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Lake Jennings Camping

Enjoy scenic mountains and azure waters at this beautiful San Diego-area lake

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of beautiful Lake Jennings and its camping area. If you'd like to enjoy a camping trip to this lovely hideaway just east of San Diego, the info on this page can help.

Lake Jennings Overview

Both residents and visitors will enjoy camping at the beautiful Lake Jennings park. Though located only 5 miles east of El Cajon, this San Diego-area lake and campground is located in a semi-isolated setting. Visitors will enjoy feeling nestled among tall mountains. You'll also enjoy hiking along trails through hillsides covered with native California chapparal...boating and fishing on a deep-blue lake...and relaxing in a well-maintained campground whose blufftop location affords sweeping views of the countryside and stunning views of the lake.

Formerly a member of San Diego County's system of parks, Lake Jennings is now operated by the Helix Water District. Lake Jennings is among the "crown jewels" of this region because of its ideal location and beautiful setting.

On this page, you'll discover the facilities you can expect to find when you plan a trip to the Lake Jennings camping grounds. At the end of the page, you'll discover contact information so that you may learn more about this family-friendly camping spot, and also make reservations through the Helix Water District's official system, if you wish.

Lake Jennings Camping Facilities

Lake Jennings Campsites

Photo of a lakeview camping site at the Lake Jennings campground in metro San Diego, California As you can tell from the photo to your left, the Lake Jennings campground is nestled at the top of a bluff overlooking the water. Some of the campsites, like that one, seem so close to the edge that you might not want to roll over in your sleep! Other sites have a good view of the water without being on-the-edge close. And still other sites don't have much (or any) lake view at all. Nevertheless, all spots in the campground are scenic because of the shady trees which have been planted...and vistas of Lake Jennings peep into view as one travels around within the campground.

Extreme bluffside camping sites are for "tents only." Others, like the one in the photo to your left, are for "tents or campers" only. These sites are still too close to the edge for heavy RV's to occupy, but lighter camping vehicles may use them. Out of 100 campsites at Lake Jennings, 6 are solely for tents, while another 20 camp sites fall into the tent-or-camper category.

Photo of a campsite at the Lake Jennings Campground

Even though some of the Lake Jennings campsites are off-limits to RV's, there are many more sites which DO allow them. 35 camping spaces offer partial hookups (electricity and water) while 39 campsites feature full hookups (electricity, water and sewer.) There is a sanitary dump station at the campground if you arrive with your RV wanting a full-hookup site, but find them already taken. The RV sites offer traditional back-in style camping which fit rigs up to 25 feet long. In addition, a generous number of camp sites at this location are pull-through spots admitting RV's up to 35 feet in length.

In the photo to your rightt, you can see a campsite which accepts back-in style RV camping. This site is well away from the bluff's edge, and would only offer little glimpses of the lake, but has a nice "woodsy" feel to it.

Photo of a camping site at the Lake Jennings campground in Southern California

In the photo to your left, you can see one of the campsites at Lake Jennings which are farther away from the lake. In fact, the view out the back of some of the campsites overlooks a valley in which housing developments are taking place. Nevertheless, the overall relaxing mood of this charming hilltop hidewaway is maintained throughout the campground.

Lake Jennings Camping: The amenities

Photo of the playground at the Lake Jennings campground in greater San Diego, California CAMPSITE AMENITIES---

As you can tell from the photos on this page, the Lake Jennings campsites are gravel-lined. Each camp spot has its own picnic table and in-ground fire pit. Many sites feature shade trees, though some more than others. There is a generous amount of space between each campsite, so that you don't feel squeezed up against your neighbor.


The campground's restrooms are one of its nicest features. Families prefer the more sanitary conditions that exist when a campground offers flush toilets and running water...and Lake Jennings has these utilities. As an extra bonus not every mountain camping destination can brag about, there is hot water flowing from the taps in the bathroom, and warm showers are available.

Also in the campground, you'll find a children's playground. As you can tell from the photo above, there's a canopy shading the play structure to keep from burning the tender skin toddlers on hot, sunny days. The play structure is made of plastic to minimize injuries. Tunnels to crawl through, slides to zoom down and gadgets to twist and pull are features your children will enjoy on this Lake Jennings play structure.


Photo of beautiful Lake Jennings near San Diego, California

Many people who camp at Lake Jennings do so to be near the spot where they plan to go boating and fishing. As you can see in the pictures, Lake Jennings is quite a good-sized lake. The park stocks the lake with catfish during the summer season.

Those without a boat may enjoy fishing from the Lake Jennings fishing pier or from along the shore. Note: fishing at Lake Jennings does require a California fishing license and a daily permit.

If you don't boat or fish, that's not a problem, either. Lake Jennings county park offers hiking trails where you and your family can discover nature's flora and fauna in this area.

Lake Jennings: Contact Information and directions

LAKE JENNINGS CAMPING FEES as of Summer, 2012---

*$32/night for full-hookup sites
*$28/night for partial-hookup sites
*$25/night for no hook-up/tent campsites
*Be prepared to add an $8 reservation fee, or fees for pets,more than one car per site, or more then six people per site.

Lake Jennings Campground Reservations: Camping reservations should be made in advance for the Lake Jennings Campground. The campground no longer encourages people to make reservations over the phone, but you can call the campground at (619) 390-1623 for more information about the campground. Visitors should make reservations at the Lake Jennings reservations page prior to coming.

Note: If you're going to camp during the summer months or on weekends year-round, reservations are definitely recommended. If you go on a weekday between September and May, you probably won't have any trouble getting a spot. The camping sites which fill the fastest at the Lake Jennings camp ground are the cliff-side tent spots and the RV pull-through sites.

Camping when the lake itself is closed: Although Lake Jennings itself is ususally open only on the weekends and major holidays during the off-season, the campground is open year-round. Most lake activities, including boating, are off limits while the lake is closed, BUT people staying at the campground can go shore fishing even on days when the lake is closed as long as they stay near the campground.

Photo of cute Lake Jennings campground signThe Lake Jennings address is: 10108 Bass Road, Lakeside, California. The Lake Jennings telephone number is (619) 390-1623 (Camping), and (619) 443-2510 (fishing) by which you may either ask questions about the park or listen to a recorded message depending on when you call.

Directions to Lake Jennings County Park: From either San Diego or El Cajon, California, head east on Interstate 8. Exit at Lake Jennings Park Road (there will be a sign pointing to the park) and head north. The actual park entrance is not marked as well as the freeway exit, so keep your eyes peeled. For non-campers, there is a separate entrance which leads directly to the boating ramp and fishing pier. On the other hand, if you DO camp, an inside-the-park road will take you to the boat ramp and pier without your having to exit the park. If you would like to get a better mental picture of where you'll be heading, you may use the following Google Map to the Lake Jennings Park and Campground.

Lake Jennings Website: You will probably want to look at the park's official website before heading that way, because it can tell you many points not discussed on this page (for example, the types of wildlife in the area, the history of the lake & dam, and the upcoming schedule of events). You may use the following link to view the Lake Jennings website which includes a section about Lake Jennings campground.



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