|03-20-2016||Los Padres Forest Association||Dry|
|07-27-2014||Los Padres Forest Association||Dry|
Happy Hollow Camp is located in the bowl on the crest of Little Pine Mountain. If you walk around the perimeter of Happy Hollow, you’ll notice that there are no outlets from the top, meaning that all water flows to the center of the bowl. It’s very interesting and a unique feature to the area.
Within the Happy Hollow bowl are a smattering of campsites, tables and fire rings. The most popular camp being in the middle of the bowl underneath a large oak tree. There is also a toilet on the east side of the roundabout.
Happy Hollow is also essentially at the junction of the Little Pine Road and Santa Cruz Trails. Little Pine Road is OHV friendly and the Santa Cruz Trail is one of the more popular trails in the Southern Los Padres. This makes Happy Hollow a hub for just about all trail user groups. It sees a steady flow of mountain bikers, OHVers, hunters (in season), equestrians, hikers and backpackers. Due to the fact that there is no water at Happy Hollow, most user groups avoid staying at the camp but during the August hunting season you will see hunters camping in the hollow.
The camp is most commonly accessed by way of Upper Oso but can be looped in with multi-day pack trips from any number of trailheads. It is also a stop on the cross-forest biking shuttle trips.
While the camp was once home to a thick pine forest, the 2007 Zaca Fire nuked the bowl and along with it most of the trees. There are some saplings ready to take over, but the vast majority of larger trees were destroyed. There was also once a Forest Service guard station located in the camp but it was removed in the early 1980’s due to arson concerns.
Since cold air tends to sink and there is no outlet for the cold air, Happy Hollow can get very cold. Expect winter temps to hover near freezing for most of the morning hours until the sun has had ample time to warm things up. It’s also very hot in the summer and quite dry which can make it seem more like a dust bowl.
Little Pine Summit is a short walk away and has some of the more spectacular ocean views in the Southern Los Padres. Happy Hollow is a great destination, it should certainly be a destination on everyone’s todo list.