Backpack to Bear Trap Campground

Rate this Adventure 4.8 miles 1200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Derek Mathewson

This scenic hike is tucked in the heart of the Los Padres National Forest, and away from the crowds. The campsite is just under 5 miles, offers 5 stoves and has a year-round running creek.

There's no better feeling then camping out and having a whole site to you and your friends...wouldn't you agree?!?!

...Deep in the Sespe Wilderness in Ojai, California sits a tucked away, well-managed campsite called "Bear Trap Campground". This campsite can be reached at any point of the year and is rated as intermediate. If you're coming from Ventura, drive North on the 33 for about 42 miles. You'll then make a right on Lockwood Valley Road for 3.5 miles. Go another 1.6 miles and make another right on Camp Scheideck Road. Drive through Reyes Creek Campground and follow the sign that reads "trailhead" up the dirt road until you reach the end. At the end of the road you'll see a parking lot with paved parking and vault toilets. You DO NOT need a permit or adventure pass to park your vehicle, so you'll be fine parking here as long as it's under 14 days. I made sure to ask the camp host before doing so.

Once you're done grabbing your gear, the trail to Bear Trap Campground starts at Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca Trailhead (elev. 4,000 ft.). The trail ascends a drainage for 2.5 miles through oak and chaparral, until reaching a saddle and then descending 0.5 miles towards Reyes Creek and Upper Reyes Campgrounds (elev. 4,675 ft.). This camp is open year-round and has two stoves. The trail continues Southeast, ascending for about 1.5 miles, before descending and finally heading towards Bear Trap Creek and Bear Trap Campgrounds (elev. 5,100 ft.) in 0.3 miles. Bear Trap Campground has 5 stoves and the creek runs year-round. Once you get to the campsite, drop your gear, set-up, relax and enjoy the beauty this campground has to offer!

If you're lucky like we were, you might just have the whole site to yourself! During the time of our stay, we didn't see one person pass through the camp, so your chances may be pretty good! Overall, you're looking at a 5 mile one-way hike, with 1,200 ft. elevation gain. Once you've finished, you'll head back the same way you came. If you're feeling a little extra adventurous, the trail offers a number of other activity options that are accessible year-round. From Bear Trap Campground you could hike an additional 3 miles to Haddock Campground/Junction, and/or do the complete 17.8 mile point-to-point trail. Also, dogs are able to use the trail, just be sure to pick up after your pets. 

As always, remember to pack out what you pack in and PLEASE leave no trace!

Happy Trails!

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


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