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Cottam Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Carpinteria
  • Elevation: 1600 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Non Wilderness Area
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.616
  • Latitude: 34.495
  • Water Sources: Creek
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Trail Camp
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Biking
    • Birding
    • Camping
    • Day-Hiking
    • Mountain Biking
    • Picnic Area
    • Wildlife Viewing

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
06-10-2017SeedubyuhTrickle
05-27-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
05-13-2017Paul NicholsonFlowing
04-16-2017Donald TFlowing
01-14-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
12-05-2016TJDry
11-06-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
05-08-2016KelseyStagnant
05-03-2016TaylorTrickle
04-23-2016James WapotichFlowing
03-23-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
02-14-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
04-20-2015Valerie NortonDry
02-21-2015Paul CronshawFlowing
02-14-2015Paul CronshawFlowing
01-31-2015FPFlowing
12-22-2014Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
12-18-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
12-07-2014Ben CropFlowing
1/20/2014Anonymous SurveyorDry

Description:

In 1915 Russel and Albert Cottam obtained a special use permit on a meadow where Blue Canyon and Forbush Creek join to flow north to the Santa Ynez River. Originally the camp was known as Lower Blue Camp but later became Cottam Camp. The brothers built a cabin and corrals and used the area as a pack station. They would pack guests over the range to the camp from which they could hunt and fish. After Russel died, the Forest Service canceled their permit and established a tree nursery but, it was too remote a location so they moved it to the Prictos area where later its operation was discontinued.

Survey Photos:


  • Anonymous Surveyor - 12-22-2014

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-14-2015
    Water in the Blue Canyon Creek next to camp

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-14-2015
    Widow maker tree limb over campsite

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-14-2015
    Cottam Camp table

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-14-2015
    Metal pieces in camp

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-14-2015
    Approaching Cottam Campsite

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-21-2015
    Blue Canyon Creek

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-21-2015
    Firepit - BEFORE....

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-21-2015
    ... and AFTER.

  • Paul Cronshaw - 02-21-2015
    Cottam Campsite

  • Valerie Norton - 04-20-2015
    the meadow

  • James Wapotich - 04-23-2016

  • Kelsey - 05-08-2016

  • Kelsey - 05-08-2016

  • Kelsey - 05-08-2016

  • Paul Nicholson - 05-13-2017

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 05-27-2017

Submitted Camp Reports

Cottam Camp Survey - 06-10-2017 - by Seedubyuh
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 06-10-2017
Surveyor Name:Seedubyuh
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Ankle Deep
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 05-27-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 05-27-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Cottam Camp Survey - 05-13-2017 - by Paul Nicholson
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 05-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Paul Nicholson
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Cottam Camp Survey - 04-16-2017 - by Donald T
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 04-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Donald T
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 01-14-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 01-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of flowing water in the creek right now!
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 12-05-2016 - by TJ
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 12-05-2016
Surveyor Name:TJ
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Didnt locate any water while camping at Cottam 1 night. Temperature at freezing overnight.
Weather Conditions:30-70
Cottam Camp Survey - 11-06-2016 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 11-06-2016
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Bone dry. Pack your own water in if you're planning on camping here.
Weather Conditions:Mercury just touched the freezing point overnight.
Cottam Camp Survey - 05-08-2016 - by Kelsey
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 05-08-2016
Surveyor Name:Kelsey
Camp Description:
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Two pools of water remain if you walk about 100ft up the creek. Don't expect there to be any water remaining within next couple of months.
Weather Conditions:Sunny, 70's
Images:




Cottam Camp Survey - 05-03-2016 - by Taylor
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 05-03-2016
Surveyor Name:Taylor
Camp Description:Clear skies, night temp was in 50's
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Clear trickeling water located within 100 yards of this camp
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 04-23-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 04-23-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:Flowing water just upstream from Cottam Camp
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Cottam Camp Survey - 03-23-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 03-23-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:3-5 inches deep
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 02-14-2016 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 02-14-2016
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 04-20-2015 - by Valerie Norton
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 04-20-2015
Surveyor Name:Valerie Norton
Camp Description:Someone has brought the old ice cans over for chairs around the campfire ring.  Owl's clover blooming in the meadow.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:must be underground, there was water at Blue and halfway down
Weather Conditions:mild to warm
Images:

the meadow
Cottam Camp Survey - 02-21-2015 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 02-21-2015
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:Hiked down from Cold Springs Saddle and spent a night at this camp.  Brought in a new shovel to replace the old one that has no handle.  Reformatted the fire pit and tested it with a fire. Lots of fire wood from several downed oaks. near camp. Table needs new top boards.  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:6-12" of water, flowing at campsite
Weather Conditions:Cloudy with possible showers, 60 degrees
Images:

Blue Canyon Creek

Firepit - BEFORE....


... and AFTER.

Cottam Campsite
Cottam Camp Survey - 02-14-2015 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 02-14-2015
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:

I hiked from Blue Canyon Camp to survey this campsite and leave a metal grate for the firepit.  The table is in need of some repair.   A fire shovel is needed. There are two ice box stoves used for benches around the fire pit.  There are several pieces of roofing tin from the old Cottam Cabin.  THere is a potential widow maker tree limb over the campsite.

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:6-12" of water
Weather Conditions:Sunny and warm.
Images:

Water in the Blue Canyon Creek next to camp

Widow maker tree limb over campsite


Cottam Camp table

Metal pieces in camp


Approaching Cottam Campsite
Cottam Camp Survey - 01-31-2015 - by FP
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 01-31-2015
Surveyor Name:FP
Camp Description:Water is flowing today (January 30th, 2015).  Here is a video I took of the area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2iAWmLKkSw

Grass in meadow is green.  Ticks are hungry, though.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:water is clear
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 12-22-2014 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 12-22-2014
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water flowing freely at Cottam.
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Cottam Camp Survey - 12-18-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 12-18-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Very very green right now. Go get some!
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 12-07-2014 - by Ben Crop
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 12-07-2014
Surveyor Name:Ben Crop
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Immediately following two days of rain. Up to 6in deep and clear.
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 1/20/2014 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 1/20/2014
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:shovel present, table in poor condition, rock fire ring
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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