Wheeler Gorge offers a campground and a nature trail. If you are planning an overnight visit to the Los Padres near Ojai, keep Wheeler Gorge campground as an option. When the free campgrounds fill up with weekend fishermen, Wheeler Gorge is an attractive if costly alternative. Sites go for $20 a night (and $5 for additional vehicles). On busy weekends, there may be a two night minimum.
The campground rests along the banks of a flowing creek, making the grounds lush and relatively private. Pick your spot among the 70 nicely-spaced sites. Watch out for the poison oak when deciding where to place your tent.
There is a trailhead for a short hike right next to the campground. This brief loop is 0.7 miles long, but offers respectable views of the surrounding mountains. The trail frolics along Matilija Creek before rising up on to a hill for a good look around.
The campground is located right along Route 33, so even if you are only driving past, the short nature trail may be worth stopping for.
To get to Wheeler Gorge: Take the 101 north through Ventura and exit onto Highway 33. Take the 33 through Ojai and into the Los Padres National Forest. It is approximately 8.5 miles from the city to the campground, which will be on the left.
Campground address: 17017 Maricopa Highway, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai, CA 93023
Campground coordinates: 34.518049, -119.27089 (34° 31′ 04.97″N 119° 16′ 15.20″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:
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