Woods Valley Kampground sounded like a nice place from the website, and when we arrived there, we generally found it a nice place, though desperately needing some work.
As it turns out, we met the owners there, and they had just bought it a few months ago. The owners are actually from Arizona, and were having to travel here every weekend to fix the place up.
Woods Valley Kampground is perhaps more like an actual campground, located out in the woods as opposed to many of the self-professed campgrounds that would be more accurately described as RV resorts. This place looks like it was created in the 1950s, back when Valley Center was miles away from civilization, and back when folks from San Diego actually came here to camp.
Today, urban sprawl has brought more light pollution and traffic to Woods Valley Kampground that looking up the stars is just not as spectacular as it used to be.
However, it’s still probably the best privately owned campground in San Diego County. There are great camp spots located under thick, old growth oaks that offer great shade from the summer sun. You can still hear coyotes howling at night, and still watch hawks soaring high up in the sky. In fact, even Verizon cell service gets lost here, which may be a good thing if you’re looking to get away from work.
At the time Sash and I stayed here, there were a number of permanent residents living here, paying the monthly rent. However, the new owners have removed the monthly rate and capped stays to no longer than three weeks. Of course, many residents are complaining. But, I think it’s for the better. Woods Valley Kampground would be far more enjoyable as an actual campground than an RV park.
It can be a challenge, however, to pull a long trailer into this place. First of all, the campground is located along the side of a mountain, and second of all, the access roads are all gravel. You’ll need four-wheel drive to get up the roads. My truck has only two-wheel drive, and I was barely able to pull the toy hauler up there. My wheels were spinning trying to get to the top. Some of the spaces were they have 30 amp service, water and sewer, are difficult to get into due to the gravel roads, the elevation, and having to back in.
There are plenty of hiking trails here, and much of them are great for experienced mountain bike riders.
This place gets rather desolate during the week, but by the weekend you’ll find a good number of campers enjoying a fire, roasting sausages, and even singing a tune.
Overall, Sash and I found Woods Valley Kampground refreshing for getting away from your cellphone and getting outside with your favorite camping partner. We stayed for four nights, but would’ve enjoyed staying longer. It really is a campground instead of an RV park, though at the time we were here, it was trying to shed itself from its former RV Park reputation.