Los Padres Group Camping – Big Sur, Monterey & Ojai, California
Los Padres Forest is the SoCal camping mecca. Pinyon forests & peaks of nearly 9000′ make this the highest elevations of Kern County. This coastal forest on the San Andreas Fault burns bad due to winds & wildfires, but there is plenty back country to enjoy with minimal crowds – as long as camp fire safety is key.
Southern Los Padres National Forest operates Group Campgrounds for reservations. Several back country camp spots can accommodate a large group. Mount Able’s Camp-O-Alto and Mount Pinos’ Chula Vista walk-in camp can both handle a big crowd, but you may need to call the Lockwood Valley ranger station for more info and availability.
Northern Los Padres – Hwy 1 around the Big Sur/Monterey CA region has 2 Group Campgrounds w/ facilities, flush toilets & reservations online.
Los Padres Group Campgrounds:
|Arroyo Seco Group Camp||1000′||49||mixed||flush||piped||Carmel Valley, Greenfield|
|Holiday Group Camp||2000′||8||oak||vault||piped||N of Ojai|
|Plaskett Creek Campsite||600′||45||pines||flush||piped||South Big Sur coast|
|Sage Hill Campground||1200′||50||sycamore||flush||piped||Lake Cachuma|
If you are seeking regular campgrounds that take reservations and do not need a large group site, then follow this link below for all other Los Padres campsites.
Plaskett Campground is across the road from Sand Dollar Beach, a popular day use area. California Coast Campground – the infamous Central Coast Highway – Hwy 1 (so you may hear traffic @ this camp)
Hungry Valley SVRA – off-road park located near Interstate 5 @ Gorman, accommodates large and small groups with numerous campgrounds. Expect busy weekends and crowds; sometimes snow during winter months.
Ballinger Canyon OHV Park – off road park near Cuyama River Valley, on Hwy 33 near junction w/ Hwy 166. Campgrounds suited for off-road campers and RVs. Dirt bike trails, off road routes; North of Quatal Canyon (Rd #9N09) & Chumash Wilderness.
maps of Los Padres Central Coast-
- Los Padres National Forest Map – North (USDA NFS)
- Los Padres National Forest Map – South (USDA NFS)
- Los Padres National Forest Map – East (NatGeo)
- Los Padres National Forest Map – West (NatGeo)
- Big Sur Map (NatGeo)
- Sespe Wilderness Trail Map
- Dick Smith Wilderness Map
- Santa Barbara Books