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  1. #1
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    California MTB Camping

    Any suggestions for a 3-4 day mountain bike camping trip? This would be for my 13 year old son and me. Something local to Ventura County would be great. Googled it and came up with Los Padres, but the directions, and trip advice were a bit lacking....any help? Our max would be about 25 miles per day. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Do you mean unsupported bike touring (where you carry everything on your bikes), no paved roads? Yes, there are places to ride in the Los Padres backcountry on dirt roads, jeep & motorcycle trails, but with significant climbing and ruggedness, and be aware those trails are not (as in NOT) designed for mountain bikes. They are torn up, steep and boulder-strewn. Some other areas you can go a ways on hike/bike trails then you run into Wilderness where bikes are not permitted. Here is a map of OHV trails in the Eastern Los Padres. There is a companion map of the Westen end (I have not explored there). Be also advised that the campgrounds are pretty much all "dry" and the only reliable water source I'm aware of is Piru Creek but there are huge rattlesnakes to watch out for along Piru. I have a 13 yr old son who would hate me forever if I took him back there for four days straight.

    Another idea would be car camping with fun rides during the day: If your son has good bike-handling skills he might love Mt. Pinos! There is an excellent ST from the summit to the junction with Mil Portero Hwy. There are three campgrounds to choose from on the mountain. The trail involves a significant climb to the top (totally worth it), or you could repeat shorter sections-- the trail crosses the road in several places. Or you might meet other mtb'ers and arrange a shuttle with them. Other nice riding in the area= Grade Valley Rd. to Mutau Flats (scenic dirt road all the way), and Alamo Mountain beyond Piru Creek (dirt road climbing but nice at the top). Another favorite mtb trail is Golden Eagle at Mt. Liebre near Gorman (technically Angeles Forest). There is a remote campground up on Liebre, need suv or truck to get there. Do a search for "Golden Eagle" in the SoCal forum or trail review section.

    A fun area to camp and ride with a boy would be Big Bear. There are trails on both sides of the lake.

    Do a search re: bike touring in the Santa Barbara backcountry, but be advised about ticks and biting flies. You will need a water filtering device. Try posting your query on the SoCal forum. Good Luck!
    Never give up, never surrender.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestions, I will check those out. I like your comment about the kid being mad to be in the back country for that long....definitely something to think about. He said he is down for it...but at this age you can never tell.

  4. #4
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    These are both a ways from Ventura County:

    There's a nice campground at Montana de Oro, just south of Morro Bay. There's riding there, as well as nearby in the San Luis Obispo area.

    I've also heard intriguing things about the Sequoia National Forest, which is south of the National Park.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a fun trip, I cant wait for my girls to be bigger to do this with.

  6. #6
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    I have a ton of suggestions for you depending on how many nights you want to ride and how far you want to ride each day. You can email me at: erin@tourdelospadres.com

    I hope some of you are interested in this mountain bike tour and race I have planned for next spring that goes through the southern Los Padres National forest. Please check out the website. The final route will be up in a few weeks. Here is the website:

    Tour *De *Los *Padres - Home

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