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Category: Camping

Bikepacking New Brighton SB

There wasn’t a whole lot of information online about Bike Camping at New Brighton State Beach, so here are some of my notes after a recent stay there.

There’s not much info on bicycle campsites on the State Parks website. When you check in you get a flyer with some good information:

Bicycle Campsite – New Brighton State Beach

Bike campsites for en route campers only

  • Must have a bicycle* to register for campsite
  • Limit is one night only
  • Check in time is 4:00pm – Check out time is 9:00am
  • Fees must be paid before occupying campsite
  • No guests permitted
  • Use limited to 10 days in a calendar year with a minimum of 48 hours between stays

Failure to comply will result in citation and/or ejection from campground
*Bicycle defined as per CVC 231
Title XIV CCR 4300, 4302, 4323(a)

CVC 231 states:

A bicycle is a device upon which a person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power, except as provided in Section 312.5, through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. A person riding a bicycle is subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5. An electric bicycle is a bicycle.

Some more details about the campsite:

  • $5 fee for campsite
  • Flush Toilets
  • Showers
  • Fire pit, wood from camp host
  • Cell Service
  • Bear Lockers
  • Water

Around New Brighton

Capitola Village
A short walk from the campsite. You can walk along the beach on a low tide. Lots of restaurants and coffee shops.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales // Brewery
103 Kennedy Dr, Capitola, CA 95010
Less than a mile from the campsite. Some of the best sour beers in California.

Pizza My Heart
2180 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 475-6000
Will deliver to your campsite.

Gayle’s Bakery
504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Best breakfast spot in Capitola

Nob Hill Foods
809 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Closest grocery store

Looking for other bike campsites in California?

  1. Go to: Find a Park
  2. Select “By Feature”
  4. Check: “Hike or Bike Campsites”
  5. Click on “Show Results on Map”
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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Environmental Camping

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the most scenic campsites in California with only 2 campsites. It is 37 miles south of Carmel. The site is a short hike from McWay waterfall. There is no beach access, but the view are spectacular.


  • Level campsite. Enough for 1 or 2 big tents
  • Campfire Ring
  • Picnic Table
  • Bear Box
  • 2 Portable toilet
  • No water at campsite, but you can get it from the park across the street at the McWay Beach Parking Lot.
  • No Pets
  • No Showers
  • Pack out our own trash

Check In

You can check in at the campsite Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (12 Miles North of the Campsite). If you want to buy wood for the campfire, you’ll need to buy it from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.


Near mile marker 35.8 on Highway 1, the park is 37 miles south of Carmel. You cannot park at the campsite. You park on Highway 1 and there is a short hike down to the campsite. See map below.

Look for a green gate. You can park next to the gate, but do not block the gate. There is room enough for 3 to 4 cars. If it is full, you can park in the next turn out just down the road. You can also park at the McWay Beach Parking Lot (but be sure to leave your pass in your windows).


The are only 2 campsites here. Both of them are great. If I had my choice of either, it would be campsite #2. It has better views of Saddle Rock and McWay Canyon. You also have to walk through campsite #1 to get to campsite #2.


Map showing hike to Campsite from road

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D.L. Bliss Camping Tips

One of our favorite campsites is D.L. Bliss State Park. After camping there many times, here are a few tips we have learned over the years.

Map not to Scale. When you arrive and check in, the ranger will give you a map of the campsite. There are 3 main loops at Bliss and the beach. The map shows this. Make sure you note the text that says “Not to scale”. The loops are not close to each other. Our first time at Bliss we stayed at the top loop. We looked at the map and saw the beach was just below the 2 lower loops. We decided it would be a quick walk. We packed out gear and started walking down. Needless to say, it was not a quick walk. It’s walkable, just be aware.

Bear Boxes. All food and any scented item must go in the bear box (not your car). This includes soaps, lotions, gum, etc. There are bears. We’ve seen them. They are not as aggressive as in Yosemite, but do exist. Make sure all your stuff will fit in the bear box. The inside dimensions of the food lockers 36″ deep, 43″ wide, and 22″ high. Make sure your cooler(s) fits. And if you’re sharing, make sure whoever is sharing stuff will all fit together in 1 bear box.  Note: if you have a Yeti cooler or other bear-proof cooler, you can leave it outside the bear box as long as you have locks on it.

Ice. Tahoe gets warm during the summer. The metal bear boxes heat up in the sun and get really hot. The ice in your cooler melts quickly. Luckily the campsite host sells ice. When it’s hot, we refresh it daily.  Sometime the camp host will drive around in their ATV’s and sell ice and firewood. Fresh ice is also good if you want to plan on making cocktails.

Water, Bathroom and Showers. Each loop has a bathroom and showers. The showers take coins instead of quarters. You must buy these coins from the ranger kiosk when you enter the park. There are water spigots at about every couple of campsites. We drink the water from here. It’s drinkable and tastes good.

Beach. One of our favorite parts of D.L. Bliss is the beach. There is a small beach with a parking lot. One side of the beach is houses and the other side is rocks. On a busy day the beach will fill up fast. People come early and setup camp to reserve a spot on the beach. It’s best to go down around 7am and setup a spot on the beach. It’s best to setup a sunshade and some towels. If you’re early enough get one of the handful of picnic benches. There is a parking lot at the beach too. This also fills up quickly. On a busy day the lot is full by 8 or 9am. Another idea is to take your breakfast to the beach. You can setup on the beach and then make breakfast there or at the picnic tables by the parking lot.

Paddle Boards and Kayaks. Bliss is a great spot for Paddle Boards and Kayaks. There is a rocky cove just to the right of the beach. It’s fun spot to paddle around. The rocks are a popular spot for jumping into the water. It’s also popular with boats, so be careful.

Yellow Jackets. Towards the end of the camping season, the yellow jackets can be bad. One year (2016) was so bad we almost went home. The ranger suggested yellow jacket traps. We tried that and it didn’t do much. We found it best to just try and ignore them. They didn’t bite, but were just annoying.

Hiking. There are several good hikes around Bliss. The closest is the Rubicon Trail. It starts by the beach parking lot and is a 8.3 mile round trip to Emerald Bay. The gift shop at Emerald Bay sells popsicles and other packaged ice cream, which is a nice treat for the kids. Eagle Lake is another favorite hiking spot. The trailhead starts at the top of Emerald Bay. It’s a 1.8 mile round trip hike. There is a parking lot and you can park on the street, but during a busy weekend it fill early. I suggest being there by at least 8am. You start off by hiking next to a waterfall, then you cross it and then take a trail to Eagle Lake.  If you want to go further, there are lots of trails into Desolation Wilderness.

Cell Phone Reception.  There is some Cell Phone Reception at the lower campsites and beach.

South Lake Tahoe. It’s only 13 miles to South Lake Tahoe if you need to run out and get supplies.  With no traffic, this only takes about 25 minutes.  But on a busy weekend this could take over an hour.  The traffic gets bad because of people going to the beaches and Camp Richardson.  If you need to get out, I suggest doing it before 10am.


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