The best camping near
Los Padres National Forest, CALIFORNIA

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Camping California Los Padres National Forest
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Most Recent Los Padres National Forest Camping Reviews
Nice and Solitary

Nice small campground with Rancho Nuevo creek flowing right next to it. We had to walk about a mile and a half to the campground as the seasonal gate was closed. Campground consist of three sites with fire rings with steel grated stoves. Campground gives you access to Rancho Nuevo Trail which has beautiful cliffs and great scenery all around. No cell service no toilets no water , so come prepared.

Not so bad, but not so cheap

Not a bad place to stay.  This is a time-share RV camping spot filled almost constantly by Central Valley RVs (most of which are HUGE).  Open sites for non-time-share campers are often few and far between, but they do take reservations.

Sites are close!  Our 16 foot Airstream next to a 50 ft (?) fifth wheel with 3 axles was a site to see.  Like a flea on a rat's back!

Plenty to walk to, nice beach to walk on, if you get bored it's your fault.  Lots of in-camp conveniences.

Just too much $$ for such small sites!

The beautiful dunes of the Central Coast

If you own a rear living trailer this is the place to be, we wake up to the beautiful dunes of the central coast. It’s perfect to watch the sunset from hear. The temperature is perfect always around mid to high 60’s.


This is a wonderful campground. You drive across two small streams to get to the back spots. They’ve got BBQs, access to cool trails, lots of space. You wind around the road and there are little hidden spots all around. About 10 degrees colder than Ojai.

For Smaller Cars (5 Star Campsite)

December 24, 2019

This review will not be relevant for lifted or vehicles with high ground clearance and off roading capabilities.

A small portion of the paved road was covered in tumble weeds which gave me no choice but to drive off the main road. Eventually, the paved road ends and it’s nothing but dirt road for about 10 miles. Because of recent rains, it made the dirt roads a bit muddy and difficult for my small car. Lost traction in a few areas and it can be a bit bumpy but I’m sure if it was nice dry day, although moving slow and cautious, my small car would have no problem.

With the concerns I brought forward, other than that, I made it to the campsite and enjoyed the exclusivity of the beautiful wide open space of KCL campground all to myself.

RV oriented park

It’s adjacent to a little city-style park. There were only RVs when I arrived and many had been very sprawled out with grills/etc. given the fairly high price I elected not to reserve a spot and move on to Dennison where I felt much more comfortable camping.

Nice RV park

Very clean, nice level sites. Great river run area to run the animal. Pool, Jacuzzi and small store. I'm sure it would be even more fun when the river is running.

Nice location tucked away in the Santa Margarita mountains

We booked 2 other spaces in this area and I liked the location very much… we had some great views, great trails for hiking and I enjoyed the fact that they had an astronomer one of the evenings to star gaze. Down sides were that something went wrong with the bathrooms and we could not shower or use restroom for the last day and a half, no one ever came by to tell us or give us any updates on the inconvenience. We had to use porta potties and it would have been nice that since the bathrooms did not work that the portable toilets were cleaned… the stench was sooo bad, that we ended up leaving at the break of dawn on the last day . There is no reception at all, you have to drive outside of the campsite about 7-10 miles to get reception. The good thing about it was that we all spent time off technology but in case of an emergency it was a bit unnerving. I would go back to this campsite but perhaps another time of year!

Catfish Hunting

If you’re up for a trek through weeds and thick mud, then you’ll love this place. We’ve gone cat fishing here so many times, it’s a fun place to have a drink with some friends, take the pups, turn on some music and enjoy the view by the lake. There are fees depending on your reservation, we did not reserve a day use spot just fished, so we did not pay a fee. We just parked and walked to a good place to fish at the lake. If you’d like to use the designated grills though, there is a fee. There’s a lot of passing boats on the lake and other fisherman, especially near the visitors center so be sure to find a spot away from the action if you really want to catch some fish. They will check your fishing license while on property and patrol the lake area regularly. It’s an enjoyable place to go for the day and sunsets are a beauty! Just don’t forget to hike back to your car before the sun sets as it gets very dark, very quickly. Happy fishing!

Surf, Sand and Camp

If falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing sounds good to you, then El Capitan State Beach is for you. There are around 120 camp spots to choose from. The bathrooms are clean but the showers are not working. There's also a few RV spots but not many. Make sure you reserve a spot of you plan on visiting over the weekend.

There's a nice campground across the Fwy 101 and a small store and restaurant. There's a few hikes that leave from this campground. A fire recently scored the hills but the campground was untouched.