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  5. La Panza Campground
La Panza Campground
Campground Overview:

Huddled in a large grove of mature oak trees you will find the perfect definition of Rural and Rustic Recreation and Rejuvenation. LaPanza Campground is full of opportunities to kick back and relax or ‘get your play on’ in the forested outdoors. Exploration enthusiasts will find trouble-free access to the Machesna Mountain Wilderness where hiking, hunting and horseback riding are popular. Additionally, all mater of OHV is readily available out of this campground. Ride-In, Ride-out is your pleasure!

La Panza Campground is located in San Luis Obispo County, approximately 35 miles east of Santa Margarita. Access is via State Highway 58 and Forest Service Road 29S01. The campground sits at approximately 2,160 feet surrounded by large oak trees and private property. An intermittent creek that only flows during wet weather is adjacent to the campground. Most visitor use occurs in the spring, fall or winter when temperatures are mild. This area is well known for its difficult OHV trails which accommodate motorcycles, ATVs, and 4x4s.

The campground has seven single family camping sites, each with a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal grill. Each site has a parking spur that will accommodate smaller RVs (less than 20 feet).

Drinking water is not available. The campground is operated under a “Pack In-Pack Out” system where visitors are expected to haul their trash out of the area when they leave.
The trailheads for Queen Bee and La Panza Bypass ATV trails are nearby. The campground is relatively close to the Machesna Wilderness which many hikers use during the cooler fall and spring months.

Layout And Site Map: Click Here To View Map
Operating Seasons:
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • $10.00 extra person (up to 8) per night and $10.00 extra vehicle charge (up to 2) per night
  • $10.00 day use fee per vehicle
  • $30.00-$32.00
Busiest Seasons:
  • Spring
  • Fall
Best Seasons To Visit:
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Fall
Passes Accepted:
  • Golden Age/Golden Access Pass for single family campsites only
  • Parks Management Day Use Annual Pass


This Campground is open daily year-round. There are 15 single and spaciously situated campsites ideal for tenting, and moderate RV's under 16’. Campfires are allowed only in designated fire rings. Pets are allowed. You should plan to be completely self-sustainable for the duration of your trip. There is no potable water or electricity onsite. There is no dump station. This is a "dry" campground with five vault toilets. The road into the campground ends culdesac-style, but with adequate turn around.

  • Backpacking
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Campfire Rings
  • Creek Access
  • Day Use Area
  • Firewood Vendor
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Host
  • Mountain Biking
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Self Pay Station
  • Tables
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing


La Panza Campground is best enjoyed by campers who prefer a rugged outdoor experience. The Pozo La Panza 18,867-acre area has approximately 44.5 miles of routes that vary from sandy washes to a ridgeline route including a section known to expert OHV riders as the Stair Steps. With proximity to OHV trails, this spot will keep the adrenaline junkies enthused as well as the avid hiker. Bring your bikes, motorcycles, ATV’s and four-wheel drive vehicles to enjoy the amazing trail experience!

  • Camping fee includes 1 vehicle and 1 tent, trailer or RV per site
  • $10 fee for each extra vehicle
  • No drinking water is available
  • No public showers in the region
  • Please bring garbage bags. This facility is “Pack it in. Pack it out.”
  • Quiet hours are 10pm-8am
  • Fireworks are prohibited at all times
  • Be bear aware; keep all food out of sight in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle and remove all food from area after eating
  • Be cautious of snakes in the area. Use a "walking stick" when hiking in this area
  • No cell service in or near this campground
  • Don’t hike alone
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit and other safety needs with you
  • Bring your gnat/mosquito repellent in Spring/Summer/Fall
  • 2 night minimum stay on weekends
  • 3 night minimum stay on holidays
  • Click here for more information on Los Padres National Forest
  • 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
Campground Photos:

Nearby Features

Lakes, Trails, Beautiful views, Biking, Hiking, off-road vehicle riding all within minutes. Nearest shopping is 29 miles in Santa Margarita.

3144-3180 Forest Rte 29S01, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, United States

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