Wheeler Gorge

Ojai, California

Overview

Wheeler Gorge Campground is a great place for families to explore the Los Padres National Forest all year long. 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.

Recreation

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.

Facilities

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.

Natural Features

The campground is adjacent to Matilija Creek, and is bordered by a mixed forest of oak and 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.

Nearby Attractions

Ventura and the Pacific Ocean are about 20 miles south of the campground.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Climb at Wheeler Gorge

    Grab a dozen quick draws, your 60m rope, and head up Highway 33 out of Ojai for 7 miles (One of the routes here describes the crag perfectly, a Riparian Daydream). Drive through one tunnel, and continue on for another mile or two until you reach t...

  • Rock Climb at Foothill Crag

    From downtown Ojai, head north on N Signal Street. Head up the hill and turn left onto a gravel road next to a chainlink fence once you get to the top.(There should be a sign that points to "Pratt/Foothill Trailhead.") Continue past a water tank o...

    2 miles

  • Hike to Couch Rock

    Driving up Gridley Road away from Ojai you’ll come upon a small parking lot on your left and a gate barring the way to a dirt road. Park here, as close to the mountainside as possible and head onto the trail. Follow the trail until you see pass a ...

    1.5 miles