Everyone knows California truly has some world-class destinations for outdoors enthusiasts. Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Big Sur, and Lake Tahoe to name a few.
Because those famous spots soak up much of the attention, the multitude of other cool outdoors places to explore consistently go under appreciated.
Take Valle Vista Campground in the Los Padres National Forest as an example.
I recently went there to enjoy spectacular views, awesome hiking, and free camping.
Nearby are points of interest like Mt. Piños, the highest point in Ventura County and a developed cross-country ski area in the winter. There’s also Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge which holds an important California Condor sanctuary, or the Carrizo Plains National Monument known for its geologic features and abundance of springtime wildflowers. The nearest towns are Pine Mountain Club to the east, Maricopa to the north, and Cuyama to the west.
Valle Vista Campground is located within Los Padres National Forest overlooking the southern reaches of the San Joaquin Valley. Perched upon a steep hillside beneath Hudson Ranch Road, the views are what makes this campground special.
Facilities are sparse. There’s a maintained pit toilet and picnic tables at each campsite. But no running water and no trash receptacles. Only two of the sites had iron fire pits.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that one of the campsites at Valle Vista Campgrounds stands above the rest. And it’s not a guarantee you can get it since there’s no reservations for Valle Vista.
- Forest Service Valle Vista Campground Website
- Valle Vista Campground – Hike Los Padres
- Valle Vista Campground – Hipcamp