Ponderosa Flat Campground

Butt Lake California
Ponderosa Flats Campground

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Lake Camping NorCal

RV camping, tent camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, boat launch, handicap accessible.

Ponderosa Campground – PG&E Campground,  located 3 miles from Lake Almanor

Tucked away off the main drag of Plumas Hwy 89. North end of Butt Valley Reservoir on east shore. Turn off about 6 miles northwest of Lake Almanor Canyon Dam on Hwy. 89, take Butt Valley Road south for 3.2 miles.

Set in a Ponderosa Pine forest along the shores of Butt Lake, part of a system of reservoirs formed by hydro-electric dams managed by Pacific Gas & Electric.  Lake levels can change rapidly with minimal warning.

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Quiet lake in California: No water skiing, jet ski or race boats; only small motorized fishing boats.  Canoeing, kayaking and sail boating are also popular lake recreation. Off road areas nearby.

• Elevation: 4,150′
• Number of Sites: 63
• Camping Reservations: Yes
• Sites Available: Reservations; First come, First serve
• Vehicle Accessibility: Vehicle 32 ft. max. No RV Hookups
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Water: Piped; lake
• Toilet: Vault
• Season: Closed for winter, Nov-April
• Fee: Yes
• Operated By: PG&E
• Closest Town: Lake Almanor, CA

Pacific Gas & Electric
Almanor Ranger Station
916-386-5164

Ohio Valley Route
The alternate dirt road access thru Ohio Valley is graded dirt w/ rough roads that may require 4×4 or high clearance vehicles. RVs are not advised to travel this way.

nearby destinations –

Ventana Wilderness

ventana hikes

Central Coast California
Backpacking Big Sur

Ventana Wilderness is a 40 mile stretch of protected land located in the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Big Sur coastline in between the Monterey peninsula and the Nacimeinto-Fergusson Road #4004. Fort Hunter Liggett lies to the east side and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ancient volcano peaks called “cones” line the pine ridges – Ventana Cone,  Ventana Double Cone, South Ventana Cone, Black Cone & Cone Peak.

240,026 acres
Cone Peak – 5155′ elevation
Los Padres National Forest
San Antoni River
Sykes Hot Springs
Tassajara Creek
Tassajara Hot Springs

campgrounds bordering area –

hiking trailheads –

  • Cone Peak
  • Escondido
  • China Camp
  • Arroyo Seco
  • Bottchers Gap

redwood hikes

nearby towns –

Central Coast Big Sur Maps

ventana map

Los Padres Forest Maps

NatGeo Big Sur Topographic Map

Pinnacles National Monument Map

Ventana Wilderness Topo Map

Smaller Silver Peak Wilderness (31,555 acres) is also featured on the same map, situated south of Ventana and north of the San Simeon Hearst Castle area.

 

Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Ventana Wildlife Society

California Fire Departments

California Fire Map

CAL Fire – California Dept of Fire
NFS, Calif County & Volunteer Fire Depts

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Cal Fire Map
California Department of Fire

inciwebfires

Inciweb.org
USDA National Forest Wildfires

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Drought.gov
see what is ahead for California fire conditions

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County Fire Departments
Volunteer Fire Departments

Douglas City Campground

Trinity River Campground

Douglas Steiner Flat Camping

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Northern California river camping. Douglas City is hardly even a town much less a city. A post office and a general store is the majority of what makes up this riverfront locale.

Tucked away on the scenic Trinity River, this small campground is perfect for those wanting to explore the Trinity River, Trinity Lake or the Trinity Alps region. Region is well known for fishing, hiking, kayaking and rafting. A small beach allows for river access. Group picnic area, picnic tables, telephone, beach, paved loop road are just a few amenities.

From Douglas City, drive half mile west on Hwy 299 to Steiner Flat Road. Follow signs to the developed camp. Numerous dirt roads lead to river edge, so there are primitive camping options available along Steiner Flat Road for those seeking free overnight stays.

• Elevation: 1,500′
• Number of Sites: 20
• Camping Reservations: No
• Sites Available: First come, First serve
• Vehicle Accessibility: Vehicle limit 28 ft. max.
• Length of Stay: 14 Days
• Water: Piped; river nearby
• Toilet: Flush & Vault
• Season: Closed for winter, Nov-April
• Fee: Yes
• Operated By: Bureau of Land Management
• Closest Town: Douglas City, CA

BLM Redding Ranger Station
530-224-2100

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nearby destinations –
Chanchelulla Wilderness
Chappie Shasta OHV Area
Douglas City, CA
Lewiston Lake
Shasta Trinity National Forest
Trinity Alps Wilderness
Trinity Lake
Weaverville, CA
Whiskeytown Lake NRA

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Rock Front Ranch

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Rock Front OHV

San Luis Obispo County Off Roading
Los Padres National Forest

Rock Front Area is located on the north side of Hwy 166 in between New Cuyama and Nipomo, on the very edge of San Luis Obispo county in the center of the Santa Lucia Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest.  Landscape varies from rock covered canyons to ridge line trails with outstanding vistas of the the mountains and Cuyama Valley. Remote area features Los Machos Hills, Alder Creek, Branch Creek, Cuyama River, cool rock formations.

15,328 acres
41 miles of trails

From US Hwy 101 @ Hwy 166 travel east 25 miles, left turn into Rock Front Ranch gate on left side. (This road may also be known as Branch Creek Rd on some maps). This off road area can be closed during rainy seasons, so it is best to call rangers ahead of time to ensure the gates are open. There is also one brown Forest Service sign along gate10mileshighway 166, (couple of miles from 101)  letting eastbound traffic know if this OHV area is open or closed.

The dirt Road #32S07 (Arroyo Seco) from the west connecting historic Huasna townsite to Rock Front is CLOSED to thru traffic and has a locked gate. Private properties and ranches are abundant in the backcountry of Arroyo Grande, CA

Los Padres National Forest
Santa Lucia Ranger
805-925-9538

vistas

Rock Front Ranch Campgrounds

Off Road Trails in Rock Front Ranch

OHV trail ratings in this region are designated below
Rock Front OHV

  • Green diamond – easy & least difficult
  • Blue diamond – moderate & more difficult
  • Black diamond – extreme & most difficult

Logan Ridge Trail #17E05
Green diamond. Least difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 1.4 miles long. This route is a good route for beginning riders. It is located on the main ridge top of Logan Ridge. Route dead-ends at a locked gate.

Shaw Ridge Trail #17E06
Black diamond. Most difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 8 miles long. This route leaves the Twin Rocks route on a spur ridge that drops into the Alamo Creek drainage and dead-ends. A very steep section of trail exists at the end of this route where specialized equipment is recommended. This section is recommended for advanced riders.

maps Los Machos Trail #17E07
Green diamond. Least difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 2.8 miles long. This route is a good route for beginning riders. It is located on the main ridge top of the Los Machos Hills. Route dead-ends at a locked gate.

Paradise Trail #17E08
Blue diamond. More difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 2 miles long. Access to Paradise Campground and Los Machos route. It is best suited for intermediate riders due to a steep section along the route. Route dead-ends at a locked gate.

Branch Creek Trail #17E09
Blue diamond. More difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 5.5 miles long. Access to Buck Springs Campground, parallels the Big Rock route and offers a loop ride.

Big Rocks Trail #17E10
Blue diamond. More difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 4 miles long. Located on the main ridge top and intersects with the Jack Springs route.

Twin Rocks Trail #17E12
Blue diamond. More difficult. Open to motorcycles, ATVS, 4WD. 3.5 miles long. This route intersects Shaw Ridge and dead-ends at a locked gate. The first half-mile of this trail is steep. Once on top of the ridge you have excellent views of the Cuyama Valley and the Santa Lucia Range.

Kerry Canyon Trail #30W02
Black diamond. Most difficult. For motorcycles only. 6 miles long. This trail must be accessed through Colson Canyon or Sierra Madre. The trail is highly technical and is recommended for advanced motorcycle riders only.

HORSE TRAINING – Along the highway at the gate of Rock Front Ranch is a rock structure home and ranch catering to horse training. skeltonperformancehorses.com

Sespe Wilderness

Sespe Wilderness & Hiking Trails

Los Padres National Forest
Campgrounds & Trailheads

Sespe Wilderness is located in the mountains W of Interstate 5, North of Los Angeles. The chaparral region lies in between Lockwood Valley and the Santa Clara River Valley (Hwy 126). Higher elevation Mount Pinos lies to north side of Sespe and Ojai Valley to the south. The infamous 4×4 Miller Jeep Trail is located on the north side near Alamo Mountain, which is also accessible via Hungry Valley.

The 2006 Day Fire burnt a good portion of the Sespe Wilderness, so you can expect to see some black and toasted areas. Sespe Creek is also referred to as Sespe River. and certain waterways may dry up during drier months. Piru Creek, Alder Creek, Aqua Blanca Creek, Tarr Creek, Mutau Creek, Snowy Creek are several worthy of note. Expect heat and high temperature in the summer & fall month, and possible campfire restrictions during extreme wildfire season.

219,700 acres
6 areas of hiking trails

Los Padres National Forest
Lockwood Ranger Station
661-245-3731

Sespe Trail Map
Sespe Trails, Tom Harrison Topographic Map

Sespe hiking trailheads located at –

Highway 126 – Fillmore, CA
Sespe Condor Sanctuary – Dough Flat Trailhead

Highway 150 – Ojai, CA
Sisar Canyon Day Hike / Road #4N15

Highway 33 – Ojai, CA
Rose Valley Road #6N31, Rose Valley Falls, Day Hike
Piedras Blanca Trailhead for the National Recreation Trail
Pine Mountain Rd # – Reyes Peak Trailhead

Lockwood Valley Road – Frazier Park, CA
Reyes Creek, Camp Shiedeck – Pine Mountain Trailhead
Half Moon Mutau Flat Trailhead, Sespe Hot Springs

Interstate 5 Tejon Pass @ Hungry Valley
Hard Luck Trailhead

 

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Los Padres Campgrounds near Sespe Wilderness

  • Frazier Park Camping
  • Ojai Campgrounds
  • Twin Pines Campground, Road # 18N01
    Alamo Mountain via Hungry Valley OHV
  • Lockwood Creek Campground
  • Half Moon Campground, Lockwood #7N03
  • Thorn Meadows Campground, Lockwood #7N03
  • Dome Springs Campground, Lockwood #8N40
  • Reyes Creek Campground, Lockwood Valley Rd
  • Pine Mountain Road @ Reyes Peak (dispersed)
  • Nettle Springs Campground, Cuyama Hwy 33
  • Ozena Campground (closed)letswalk
  • Tinta Campground, Hwy 33
  • Rancho Nuevo Camp, Hwy 33
  • Rose Valley Campground, Hwy 33
  • Wheeler Gorge Campground, Hwy 33

 

nearby parks & lakes –

nearby towns –

Backpackers at Sespe Hot Springs

Nettle Springs Campground

Nettle Springs

Apache Canyon Campsites

Cuyama Camping near Highway 33

Los Padres National Forest 

Way back off there beyond the boonies, 10 miles on a bumpy dirt road #8N06, and far from the pavement. Seclusion, peace and quiet, plus privacy is what this canyon can offer. This small campground is rarely busy, unless a huge family or hunting group has taken over camp. Most of the time it’s so quiet you can hear the wind in the trees, birds chirping and bugs buzzing.

N of Ojai (about an hour), scenic drive Highway 33 N of Ozena @ Lockwood is a little-known signed route called Apache Canyon. Los Padres Road #8N06 leads from the south end of Cuyama River Valley east to the dead end badlands canyon w/ Nettle Springs Camp. OHV trails and Chumash Wilderness access.

Elevation: 4,400′
Number of Sites: 8
Camping Reservations: No
Sites Available: First come, First serve
Vehicle Accessibility: small RV ok
Length of Stay: 14 Days
Water: No Piped; seasonal creek iffy
Toilet: Vault
Season: Open all year
Fee: No
Operated By: National Forest Service
Closest Towns: Frazier Park, CA & Ojai, CA

Los Padres National Forest
Lockwood Ranger Station
661-245-3731

Secluded Campground and Spacious Camp Sites

 

 

 

Dome Springs Campground

Domesprings

Los Padres NF – Frazier Park Camping

Dome Springs Campground

Los Padres Forest Rd #8N40

North of Lockwood Valley Rd. 20 miles W of Frazier Park, CA

Free, small campgrounds are abundant inside the Los Padres. Pinyon pine forest & a wide high desert wash, steep canyons and mountain wilderness. Kern County’s highest peak sits nearby @ Mount Pinos 8831′, with neighboring Mount Able 8286′ directly west of Pinos. Peak to Peak hike is a popular attraction for day hikers and backpackers alike.

Saabaru Off-Roader

Lockwood Valley Camping

free campground  / badlands terrain

When mountain winter temps set in (around the holiday season), camping overnight in the low lands might be more appealing. Domesprings is a perfect camp spot for car campers, off roaders, hunters or even mountain bikers. OHV trails, target shooting areas are abundant, as well as hiking and stargazing opportunities. The main wash is called Dry Canyon, which is nice when there has been some mild rain for minimal dust. No motor bike, vehicles or bicycles in the neighboring Chumash Wilderness, which borders this region on the north next to Mt Pinos.

Dome Springs – Dry Canyon main access road #8N40 can be sandy at times and 4×4 might be needed to reach camp during drier months. Snow or wet weather might also pose a problem with this road, so always check weather and call the rangers ahead of time to find out current road conditions. Most of the time you can get back here with a low rider passenger car.

Elevation: 4,585′
Number of Sites: 4
Camping Reservations: No
Sites Available: First come, First serve
Vehicle Accessibility: small RVs
Length of Stay: 14 Days
Water: No Piped; seasonal creek iffy
Toilet: Vault
Season: Open all year
Fee: No
Operated By: National Forest Service
Closest Town: Frazier Park, CA

Los Padres National Forest
Lockwood Ranger Station
661-245-3731

camp

2 other big washes off this mountain ridge are –

Apache Canyon Road #8N06Nettle Spring Campground, running to the west.

Quatal Canyon Road #9N09Toad Spring Campground, running to the west.

 

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Saddlebag Lake Campground

Saddlebag Lake, Yosemite East Side

Inyo National Forest @ Tioga Pass, Hwy 120

Yosemite High Elevation Campground

Yosemite Lake View Camp Sites

Tioga Pass camping on the eastern side of Yosemite National Park, just outside park boundaries is Inyo National Forest lands. Snow is usually epic up here and some of the deepest on the range of light.

Several prime campgrounds line this popular Sierra pass, highway 120. Most camps are located along the busy highway just outside the National Park gate. Behold, this prime choice destination is a few miles back off the highway, at the end of a graded dirt road. Smaller RVs okay.

Saddle Bag Lake

High altitude, tree line, thin air, snow melt everywhere, spectacular elevations and dark skies make this an awesome stargazing spot. Summer is busy with trailers, boat rentals, horses and day hikers. Locals and fishermen use this small campground often, so tourists should feel lucky to find such a rare camp here. First come, First serve, when it is open (only half the year).

Elevation: 10,000′
Number of Sites: 19
Camping Reservations: No
Sites Available: First come, First serve
Vehicle Accessibility: Vehicle limit 22 ft. max.
Length of Stay: 14 Days
Water: Piped; lake, creek nearby
Toilet: Vault
Season: Closed during winter & spring
Fee: Yes
Operated By: National Forest Service
Closest Town: Lee Vining, CA

Inyo National Forest
Bishop Ranger Station
760-873-2400

RV Camper Lake

Indian Flats Campground

Temecula Camping / Warner Springs Campground

San Diego Mountains – Cleveland National Forest

Indian Flats Campground

Indian Flat Campground is located on the seasonal San Luis Rey River in rural North San Diego County.  From I-15 @ Temecula, CA travel eastbound on Highway 79. Look for the tiny turn off  (on left side) for forest road #9N05, sorta near glider airport located west of Warner Springs. This poorly paved backcountry route (half dirt/mud at times) is also known as both Indian Flats Road or Lost Valley Road.

Graded dirt road (paved in some portions) travel is approximately 6.5 miles to campground, look for gate and turn off on the left side. When you see the giant boulder near the entrance, you’ll know you’ve made it to the right place.

Oak trees and a few pines, plenty shade, boulders and mountain scenery, this is a great small campground that is well away from everything in Southern California.  Seasonal creek-sized river and boulder waterfall often dries up in late summer. This means a wet spring is the best time to visit this camp. Hiking, mountain biking trails and hammock spots. Pacific Crest Trail access.

Cleveland National Forest
Palomar Ranger District
760-788-0250

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Elevation: 3,600′
Number of Sites: 17
Camping Reservations: None
Sites Available: First come, First serve
Vehicle Accessibility: Length 15′ max.
Length of Stay: 14 Days
Water: No Piped; Seasonal creek nearby
Toilet: Vault
Season: Closed for mud & snow during winter months
Fee: Yes
Operated By: National Forest Service
Closest Town: Warner Springs, CA

Indian Flat
Indian Flat Campground Entrance