Picture yourself setting up camp on a ridge above a shimmering blue reservoir backed by hills covered in orange boulders. Now make it happen on a camping trip to northern San Diego County’s Dixon Lake Regional Park. You’ll get nice views throughout the 45-site campground—and there’s something for everyone. For those craving extra privacy and a private path down to the water, snag spot 45, the closest campsite to the lake. Site 6 has an excellent view of the entire lake, and site 31 has a two-way view of the lake and the city of Escondido. (You can reserve any site in advance.) If looking at the beautiful blue oasis isn’t your thing (hey, we’re not judging), sites on the ridge’s west side look down over Escondido, and at night you can spy streetlights twinkling a few hundred feet below (oh, you city-slicker!). Anglers are especially drawn to Dixon Lake, reeling in bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and trout. Dixon is quite a catch!
HIKE BONUS: Explore a 2-mile (one-way) path running along the shore of Dixon Lake past peaceful coves and numerous fishing docks. The dam at Dixon Lake is closed to the public, so you can’t quite hike a full loop around the lake. Instead, double back along the clear blue water.
Dixon Lake Regional Park is located at 1700 N. La Honda Dr. in Escondido. The entrance gate opens daily at 6:00 a.m. and closes at dusk, year-round. Sites are $25 per night for a non-hookup site ($35 with a hookup for RVs). For weekend camping it’s best to call ahead to reserve a site for an extra $5 fee: (760) 741-3328. Picnic tables and a charcoal fire ring are provided (no wood fires). Swimming and wading in the lake is prohibited. No dogs.