Lake Piru- Camping
Lake Piru is located in Ventura County, California, in the Los Padres
national Forest next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. From the foothill
lake, you are less than an hour away from the uncrowded beaches of Ventura
or Hollywood and Universal Studios. Lake Piru offers visitors boating,
trout and bass fishing, camping, water skiing, swimming and hiking.
Traveling on Highway 101, in Ventura, take Highway 126 east to the Piru
turnoff. From Highway 5, just north of Magic Mountain in Valencia, take
Highway 126 west to the Piru turnoff.
For camping, Lake Piru has good and bad both. The good is you can get
a camping site relatively easily compared to other places in the area.
The bad is not so bad- in summer, you need a good campsite otherwise
you can not stay in your tent during day time ;) When we went there,
we got an okay site so we spent most of our day in the Picnic area,
swimming area and in the area next to the Marina where we had lunch.
(That was a pretty nice location for lunch. This is the beauty of the
Lake Piru area- we could get this Class A location with picnic tables
at noon! There is not much rush here!)
However we did spend time to look around to find a nice campsite for
our next camping here and I am sharing my secret with you.
Look below to find the best campsites if you are group of 4 to 6 families:
* In Lake Piru, you pay by vehicle and not by campsite!!!
* To reserve a campsite, you have to have it for 2 nights. You can not
reserve for one night! For that, you have to walk in early enough to
get campsite for one night. As I was told, it is not difficult to get
a campsite if you are showing up by 10AM or so.
* There is a hike at the end of the Lake Piru Drive road- drive around
2.5 miles from the campsite into the road. Where it ends, there is a
hike if done in full is about 8 miles.
Agua Blanca (19W10) Wilderness 11.2* miles
Moderate with some steep sections. Not recommended for horses. *Need
to hike 5 miles on road before coming to trail. From I-5, drive 10.5
miles west on Highway 126, turn right on Piru Canyon Road. From Fillmore,
drive 7.3 miles east on Highway 126 and turn left on Piru Canyon Road.
Drive 6 miles to Lake Piru gatehouse. Park as directed. Hike 5 miles
north on Blue Point Road to Blue Point Campground, where the trail begins.
Walk through the gate on left before the stream crossing. Follow the
dirt road up Piru Creek for 1.2 miles and at the junction turn left
(west) onto the Agua Blanca Trail, where the Sespe Wilderness begins.
Log Cabin Camp, which is just above Devil's Gateway, is 3.3 miles up
from this trail junction. This is a portion of the trail that is difficult
to keep in good condition for horses. The trail junctions with the Pothole
Trail just above Devil's Gateway at 3.1 miles. Continuing on the Agua
Blanca Trail, it is passable for hiking, but is definitely not recommended
for horseback riders, due to a bad section of trail in a gorge east
of Ant Camp. Trail ends at intersection with Alder Creek Trail 2.5 miles
north of Dough Flat. The Agua Blanca is one of the most scenic trails
on the Ojai Ranger District.
For more hikes in Ojai/Sespe Wilderness, please click
on the link below:
Trails in Sespe wilderness
From Forest Dept website of US Government: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres/recreation/trails/ord/#agua
Agua Blanca Trail: Follow the directions from Trail #
23 to the launch ramp. From here, hike 4.2 miles north on Piru Canyon
Road to Blue Point Campground (campground closed). Walk through the
gate on left before the stream crossing. Follow the dirt road up Piru
Creek for 1.2 miles and at the junction turn left (west) to the Agua
Blanca Trail, where the Sespe Wilderness begins. Log Cabin Camp, above
Devil's Gateway, is 4.3 miles from the trailhead. Trail # 23 intersects
the trail near Log Cabin Camp. Continuing on, the Agua Blanca Trail
is barely passable for hiking and is definitely not recommended for
horseback riders. Poison oak along the trail is unavoidable. The Agua
Blanca is one of the most scenic trails on the Ojai Ranger District.
Lake Piru Official Website