Hearst San Simeon State Park

Phone Number

(805) 772-6101

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 35 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 35 Feet

Park Hours

None listed

Dogs Allowed?

Dogs allowed only on W.R. Hearst Beach and south to Lone Palm Dr. and on boardwalks and campgrounds.

Driving Directions to Hearst San Simeon SP

San Simeon State Park is located 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, and 5 miles south of the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument Visitor Center. The community of Cambria is located 2 miles to the South and offers gas stations and grocery stores.

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Boat Ramps
Family Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
Primitive Camping
RV Dump Station
RV Access
Hiking Trails
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Interpretive Exhibits
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Beach Area
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available

  • 2 vehicle maximuim per campsite. Trailers count as a vehicle.
  • No Extra Vehicles and No Overflow Parking after the 2 Vehicle maximum per campsite.
  • Dogs must be leashed in the campground. Dogs are prohibited on the beach and trails.
  • Arroyo Laguna has a seasonal closure limiting access to ocean/water sports only from December 15th through April 30th.

Hearst San Simeon State Park is one of the oldest units of the California State Park System. The coastal bluffs and promontories of the scenic park offer unobstructed views of the ocean and rocky shore. The park includes the Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve, the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Pa-nu Cultural Preserve which were established in 1990.

A 3.3 mile trail runs through parts of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible.

  • Santa Rosa Creek Preserve is an area which includes valuable riparian forests and coastal wetlands, that provide habitat for endangered Tidewater Goby.

  • San Simeon Natural Preserve consists of vast wetlands, riparian areas, and several undisturbed native plant communities including unique mima mound topography. The Preserve is also the wintering site for monarch butterfly populations.

  • The 13.7 acre Pa-nu Cultural Preserve contains the most significant archeological site within San Simeon State Park. The site has been dated to 5850 years before the present, and it contains significant evidence documenting prehistoric technology, subsistence practices and social organization over the course of several centuries.

A unique opportunity to view northern elephant seals is available at the Elephant Seal Boardwalk in Hearst San Simeon State Park. This vantage point provides an ideal location to view these marine mammals from a safe distance. 

Located around Point Piedras Blancas, the elephant seal rookery extends along 6 miles of the shoreline.  Elephant seals may be seen throughout the year. The largest populations and the most activity are during the months of late January, April and October.  Although elephant seals spend most of their lives in the open ocean, they arrive at the rookery to give birth, breed, molt and rest from long migrations in the ocean in search of food.

The viewing areas are open to the public year round and are wheelchair accessible.  Docents are on site to answer questions. No reservations are required and there is no fee.  Restroom facilities are not available at this location.  The nearest restrooms are 4 miles south of the viewing areas at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

Location - Directions

San Simeon State Park is located 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, and 5 miles south of the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument Visitor Center. The community of Cambria is located 2 miles to the South and offers gas stations and grocery stores.

San Simeon Creek Campground

The San Simeon Creek Campground offers 134 campsites for tent camping or recreational vehicles. The maximum length for an RV is 35 feet. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. There are currently flush toilets and shower facilities in place. Chemical toilets are available. A dump station and pay phone are available. Firewood is for sale from the campground host.

Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, surfing, beachcombing, bird watching and whale watching. The Junior Ranger Program is a regularly scheduled interpretive program for children. Interpretive walks of the San Simeon Trail may also be available.

Washburn Campground

This primitive campground is approximately 1 mile inland from the beach on a plateau overlooking the Santa Lucia mountains as well as the Pacific Ocean. Washburn campground can be accessed from the San Simeon Creek Campground entrance station. Facilities here include a fire ring and picnic table at each campsite. In addition, shower facilities are available to registered campers. This campground has an additional 68 sites.

Additional Visitor Services
  • ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment (Restaurant, catering & retail services)
  • Destination Cinema, Inc. (Hearst Castle Theater)
  • Hearst Ranch Beef (Hearst Ranch beef sales)
  • RV Rentals on the Central Coast (Camping Trailer Rental Services)
  • Sani-Star, LLC. (Automated RV Dump Fee Collection System in San Simeon Campground RV Dump services & Washburn Campground)

Junior Ranger Program

This is a special program for kids that provides the chance to partake in a variety of fun and educational nature-oriented activities at Hearst San Simeon State Park. Parents should bring their kids to the Campfire Center at the San Simeon Creek Campground for fun regularly scheduled programs about the Central Coast.

Visitor Survey

Park staff is developing an Interpretation Master Plan for this Park. Please fill out our Visitor Survey. It will only take a few minutes, and will provide input for our interpretive and educational planning.