Santa Barbara > Activities > Camping > Jalama Beach

Jalama Beach County Park
9999 Jalama Road
Lompoc, CA 93436

Recorded Information: (805) 736-6316
Park Office: (805) 736-3504
Group Camping Reserv: (805) 934-6211
Cabin Reservations: (805) 934-6211

  • Video introduction to Jalama Beach
  • Photo album of Jalama Beach
  • Distance from SB: 63 miles
  • Driving time from SB: 1 hr, 15 min
  • Camp check-in time: 3 p.m. sharp
  • Camp check-out time: before 2 p.m.
  • Camp renewal time: before 11 a.m.
  • Camp waiting list signup: after 6 a.m.
  • Day use: 6 a.m. until dark

Jalama ... the perfect place to surf, sunbathe or simply explore. Miles of sandy beach, waves breaking on the shore, and little sign of civilization. Yet this Santa Barbara County Park is fully equipped to to serve the needs of year-round campers and day-trippers.


A portion of the park near Jalama Creek was a Chumash Indian settlement for centuries until the villagers were taken to La Purisima Mission (during the rule of the Spanish in California). As the surrounding area became more populated, local residents began to use Jalama for leisurely outings. In 1943 the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) donated 23.5 acres to the County of Santa Barbara. Jalama is surrounded by private property, so please respect the neighbors.

Popular Activities

Camping might be considered the most popular activity at Jalama Beach but there are many other things to do. Activities include surfing, windsurfing, fishing (perch, cabezon, kelp, bass, or halibut), bird watching or just enjoying a day at the beach. Just remember all plants, animals and archaeological resources are protected by law and cannot be collected or disturbed. Migrating California Grey whales can be seen from February through April and again from September through November. Jalama Beach is located just south of Vandenberg Air Force Base. If you happen to be at Jalama when a satellite is being launched from Vandenberg you will be treated to a spectacular view as the rocket roars into space.

Store and Grill

The Jalama Beach Store has all you need to enjoy the day or the week. The store is well-stocked with groceries, camping accessories, personal care items, firewood, fishing bait and tackle, fishing licenses, ice, beer, wine, souvenir items, clothing and toys. The store is so well-equipped that if you showed up at Jalama Beach with nothing other than your car you could probably find everything you need to camp for a week. The grill, which is home to the famous "Jalama Burger," also has a full menu to satisfy all tastes. The store and grill are open daily. Hours vary with season. Summer store hours typically are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Summer grill hours are typically 8 a.m. - 6:45 p.m. For more information visit the Jalama Beach Store & Grill web site.


  • Campsites: There are 98 campsites, all overlooking the ocean or beachfront. Each site has a picnic table and BBQ pit, with hot showers, restrooms and water nearby.  Campsites are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Two vehicles are allowed in each campsite. Premium on-the-beach campsites cost more than basic campsites. If you plan to exceed the number of days requested when you first arrived you must renew your reservation before 11 a.m. You may hold your campsite for up to 14 days. A primary camper may request to move to a vacant campsite at anytime (see Park Rules below for details).
  • Trailers: 29 of the campsites offer electrical hookups for trailers. There are two sewage dump stations available in the park.
  • Group Camping Areas: Only group areas and cabins may be reserved in advance. Abalone Point (Area C) - Max: 20 People / 8 Vehicles, Starfish Cove (Area D) - Max: 40 People / 8 Vehicles. For reservations call (805) 934-6211.
  • Cabins: Only group areas and cabins may be reserved in advance. Albatross - Sleeps 6, Plover - Sleeps 6, Sandpiper - Sleeps 6, Pelican - Sleeps 5, Seagull - Sleeps 5, Tern - Sleeps 5, Cormorant - Sleeps 4 (ADA). Check In: 3:00 p.m. Check Out: 11:00 a.m. For reservations call (805) 934-6211.
  • Picnic areas: Day-use picnic areas provide tables and raised fire boxes.
  • Playground: There is a children's playground with climbing and swings, a large sandbox and a lawn.
  • Restrooms: There are 5 separate restroom facilities located around the park. They can be easily identified by their turquoise cylindrical-shaped walls. Each restroom has a sink with soap, paper towels and electrical outlet.
  • Showers: There are 10 showers attached to a single building located near the front entrance of the park. Each shower is completely private with its own outside entrance and a locking door. Inside there is a changing area with a small bench, two coat hangers on the wall and a shower stall. There is no shower curtain so things you put in the changing area may get wet. The water is coin-activated and costs 25 cents for 1 minute of water (quarters only). Don't load the coin slot up with quarters (it jams) but instead put in a new quarter each time the water turns off. You might consider putting in a coin to see if the coin slot is jammed before you undress. When all 10 showers are in use at the same time the water can be cool-to-warm instead of hot. To avoid waiting in line don't use the showers in the late afternoon / early evening. The showers are cleaned and sanitized every evening.
  • Store: There is a fully-stocked store with groceries, camping accessories, firewood, fishing bait and tackle, personal care items, clothing and more.
  • Grill: There is a grill with full menu and a dining area with a spectacular view. The menu is on display on the outside of the building so be sure to read it before you go inside. You order food at a window inside the store and they will give you a numbered ticket. You must present your ticket to get your food. If you lose your ticket before you pick up your food plan on purchasing your meal again.
  • Dogs: Your dogs are welcome but must be on leash (6 ft or less) at ALL times including while on the beach. When at your campsite they can be on a leash or in a cage. There is a small daily fee per dog. You must have proof of rabies vaccination (tag on neck or paperwork is acceptable proof) upon entrance into the park. Owners must pickup after their pets.
  • Phones & Internet: There are two payphones near the front gate at Jalama Beach. There is no cell phone reception and no Wi-Fi Internet access. Where Jalama Road goes over a hilltop, approximately 9 miles (17 minutes) from Jalama Beach, you can receive a steady 3-out-of-5 bars of AT&T cell phone reception and 3G data. Other carriers might also be available. When you get to this special spot there is a large dirt area to pull off the road and a small white sign labeled "Jalachichi."

Reserving a Camp Site


Get A Camp Site Without Reservations

If no reservations available for general camping at Jalama Beach the unreserved sites fill up quickly. Consider calling the park office a few days before you arrive and find out how busy the campground is. High or low demand for camp sites will affect which strategy you must use to get a spot.

All campers wanting a camp site must drive out to Jalama Beach must drive out to the park and get your name on a waiting list. The earlier you get there the better.  If your name is called and you are at the flag pole at 3 p.m. you can get in.  If you're not there at 3 p.m. they give your spot to the next person on the list. If they call your name, and you are there, you also have the option of rolling your name over to the next day's list. This puts you ahead of everyone who arrives the next day.

During the busy summer season the aggressive out-of-town camper shows up at Jalama Beach at 6 a.m. (which is when the park attendant arrives at the front gate), puts their name on a waiting list, gets a day pass and hangs out at the beach until the 3 p.m. roll call. If you are lucky this is good enough to get you in.

Keep in mind four things:  1) everyone who put their name on the list at 3 p.m. *the day before* is potentially ahead of you no matter how early you get there, 2) most people already camping at Jalama Beach have the option to stay another night which affects camp site availability, 3) during the busy summer season it is not unusual to have 15-20 campers on the signup list by 6:30 a.m. so during the summer don't plan on getting a camping spot the same day as you arrive if you first arrive in the afternoon. 4) Non-summer months are not as busy and you don't need to worry as much about getting a spot.

Sometimes during the summer, if it is very busy, you may need to drive to the Jalama Beach a day or two in advance, put your name on a list, and keep coming back at 3 p.m. to keep your name on the list. If you are traveling a long distance to Jalama Beach this means you may need to stay in nearby Lompoc.

It may seem like a hassle, but this is such a great camping spot that dedicated campers are willing to drive out day after day to get in.  The remote location, the amenities, the beach - who exactly knows why. But this is a very, very popular campground.

Park Rules

Please take a moment to view these important rules. These rules do not reflect all the park rules and regulations. For additional information please ask a park ranger. Jalama has resident rangers available 24 hours a day. For after hour emergencies or problems (such as after hours noise) call 911 and a resident ranger will respond.

  • Vehicles: Park speed limit is 5 mpg. No off road vehicles are allowed. All vehicles must be operated by a licensed driver. All traffic is restricted to designated roads. Vehicles must have valid registrations.
  • Camping is only allowed in designated campsites. Campsites are issued on a first come first serve basis. There is a limit of 2 vehicles and 8 people per campsite. Each campsite has a fire pit and picnic table.
  • Fires are only permitted in designated fire rings or grills
  • All camping gear and vehicles must fit within your campsite boundaries
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Please avoid using radios, loud voices or any other activities which disturbs neighboring campsites.
  • Firearms, fireworks, weapons of all kinds including bows and arrows, slingshots and BB guns are not permitted.
  • Public nudity is strictly forbidden. Abusive or indecent language or gestures are prohibited.
  • Please remember that this is a fragile habitat. Help protect and preserve this wonderful resource for future generations.
  • Campsite renewal time is before 11 a.m. and checkout time it no later that 2 p.m.
  • Pets must be on a leash 6 ft or less, or confined to a cage. Proof of rabies vaccination is required upon entrance to the park. Owners must pickup after their pets.
  • No vicious or noisy pets will be allowed. Pets may not be left unattended.
  • Generator hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No noisy generators will be allowed. Excessive use of generators will not be tolerated.
  • Music is allowed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Any excessively loud music, with heavy bass, or music with offensive language will not be tolerated.
  • Day use hours are from 6 a.m. until dark. Any vehicle entering before 6 a.m. will be charged for camping. All vehicles entering the park must have a valid permit.
  • Campsite Move Requests: Site requests are allowed only when the gate house is manned on a daily basis. A primary camper may request to move to a vacant campsite at anytime. A primary camper may also request to move to an occupied site up to one day ahead of that site's due date. You will receive a document for this request showing time and date request is made. If the requested site renews for one more additional night, then your request will stand. If the requested site comes up and renews for two or more additional nights, your request will become null and void. You may make only one request at a time. Extra vehicles may not make requests. If your requested site checks out, you must move immediately, if you do not complete your move by 2 p.m. you will lose the requested site.


From downtown Santa Barbara, take the 101 freeway north and drive 35 miles (35 minutes) until you reach the Highway 1/Lompoc/Vandenberg exit. Turn left and drive 14 miles (15 minutes) until you reach the Jalama Road exit. Turn left on Jalama Road and drive a very curvy 14 miles (25 minutes) until you reach Jalama Beach.

Santa Barbara to Jalama Beach: 63 miles, 1 hour and 15 minutes


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