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Hard Luck Campground South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Closed Permanently
  • Topo Map Link: Black Mountain
  • Elevation: 2800 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Non Wilderness Area
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Mt. Pinos Ranger District
  • Longitude: -118.8472778
  • Latitude: 34.68841563
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Closed Permanently

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
03-05-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
01-01-1994Oh ThreeFlowing


Near Pryamid Lake but this camp is CLOSED Indefinitely.

 Directions: Exit I-5 at Smoky Bear Road, south on the East Valley Road

Submitted Camp Reports

Hard Luck Campground Survey - 03-05-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Hard Luck Campground
Date: 03-05-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description: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:Flowing
Water Source Details:There was flowing water about 100 yards before the actual campsite
Weather Conditions:
Hard Luck Campground Survey - 01-01-1994 - by Oh Three
Link: Hard Luck Campground
Date: 01-01-1994
Surveyor Name:Oh Three
Camp Description: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!  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Snow in winter, hotter than heck in summer

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Last Updated: Thursday, March 12, 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
    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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