New Campground at Crystal Cove Now Open

Years in the making, the campground is finally taking reservations. It's expected to eventually be sold out year-round.

Sawdust and the Art-A-Fair fests are in full swing, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters kick off next week, a slew of new restaurants have either opened or will soon be opening, and there's that fireworks-on-the-beach thing set for the Fourth of July, which is being rumored to draw a few (thousand? Hundred-thousand?) people ...

Sooo ... how about yet another excuse for tourists to invade Laguna Beach in the next couple weeks? (And for locals to flee as far and fast as they can? The ones who don't love crazy car traffic, anyway ...)

Then get ready for today's opening of the beachside Moro Campground at , near Laguna Beach's northern border, just south of Coast Highway. The campground features 60 overnight campsites and 200 day-use parking spaces, perfect for hikers wanting to access Crystal Cove's rough interior.

Yep, this is indeed the same campground built on the site of the now-bulldozed El Morro Village trailer park, the residents of which for decades had vigorously protested the campground's development.

Hey, at least the land wasn't turned into another McMegaresort for the uber-rich. But—also hey—too bad it didn't become low-income housing like once had been proposed, and which the region still sorely needs.

Anyhoo ... officials expect the campground's reservation list to fill up fast (make yours at Reserve America's site right here), to the point of it being sold out year-round once word gets out.

Cindy July 02, 2011 at 10:55 PM
I was there yesterday on the opening day, wow impressive! This campground should be really popular, they did a beautiful job in constructing it. I'm glad a campground over a development was chosen. We need more campgrounds, it can be difficult to find a place (especially near the beach) in summer. State Parks did the right thing. Now if we can get upgrades for the rest our parks, promote them and prevent state park closures... For every $1 the state puts into the parks $2.35 is returned to the general fund. And these parks are important as they are gathering places for family and friends to spend quality time. Take a hike in a State Park sometime...very effective and much cheaper than the gym if you get the annual day use pass. :)
Brian S. July 03, 2011 at 01:05 AM
the 'low income' folks had that trailer park for decades and held the land hostage so nobody else could ever enjoy the land or the views it provides. the campground will finally provide access to the general public to enjoy this, in the most fair manner possible. NO to low income housing. there is enough of this stuff already jammed into South Orange County. who says because you are permanently below-average in income (which is probably a bad reflection on your work ethic or other facets of your personality), you get to live on million dollar beach front property while everyone else who works their arse off to pay taxes and live in a respectable neighborhood 10 miles from the ocean could end up on the street tomorrow? let them move in one of the many areas of 'affordable' housing already out there in OC. oh yes wouldn't it be Morro not Moro? just saying.
David Bidwell July 04, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Brian S. Hey thanks for bunching me in with all of the losers who are also permanently below-average in income (which is proabably a bad reflection on my work ethic or other facets of my personality) Yeah, I was making $72,000 a year with AT&T before my personality disorder hooked me up with a form of Muscular Dystrophy that has taken from me my 6'5" 320 pounds of kick your ass to wheelchair bound in 8 years. That trailer park was there for a long time before half of those gated communities opened. I don't begrudge the nice campground, Just the general attack on low income households. At one time in my life I lived one block from the beach in San Clemente in a really nice two bed one bath house near the pier. Good times... Now I live in Perris, the armpit of the world, but I owm my home free and clear. We play the hand we are dealt. Do you think you could take my seat at the table? Dave in Perris
Vanessa July 05, 2011 at 05:39 PM
I take offense about there being enough low income housing in South Orange County. I was laid off my job after many years, making over $70K a year. I have a disabled daughter that I was trying to support because the State of California has made so many budgetary cuts that she could not afford medical care that was needed. I am now almost retirement age, have worked all my life, want to continue working, but am being discriminated against because I am over 55. Yes, 55. Oh yeah, throw in the fact I was just diagnosed with cancer. I don't want to move into low-income housing and trying with all my might to keep that from happening. There is NOT a lot of housing in South Orange County. I know because I am on the phone all day long, day after day, trying to figure out how to keep a roof over my head and that of my daughter. You need to investigate your allegations before opening your mouth. There is an awful problem with the unemployed and senior population. Especially, the senior population and disabled. You should take some of the time you seem to have and find out what the "real" problem is in our County and just maybe you might be able to give a proper opinion. God help you if you fall into this category. I pay my taxes, am a very responsible person, pay my bills on time, and am very active socially in trying to help others even though I need help myself. You sound like a selfish brat!
Vanessa July 05, 2011 at 05:46 PM
To add to my response above, I just saw the campground Saturday and am delighted to see some kind of camping facility close to the beach. I spent many summers residing in Crystal Cove at the really charming old houses. The experiences will always be remembered and I'm sure the campers will have the same kind of memories.


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