Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground is a Thousand Trails Resort in San Diego County, California. It’s address is in Jamul, CA which is a small town and a bit of a drive from the campground. The weather apps we use chose Dulzura, CA as the nearest city for local weather, because the campground is located closer to this town than Jamul. Chula Vista (one of the suburbs of San Diego), is the city we chose to drive to for our shopping needs. Chula Vista is about 8 miles from downtown San Diego.
This review is only our opinion of the Campground, and can be found in a little more detail on our blog post about our San Diego, California Adventures.
Pio Pico has a north side and a south side on either side of Otay Lakes Road. It is nestled into the mountains about 20 minutes from Mexico, so it’s a common sight to see Border Patrol driving through the RV park and up along the mountain trails around the resort. The north side of Pio Pico is right along the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and the south side is located north of the Otay Mountain Wilderness which is in the San Ysidro Mountains. According to the Allstays App this resort is at an elevation of 633 feet, putting you a partial way up into the mountains, which makes them look like rolling hills around you during your stay. It is a very beautiful location! Pio Pico allows ATV’s and dirt bikes to be ridden on the mountain trails, which is probably quite fun, but some visitors might find this very noisy.
The south side gets full really fast and has sewer hookups, if it’s full you have to go to the north side with no sewer and check each morning if any sites have opened up on the south side, that is, if you want to be on that side. Personally, for us that was just more trouble than we wanted to deal with, so we chose a spot on the north side (since the south side was full when we arrived) and we stayed there for the entire visit.
Since the Pio Pico Resort is made up of sections on two different sides of the road, it is quite spread out and large. The south side is the busiest and nicer looking section of the park. The pools and lodges are on this side including a Youth Center with toys and gaming consoles to play on. They have a Country Store that is very well stocked and then there is also the Coyote Canyon Cafe inside the Activity Center with delicious meals all day, with different home cooked style meals for supper each night….the kids wanted to go there all the time!
No Sewer? No Problem!
With the north side not having sewer hookups, we got on Amazon and ordered a waste tote and had it delivered to the park. Quite a few of the California Thousand Trails do not have sewer hookups, so having a portable waste tote was going to be a must while we explored this state. When one of your tanks is full you just hookup the waste tote, dump your tank into it, then you pull the tote with your vehicle to the dump station instead of having to drive your whole RV to the dump. It’s part of life, thankfully the hubster takes care of all that 😛 The horror stories of how he has seen some people dumping their waste at the dump station is very cringe worthy though!
Internet, Cell Service?
With this resort being inside the mountains the way it is, cell services are pretty hit and miss, signals bounce around the mountains and go nowhere. Some have claimed to find luck with signals in the parking lot of the family pool and youth center, as well as in sections E and H on the south side, especially if you have a booster. Thankfully, the park offers internet for you to purchase based on the duration of your stay, so it’s affordable, and not too terribly bad…except for busy weekends when it gets bogged down.
The north side of Pio Pico had a playground that was hidden away and a little hard to find. It was a bit of a walk to get to from our spot, but was good exercise getting out and walking to it. This playground was similar to the one at Colorado River TT in Texas. On the south side they had a newer type of playground near the family pool, and another very basic playset by the adult pool.
Staying in campgrounds and preserves like Thousand Trails out in the wilds of nature, you HAVE to be aware of what kind of wildlife you may come across. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts other parks have had deer, scorpions, crazy spiders, and of course snakes. Being in desert regions means you will most likely come across rattlesnakes at some point! So be on the lookout! One evening the hubster noticed a trail in the dirt/gravel around our truck that was obviously made by a snake that must have traveled through our spot. Yikes! Thankfully we never came across anything ourselves.
2nd Stay at Pio Pico – South Side
Amenities and Sewer Hookups
When we stayed at the Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground a second time, we were able to find a site open on the south side this time. Woohoo, sewer hookups! The hubster was pretty happy about that, HAHA! The spot we chose was along the row next to the cabins near the gate, and was very close to the drive up to the Activity Center and Coyote Canyon Cafe.
Internet and Wildlife?
We discovered that the park wifi works better on the south side compared to the north side for some reason. And this time around a rattlesnake was spotted next to the nearby dumpster!
We found that we really enjoyed riding our bikes throughout this campground, the layout is easy to maneuver through and the scenery is nice.