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"Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards." - Anonymous

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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.

Hiking:

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:
Hiking 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

 


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