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Bear Creek Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Topatopa Mountains
  • Elevation: 2820 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Sespe
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.1023105
  • Latitude: 34.55924958
  • Water Sources: Sespe River
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Day-Hiking
    • Swimming
    • Wilderness-Camping

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
05-21-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
05-18-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
04-21-2017John B.Flowing
04-14-2017Craig R. CareyFlowing
03-01-2017Daniel J. HallFlowing
02-04-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
11-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
11-12-2016Jasonn BeckstrandFlowing
09-11-2016Michael SStagnant
08-19-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
08-09-2016Colin RiordanStagnant
05-27-2016Hiking VikingFlowing
03-07-2016Yellow MantisFlowing
01-22-2016ChesterFlowing
10-03-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
09-06-2015Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
06-14-2015MikeFlowing
06-13-2015brianFlowing
05-26-2015Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
03-29-2015Hike Los PadresFlowing
12-27-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
10-26-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing

Description:

Bear Creek camp is located on the Sespe River Trail in the Sespe Wilderness. The camp sits near the creek on a sandy bench/beach area, the camp is surrounded by sycamores and cottonwoods. The Bear fire of 1971 originated here. Sespe and Willet hot springs are located down trail from here.

Access: Highway 33 to Rose Valley Road, Park at Piedra Blana and hike down the Sespe River Trail.

Survey Photos:


  • Anonymous Surveyor - 05-26-2015
    picture of the creek.

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 09-06-2015
    North east campsite next to where the trail crosses the creek.

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 09-06-2015

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 10-03-2015
    Bear Creek Pool, photo Benjamin Roudenis

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 10-03-2015
    Little hatchlings, photo Benjamin Roudenis

  • Yellow Mantis - 03-07-2016

  • Yellow Mantis - 03-07-2016

  • Yellow Mantis - 03-07-2016
    creek, crossing right after bear creek campground

  • Jasonn Beckstrand - 11-12-2016
    Bear Creek good Water

  • Jasonn Beckstrand - 11-12-2016
    Clear pool at Bear creek and Sespe, just some leaving covering

  • Jasonn Beckstrand - 11-12-2016
    Main Pool not flowing and starting to look dark and merky

  • Craig R. Carey - 04-14-2017

  • Craig R. Carey - 04-14-2017

  • John B. - 04-21-2017

  • John B. - 04-21-2017

  • John B. - 04-21-2017

  • John B. - 04-21-2017

  • John B. - 04-21-2017

Submitted Camp Reports

Bear Creek Camp Survey - 05-21-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 05-21-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water to swim and jump in. Flow rate is slowing down.
Weather Conditions:Highs in the mid 80s, low was 42F.
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 05-18-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 05-18-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Great place to camp. Good for large groups as well.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Enough water to swim unfettered
Weather Conditions:mid-70's during day
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 04-21-2017 - by John B.
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 04-21-2017
Surveyor Name:John B.
Camp Description:Beautiful day. My first time backpacking in about 40 years. This was a great test hike. Left Piedra Blanca trail-head and got to Bear Creek camp in about 2-1/2 hours. 5 stream crossings. The first 3 were right out of the trail-head. Manged to balance on rocks and tree trunks to keep feet dry. The other 2 along the main trail are pretty shallow. My GPS reported that I'd done a total of 500' climbing in elevation. The thing is, going in, the uphills are generally mild and the downhills are steep. So of course, going back the uphills were a little tough on this old guy. I got a workout. Heading back out on Saturday, the trail was pretty crowded. Very popular. Friday night we only had a few campers at Bear Creek Camp. Saturday night was probably pretty crowded. Plenty of water. Swimming in the Creek was refreshing. If I go Back in the future, it will probably be during the week. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The swimming hole at this camp was deep enough to dive into. Very cold but felt good since it was warm outside
Weather Conditions:clear, Sunny, high 70's
Images:







Bear Creek Camp Survey - 04-14-2017 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 04-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Camp Description:Perfect conditions at Bear Creek this spring. There were two crews camped there Easter weekend. The swim hole is in fine shape.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Fast, deep, and clear
Weather Conditions:Clear and breezy
Images:


Bear Creek Camp Survey - 03-01-2017 - by Daniel J. Hall
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 03-01-2017
Surveyor Name:Daniel J. Hall
Camp Description:The Feb 17 storm caused a lot of flooding there which greatly rearranged the camping area.  Photos at http://tinyurl.com/jnz5acw
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:flowing high & fast, but wadeable at crossing
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 02-04-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 02-04-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Creek near bear bear camp was about mid thigh deep. Water was freezing but passable.
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 11-27-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 11-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Large pool of water. Not flowing. Enough water to swim, filter, etc.
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 11-12-2016 - by Jasonn Beckstrand
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 11-12-2016
Surveyor Name:Jasonn Beckstrand
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good water where Bear Creek connects to the Sespe
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Bear Creek good Water

Clear pool at Bear creek and Sespe, just some leaving covering


Main Pool not flowing and starting to look dark and merky
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 09-11-2016 - by Michael S
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 09-11-2016
Surveyor Name:Michael S
Camp Description:Nice campsite with plenty of shade. PACK OUT YOUR TP! No one wants to see that and it looks like animals have been digging it up. (Lots behind second camp right above the water). Lots of trash in the bushes below first camp.
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Two deep pools with plenty of water for filtering. Tastes like algae though.
Weather Conditions:Hot...High 80s Low 90s
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 08-19-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 08-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Nice camp spot, not too far of a trek from the trailhead. 
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Not moving but cleanish. Must be filtered to drink.
Weather Conditions:Very very hot and very very dry.
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 08-09-2016 - by Colin Riordan
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 08-09-2016
Surveyor Name:Colin Riordan
Camp Description:
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Plentiful usable but stagnant water
Weather Conditions:Very hot and dry
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 05-27-2016 - by Hiking Viking
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 05-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Hiking Viking
Camp Description:Arrived on Friday 5/27/16 with the intent of spending 4 days and hiking out on Monday.  Our first night was spent reacting to regular rustles in the bushes near our camp.  We ended up finding arroyo toads hopping about. There were several about and they became a source of amusement for us in the following nights, never sure when you would go for a walk and happen across one sitting in the path looking at you or sitting outside your tent.

The camp was extremely busy, there was a boy scout troop present with about a dozen kids.  The foot traffic by the camp was also never ending and even after the scouts left, their vacated camp was immediately snapped up and filled again.

This was our first overnight trip up the Sespe River and while we will certainly go again we will necessarily avoid the holidays and probably only use Bear Creek CG as a brief stop over, before heading down stream further to Oak Flat or Willett.

When the foot traffic subsided the location was peaceful and serene. 


Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The water was flowing well in places, the cascade of water could be hear upstream from the camp. The swimming hole was slow moving with almost no perceptible current.
Weather Conditions:Daytime temps ranged from mid 70's to high 80's. Nights were cool and comfortable in the 50's.
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 03-07-2016 - by Yellow Mantis
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 03-07-2016
Surveyor Name:Yellow Mantis
Camp Description:swimming hole was filled, the creek crossing right after camp was almost too deep  to cross without taking off boots. not a lot of trash around campsites.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:flowing water above ground from rose valley through willett
Weather Conditions:
Images:




creek, crossing right after bear creek campground
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 01-22-2016 - by Chester
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 01-22-2016
Surveyor Name:Chester
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:low 70s clear sky
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 10-03-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 10-03-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Water is flowing in to the Sespe from Bear Creek and the pool in front of the camp is nice and deep, albeit a little stagnant.  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Bear Creek Pool, photo Benjamin Roudenis

Little hatchlings, photo Benjamin Roudenis
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 09-06-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 09-06-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Easy overnight backpacking trip. 
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

North east campsite next to where the trail crosses the creek.

Bear Creek Camp Survey - 06-14-2015 - by Mike
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 06-14-2015
Surveyor Name:Mike
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Water flowing slowly, several pools of water. A couple areas of water near camp are more than 5' deep. Filtered 10 liters of water within the group.
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 06-13-2015 - by brian
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 06-13-2015
Surveyor Name:brian
Camp Description:crowded, but water was clear and moving slowing along. 

80+ degrees during the day. low humidity. 


Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 05-26-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 05-26-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Take out as much trash as you can.  Pack it in, pack it out.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water, maybe 3 ft deep.
Weather Conditions:
Images:

picture of the creek.
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 03-29-2015 - by Hike Los Padres
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 03-29-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike Los Padres
Camp Description:Lots of great water at Bear Creek Camp, the pool is clear and refreshing.  While the flowers were going off, which is great - so was the trash, which isn't too great. The camp is pretty thrashed at the moment.  Despite some recent cleanup efforts there continues to be a lot of trash at the camp.  One of the concrete structures is filled with trash.  

DON'T LITTER and if you are at Bear Creek Camp, please take a couple pieces of trash out with you.  If everyone leaves with more trash than they came in with, there won't be any trash.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Warm, low 80's and perfect!
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 12-27-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 12-27-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 10-26-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 10-26-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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