Bolsa Chica State Beach is the quintessential California haven. Located in popular Orange County, California, the sandy beach draws thousands of visitors to its waves every year. The park covers three miles of shore.
Visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing, and sunbathing on the shore. Beach volleyball courts and basketball courts are also available for public use. The area is also popular with fishermen who surf fish for perch, California corbina, croaker, and more.
Walk across the street for prime bird watching at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, or enjoy educational presentations at the park amphitheater.
Campers can take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along 8.5 miles of paved beachside trail that connects Bolsa Chica State Beach to nearby Huntington State Beach. Restrooms and parking are available throughout the park.
The Bolsa Chica State Beach campground features 50 RV campsites with electrical and water hookups. Campers can enjoy access to picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and showers.
Leashed dogs are allowed in the park in campground areas, in the designated dog walk area, and on the paved pathways. They are not allowed on the beach. If you’re bringing a furry companion, dogs are allowed at the adjacent Huntington Dog Beach.
RV Rentals in Bolsa Chica State Beach
Transportation in Bolsa Chica State Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach is located in popular Orange County, California, nestled between the well-known Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach communities. Visitors can easily access the park via the Pacific Coast Highway. The campground sits on the highway between Golden West and Warner Avenue.
Roads into and out of the park are paved, and the entire facility — including the visitor center, paved trails, campsites, showers, and restrooms — are handicap accessible. The park also has beach wheelchairs for guests to borrow with ramps down to the sandy beach.
There is ample day use parking up and down the beach. Parking for two vehicles and an RV is available at each campsite. Parallel parking is not allowed. RVs should be backed into a registered campsite. Any vehicles in the park after hours must display a camping receipt on the driver-side windshield or cars risk being towed out of the park.
There is a 25 mph speed limit in the park and a 5 mph speed limit when driving in the campground. Be advised that the road into the campground is one way.
Traveling on foot and on bike is easy via the 8.5 mile paved beachside trail that connects Bolsa Chica State Beach with nearby Huntington State Beach.
Campgrounds and parking in Bolsa Chica State Beach
Campsites in Bolsa Chica State Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach Campground
Bolsa Chica State Beach Campground features 50 sites open year round for RV camping. Half the sites sit directly on the beach with the remaining half sitting along the Pacific Coast Highway. Pop-outs and awnings are not allowed. Fire rings on the sandy beach are positioned throughout the campground and available on a first come, first served basis. There are two RV sanitation stations available for use. Guests have easy access to restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Pets are allowed at the campground on leash, but not on the beach. Dogs can use the nearby Huntington Dog Beach and the paved trails along the coast that run near the campground.
Seasonal activities in Bolsa Chica State Beach
Hiking and Biking
Paved trails and bike pathways make it easy for visitors to walk, run, or bike along the California coast. The Bolsa Chica bicycle path connects through Bolsa Chica State Beach to nearby Huntington City Beach. The bike path has a speed limit of 5 mph, so cruise at your leisure. A paved beachside trail stretches for 8.5 miles between the park and Huntington State Beach. Always carry water, and stay on designated pathways for safety.
Bolsa Chica State Beach is a favorite location for surfers. The beach’s location dependably draws prime, curled waves as the surf breaks in shallow water. Lifeguards from the California State Parks Lifeguard Service are on patrol year round and staff lifeguard towers during the busy summer months. The designated surfing zone is separate from the recreational swimming area, so check with the lifeguard or park staff to ensure you are surfing in the correct areas.
Summer temperatures at Bolsa Chica State Beach average between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it the perfect weather for spending time in the waves. Members of the California State Park Lifeguard Service are on duty at the beach year round with fully staffed lifeguard towers during the peak summer months. Swim near a lifeguard tower, and never swim alone. Like any ocean, rip currents can pull swimmers in unexpectedly. Never turn your back on the ocean.
Anglers of all ages can enjoy surf fishing at Bolsa Chica State Beach. The southern end of the beach features a tidal inlet channel that is a particularly popular spot. On a given day fishermen may catch a variety of fish including cabezon, California corbina, shovelnose guitarfish, perch, and croaker. During warm months of the year, visitors can fish bare-handed for California grunion. When the moon is new or full, the grunion emerge from the waves and spawn on the beach. All fishermen over the age of 16 require a valid state fishing license.
Keep an eye out for wildlife as you spend your day at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Fish, stingrays, and waterfowl can be seen in the ocean, and lucky visitors may even catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins in the waves. Across the street and within walking distance of the park is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. The reserve is a popular location for bird watching. Check in at the park visitor center for a schedule of educational programs and guided wildlife experiences at the park amphitheater.
Bolsa Chica State Beach is the perfect place for an oceanside picnic at any time of the year. Picnic tables, barbecue grills, and shaded picnic areas are scattered along the coastline. Bolsa Chica State Beach also offers 200 fire rings throughout the park that are available on a first come, first served basis. The park also features beach volleyball courts and basketball courts for seaside sport. In the winter months, temperatures average between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.