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South Taft, CALIFORNIA
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Off The Grid

I prefer primitive or dispersed camping because I usually like as much privacy as I can get when I'm camping, but with current fire restrictions I was limited to developed campsites if I wanted a campfire (and what's the point of camping without a campfire?). I was also planning the trip on short notice, so developed, reserveable campsites were in short supply. Then I found Reyes Creek.

The campground is very isolated. It's about a 40 minute drive from the nearest town (and therefore the nearest gas station or market - plan ahead). There is no power, or water. There's no cell service in the camp, but a 5 minute drive up the mountain there's a dirt lot they call the 'phone booth' that gets decent reception. The camp hosts were super friendly and helpful. There are 2 loops for campsites - the center of the main loop seemed pretty flat, but all the sites were visible to your neighbors. Sites on the outside of the main loop offered more privacy, but most appeared to not be very level, and not necessarily well laid out. I stayed in site 11 on the outside of the loop which was large and fairly quiet, but my 6 person tent just barely fit in between some trees which offered some shade and was only on a slight angle. The one downside was the bathrooms - vault toilets that varied in condition, but none that I used were particularly good. If bathroom condition is a major sticking point with you, you may want to look elsewhere.

As an added bonus, as isolated as the place is, right outside the entrance to the campground is a bar & grill called the Camp Scheideck Lodge. They have a full bar and great food (and the customer-only bathroom is a great step up from the campground). It just changed owners last month (second time in a couple years) and the new owner, Devin, is friendly and welcoming.

The temperature varies greatly from day to night (90's to 50's when I was there) and there are bugs a plenty, so bring repellant. Firewood is available at the camp, and ice is available at the lodge.

So if you want a little isolation with privacy, a campfire, and a friendly bar within walking distance, this place is for you. I'll definitely be coming back.

Words cant describe

Beautiful lakes and fishing was awesome. Will be back for sure.

Yearly camp

My family comes here every year. Staff around the area really friendly. The people that runs the desk they don’t seem so friendly but they try I guess. You will see them only one time on your stay so don’t let that big you. Awesome place to camp for sure.

If you can make it happen, do it!

This is such a unique experience! You have to set up a boat trip here and back so do your homework because it takes some coordinating. We picked site 1 unknowingly and it turned out to be the best! It was away from others and felt private with the most spectacular mountains to our back. VERY WINDY! The water tasted icky but after a 10 mile hike we didn't care. Take advantage and hike as far as you can- it's unreal! But bring a ton of water because you'll want it! The crows are unruly so watch your belongings, and the fox are cute but sneaky. Also, there was a dead seal over by the water which was sad, but as the rangers told us, that's nature.

I love this place

Creek is beautiful. Sites are nice especially 58,59. A lot of bugs but it’s expected. The staff are so nice especially the lady. She’s awesome. She takes very good care of the campground. The bathrooms are so so clean. They are cleaned daily. Beautiful place.

Beautiful campground

Camped out July 21 -22 2019 at Reyes creek campground. We got the last available spot as we showed up late that afternoon. Plenty of fish in the creek. Temp was well in the mid 90s … it was super hot. We still managed to do a small hike up the piedra Blanca trail to upper Reyes. Trail is brushy in some areas with some washouts in others. Some beautiful shaded areas where we took a few breaks to get away from the heat.

Great place for family BBQ and Camping

I love how this campground is secluded, there are about 7 campgrounds available, 2 restrooms and stalls for horses. You can go out for a hike with great scenic views. I would truly recommend.

Primitive typical National Forest campground

Few fire pits and tables a couple flat spots for camping, 30-45 minute drive from Santa Maria. Drive slow down the dirt road as to not upset the residents of Colson Canyon.

Not that great in July

In July so many mosquitoes and nats that 98% DEET barely slows them down. The restrooms have tons of flies.

Quiet in off season

Went In January on a weekend and drove up and had our pick of any site. It was all Shaded and quiet. Not many people around. Nice big sites under trees. Plus it’s only around a 10 minute drive to come springs tavern and several hikes. It is located right off the side of the road but it never got loud because the rode is so empty.

Just off the highway

It’s a pretty lame campground. The sites are close together and you can see and hear the freeway from the campground. The lake is also not within walking distance to the campground. It’s relatively close to LA but there are far better campgrounds within the same distance. However, if you are headed somewhere else and need a spot to stay for a night to break up the drive, you could do worse.

Hike In Gorgeous Campground with ample space

Park at the lot up top, then walk about 1/2 mile to campground via dirt path. Plenty of sites. Old rustic bathrooms work well. Picnic tables at each site. Brought my dogs here and they had a blast, plus no ticks found. Plenty of hiking directly around this campground. Stayed here for three nights and found plenty of exploring to do nearby. Highly recommend, especially because there is no fee. Being said, Pack it in and pack it out! Leave No Trace principles are crucial to keep this place beautiful

Secluded but difficult to get to campground

Set atop a mountain, Miranda Pine campground gives sweeping views all the way to the ocean. Beware the road is long and unpaved, not suitable for a compact car. I did it with a high clearance 4WD and made it to the top. Only a couple sites at the top, but they are free. Picnic tables at each site. Named for the larged Pine tree at the top of the mountain. Sunset and Sunrise views are incredible. Brought my dogs and they loved it. No real services up here so its especially important to pack out all your trash and follow Leave No Trace ethics.

Creekside paradise

Well maintained campsite. I was at site 46, full shade but luckily I had a small tent because I m not sure how a bigger or even two tents would have fit there. The camp host was very friendly and giving tips on what to do around the campsite. Bathrooms were well maintained and relatively clean for pit toilets. There s poison oak, so be careful, as well as bugs that will eat you alive so be sure to have repellent and citronella candle handy. Quick and easy drive from LA. Will definitely be back.

Stumbled upon this gem

Found it browsing campsites; what a beauty. Sitting alongside a creek, the camp is clean, quiet, the ranger is super friendly and knowledgeable of the area. There is no running water, and the pit toilets are definitely of the smellier side, but clean nevertheless. There is a bar right at the entrance of the campsite, as well as a small residential neighborhood. The site itself is a quick drive from LA, with easy access. Be mindful of the road leading into the camp, it is quite narrow, so drive carefully.

Great sites in seclusion

A great trip from Nira campground. Several water crossings along the way. A handful of spots to grab, I’d recommend getting there early to get the best one. Wish we had more water around the site to enjoy. Overall great site for the night!

Beautiful start to backpacking trip

Nira Campground is a great start to a backpacking trip into the San Rafael wilderness. This is a remote campground, bring all amenities including water. Excellent views along the Manzana trail.

First to Review
Great spot for a night

Great little campground for our stop through. Clean bathrooms, good flat camping spots for your tent, a good group area, conveniently located water, and great hiking trails with some awesome views of the hills. Depending on the time of the year you go, there may or may not be a flow in the river. Our time it was sparse.

Some Great Dry Camping

This campground is definitely one you want to hit. It’s fairly typical of desert mountain camping with the usual low scrub and a little dusty but amazing scenery every direction as you are on top of a mountain. It is generally only open May-Nov and is usually chilly at night because it is at almost 7,000 feet. It can be difficult to get to if the road is rutted but a 2wd vehicle can make it up there without a problem if the road is graded.
Pros- great scenic, good hikes, plenty of trees and fire rings Cons- it is on a popular ohv trail (Miller Jeep Trail) so there can be a little traffic on the weekends if you’re in the site at the top of the trail head, the toilets are not maintained very often because it is a remote site, it can get very windy, no water available

Went with 9 friends

We reunited for summer break after leaving for college. We caught up and had soooooo much fun in the great outdoors 😁

Perfect site for relaxing by the water

I have been here a few times over the years and it never disappoints! This year the swimming holes were perfect for some post hike cools downs. On the way to the site prepare for about 12 water crossings. There are roughly 6 tent sites all close together. There was a pretty rowdy crew of guys so get there early to pick your spot!

Pure delight

It gets very hot in the summer. So we choose spring and fall/winter camping. Less people, quieter. Rv camping is on top of one another. Not really a campng feeling. I would never RV camp here. Tents, yurts and cabin areas are very nice and some are very private. Great fishing.

Our secret gem

We discovered this campground with friends who booked a group camping weekend. We have now been back yearly for that trip and our son’s birthday. 

The group site is perfect and can easily fit 12-15 families/tents. Good parking area with toilets across the road. 

One fire pit in the group site means everyone is located in one area. The 1/4 hiking trail around the site is perfect for kids exercising some independence. 

Beautiful tree lined area that doesn’t get too hot in the summer. That said, late sept it can get below freezing. There are also often fire restrictions in place so keep up to date on the latest.

Top of the world !

So I did not stay at this site but I did stop on my way back into town it's well taken care of and has a 360° view literally at the top of a mountain so that's the good and that also makes it the bad too if winds pickup you will be sandblasted! No cover to break the wind coming from either side of the mountain but one of the better spots in the area for big groups !

Worth the long way around

Great campsite well secluded and yes the gps on your phone tells you to turn on a private road that would be a great way to get to this campground if the gate was not locked talking to the US Forrest firemen across the street they said if that road was open it's about a 15 minute drive in but no luck you have to take the long way in that takes about 2 to 3 hours of a bit rough fire road driving you will need a vehicle with clearance I did not put my 4runner into 4wd but I would not try this without an SUV or pickup truck if you decide to do the trip it's worth the extra driving if you want to camp in a quite secluded area bring your own TP and water bathroom was clean and sites well taken care of will be going back soon.

Oranges galore

My kinda place, lots of orange trees, large spaces, all the necessities.

Nice place

A quick drive from LA, north of Magic Mountain gets you camping longer, and driving less. Flush toilets, and running water to clean your dishes. Wood is sold on site, and there is a small camp store in case you forgot something. We did not need it, so a review can’t be given. We went with a bunch of friends, and the kids had a blast getting dirty a hiking up the hillside that our campsite backed up against. Unfortunately it rained heavily with hail, in addition to thunder and lightning. We waited that out under the canopies for a little over an hour. We cut the trip a day short as to not push our luck with the weather as it began to rain again as we were leaving the next day. Overall, a nice spot, and a 10 minute drive to the lake.

Paradise ☀️

This place is a slice of heaven right here in So Cal! It was easy to get to in our Rv. Great shady spots, no hookups for Rv but that wasn’t a problem for us. We were in a beautiful spot right by a creek. There is a Vons 8 miles away if you need to stick up on supplies. I would highly recommend this campsite. The host was also amazing and friendly 💕

Great Campsite with access to SB, Cachuma Lake, and hiking

Reserved this campsite about 1 month in advance on Reserve America.  11 total sites in this camp and all filled up with reservations on a weekend.  Each campsite is very nice with shade under large oak trees, fire pits, bbq, and nearby trash and water.  Bathrooms were clean.  Camp host very nice.

Short walk to the Santa Ynez river which was beautiful.  A few mile drive to the day use area that had lots of picnic tables and access to hikes.  We did the Aliso loop trail which was fairly steep and ~4 miles but had great views of the river valley.  $10 fee for day use area.

Beautiful place to be

This place is so secluded from the outside world I almost turned back on our way there for fear of getting lost in the mountains! Whenever you think you’ve gone too far, just go a little bit farther and it will be around the corner. It’s such a serene and quiet place on the side of the mountain. I loved every moment of our trip. Except the wind! The last night we were there we could’ve sailed down the mountain with how hard the wind was blowing!

The bathrooms are nice and clean, the campsites are very nice, I loved that each of them have its own fire pit, some have picnic tables. And you’re just far enough away from everyone that you can enjoy their company or be as private as you like.