Wheeler Gorge Campground is a great place for families to explore the Los Padres National Forest all year long. Educational programs are offered throughout the summer and during winter months. Informative tours of the area are led by forest rangers at the nearby visitor center. The campground provides scenic views of a nearby stream, as well as vast mountain vistas.
The campground is adjacent to Matilija Creek and is bordered by a mixed forest of oak, sycamore trees, and evergreen shrubbery. Most sites are shaded and summer temperatures reach up to 95 degrees.
The campground was originally built by Boy Scouts nearly a century ago, as well as a historical stone home that is also on-site.
The Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail begins at the upper end of the campground. It is a relatively short loop that leads through thick vegetation along the creek banks and to a hillside view of the area. Wildflowers often bloom along the path.
The creek flows near some of the campsites and a small swimming hole is frequented near the side of the highway. Fishing is rough in the area and may produce a catch of trout, but the stream is not stocked. Kayaking or canoeing in the creek is not recommended.
Educational programs, including ranger-led hikes, are offered year-round.
The campground is open year-round and offers dozens of single-family sites for tent or RV camping. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking spurs are paved and vary in length, accommodating RVs up to 35 feet.
Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets are provided, but drinking water is not available. Visitors must bring their own water, and remove their trash from the campground.
Ventura and the Pacific Ocean are about 20 miles south of the campground.
Activities and Amenities
- Drinking water is not available at the campground
- Poison oak may be present in the area
- Use of bug spray is encouraged on warm summer days
- Gate is locked at 10 p.m.; campsite check-in must be completed prior to closure
- Additional fees will be collected for extra vehicles at the campground
- Click here for more information on the Los Padres National Forest
Fire restrictions may be imposed at any time due to hot, dry weather conditions, at which time campfires and charcoal fires may not be allowed. For current fire conditions or weather closures, contact the forest supervisor’s office at (805) 968-6640.
- Don’t Move Firewood: Protect California’s forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Ventura, take Highway 33 north about 14 miles. Turn left, continuing on Highway 33 for another 8 miles to the campground.
From Los Angeles, take I-5 north, then turn west onto Highway 126 for about 28 miles, to Santa Paula. Continue north on Highway 150 for 16 miles. Turn left onto Highway 33 and continue north approximately 8 miles to the campground.