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Activities | Camp | Camping | Destinations | Mountains | Los Padres NF


If you prefer getting away from the tourist traps & typically busy campgrounds on the Big Sur Central Coast, you will love the backroads of Los Padres National Forest. Open dispersed camping options on dirt backroads are the ultimate in seclusion & enjoying nature. The views up here are so great, you'll be literally in awe.

Above the coastal fog!! Leave that damp marine layer behind & head for the sunshine on the hills. You can enjoy the stars at night & could even wake to sunny skies with ocean views in the morning.

There are at least a dozen existing sites along this ridge road. Tread lightly & be very careful in clearing a camp, using a stove or back country campfire.

Fire has damaged this beautiful natural area recently. Fire restrictions are high in this fragile area. Fire permits are required at any time of the year & sometimes fires banned all together. big sur photos


272k - Lg File! 
map credit Thomas Bros.


map credit NFS:
Los Padres - Mont. Distr.

From the coast Hwy.1 a few miles south of Lucia, across the street from Kirk Creek Campground, take the narrow winding paved road, Nacimiento Ferguson Rd. up te mountain 7 mi. to the main dirt road crossing.(before the ranger station) Turn right on Coast Ridge Trail #20S05 & continue 5 mi. to right turn up hill & onto ridge area. Camp spots are dirt road dead ends with small clearings. Be extremely careful with any flame, stoves, & cigarettes. Fire permits may be required; check with the local ranger ahead of time. Pay attention to rules & fire dangers. Fire restrictions are posted at the beginning of the dirt road entrance.

Close by campgrounds are - Ponderosa & Nacimiento.

BIG SUR HOT SPRINGS / HIKING HOT SPRINGS: Turn left off Nacimiento Road, on to Cone Peak Rd / southbound, it continues into Ventana Wilderness trailhead parking area with a few primitive campsites (for backpackers arriving late). Sykes Hot Springs may be reached from way back here. We now have new, waterproof Ventana Wilderness Maps.

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