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Fishbowls Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: San Guillermo Mountain
  • Elevation: 5200 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Sespe
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Mt. Pinos Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.1635055
  • Latitude: 34.64236001
  • Water Sources: Piru creek
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Campfire Rings
    • Creek
    • Day-Hiking
    • Horseback Riding
    • Hunting
    • Swimming
    • Tables
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness-Camping

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
08-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
07-16-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
05-12-2016Valerie NortonFlowing
04-19-2016Rod HallinFlowing
09-12-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
07-04-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
04-30-2015Mark SFlowing
05-24-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing


Fishbowls Camp is located near the headwaters of Piru Creek upon Pine Mountain within the Sespe Wilderness.  Named after the series of bowl shaped swimming holes that are upstream from camp, Fishbowls has year round water and is nestled amongst pine trees and sandstone outcrops.  The camp is along the Fishbowls Trail and makes a great weekend loop trip when connecting with Cedar Creek Camp and the trailhead at Thorn Meadows.

Survey Photos:

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-24-2014

  • Mark S - 04-30-2015
    Trail crossing and water flow in front of main camp

  • Joshua Isaac - 07-04-2015

  • Joshua Isaac - 07-04-2015

  • Joshua Isaac - 07-04-2015

  • Joshua Isaac - 07-04-2015

  • Joshua Isaac - 07-04-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016
    Lower Fishbowl

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 07-16-2016

Submitted Camp Reports

Fishbowls Camp Survey - 05-24-2017 - by Lightningrod
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 05-24-2017
Surveyor Name:Lightningrod
Camp Description:Spent a couple of nights at Fishbowls, which has plenty of water and the large pool is really nice for a cool down as summer approaches.  Bugs are becoming a nuisance as the weather warms up.  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Creek is flowing all the way from the trail head to the camp.
Weather Conditions:Clear and 80 plus degrees
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 08-27-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 08-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:We ended up not staying because the campsite was lousy with mosquitoes & other flying bugs and our boys were exhausted. We did end up pumping from the stagnant water through our filter and no one has reported any diarrhea. 
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Water is stagnant with a film on it.
Weather Conditions:
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 07-16-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 07-16-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Hiked Fishbowls-Cedar Creek Loop. Occasional water in Piru Creek. No water at creek crossings at Fishbowls campsite.

Three trees down in approximately first 3 miles from Fishbowls TH. Trees easily passable.

All Fishbowls Campsites in very good condition/clean.
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Upper pool mirky with layer of film on water
Weather Conditions:Sunny, 85 degrees

Lower Fishbowl

Fishbowls Camp Survey - 05-12-2016 - by Valerie Norton
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 05-12-2016
Surveyor Name:Valerie Norton
Camp Description:Hiked the loop (and recorded it here) to see the Fishbowls. They were silted in two years ago, they are much better now.  Water flowing the whole way in Piru and Cedar Creek.  The first ford is over knee high.  "Halfway up my door" according to Ranger Roy.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good flow in Piru, a little flow in the tributary.
Weather Conditions:clear and around 75-80
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 04-19-2016 - by Rod Hallin
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 04-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Rod Hallin
Camp Description:Did a dayhike to Fishbowls from Pine Mountain Lodge to check out the camp.  Plenty of water flow and the camp was in good shape.  No one at the camp which was not unexpected with Grade Valley Road still closed.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Very good flow on Piru Creek next to the camp.
Weather Conditions:Sunny and mild; temp in the upper 60's.
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 09-12-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 09-12-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Water at Fishbowls.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 07-04-2015 - by Joshua Isaac
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 07-04-2015
Surveyor Name:Joshua Isaac
Camp Description:Hot - upper 80s and low 90s - and tons of bees, flies, and mosquitos. Had the camp all to ourselves. 
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:There was enough water to fill the main fishbowl, but the water below it was stagnant. Several pools in the streambed next to camp. However, the water is barely flowing, no more than a trickle.
Weather Conditions:

Fishbowls Camp Survey - 04-30-2015 - by Mark S
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 04-30-2015
Surveyor Name:Mark S
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:shallow flow through camp; Fishbowl sediment partially gone and can sit in neck deep.
Weather Conditions:clear & sunny, low 70's

Trail crossing and water flow in front of main camp
Fishbowls Camp Survey - 05-24-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Fishbowls Camp
Date: 05-24-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Information gathered by James Wapotich while on a VWR Patrol. You can follow James on his blog:http://songsofthewilderness.wordpress.com
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:While there is water in the Fishbowl, the pool has been silted in.
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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L.P.N.F. Contacts »

  • Forest Headquarters
    Phone: (805) 968-6640
  • Mt. Pinos District
    Phone: (661) 245-3731
  • Ojai Ranger District
    Phone: (805) 646-4348
  • Santa Barbara District
    Phone: (805) 967-3481
  • Santa Lucia District
    Phone: (805) 925-9538
  • Monterey District
    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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