Dispersed Camp in Los Padres National Forest (near Davy Brown Campground)
3 Hour drive from Los Angeles - Secluded camping under the stars.
I was looking for a last minute adventure out of LA and found this epic view.
Easy backpacking trip for one night, no permits needed, less than 3.5 hours from LA, and secluded.
Go to REI and pick up your adventure pass for your car. Plug into your GPS "Davy Brown Campground" in Los Olivos / Los Padres National Forrest. Drive past Davy Brown Campground and within less than a 1/4 mile, make a left onto the Fire Road (Forest 8N01) (Coordinates 1*). You can leave your car anywhere on the side of the road (or whats left of this road at this point) as long as you throw your Adventure Pass on your windshield.
Hop the small gate that reads "Road Closed" and begin your journey. I hiked the actual "Fire Road" as this road has over time turned into a larger "trail". Follow the trail making a left at the first fork in the road ~0.1 miles in (Coordinates 2**), then you are off on the only trail available. Over the next 2-4 miles you will see many flat areas on bends of the trail to set up a tent and camp. This is dispersed camping, without running water, so pack accordingly.
I recommend holding off and keep hauling up - the views will payoff. There is limited shade during the trail until you reach ~3.25-3.5 miles (Coordinates 3***) in where there will be a lot of trees for limited exposure.
We set up camp about 2.75 miles in (Coordinates 4****) and then explored up to Zaca Ridge Road (Coordinates 5*****). The sun sets on the North side, but I found a campground with more expansive views facing south. At night the entire sky will be illuminated with stars.
Download "SkyView Lite" app and explore the constellations. Due to the rain this past season, you can have campfires, just be sure to get a campfire permit for free online. You can find many rocks to build a fire ring and might even find one left over from the last time someone was up there. Fill this quick form out here: CAMP FIRE PERMIT and check here for updated fire restrictions in Los Padres National Forest.
The only warning I would suggest are the rattlesnakes. Just be cautious and stay within the center of the road. I did not see one person on this adventure and I loved it.
Davy Brown Campground: Q25W+79 Los Olivos, California
- *Coordinates 1: 34°45'38.1"N 119°57'14.2"W Google Maps: 34.760595, -119.953953
- **Coordinates 2: 34°45'41.2"N 119°57'24.2"W Google Maps: 34.761432, -119.956717
- ***Coordinates 3: 34°45'29.3"N 119°58'54.4"W Google Maps: 34.758128, -119.981789
- ****Coordinates 4: 34°45'26.4"N 119°58'33.2"W Google Maps: 34.757325, -119.975879
- *****Coordinates 5: 34°45'20.5"N 119°59'01.3"W Google Maps: 34.755689, -119.983703