Leave the city vibe behind as you meander down a winding, partially paved, narrow road that leads you into wooded Middle Lion Campground and Day Use Area. Relax next to the running creek, take a refreshing dip, or hike the nearby trails. Tucked away in a canyon encased by chaparral and wildflower covered mountains, Middle Lion Campground is particularly beautiful in the spring
and fall, but camping is great year round.
Middle Lion Campground is located at the end of the Sespe River/Rose Valley Road. The campground has eight sites, each with a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal grill. There is one single-seat vault toilet with a 1000 gallon vault.
There are six bear-proof trash cans for garbage collection. No drinking water is available. The campground offers a rustic streamside setting. A small trailhead and parking area is located on the edge of the campground.
First come, first served.
- $20.00 per night per single family site for up to 6 people and 1 vehicle
- $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
- Memorial to Labor Day
- Golden Age/Golden Access Pass for single family campsites only
- Parks Management Day Use Annual Pass
Middle Lion has 8 campsites. They are located along a single loop, close to a creek. While tent camping is best enjoyed in this cozy campground, there is room for RVs under 20 feet. Tables and fire rings are provided in each site. There is a vault toilet in the campground. There is no drinking water at this site, so bring your own water.
The Lion Canyon Trail (22W06) starts at the back of the campground. After 1.3 miles you will reach the Rose Lion Connector Trail (22W16) on the right. After 0.6 miles you can take side trails to East Fork Lion Camp, which is within the Sespe Wilderness, or West Fork Lion Camp. The main trail continues 3.6 miles to Nordhoff Ridge for spectacular views. No mountain bikes are allowed in the wilderness.
- Camping fee includes 1 vehicle and 1 tent, trailer or RV
- $10 fee for each extra vehicle
- No drinking water is available
- No public showers in the region
- Fireworks are not permitted
- The nearest stores and gas are 15 miles south along HWY 33, in Ojai.
- No cell service can be found in the campground.
- Don’t hike alone. Tell someone where you plan to go and then stick to your plans
- Don’t take unnecessary chances—help for emergencies is miles away
- Make sure you have a first aid kit and other safety gear with you when hiking
- 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
- Middle Lion Campground is a "Campfire Use Site." Campfires are normally permitted year around without a California Campfire Use Permit. Under some conditions, wood fires and barbecues may be prohibited in all areas of the national forest. Fires at Campground are only permitted in fire rings provided by the Forest Service.
- 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