Went in just to check it out after seeing that it was closed down. You have to park at the fence which is three miles away from the actual camp. The hike in is on a beaten/forgotten paved road and is about 3.2 miles. There was water flowing just before the camp and I could hear trickles of the stream but didn't really look at it. I just went in for a nice little day hike. I think it is worth the 3.2 mile walk but others may not. Its cool to see an abandoned campground with all of its amenities still there but in disrepair.
Water Source Details:
There was flowing water about 100 yards before the actual campsite
This *was* my favorite car campsite in late 1980's and early 1990's, along with Twin Pines (now also closed) and Dutchman on top of Alamo Mountain. And when the road up Alamo was snow bound (back before NFS closed it half of each year), then Hard Luck was the only car campground. There used to be really sketchy "camp ground hosts" who lived there rather permanently, taking up several sites, and cutting trees in the valley to sell for firewood. Maybe that's the real reason why NFS closed this site, not the Arroyo Toad problem. ;) Anyway, from here, you could day hike to summit Cobblestone Mountain if you were a stud, going up Buck Creek. It's still an interesting day hike, hiking in on the closed road. If you do visit, hike all the way to the south end of the Valley and look at what's crossing the stream. I think it's called a "flying squirrel." Give it a ride. Please tie it up properly when you're done. It's more fun than an "e" ticket ride!
Thank you for taking the time to visit Hike Los Padres. This website was developed for adventurists, explorers and enthusiasts of both the Northern and Southern portions of the Los Padres National Forests.
When visiting the Los Padres always remember to pack extra water for any trip! Many Trails listed may be unmaintained, always plan ahead, check weather report, know your risks and level of ability.