Ventura, California

Looking for the best backpacking in Ventura? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Ventura. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Ventura

  • Ventura, California

    Backpack to Del Norte Campground on Santa Cruz Island

    5.0
    7 mi / 700 ft gain
    Del Norte Backcountry Campground is located on Santa Cruz Island, one of the islands that makes up Channel Islands National Park. It is California's largest island and is almost three times the size of Manhattan. The easiest way to get to the island is to take Island Packers, a ferry service that...
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  • Ojai, California

    Matilija Falls

    5.0
    8.6 mi / 0 ft gain
    Note: This trail is temporarily closed. For more updates, please visit the Forest Service website for more updates.  ...If you've read most of my blogs, you'll probably notice I have a fascination for waterfalls! I've done this hike multiple times, but it wasn't until this day where I saw these ...
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  • Malibu, California

    La Jolla Valley Walk-In Camps

    5.0
    10.58 mi / 2146 ft gain
    Hello Friends! I just took a really chill overnight backpacking trip to the La Jolla Valley Backcountry campsite and I’m going to give you some details so you can have as nice of an outing as I did! The trailhead is conveniently just off of the Pacific Coast Highway, across the street from the T...
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  • Ojai, California

    Willett Hot Springs via Sespe River Trail

    20.08 mi / 2598 ft gain
    Park at the Lions Camp parking lot. Adventure Passes aren't technically "required" but it never hurts to have one. You can stop at the Forest Service in Ojai (1190 E. Ojai Ave) or stop at the Wheeler Gorge Station on your way up to buy one for $5 for a night. The trail begins at the far side of t...
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  • Ventura, California

    Scorpion Ranch Campground

    4.0
    0.72 mi / 43 ft gain
    Accessible only by Ferry, this little-known national park is a backpacker's dream. You can catch the ferry out of Ventura or Santa Barbara, only a short distance from LA. The ride to the island is around 1 hour. We chose to take Island Packers Ferry out of Ventura to Santa Cruz Island. The ferry...
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  • Maricopa, California

    Bear Trap Campground via Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca Trail

    9.59 mi / 2211 ft gain
    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 a...
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  • Ventura, California

    Prisoner's Cove to Scorpion Anchorage

    5.0
    13.19 mi / 2474 ft gain
    To get to Santa Cruz Island you will need to book a ferry with Island Packers. On their website, you can only book roundtrip tickets in and out of the same location so for this trip you will need to call and book a ferry into Prisoner's Harbor and out of Scorpion Anchorage. You can call them at (...
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  • Ventura, California

    Chinese Harbor via Prisoners Harbor

    14.11 mi / 2703 ft gain
    The hike to Chinese Harbor is a 14-mile out-and-back hike from Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island or a much more manageable 8-mile out-and-back hike from Del Norte backcountry campground. If you are spending the day on the island courtesy of Island Packers, a trek to Chinese Harbor might be di...
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  • Castaic, California

    Hiking the Piru Creek Gorge Trail

    Take the I-5 exit North of Castaic, CA at Templin Hwy. Turn onto Golden State Hwy heading the only direction it goes from the exit, North. When it dead-ends in a few miles at the National Forest Gate, you are at Frenchman's Flat.You can camp here, or hang with the day hikers. Heading North along ...
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  • Santa Barbara County, California

    Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island

    5.0
    19.72 mi / 3097 ft gain
    Channel Islands National Park is California's least visited National Park. If you visit, you will see many unique plants and animals, including a rare native fox species, and Torrey Pines, only found here and in a small grove near San Diego. This adventure is not for the inexperienced. There is ...
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  • Santa Barbara County, California

    Water Canyon Campground

    3.28 mi / 128 ft gain
    You can get a wonderfully detailed description of what to expect from the Channel Islands/Santa Rosa Island and how to get there from fellow Explorer Michael Wigle's "Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island" adventure (which I highly recommend you check out for the information and the photography, so I'm...
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  • Santa Rosa Campground

    East Point via the Coastal Road

    13.76 mi / 486 ft gain
    One could a lifetime exploring, and attempting to describe, the beauty of the Channel Islands National Park and Santa Rosa Island in particular: its wildly diverse terrain, endemic flora and fauna, and also the only of the Islands to allow backcountry beach camping. While the opportunities for di...
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  • Lake Hughes, California

    Hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Horse Trail to Bear Campground

    11.63 mi / 2396 ft gain
    This is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. If you're through-hiking or sectional hiking, you'll have to hit it eventually. Try and avoid it in the late summer or early fall because of heat, and gnats. Find a way to check the bug report, we got marauded by gnats 90% of the way (early October) and ap...
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