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Pine Mountain Lodge Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type:
  • Topo Map Link: Lion Canyon
  • Elevation: 6,000 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Sespe
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.1770078
  • Latitude: 34.6162591
  • Water Sources: Reliable year round water found at the spring just above the main camp
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Activities & Features:
    • Camping
    • Trails
    • Hiking
    • Equestrian

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
07-24-2017EricoTrickle
06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
06-26-2017Craig R. CareyTrickle
05-24-2017bardleyFlowing
04-22-2017S. SampsonFlowing
02-13-2017Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
11-06-2016James WapotichTrickle
10-30-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
10-17-2016Eldon WalkerTrickle
09-10-2016M SubbotinTrickle
08-22-2016Ken WickershamFlowing
06-16-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
05-28-2016Philip E. AnkromTrickle
05-02-2016Yellow MantisTrickle
04-23-2016Scott WilliamsFlowing
03-28-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
01-30-2016Howard Cohen Flowing
01-02-2016Michael STrickle
11-09-2015P. SchouTrickle
08-13-2015YamatoTrickle
05-22-2015Philip AnkromTrickle
05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderTrickle
05-09-2015Arnold LevinTrickle
02-14-2015Aaron and Tom SongerFlowing
01-22-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
11-16-2014John SpiegelTrickle
10-29-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
10-01-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
08-04-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
05-24-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
04-15-2010Bryan ConantFlowing
1/10/2014M. JonesFlowing

Description:

Pine Mountain Lodge (PML) is located in the Sespe Wilderness along the Piedra Blanca - Gene Marshall National Recreation Trail.  It is most commonly accessed from the Sespe River side using the Piedra Blanca Trailhead.  That being said, many people pass through PML doing a shuttle trip from Reyes Creek or dropping in from Reyes Peak to Piedra Blanca along the Gene Marshall Trail.  Other options include coming from Grade Valley via the Cedar Creek or Fishbowls Trail.  PML is located at the junction of the Gene Marshall and Cedar Creek (aka Pine Mountain Lodge Trail), which makes it a hub for numerous spectacular multi-day loop and shuttle trips. 

Pine Mountain Lodge is situated in a thick cedar and pine forest along Pine Mountain Ridge.  There are two camps to choose from with the upper camp having multiple fire rings and the lower camp having a table and old ice can stove.  Most people prefer the lower camp.  Much of the surrounding area is dotted with sandstone outcrops and the open flat areas between the trees and rocks can make for an epic Frisbee session.  There is a reliable spring located just above the upper camp.

Legend has it that there was once a cabin at PML but it was destroyed when a Ranger accidentally fell a tree into the cabin while trying to clear hazard trees - whoops! 

Snow is common at PML during the winter months and in the summer the temps can be 10-20˚ cooler than down along the Sespe.  While the steep trail coming up from Piedra Blanca does thin out some of the crowds, PML sees its fair share of visitors.  There is plenty of room to spread out and more than likely you'll have it all to yourself.  Not uncommon to see bears wandering around the area.

Construction of the lodge was begun in April and completed in June, 1895. L. A. Patton guilt the structure and Essington Gibson, and his son James, built the chimney. A group of twenty campers and hunters funded the project. The log cabin was 16' x 20' in size with bunks and a fireplace. In 1898 the location of the cabin became a part of the Pine Mountain Zaca Lake Forest Reserve. The cabin was used as a Patrol Station by the Forest Service and in I917 it was rehabilitated. In 1958, the Forest Service made an attempt to remove a dead pine tree learning over the cabin but the rope which was tied to a block and tackle broke letting the tree fall across the cabin, crushing it. Nothing remains of the old cabin but a few rocks off the chimney.

The Forest Service established a trail camp at the site. Seasonal water can be obtained by hiking a short distance up the creek bed. A better camp was established by horse packers. It is reached by going south on the Gene Marshall Piedra Bianca Trail the branching off on a side trail to the right, or west, for a short distance to the better, newer camp which is under some pine trees.

Survey Photos:


  • M. Jones - 1/10/2014

  • M. Jones - 1/10/2014

  • M. Jones - 1/10/2014

  • Bryan Conant - 04-15-2010

  • Aaron and Tom Songer - 02-14-2015
    Pine Mountain Lodge Campground (see stove, and sitting area made from old bench)

  • Arnold Levin - 05-09-2015
    Trail Sign you see coming from the West leading into camp

  • Jeremiah Swider - 05-16-2015
    fire ring

  • Jeremiah Swider - 05-16-2015

  • Jeremiah Swider - 05-16-2015

  • Yellow Mantis - 05-02-2016

  • Yellow Mantis - 05-02-2016

  • M Subbotin - 09-10-2016
    trickle flow about 100 yds above camp

  • Eldon Walker - 10-17-2016
    Water at PIne Mountain Lodge Camp, 10-17-2016.

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 02-13-2017
    PML, photo Bardley of Ojai

  • S. Sampson - 04-22-2017

  • Craig R. Carey - 06-26-2017

  • Craig R. Carey - 06-26-2017

Submitted Camp Reports

Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 07-24-2017 - by Erico
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 07-24-2017
Surveyor Name:Erico
Camp Description:Pools were still during the day, but the next morning, there were ripples from higher pools to lower. The spring is still producing drinkable water, but must filter due to bugs and bits.

Trail from Rose Valley to Pine Mountain was empty, no other people anywhere. Only 3 cars in the Rose Valley parking lot.

Pine Mountain camp was clean, several good fire rings and stands for setting your stove on.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:A few pools of 100 gallons or so each. Drinkable.
Weather Conditions:Hot, No air flow.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 06-29-2017 - by larry frassoldati
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 06-29-2017
Surveyor Name:larry frassoldati
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 06-26-2017 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 06-26-2017
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Camp Description:As part of of their 8-day trek across the Sespe Wilderness, Troop 111 (Ventura) spent their second night at Beartrap on Monday 6/26/2017. Warm and a quite buggy, but camp is in good shape and still enough water ... but noticeably lower than other camps along the trail.


Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Enough water to filter, but getting low
Weather Conditions:Hot. Buggy. Did we mention hot?
Images:


Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-24-2017 - by bardley
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-24-2017
Surveyor Name:bardley
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:like the man said, more than a trickle ....
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 04-22-2017 - by S. Sampson
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 04-22-2017
Surveyor Name:S. Sampson
Camp Description:A quick overnight from the Piedra Blanca Trailhead. There was plenty of water until you reach the last mile or so before camp. Watch out for widowmaker branches at this campsite. Good water right when you get to the campsite (I used my coffee mug to fill up my water filter bags as the water was not deep enough). Farther down at the "real" PML the water is stagnant. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:2-3 inches deep, not a strong flow but better than a trickle
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 02-13-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 02-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Survey by Bardley of Ojai.

Plenty of water, lots of ladybugs, snow along north slopes and in the shade.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

PML, photo Bardley of Ojai
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 11-06-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 11-06-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:Just barely are trickle at Pine Mountain Lodge, however, by continuing upstream towards the spring there is a flowing water and nice little pool of clear water. Currently at the off trail site with the picnic table and ice can stove, there is just standing pools of water.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 10-30-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 10-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Recent article by Dan McCaslin:

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/dan_mccaslin_pine_mountain_lodge_via_twin_forks
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 10-17-2016 - by Eldon Walker
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 10-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Eldon Walker
Camp Description:Surprised by the very usable pool of water at Pine Mountain Lodge camp. Hiked from Piedra Blanca trailhead the morning after some much needed rain in mercifully cool conditions.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Very usable pool of water at the entrance to Pine Mountain Lodge camp.
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Water at PIne Mountain Lodge Camp, 10-17-2016.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 09-10-2016 - by M Subbotin
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 09-10-2016
Surveyor Name:M Subbotin
Camp Description:trail crossing into camp is dry, but shallow 3" deep pool just above;  trickle of water and deeper pools upstream 100 yds.
Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca trail is closed between Pine Mountain Lodge and Upper Reyes due to Pine Fire closure
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:sunny and clear, mid 70's
Images:

trickle flow about 100 yds above camp
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 08-22-2016 - by Ken Wickersham
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 08-22-2016
Surveyor Name:Ken Wickersham
Camp Description:I plugged up my filter with this water. Not enough shade here.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Low flow. Needs filtering.
Weather Conditions:Hot and dry.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 06-16-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 06-16-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-28-2016 - by Philip E. Ankrom
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-28-2016
Surveyor Name:Philip E. Ankrom
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:I saw no movement. Had to clear the surface to dip out water. The Sawyer filter worked well.
Weather Conditions:Mid-40's in the morning.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-02-2016 - by Yellow Mantis
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-02-2016
Surveyor Name:Yellow Mantis
Camp Description:water was moving but very shallow, plenty to fill up water bottles with (if you dig out the bottom of the stream bed enough)
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:shallow moving water
Weather Conditions:scattered sprinkles, cold at nigth
Images:


Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 04-23-2016 - by Scott Williams
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 04-23-2016
Surveyor Name:Scott Williams
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The creek is at a very low flow, almost at a trickle. Pools are full. Some pools are stagnant below the camp.
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 03-28-2016 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 03-28-2016
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 01-30-2016 - by Howard Cohen
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 01-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Howard Cohen
Camp Description:Plenty of water for overnight camping or just passing through on an adventure run
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Flow is slow but you can water up near camp or in small puddles on the trail heading back to Piedra Blanca
Weather Conditions:50-60s and windy
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 01-02-2016 - by Michael S
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 01-02-2016
Surveyor Name:Michael S
Camp Description:Stagnant, frozen over pools near camp. Didn't spend a lot of time to check out the rest of the creek in the area. Windy and cold at 2:45 in the afternoon. Decided not to spend the night and dropped back down to Piedra Blanca Camp instead. Much warmer down there and protected from the wind. Lots of bear tracks and a few mountain lion tracks in the snow below camp.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Chilly and Windy
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 11-09-2015 - by P. Schou
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 11-09-2015
Surveyor Name:P. Schou
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Lots of slow moving water
Weather Conditions:Daytime: 58, night:38
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 08-13-2015 - by Yamato
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 08-13-2015
Surveyor Name:Yamato
Camp Description:Kinda of tricky to find it coming from Piedra Blanca. It's appears dry but if you can find the "Pine Mountain Lodge" campground sign you, the water will be right there. We purified the stagnant water when we arrived around 6pm.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:It trickled in the morning/earlyafternoon then becomes stagnant in the evening.
Weather Conditions:Summer hot
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-22-2015 - by Philip Ankrom
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Philip Ankrom
Camp Description:I saw no picknick table as seen in pictures just one wood board  across some rocks. 
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Water tasted good after going through a Sawyer filter
Weather Conditions:under 40 deg in the morning with a cold wind on the 23rd. Lots of bear scat and prints after leaving camp heading towards the Fish Bowls.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-16-2015 - by Jeremiah Swider
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-16-2015
Surveyor Name:Jeremiah Swider
Camp Description:Lot of trash and fallen over trees.  Not much space for camping but a small group would manage fine.  Two fire rings
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:very small stream in the reeds nearby
Weather Conditions:very foggy
Images:

fire ring



Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-09-2015 - by Arnold Levin
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-09-2015
Surveyor Name:Arnold Levin
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Limited Water- 2 days after rain not as plentiful as Beartrap Creek
Weather Conditions:Sunny and Warm-upper 60's
Images:

Trail Sign you see coming from the West leading into camp
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 02-14-2015 - by Aaron and Tom Songer
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 02-14-2015
Surveyor Name:Aaron and Tom Songer
Camp Description:Campground was nice. It had four fire rings and plenty of fire wood that can be gathered from two fallen trees in the camp. We camped here our second night before heading down to Piedra Blanca Trailhead. The spring nearby had water. Nighttime temperatures got down to 28 degrees.

The easternmost tributary to the main Piedra Blanca Creek had a light flow and so did the start of the North Fork Piedra Blanca Creek. 

We were unable to locate the original campsite with the picnic table and stove, which was a bit frustrating; we knew it was along the Cedar Creek Trail, but we must have not gone far enough.

I am curious to know if the original campsite is still there because when we got there, there was a stove sitting next to a tree at the entrance to the main camp like it had been taken from the original site; you can see that there is/was a stove at the original campsite in a survey photo taken by M. Jones. There is also a place to sit next to the first fire ring in the main camp that was made from a piece of an old bench which could be from the bench that is/was at the original site. (see photos). If anyone has information on this, please let me know.


Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:clear water with light flow
Weather Conditions:low 60s (day) and low 30s (night)
Images:

Pine Mountain Lodge Campground (see stove, and sitting area made from old bench)
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 01-22-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 01-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 11-16-2014 - by John Spiegel
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 11-16-2014
Surveyor Name:John Spiegel
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:The water was flowing, but just barely. It quickly disappeared south of camp.
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 10-29-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 10-29-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Information per Bardley of the Ojai:

"There was slooow filling, shallow pools at entrance to pml camp.  nothing elsewhere."
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 10-01-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 10-01-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Water was available at the Upper Camp.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 08-04-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 08-04-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:There was water above the upper camp but nothing more than a trickle.
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 05-24-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 05-24-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Two groups were staying at Pine Mtn Lodge.

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:Water flowing at both camp locations
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 04-15-2010 - by Bryan Conant
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 04-15-2010
Surveyor Name:Bryan Conant
Camp Description:Snowy and cold, but very beautiful!
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 1/10/2014 - by M. Jones
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 1/10/2014
Surveyor Name:M. Jones
Camp Description:No water in East Fork Piedra Blanca creek 1/2 mile past Twin Fork Camp
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good water in creek near Pine Mountain Lodge camp site
Weather Conditions:75 & Sunny
Images:





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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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