This past weekend we spent 4 days and 3 nights camping at Bobcat Meadows, in the Cleveland National Forest.  Bobcat is located near Pine Valley, which is southeast of San Diego.  We probably would have never gone here as it’s not very popular, doesn’t come up in most searches for camping near San Diego, but….

Bobcat Meadows Camping

Peter and I like to be able to go camping on a whim, pack up and hit the road! Well one thing we’ve learned about summers in California is that, everyone is camping all summer long! So if you don’t plan ahead you don’t get a spot.

About two weeks ago we decided we were going to go camping for the 4th and when we checked everything was booked (you would think we would have learned our lesson last year!). I searched for first come first serve sites in San Diego, and Bobcat came up.  With only a 1 hour 40 minute drive, and pretty scenery, we decided to go with it!


Some things you should know

  • There are only 20 spots,  all campsites have fire pits, there is no water, it’s very hot, there are some secluded spots and some spots right next to each other. There are 2 toilets, with toilet paper and trash can’s, it’s 5 dollars a night via Adventure Pass you can get at REI.
  • Driving to the camp is rough and absolutely beautiful at the same time.  When you get off the highway, you have to drive a 7 mile dirt/gravel road… and it’s gnarly (I thought our tires were going to fall off). But after that you drive up a windy mountain with the most beautiful hills. I told Peter there was no way we were going in the right direction – I couldn’t believe there would be a campground on top of this mountain… luckily I was wrong:)
  • On the busiest day (Friday, 4th of July weekend) there were only 4 other groups camping here. You pretty much have the place to yourself.
  • This is a popular place for off road vehicles, dirt bikes, quads and jeeps – not our favorite part of the trip;)
  • We didn’t see any bobcats, even though it looks like a scene out of the Lion King!  We did see: A fox, a toad, birds, bunnies and a tarantula!!!

Bobcat Meadows Camping

What We Ate

Day 1 (Thursday night)

Hilary’s burgers wrapped in collard greens with tomatoes-onions- avocado-mustard – ketchup- hot sauce. Our dessert was sprouted vanilla cookies (meant for s’mores)

Day 2 (Friday)

Lemon water, Green Juice (made at home, Thursday morning), Lara Bar (Peter), Grapes, Cinnamon Vinaigrette Fruit Salad (made at home, Thursday morning), trailmix, infused grapefruit-cucumber-mint water, GT’s Kombucha, Amy’s Chili with corn tortilla chips-onion-avocado and nutritional yeast, dark chocolate and roasted bananas.

Day 3 (Saturday)

Lemon water, Green Juice, infused grapefruit-cucumber-mint water, Blueberry Salad  (made at home, Thursday morning), carrots & brown rice crackers with hummus, watermelon (didn’t eat mine as it started to spoil due to the heat), trailmix, Fajitas with corn tortillas- vegetable mixture (zucchini, onion, peppers, taco seasoning, garlic granules, cumin, smoked paparkia)- salsa-avocado-hot sauce-nutritional yeast.

Day 4 (Sunday)

Lemon water, Green Juice, banana and peanut butter (Peter), green smoothies and chocolate cereal (courtesy of Whole Foods Market on the way back and eaten at the beach!)


Green Juice

What we did

  • Relaxed– We turned our cell phone’s off and just took it easy. The first day was hard and time was going by so slow, not to say we didn’t enjoy it:)
  • Did Yoga– We brought this awesome canopy and set up our own little studio. The park ranger said it was the first time he ever saw yoga being done at Bobcat Meadows.
  • Read– We got a bunch of new books at the library and we both finished an entire book, it was awesome!
  • Played-  We played Frisbee: Peter gave me a little lesson; apparently it’s all about the spin in the wrist:) We played football: I gave Peter a little lesson: It’ all about the blue 42:) And even a little improv charades: We were pretty good but I pushed it when I tried to get Peter to guess “Land Before Time”… lol
  • Went on a Hike- only made it 30 minutes in as it was super hot.
  • Created our own Shower- This was a highlight for sure. Peter brought 10 gallons of water and a big bowl; we turned those into our shower.

What didn’t work so well

  • Our Cooler was great but the watermelon didn’t stay cold enough and the salsa container got water in it and made the whole cooler smell like Mexican… it was gross!
  • Seeing as were only 4 other groups at the camp sites, for some reason a group of guys (ready to party) picked the spot right next to ours! *I told peter it was our payback for when we used to drink and party:) Luckily it wasn’t too bad.
  • Tarantula– I spotted this guy on Saturday night, Peter chased him away twice with a stick but he kept coming back, eventually we decided to go hide in our tent. The next morning we woke up and saw him through our tent window crawling towards us, then all of a sudden a bird landed and started eating him… it was pretty crazy!
  • Roasted Banana– yucky! Saw this idea online and actually thought it would work but the bananas tasted like smoke… wouldn’t recommend it!

All in all this was just what we needed. I feel like Bobcat Meadows has made me a stronger camper, but I don’t know if we will be coming back anytime soon;)

Ok your turn: Favorite place to camp? And what have you encountered/endured on your camping trips? Let us know in the comments below.

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