El Capitan Entrance Improvements Project

Park History

California State Parks acquired the land that now encompasses El Capitan State Beach between 1953 and 1967; and the State Parks Commission classified El Capitan State Beach in June of 1962.

The park and campground development initiated in its current configuration in 1978, thus the park suffers from outdated and inadequate facilities that do not provide appropriate road width for current recreational vehicles. The antiquated park entrance buildings are inefficient and do not contain facilities necessary to accommodate current staff and technology needs. The existing culvert crossing is cause for concern due to its structure diminishing the potential for steelhead spawning and groundwater runoff capacity. The development of neighboring private campgrounds has significantly increased day use at El Capitan State beach without consideration for the impact to this State Park land and facilities.

The Project

The El Capitan Entrance Improvements Project provides solutions to these issues by widening the entrance road, replacement of the existing culvert with a more effective bridge model, and the replacement of two separate antiquated park entry buildings with one functional park entry kiosk. To accommodate the non-vehicular traffic now accessing the State Park entry, an improved ADA trail will provide a safe and greatly improved park experience.

September 2021 was the expected project start date; unfortunately, COVID has delayed a number of planning processes. Therefore, we are announcing that June of 2022 is the expected project start date, with camping closures effective August 1, 2022.

The project is planned to take a minimum of nine months, during this time there will be pedestrian access to the beach; however camping will not be available.


Reservations that were closed to accommodate this project are now being activated for camping beginning September 1, 2021 please visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com to acquire reservations. State Park reservations are available up to six months out from the current date.

Day Use

Pedestrian access for Day Use will be available throughout the project. Expect that the location and route may be fluid to avoid construction areas. Please visit the El Capitan State Beach Facebook and Channel Coast District Instagram pages for the most recent updates on access.

If you have any questions please contact the Channel Coast District at ChannelCoastInfo@Parks.Ca.Gov

Kiosk Design