On a recent trip down the Pacific Coast from Monterey to San Diego we discovered (with the help of our out-dated Adventure Cycling maps, circa 1993) that a number of the CA coast’s hiker biker facilities have disappeared over the past decade. (Hike and bike campsites are reserved for non-motorized users, do not require a reservation, and cost between $3-$5 in California.)
These disappearances are particularly detrimental on the stretch of coastline between LA and San Diego.
Two hiker biker site closures in particular (at San Onofre Beach State Park, 43 miles south of Long Beach, and at South Carlsbad State Beach, 84 miles south of Long Beach) within the last 15 years mean that a local cyclist or any cycle tourist doing the coast route must bike some 90 miles (from Long Beach) south just to get to a still-functioning hike and bike site, in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
It is obvious that both of these state campgrounds are under heavy pressure from automotive users to provide space (on the July 4th weekend all two-hundred or so sites at Carlsbad Beach were taken). However, to fail to provide just one single campsite (out of hundreds) for cyclists rolling down the coast is unconscionable.
So what’s the deal? What can we do about this? One hopes and imagines that shorter bike touring trips will become natural extensions of the growing commute and urban cycling culture in southern California–let’s make sure the infrastructure is there so that the trend is not stopped short.