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Happy Hollow Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Little Pine Mountain
  • Elevation: 4,318 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Non Wilderness Area
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.7450264
  • Latitude: 34.60059282
  • Water Sources: No water at the camp. The nearest water can be found either at the stock trough about 1 mile south from Alexander Saddle (45min walk) or at Little Pine Spring (45min walk)
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Trail Camp

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
04-15-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
03-20-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
01-17-2015The MasticatorDry
07-27-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationDry


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.



Survey Photos:

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 07-27-2014
    Odd "structure" foundation found amongst the camps

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 07-27-2014
    Some encouraging signs that the trees are coming back

Submitted Camp Reports

Happy Hollow Camp Survey - 04-15-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Happy Hollow Camp
Date: 04-15-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No water. Fire Rings. Picnic Tables in an open burned out valley.
Weather Conditions:
Happy Hollow Camp Survey - 03-20-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Happy Hollow Camp
Date: 03-20-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Camped here as part of a LPFA trail project.  Camp is still barren as compared to what it looked like pre-Zaca Fire but it's getting better.  Some regrowth pines are now getting to be head high and many of the firs are coming back with new shoots.  We felled one hazard oak tree that was near the round-about camp, cleared the trail to the outhouse and did some odds and ends cleanups around the camp.  Nice large camp and not far walk from one of the premier sunset locations in the SB Backcountry.  It gets cold at Happy Hollow, we had temps as low as 27˚.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No water
Weather Conditions:Sunny and mid 70's in the day and cold mid 20's at night
Happy Hollow Camp Survey - 01-17-2015 - by The Masticator
Link: Happy Hollow Camp
Date: 01-17-2015
Surveyor Name:The Masticator
Camp Description:I drove to Happy Hollow Camp to conduct some road/trail maintenance in the area. Camp was in good condition considering the amount of fire damage from the Zaca Fire. Multiple picnic tables, pit toilet, and fire rings are all in great condition. Due to fire damage, there is very little shade and some dead trees may be hazardous in windy conditions.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:The camp itself doesn't have water, but Little Pine Spring is within a mile by hiking trail
Weather Conditions:Clear skies, high 60s, no wind
Happy Hollow Camp Survey - 07-27-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Happy Hollow Camp
Date: 07-27-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Camp was in good shape.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

Odd "structure" foundation found amongst the camps

Some encouraging signs that the trees are coming back

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Questions or Comments

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 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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