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|
|Use Level:||Low – Medium|
|Toilets:||Yes – Vault Toilets|
|RV/Trailer Length:||RV’s not advised due to the rough, steep road leading to White Oaks Campground|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year round.|
|Geo Coordinates:||36.32638889, -121.5736111|
|Nearest City/Town:||Carmel Valley, California|
|Location:||Monterey County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||None|
|Proximity to Stores:||30 miles to Carmel, California
|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.
What To Do
White Oaks is located about 7 miles from the Tassajara Hot Springs, which is a good day hike destination.