to do for the family. While a lot of us might groan about the fire rule I look at it this way, not everyone wants to camp in a Mad Max movie (I do) but the enforcement of the quite hours fire rules and so on make for a very peaceful spot and if you are camping with kids it makes putting them down a lot easier. If you are a new camper Ramona is super close so you can pick up last minute stuff and also enjoy the town for an afternoon without having to drive down the hill.
Also you are close enough to stop by and say hello. It’s a great park especially if you want a quick easy quite night. Check them out and all the other great County Parks San Diego has.