Experience Nature at its Finest: Lake Henshaw Camping Guide

Lake Henshaw camping is a popular activity among nature enthusiasts and those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in San Diego County, California, Lake Henshaw is a picturesque destination that offers a range of camping options for visitors.

Whether you are looking for a primitive camping experience or prefer the comforts of an RV, Lake Henshaw has you covered. With over 300 campsites available, visitors can choose from tent camping, RV camping, or even cabins for a more luxurious experience. Lake Henshaw is also equipped with amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas to make your stay more comfortable.

Key Takeaways

  • Lake Henshaw offers a range of camping options for visitors.
  • Visitors can choose from tent camping, RV camping, or cabins.
  • Lake Henshaw is equipped with amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

Lake Henshaw Overview

Lake Henshaw is a picturesque reservoir located in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego County, California. It is situated at an elevation of 2,621 feet and covers an area of 1,140 acres. The lake is fed by the San Luis Rey River and is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, making it an ideal destination for camping, fishing, and boating.

The lake offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, bird watching, and picnicking. Visitors can explore the surrounding wilderness areas and enjoy the scenic views of the lake and the mountains. The lake is also a popular spot for fishing, and anglers can catch a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and bluegill.

Lake Henshaw Campground is a popular camping destination, offering 163 campsites that can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. The campground is open year-round and offers amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic tables. The campground is also pet-friendly, making it an ideal destination for families with pets.

Overall, Lake Henshaw is a beautiful and peaceful destination for camping and outdoor recreation. Its scenic beauty and natural surroundings make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Camping at Lake Henshaw

Campsite Types

Lake Henshaw offers a variety of campsites to suit different needs and preferences. The campsites are divided into three categories: Standard, Premium, and Group. Standard campsites are suitable for tents and small RVs, while Premium campsites can accommodate larger RVs and have additional amenities such as water and electrical hookups. Group campsites are ideal for large groups and can accommodate up to 100 people.

Booking and Prices

Reservations for campsites at Lake Henshaw can be made online or by phone. The prices vary depending on the type of campsite and the season. Standard campsites range from $25 to $35 per night, while Premium campsites range from $40 to $50 per night. Group campsites can be reserved for $200 per night.

Campsite Amenities

All campsites at Lake Henshaw have access to restrooms and showers. Premium campsites have additional amenities such as water and electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. The Group campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and a large covered pavilion. The campsite also has a general store that sells firewood, ice, and other camping essentials.

Lake Henshaw is a great camping destination for families, friends, and groups. With its beautiful lake, scenic views, and a variety of campsites, it is sure to provide a memorable camping experience.

Activities and Attractions


Lake Henshaw offers great opportunities for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and crappie. Anglers can fish from the shore or rent a boat to explore the lake and find the best fishing spots.


The area around Lake Henshaw is home to several hiking trails that offer scenic views of the lake and surrounding hills. The trails range from easy to moderate difficulty, making them accessible to hikers of all levels. Some popular trails include the Palomar Divide Trail and the East Grade Trail.

Bird Watching

Lake Henshaw is a popular destination for bird watchers, with over 200 species of birds recorded in the area. Visitors can spot a variety of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, and great blue herons. The lake’s location on the Pacific Flyway makes it a prime spot for migratory birds.


Visitors can rent a variety of boats from the Lake Henshaw Resort, including kayaks, canoes, and motorboats. Boating on the lake is a great way to explore the area and enjoy the scenic views. The lake is also a popular spot for water sports, such as wakeboarding and water skiing.

Rules and Regulations

When camping at Lake Henshaw, visitors are expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the campground. These rules are in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors and to protect the natural environment.

Some of the rules and regulations include:

  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. During this time, visitors are expected to keep noise to a minimum.
  • Fires are only allowed in designated fire rings and must be attended at all times. Visitors must also follow any fire restrictions or bans in effect.
  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. Visitors are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
  • Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.
  • Alcohol is permitted but must be consumed responsibly. Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated.
  • Visitors must follow all posted signs and stay on designated trails. Off-trail hiking is not permitted.
  • Fishing is allowed with a valid California fishing license. Visitors must follow all fishing regulations and catch limits.

By following these rules and regulations, visitors can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience at Lake Henshaw.

Nearby Attractions

Lake Henshaw is surrounded by a number of attractions that visitors can enjoy during their stay. Here are some of the nearby attractions:

  • Palomar Observatory: Just a 30-minute drive from Lake Henshaw, the Palomar Observatory is a popular destination for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. Visitors can take a guided tour of the observatory and view the night sky through its powerful telescopes.
  • Julian: A charming historic town located about 20 miles from Lake Henshaw, Julian is famous for its apple pies and cider. Visitors can explore the town’s quaint shops and restaurants, or take a scenic drive through the surrounding countryside.
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Located about an hour and a half from Lake Henshaw, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Visitors can hike through the park’s rugged terrain, view native wildlife, and explore ancient Native American rock art.
  • San Diego: Just a short drive from Lake Henshaw, San Diego offers a wide range of attractions, including world-class museums, zoos, and theme parks. Visitors can also enjoy the city’s beaches, shopping, and dining.
  • Cuyamaca Rancho State Park: Located about 30 miles from Lake Henshaw, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park offers visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of Southern California. The park features miles of hiking trails, scenic drives, and camping facilities.


In conclusion, Lake Henshaw Camping offers a great outdoor experience for those who enjoy camping and exploring nature. With its stunning lake views, fishing opportunities, and hiking trails, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. The campground is well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful, making for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.

The campground offers a range of camping options, including RV sites, tent sites, and cabins, making it accessible to a variety of visitors. Additionally, the campground provides amenities such as showers, restrooms, and a camp store, making it easy to stock up on necessary supplies.

Overall, Lake Henshaw Camping is a great option for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing outdoor getaway. With its beautiful surroundings and accommodating staff, visitors are sure to have a memorable experience.