2 National Forest
Maps to cover this Coastal Region
A diverse landscape makes this area interesting with plenty
of recreational activities. Dirt backroads
are all over the place. Pinyon pine to Jeffery Pine forest, Snow
in the mtns., cactus & manzanita chaparral, wide creek washes
plus the meadows makes this a very desirable destinations for
Californians seeking a break from the crowded urban areas.
The park stretches as far north as Carmel & lines the
Big Sur Coastline with plenty of primitive camping options away
from the crowded coastline. see Big
- convenient & close to Los Angeles / Ventura / Santa Barbara
/ San Luis Obispo / Santa Maria
- fires are very restricted, depending on fire danger risk
- fire permits are required
- permits are required for overnight back country camping
- check with the correct ranger district for all back country
Some of the best remote backpacking in Southern California
can be found in this area. A Forest Service
Map is highly advised for this area. There are many dirt roads
& trails in order to get to some of these spots.
Trail head parking spots located at:
Big Sur / Central Coast Area - this coastal range offers
spectacular views of the coastline plus hiking among oaks &
some redwoods trees. From coastal Hwy.1 a few miles south of Lucia,
across from Kirk Creek Campground take the small & very windy
Naciemiento Ferguson Rd. (paved) up 7 mi. to the dirt road crossing.
Turn left /north & continue on dirt road to 3 different trail
head parking spots. There is no base camp areas.
Upper Nuevo - see directions & description
for Rancho Nuevo
off Lockwood Valley Rd. look for Reyes Creek campground &
park there. Hike into these back country campsites. They can be
found in order, heading south toward another other parking option
at Lion campground on road # 6N313 found off Hwy.33.
- Upper Reyes
- Bear Trap
- Three Mile
- Pine Mtn. Lodge
- Twin Forks
- Piedra Blanca
- Plenty more back country campsites can be found. Get the
official Los Padres Forest Service map & explore. We will
eventually have a complete backpacking section on all parks. With
mileage, length & strenuous rating.
Los Padres Campgrounds
Los Padres is a long chunk of public forest land spanning nearly the entire Central Coast. Los Padres stretches from Monterey down to Ojai CA
Choose your desired camping area -
There is no better place is Southern California to hit the
dirt & get away from the crowds. Big
in Santa Bernardino National Forest
& Angeles National Forest, so close
to LA, are such popular destinations, that you can rarely feel
like you are in the wilderness. But merely 30-40 miles from San
Fernando Valley is this network of amazing dirt backroads. Check out the red dirt action in Quatal Canyon & Santa Barbara Canyon.
A Forest Service Map is highly advised for this area. Many
dirt roads to get to spectacular views.
Central Coast - Ridge Roads
From Coast Highway 1, a few miles south of Lucia, across from
Kirk Creek Campground take narrow & very winding paved road
east up Naciemiento Ferguson, approx. 6-7 mi. to the dirt road
From Hwy.101 take exit for G18/ Jolon Rd. past Naciemiento Lake
& past town of Lockwood. Through Hunter Leggitt military base
on Mission Rd., veer left on Naciemiento Ferguson Rd. Pass campgrounds
Ponderosa & Naciemiento
Just West of Naciemiento campground will be an intersection of
will bring you to Cone Peak Rd. Backpackers parking
areas & plenty of trails leading into the coastal wilderness.
Turn South on Coast Ridge Trail #20S05 & find primitive
camping spots: continue 5 mi. to right turn up hill & onto
ridge area. All out in the open with great view. A few oaks trees
for shade. Continue South on #20S05 & follow into confusion
dirt roads. Signs with map are hard to understand & some west
slope roads are washed out due to El Nino rains a few years back.
You CAN eventually get down the western side via Willow Creek
area (with a nice waterfall) Rd#23S01, but you will have to be
patient & not wander East into military land.
Willow Creek waterfall: From coast Hwy.1 just North
of town of Gorda, Highway widens to dirt area & up embankment.
Take Rd#23S01 up approx. 1 mi. (careful - no trespassing
on private lands)
to fern basins, redwoods & a waterfall.
see our special - Big Sur BackRoads
map credit NFS:
Los Padres - Mont. Distr.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
map credit Thomas Bros.
Sespe Hot Springs hike
- So. California
- near the Grapevine Area of Interstate 5
Ballinger Canyon OHV - great
for the motorcycle enthusiast beginnber & intermediate, East
of Hwy. 33 near Ventucopa
- Lockwood Valley Rd. west of Frazier
has plenty of Forest Service Rds that branch off of
it. Take your pick & go exploring. Most are suitable for
2WD high clearance vehicles.
- Tacuya Mountain Trailheads ( at Cuddy valley) to Cherry Creek,
Salt Creek & Plieto - all considered 4WD camps
- San Emigdio road behind small community of Pine
up to the Blue Ridge area ( for a great sunset
- Miller Jeep Trail - the over-crowded super-popular 'city
boy' weekend run.
- Mild SUV runs on graded dirt roads that lead back to Half
- Dome Springs has great EASY rated OHV trails that most 2WD
Plenty of hiking & backpacking opportunities within this
area has some nice trails.
- Prewitt Ridge &
backpack oportunities, views to die for.
- Sykes Hot Springs near Big Sur is best donw as an overnight
- Partington Cove
along the Big
- Sespe Hot Springs - a really long day hike
- Mount Pinos is a great easy half day hike
- Mount Pinos over to Mount Able ( or vice versa, & swap
vehicles is a great plan for a group)
- Lyons & Piedras Blancas has some awesome terrain
- Rose Valley Falls is an easy hike for the family, even if
it is mostly a trickle (best days after a big rain)
100 Hikes in California's Central Sierra & Coast Range
This coastal range has a few lower elevation reservoirs, that
are perfect for recreation during that hot June, when the June Gloom is still in
full swing. While most have full service marinas & rent boats,
kayaks, bikes,& more, you should contact the lake sauthorities
directly to see what is available as some items will be already
reserved or even discontinued for the season.
- Sespe Gorge Wall @ Potrero John Creek & Hwy.33, approx.
20 miles North of Ojai
- Devils playground - Sandstone area near Lyons campground,
Near Rose Valley at Hwy. 33