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Shady Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Devils Heart Peak
  • Elevation: 2440 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Sespe
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Longitude: -118.9521434
  • Latitude: 34.57447456
  • Water Sources: Water is not quite year round in Alder Creek, but very reliable
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
05-16-2017Kara HooperFlowing
02-25-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
07-09-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
06-24-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
02-13-2016Ron Varenchik Flowing
05-18-2015Kara HooperFlowing
09-07-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing


This camp is located on the southeast side of Alder Creek under large Coast Live oak trees on a low stream terrace. The 1968 floods washed out the short side trail to the camp from the Capper Sespe River Trail 20W30 so one must walk down the bed of Alder Creek. A short distance down stream from the camp Alder Creek plunges down a steep narrows on its way to the Sespe River. It is possible to climb down to the river through the narrows if you keep at the base of the left wall.
At one time there was a fire ring. Water is available from Alder Creek down stream from the camp.

Shady Camp is located a short distance off the Alder Creek Trail above Alder Gorge in the Sespe Wilderness.  Shady is set under a large oak tree and is home to a unique flat rock that acts more like a table for campers.  Shady is along the Condor Trail.

Special Features: This small, serene camp is located just above the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Firearms are prohibited.

Survey Photos:

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 06-24-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 06-24-2016
    Alder Creek - South of Camp

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 06-24-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 06-24-2016

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 02-25-2017
    Pile of trash left by previous campers

Submitted Camp Reports

Shady Camp Survey - 09-19-2017 - by NickD
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 09-19-2017
Surveyor Name:NickD
Camp Description:Trail tough to follow between Alder Creek Camp and Shady Camp. It zig-zags numerous times and it's easy to miss sections. Shady camp itself is nice, situated between to huge oak trees for shade. There's a big cliff to the west though so it does lose daylight early, and as another poster pointed out, it gets WINDY! 

Water had dwindled down to a trickle just about 20yards long. Under current conditions I'd guess it's gone in a month
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:80's
Shady Camp Survey - 05-16-2017 - by Kara Hooper
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 05-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Kara Hooper
Camp Description:It was wonderful to be back at Shady Camp and to see all of the water!  Wow!  The waterfall, located in the canyon just down from camp, was roaring and three times the size it was a year ago.  Alder Creek itself had plenty of water.  We packed out an entire tent that had been left behind as well as some old tin cans.  Remaining at the camp is a large, green tarp, which is actually really helpful to use and is in good shape.  There is also a sleeping pad there which is defunct.

Shady Camp is a lovely spot with a wonderful flat rock and a spacious, well constructed fire ring.  This is a little slice of paradise.  It can get really windy at times, and cool, as it is at the mouth of a canyon that leads Alder Creek into the Sespe.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:nice steady flow
Weather Conditions:
Shady Camp Survey - 02-25-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 02-25-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Made an unplanned stay at this campsite because we were not able to follow the sespe creek trail down into the sespe drainage due to washout.  The trash noted be a previous visitor is still at the site, in addition to other trash that has since been left.  We picked up the small trash scattered across the ground, but did not have room to carry out the large items
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

Pile of trash left by previous campers
Shady Camp Survey - 07-09-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 07-09-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Hot and dry
Shady Camp Survey - 06-24-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 06-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Trash at camp (thermarest, tarp, plastic drop cloth, plastic bag with toiletries). Removed plastic drop cloth.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:95F+

Alder Creek - South of Camp

Shady Camp Survey - 02-13-2016 - by Ron Varenchik
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 02-13-2016
Surveyor Name:Ron Varenchik
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of waterfalls just down the creek!
Weather Conditions:
Shady Camp Survey - 05-18-2015 - by Kara Hooper
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 05-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Kara Hooper
Camp Description:This is a beautiful camp, nestled underneath some old, mature oak trees.  A huge boulder names a great table, and there is a good fire ring and sitting logs.  Campers can easily access the canyon and the waterfall just below the camp.

Finding the camp can be a little bit tricky, as it is actually downstream and to the left side of the river, while the topo map for Devil's Heart Peak places it on the right side of the river.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The water is plentiful here.
Weather Conditions:
Shady Camp Survey - 09-07-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Shady Camp
Date: 09-07-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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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
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  • Santa Barbara District
    Phone: (805) 967-3481
  • Santa Lucia District
    Phone: (805) 925-9538
  • Monterey District
    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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