Yep…this is the one that you’re not supposed to tell anyone about. Perhaps one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets, Wheeler Gorge Campground has plenty of sites adjacent to a picturesque stream and rocky mountains.

It's perfect for tent camping and each site contains a table, BBQ, and fire ring. There is no dump station or portable water on site, so come prepared. It's also a great base to explore Matilija Creek, the town of Ojai, and nearby Ventura. When you’re snug in your hammock give a shout out to the Boy Scouts who built the campground nearly a century ago!

Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers, RVs
67 sites
Up to 8 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Picnic table available


Offered near the campground.


Ride along the beautiful Santa Barbara coast, the central Monterey coast, or anywhere you want in this huge forest. The recomme...Read more


You can fish in the rivers and streams located throughout the forest, and fish in the ocean on the Monterey coast at Sand Dolla...Read more


Up by Big Sur, the Ventana wilderness is a popular hiking destination, with 260 miles of hiking trails, making it a unique exp...Read more

Horseback riding

The Saint Lucia Mountains have been taken by horseback many a’ times, and the time you visit should be no exception. To truly f...Read more


Lake Cachuma in the Santa Barbara region offers some of the best kayak fishing, especially with its location admist the mountai...Read more


You can’t go wrong at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, but it’s no match for the Seven Falls in Santa Barbara. This hike might not be...Read more

Wildlife watching

Whether you are an avid birdwatcher (California Condor...check), or just enjoy seeing what the wilderness has to offer, Los Pad...Read more


Natural features you'll find at Wheeler Gorge Campground.

Hot spring
River, stream, or...
Swimming hole
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The vibe at Wheeler Gorge Campground

14 Reviews

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Drop some Wheeler Gorge Campground knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Rebecca
Rebecca S.
didn't provide a recommendation.
October 26th, 2015

Had a great weekend at Wheeler Gorge! A few things: Plan to arrive during the day because setting up a tent in the dark here was not ideal. Also, be sure to reserve a campsite further from the entrance (around the 40s) because our site (006) was not as secluded as others we saw as we walked around, beautifully tucked between the trees and away from the main road. Eggs and Potatoes is a great breakfast spot in town about a 10 minute drive away, and if you forget to BYOW, there is a grocery store next door. Wheeler Gorge has fun rocks and a stream to explore and it is definitely a great starter campground (seconded from below!)

Wheeler Gorge CampgroundWheeler Gorge CampgroundWheeler Gorge CampgroundWheeler Gorge Campground
Hipcamper Hipcamper
didn't provide a recommendation.
March 14th, 2015

Just remember to byow (bring your own water)

Hipcamper Dani
Dani D.
didn't provide a recommendation.
June 25th, 2015

This is one of my favorite campgrounds. It is close enough to town and markets that it makes a great starter campground for people. There are some great hikes nearby too.

Hipcamper Nina
Nina M.
didn't provide a recommendation.
August 12th, 2016

Wheeler Gorge is a beautiful place in the Los Padres forest. We were in site 44 and I think 44-46 are the most beautiful sites. The plants, the birds, the night air - everything was beautiful and smelled great. the sites are far from each other, and on a Sunday night the place wasn't crowded at all. The outhouse facilities were very good, and the camp manager was very nice too. Just remember to bring your own water, and be VERY careful with your fires in the dry forest!

Hipcamper Max
Max K.
didn't provide a recommendation.
December 5th, 2016

Make sure you're on the west side of the stream! So lovely here - especially if the water is flowing (early summer) - some amazing swimming holes a mile or two down the road as well.

Hipcamper Jesse
Jesse K.
didn't provide a recommendation.
February 25th, 2016

Had a great spot next to a creek. The owners of the site sold firewood which came in handy

CreekCi Ci near the creek
Hipcamper ryan
Ryan L.
didn't provide a recommendation.
August 3rd, 2016

Nice campsite just off a paved road. Lots of sites all separated by lots of trees. Some sites had enough room for group camping and others suited solo campers. It was nice to get somewhere that only had tent campers too. Most of the sites are pretty dusty, most likely due to high traffic. Expect to have dirty shoes!

Hipcamper Hipcamper
didn't provide a recommendation.
March 6th, 2015

I'd highly recommend rock jumping in the creek and say hello to the super nice camp hosts!

Hipcamper Jennifer
Jennifer J.
didn't provide a recommendation.
July 26th, 2016

This is by far my favorite campground in the area. It really is a nice campground with a creek that runs past most of the sites (and usually has some water in it, even in dry years). I'd definitely stay away from the entrance, but any site past number 9 is decent. I don't want to give away my two favorite spots (because then I'll never get them!) but many of their sites can be reserved. The out houses are decent, but there isn't any running water, so bring your own. Most are also somewhat secluded.

Los Padres National Forest
United States
Phone Number
(805) 968-6640
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
34.512° N, 119.274° W
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer: 67 Sites
(Up to 8 people per site)