Founder's Camp is a sprawl of level areas down an oak-studded descending ridgeline with great panoramic views of the rolling hills above the Grapevine. It consists of an upper and lower site that share a parking loop. The upper area has 6 level spots including 2 king size, and starts right at the parking loop. It has more shaded spots but the trail to the lower sites mean
Founder's Camp is a sprawl of level areas down an oak-studded descending ridgeline with great panoramic views of the rolling hills above the Grapevine. It consists of an upper and lower site that share a parking loop. The upper area has 6 level spots including 2 king size, and starts right at the parking loop. It has more shaded spots but the trail to the lower sites meanders through it. The lower part is 5 level areas one king size, about 120 feet down a mostly gentle trail with one short steep part, and more private once you're down there. Couples and small groups/families can coexist here booked separately, but if your group size approaches 12 or you want more room and privacy book both places. This site can accommodate large groups of 30+ so bring your extended outdoors loving family, scout group, church or school outing, reunion, sports group, corporate team bonding, health and wellness retreat; any group you want to gather together surrounded by cubic miles of clean mountain air.
Founder's Camp has the shadiest and most sheltered sites on the ranch, and you're welcome to book one site as a single, couple etc camper. The sites are divided up and take advantage of obstacles and topography so there's almost no line-of-sight between camps when booked separately. With the shared parking loop and trailheads nearby, you're more likely to mingle a bit with other hipcampers at Founder's Camp. Gregarious folks might find this a big plus, but if absolute privacy is important to you, the other campsites on the ranch are much more isolated from other campers.
There have been many improvements over the opening 2020 season. Site 1 has several new large tent areas, and some of the pads at Site 2 have been enlarged too, and the parking loop has been enlarged and leveled better. If you visited last season you'll find everything bigger and better.
Liron Mountain Ranch is 24 varied acres high in the soft rolling hills of Lebec overlooking Tejon Ranch and the Grapevine. There is a network of trails criss-crossing the property to explore the different microclimates from sunny exposed slopes to cool oak-shaded canyon. 3 of the 4 main trailheads begin at the Founders parking loop. Enjoy seasonal wildflowers and watch the abundant wildlife. The ranch is an excellent place for cross country and obstacle course racers to train while camping.
It's less than 3 miles from the entrance to the Hungry Valley OHV area, where Gold Hill Road meets Piru Creek near house size bedrock boulders and calm pools, and is near Frazier Park which has a decent selection of stores and restaurants. There are lots of things to do in the area, from hiking on Mt Pinos to horse riding lessons in Cuddy Valley. Be prepared for strong WINDS, most of the campsites are built to offer some protection from it but definitely bring kites. The ranch tops out at 4,500' elevation and sees 4 seasons.
Amazing spring wildflowers, hot summer days with pleasant nights, crisp fall weather, and freezing nights and some snow in winter. Dark skies perfect for astronomy. You'll see the milky way in all its glory and it's GREAT viewing whenever there's a METEOR SHOWER. Pets are welcome and large dogs have plenty of room to roam and play but beware of wildlife with smaller ones as there are large birds of prey plus coyotes and bobcats in these hills. Recommend a recent dose of Advantage or better flea and tick preventive.
The best thing about Liron Mountain Ranch is the seclusion! Unlike public campgrounds that tend to be boisterous, loud, rowdy, and messy, Liron is private and secluded in the Estate district of Lebec so it's rare to see another person pass by the property the whole time you're up here.
The first wave of wildflowers bloom April through early May, after which there are small subtle flowers to be found blooming year round, with a second and third wave of different types of flowers in late spring and mid summer even as the majority of spring grasses and plants turn brown. Weather can be quite variable; I've seen sleet and snow in May, and nights can get pretty cold so bring plenty of layers. A warm cap and gloves can make a big difference in night comfort. For hot daytime wear, white light long sleeves and a wide brim hat are a good idea; also remember sunscreen as we're at 4,500 feet.
Campfires are NOT allowed, but each campsite has a ring of rocks around a solar LED flame lamp that's surprisingly realistic. There's also a colorful solar LED wand visible from afar to act as a homing beacon to your camp for night arrivals. This means no wood or charcoal fires at any time. However, despite what the boilerplate fire ban message may say elsewhere, at Liron Ranch the responsible use of propane and camping fuel appliances like camp stoves and lanterns is welcome and encouraged.
Please note that Founder's Camp is at the end of a steep, narrow dirt driveway with a turn/drop that some might find intimidating. It's not hard if you watch and hug the uphill side on the way in, and start the hill with enough momentum to make it up on the way out. There's parking at the start of this driveway, and some campers have left one car here and shuttled people and gear from here to camp in "the truck" while others opted to park and walk in over driving. I use this road with combos like Suburban/16' trailer and SUV/2 ton dump trailer, so skilled drivers would have no problem bringing a Teardrop or Scamp sized rig in. However I don't recommend Founder's Camp for vans and trailers unless confident/experienced and/or 4wd, nor Class A or any but the smallest Class C motorhomes at all.
There is about 2 miles of maintained, occasionally steep dirt road from pavement to camp that regular passenger cars even Priuses can easily handle most of the year. Lowered vehicles or those with delicate ground effects or aluminum wheels with 45 series or lower tires may suffer. This road is narrow, with blind curves and steep drop offs with no guardrails, and a stout gate to maintain the private and unspoiled ambiance of this exclusive district. Immediately after rain there are some slippery parts of the road where good tires and 4wd are desirable. About 2-3 weeks of the year at various times December-Feb the road may be impassable due to deep snow and mud.
Fall and winter bulletin. Camp is open even during national forest campground closures! Daytime conditions are great with sunny warm days possible even in December, but with very cold nighttime lows with high winds possible. Bring lots of layers and an outer windbreak layer. Gloves and warm head covering can make a huge difference toward comfort on the coldest of nights. Check the forecast when planning your trip, I like Accuweather. The road becomes impassable due to mud and snow conditions for about 1-3 weeks each winter. If trip is cancelled by weather you'll get a full refund so book with confidence. Geminid meteor shower peaks December 13-14 this year and should be great the weekend immediately before. This shower has been outperforming the Perseids in recent years but usually coincides with the first good cold snap of winter.
- Check in: After 12PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Flexible
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out Weeknight discount: 25% off
- Response time: Within 6 hours
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Founder's Group Camp at Liron Ranch in California.
Places to see near Art L.’s Land
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
We had a lovely time camping here. The directions were detailed and concise, supplemented with the gps coordinates, which were accurate and useful when we opened it in Google Maps. Be wary, some signage is low to the ground and hard to see. We were lucky to have the place to ourselves when we finally arrived at Founder’s. The experience was like a puzzle platformer video game; Found the road after the landmarks, the gate was opened, had no problem up the hill in our RAM 1500 4x4, Had to move (and replace) concrete blocks to get through the narrow road and then parked neatly at the loop and found SITE 1 and SITE 2. We weren’t sure at first if we were in the right place because there was large miscellaneous scraps of wood and metal but the camping sites were perfect: flattened and leveled, well-thought out with golden views. The stars were fantastic and we caught one shooting star! The temperature was balmy even after the sun went down and we slept comfortably in our tent. Our two dogs really enjoyed having free range and the privacy was none other but we did have to pull out stray foxtails out of their paws and bellies. We really enjoyed our time at Liron and would do it again!
Intro to wilderness camping
Not too far from civilization, but remote enough to camp away from any other people.
The campsites are located on a hillside about two miles from the 5 freeway. There's a dirt and gravel private road that takes you from the valley below up to Art's property. Highly recommend a high ground clearance vehicle, ideally with 4 wheel drive. Dirt is soft and silty so keep up momentum in the steeper areas to avoid getting stuck. The road is plenty wide for a single vehicle, but another car going the other way would be a sketchy situation. Most of the road up to the property has steep drops on the side and no guardrails. Would not recommend driving this road at night.
The sites at Founders Camp are small level plots just big enough for one 2-4 person tent. We were 2 couples using 4 and 6 person tents, and did not find any of the spots to be suitable. We actually set up camp on the parking loop at the site. Very dusty ground, which made a mess but at least was easy to drive stakes into.
Founders camp technically has a site 1 and a site 2. Site 1 is right next to the parking loop and has several flat spots for tents and a picnic table under a low hanging oak tree. Site 2 is about 50 yards down the mountain, and one would have to park at the top and hike down with all the camping gear.
Being away from any public spaces there were no safety concerns with other humans. Only safety concerns would be mountain lions or rattle snakes, so don't hit the trails at night, much less alone.
Would recommend trying this place out if you have gone camping in crowded public campgrounds and are considering going into the wilderness.
Directions were a bit tricky at first, but upon reaching the site all worries are dissipated and you find yourself on a peaceful mountainside with endless sky. Art was very helpful and accommodating as well. We would definitely go again!
Secluded hilltop views
Art's site had a beautiful view of the surrounding area. We were on the top of a hill with a view of the highway far below to the right and the rolling hills in front of us. There was a picnic table at the site and a toilet area that was a 3 min. walk away. The site was very exclusive with minimal bugs and the sky was full of stars at night.
Art was very responsive and gave me his number to call if I needed any help. It was a bit difficult to judge how far the site was from the highway (it was farther than we expected) and we missed a few turns getting there. We also were new to driving our camper van and the steep dirt road to the top gave us some pause. But, the views at the top were definitely worth it!