“The red flag warning has now been lifted, you may now have campfires.”
My girlfriend and I were very excited as we could now have a campfire. For me, a campfire is an essential part of camping. Usually, I refuse to camp at any location that does not allow campfires. After we heard this important announcement we made our way into town to purchase firewood. Fortunately, there are many places near Lake Morena where you may find affordable firewood. There are two small stores and many residents also sell firewood near the lake. If you happen to leave the firewood at home there is no need to worry.
Lake Morena offers fishing, hiking, and picnic areas. The lake is nice but is
currently experiencing really low water levels. That was fine by me, however, because we were in town for a different reason. The local train museum in Campo was hosting an awesome event: Chefs Fire Up the Iron Horse. This event
happens once a year and is one of the main wine tasting and food events in San
Diego County. At only $25 per person, the event is very affordable.
There were different food stations and wineries to sample from. Although it is not all you can eat, you will not go hungry. The event also featured music from Trails & Rails, a trio of musicians who sing old folk and railroad tunes.
Also during this weekend was the JK Southern California Corral Canyon Round Up BBQ for all the Jeep fans. I saw many Jeeps during my stay and admired all of them.
We camped in spot number 61. It was nice but we had to be careful where we put our tent because of the numerous ants. The site did offer some shade but it was a stone’s throw away from the road and some residences’ front yards. Despite these inconveniences, I still really enjoyed camping at Lake Morena.
And at only $19 a night for tent camping, you can’t really beat it, especially since there are no hotels or motels in Campo. One nice thing about the online reservations system is that it states which spots have shade and which ones do not. It also shows a picture of each campground so you should use this to make your decision. Unless you are camping in a cabin, RV, or planning to bring a canopy, I would avoid all spots with no shade. Sites 1-15 are close to the lake. Numbers 59-62 are close to a local road and number 9 has a large light within the campground. Some of my favorite campsites were
61, 62, 66, 67, 69, 77, 78, 79, 80, 84, and 86. Most sites were acceptable although all were close together. I would avoid any sites without shade
or near the restroom (it was smelly and also near the dumpsite). Besides
that, I would recommend Lake Morena for camping especially if you are doing a
local activity near Campo.
Staying at the Lake Morena campground is a great alternative to
expensive hotels and as written earlier there are also cabins available at Lake
Morena. This was not my first time at Lake Morena but this was the most amazing weekend. I attended the Chefs Fire up the Iron Horse event and ate fish fry and ribs at the Barrett Junction Café.
For more information:
Lake Morena Camping:
Lake Morena Reservations:
Cabin Camping at Lake Morena:
"Chefs Fire Up the Iron Horse" event:
Trails and Rails:
Barrett Junction Cafe:
JK Jeep Round Up: