White Oaks Campground in Los Padres National Forest is like many of the campsites in the Ventana Wilderness area, small and rustic. There are only 7 campsites at White Oaks Campground, all of which are no fee, first-come, first-served campsites. The campground is situated at around 4,000 feet in elevation at a shady spot located on the east side of Chews Ridge, just below the ridge line. The area on the west side of the ridge is popular for backpacking and day hiking, with the closest trail entrance located at nearby China Camp Campground.

The seven campsites at White Oaks have picnic tables, fire pits, and access to vault toilets. All of the campsites are located in a small teardrop shaped loop.

White Oaks Campground is currently closed due to damage to the area from the recent wildfires and heavy rains. Please be sure to check with Los Padres National Forest before going. More information can be found here.

White Oaks Campground Bottom Line

White Oaks Campground would not be my destination of choice if I was going to trek all the way of the steep dirt road to Chews Ridge, instead I would opt to keep going over the hill to China Camp. That said, it is not a bad campground. My biggest gripes with White Oak Campground is how close each campsite is to each other. If the campground was completely full – as it can be during the peak summer camping season – you would easily be right on top of your neighbors. With some of the campsites, you may as well be sharing a campsite.

The campground is often shaded throughout most of the day, due to the tree density that surrounds the campground and its location on the easter side of Chews Ridge. So expect cooler temperatures and an early sunset at White Oaks Campground.

The bottom line on White Oaks Campground is camp here if you cannot get a spot at China Camp or if you are just looking for spot for the night before heading into the Ventana Wilderness for backpacking.

White Oaks Campground Features

Campground Type: Organized, Primitive
Number of Campsites: 7 Campsites
Cost: Free
Use Level: Low – Medium
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: Yes
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: Yes – Vault Toilets
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: Yes
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: None
RV/Trailer Length: RV’s not advised due to the rough, steep road leading to White Oaks Campground
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Campground open year round.

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 36.32638889, -121.5736111
Nearest City/Town: Carmel Valley, California
Elevation: 4200 Feet
Location: Monterey County, California
Paved Road Access: None
Proximity to Stores: 30 miles to Carmel, California
  • From CA 1 in Carmel, head east on Carmel Valley Road for about 22 miles. Make a right turn (heading south) on Tassajara Road/County Road 5007. White Oaks Campground is 10 miles up the road on the left.
  • From Highway 101 north, exit at Arroyo Seco road near the city of Greenfield and proceed 16.2 miles to the junction of Carmel Valley Road and Arroyo Seco Road and bear right. Take Carmel Valley Road 17.2 miles to the junction with Tassajara Road and turn left and go 11 miles to China Camp. From Highway 101 south, south exit at Arroyo Seco road and make an IMMEDIATE LEFT at Elm Ave. (If you get to the “”Entering Greenfield”” sign you have passed the left turn.) Follow Elm Street for 6 miles and turn left at the “”T”” onto Arroyo Seco Road. Proceed 6.5 miles along Arroyo Seco Road to the junction with Carmel Valley Road and bear right. Take Carmel Valley Road 17.2 miles to the junction with Tassajara Road and turn left and go 10 miles to White Oaks Campground.


Phone: (831) 385-5434
Web: Los Padres National Forest
Reservations: Not Available – First-come, First Served

When To Go

Spring – Summer – White Oaks is useful as a jumping off point for the summer backpacking season in Los Padres National Forest and the Ventana Wilderness.

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What To Do

White Oaks is located about 7 miles from the Tassajara Hot Springs, which is a good day hike destination.

White Oaks – Los Padres National Forest Pictures

Image Credits: Justin Wilson

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to NextCampsite.com, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog OddJobsInTech.com, and the mobile device-focused blog EnterpriseMobileDevice.com.


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