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Ponderosa Campground: Best Big Sur Camping Spots; Pacific Coast Highway 1 Vacation Drive Tour Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd Side Trip

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Photograph of a Campsite at Ponderosa Campground: photo shows an empty typical shady Ponderosa Campground campsite  under the canopy of oaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside Nacimento River in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge this nice shady  campsite in the U.S. Forest Service Ponderosa Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Nacimiento River  picture: the Nacimiento River is really not more than a small trout stream as it passes beside the Nacimiento and Ponderosa U.S. Forestry campgrounds on the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in the Los Padres National Forest Big Sur high country. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento River next to the Ponderosa and Nacimiento campgrounds picture.
Photograph of a  guy relaxing in Campsite at Ponderosa Campground: photo shows nicely set up tent camp in a shady Ponderosa Campground campsite under the canopy of oaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside Nacimento River in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge this nicely set up tent camp at a shady  campsite in oaks and pines of the U.S. Forest Service Ponderosa Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road next to the Nacimento River.
Photograph of a  mom cooking breakfast on the camp stove placed on the picnic table at the Campsite in Ponderosa Campground: photo shows mom cooking breakfast at a nicely set up tent camp in a shady Ponderosa Campground campsite under the canopy of oaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside Nacimento River in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge mom cooking at this nicely set up tent camp at a shady  campsite in oaks and pines of the U.S. Forest Service Ponderosa Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road next to the Nacimento River.
Photograph of a  mom cooking breakfast on the camp stove placed on the picnic table at the Campsite in Ponderosa Campground: photo shows mom cooking breakfast at a nicely set up tent camp in a shady Ponderosa Campground campsite under the canopy of oaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside Nacimento River in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge mom cooking at this nicely set up tent camp at a shady  campsite in oaks and pines of the U.S. Forest Service Ponderosa Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road next to the Nacimento River.
Photograph of a  nice shady tent camp at a campsite in Ponderosa Campground: photo shows the picnic table, fire pit, pedistal barbacue grill, ice-chest and other camping equipment at a nicely set up tent camp in a shady Ponderosa Campground campsite under the canopy of oaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside Nacimento River in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge this nicely set up tent camp at a shady  campsite in oaks and pines of the U.S. Forest Service Ponderosa Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road next to the Nacimento River.
Photograph Ponderosa Campground Summer Campsites: wide shot photo looks over a tent set up in one campsite in the foreground shows an empty typical shady campsite under the canopy of oaks and the nearby roads and surrounding forest and distant forested mountain peaks at the Nacimiento U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge this nice campsite and surrounding campsites roads and landscape in the U.S. Forest Service Nacimiento Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (Forest Route 22S01) Photo: narrow winding road paved but some gravel slow curvy drive to this Big Sur backcountry campground. Click to enlarge this narrow windy picture showing scenic Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (Forest Route 22S01) scenic view Photo: plan to stop often on the drive to this Big Sur campground to take beautiful landscape and nature photos. Click to enlarge this beautiful Big Sur backcountry landscape picture.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (Forest Route 22S01) Photo: this drive on this windy curvy narrow road provides many nature and beautiful photo opportunities. Click to enlarge this beautiful Big Sur backcountry landscape with the Pacific Ocean in the background picture.
Paved but narrow windy curvy Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Photo: cut across from Big Sur coast inland two campgrounds along the way. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento-Fergusson Road picture.
Wildflowers in Big Sur backcountry  picture: California camping trip vacation photo of flowers in spring along the twisty narrow curvy Nacimiento Fergusson Road on the way to this Big Sur wilderness campground, the road can be seen winding and twisting through the Pacific Coastal Range Santa Lucia Mountains in the Los Padres National Forest. Click to enlarge this twisty windy road Big Sur wilderness backcountry wildflower California poppies picture.
Santa Lucia Mountains pine forest picture: Nacimiento-Fergusson almost to the summit of the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range in the Los Padres National Forest the heavy pine forest offers an nice change of scenery from the open grasslands and chaparral typical of the wilderness of the Big Sur backcountry.  Click to enlarge this Pine Forest almost to the ridge top of the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road drive to the Big Sur backcountry campground picture.
Pacific Ocean View from the summit picture: California camping trip vacation photo taken from the summit of the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Big. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento-Fergusson Road scenic landscape picture.
Photo taken along Nacimiento-Fergusson almost to the summit of the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range in the Los Padres National Forest showing a breathtaking scenic view of the wilderness of the Big Sur backcountry some pine forest that has recently burned in the foreground then grasslands and chaparral covered mountains all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. National Forest campground is a few miles further up on narrow windy Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Click for a larger file of this beautiful Big Sur backcountry landscape photo.

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Photograph of the Los Padres National Forest Ponderosa Campground sign on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road for the Big Sur high country campground Ponderosa Campground, a U.S. Forest Service Fee Campground in the Santa Lucia Mountains Los Padres National Forest wilderness.; Click to enlarge campsite photo of the road-sign to help locate Ponderosa Campground.
Click this Big Sur California campsite photo to enlarge
and help you find the location of Ponderosa Campground.
Attention Graphic: camp fees have increased and no water available at Ponderosa Campground, carry in or treat water, water shut of attention exclamation graphic Get the News in this Big Sur 2015 Spring Camping Tips & Campground Conditions Report:(Full Report) Camping ain't what it used to be at this park but it's all sites open and the water is running for Memorial Day Weekend!

Description: Ponderosa Campground on the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road has family campsites along a mountain trout stream under a canopy of beautiful trees. Ponderosa's rich environment contains Ponderosa Pine, Oak, Madrone & Sycamore trees in a high valley with the Nacimiento River running through. Drinking is almost always available November-March. $15.00 per night $105.00 per week, 2 car 6-8 persons max per campsite, two week maximum stay.
Location: Big Sur high country Nacimiento-Fergusson Road about half way between the coast and Hunter Liggett Military Reservation.+35° 59' 51.97", -121° 22' 59.29"

Panoramic Photograph of Scenic Pacific Ocean View from high on Nacimiento Fergusson Road: leave lots of time when you drive Nacimiento-Fergusson Road because it is narrow windy and you will want to stop to take pictures of the beautiful views and natural scenery. Click to enlarge this breathtaking scenic Pacific Ocean view photo taken from high up on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Click to enlarge this breathtaking scenic Pacific Ocean view photo taken from high up on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

Directions: Accessible from Hwy. 1 or Hwy. 101, about 11 miles drive from the coast. Leaving the coast and traveling up the mountains on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is an experience in itself, the road is narrow, twisty and steep; I love it in my sports car but I wouldn't want to do it in a big RV or pulling a trailer and it would be even worse going back down. It would be easier a RV rig with trailer to enter and exit from the east through Hunter-Liggett but this can get confusing. From the U.S. Highway 101 Nacimiento-Fergusson Road can be reached from the King City area at Jolon Road (county road G-14), from the Bradley area at Jolon Road (county road G-18), or from Paso Robles along county road G-14. Travel to the town of Jolon, continue west along Mission Road about 4 miles, then west on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road for about 19 miles. You have to pass through Hunter-Liggett military reservation, you will be asked for your driver's license and vehicle registration when you enter at the reservation's gates. You should check by telephone in advance and obtain a good local map before using these roads.

Photograph Ponderosa Campground Campsite in the spring: photo shows an  typical shady campsite in the green grass under the canopy of oaks at the Ponderosa U.S. Forest Service Campground on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road beside a creek in the Los Padres National Forest, a nice camp is set up with a tent and a tarplin set up and an ice-chest to store food and the campstove is on the campground provided picnic table ready to cook some great camp grub. Click to enlarge this nice shady campsite in the U.S. Forest Service Nacimiento Campground photo taken in the Los Padres National Forest near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road of a nice tent camp.

Facilities: The campground has 23 units with gravel pads of varying sizes the longest is 40 feet, each with a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal barbecue grill, some accept reservations some are first come first serve. There are water spigots located throughout the campground, but there is no water, sewer or electrical hookups for RV's and there is no dump station. The sites can be used for tenting or RVers. All roads are paved and there are vault toilets and trash pickup.
Activities: camping, hiking, fishing and hunting, swimming and wading, The Nacimiento River is great for fishing and there are many places for a cool dip in the stream.

Mission San Antonio de Padua Photo: the beautifully restored Mission San Antonio de Padua Photo is shown in this wide shot, the mission is a must visit if you pass through Fort Hunter Liggett it is right along the way; there is a besides the working Catholic Chapel there is a museum and religious store. Click to enlarge this beautiful photo of the restored Mission San Antonio de Padua de California Photo.
Click to enlarge this beautiful photo of the restored Mission San Antonio de Padua de California Photo.


Close by Points of Interest: Wilderness and more wilderness. Within a short drive many trails can be accessed for hiking, backpacking, bicycling, hunting and horseback riding. These trails offer a variety of experiences including water falls, groves of Redwood Trees, breathtaking views, meadows and streams. Mission San Antonio is worth the drive from the campground; it is located on the Fort Hunter Liggett Military Base, it is one of the oldest Missions in California and it offers the Catholic Chapel, a museum, a self guided tour of the original Mission out-buildings locations and grounds, original aqueducts and Indian cemetery; the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge and Hacienda Lounge is located there also (Hearst Hacienda Guest Reservations: 831-386-2262).
Pets & Misc. Regulations: Pets allowed pet friendly accommodations at this Big Sur campground. This is a U.S. Forestry Campground, dogs are allowed in the campground and on the trails.
Helpful Hints:The best time to visit this wonderful campground is in-between rains October-June, pick your dates carefully in summer it can be hot and dusty and buggy sometimes late summer fall too. Temperatures can get over 100° in the summer. Drinking water at Ponderosa Campground is seasonal, check, you may want to bring water. Keep food in a secure location as the Raccoons will get at anything left out. You are miles from any services so be sure and use a check list and don't forget anything.


Photo of the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge back courtyard: the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge is a wonderful place located on the Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base; it would make a great break in a Nacimiento Campground camping trip, stay overnight at this fantastic lodge, have a nice shave, hot shower, sleep on a comfortable real bed and soak in the historic William Randolph Hearst history, magnificent end to a great camping vacation! Click to enlarge the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge back courtyard Nacimiento Campground nearby point of interest photo.
Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge is a wonderful place located on the Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base; it would make a great break in a Nacimiento Campground camping trip, stay overnight at this fantastic lodge, have a nice shave, hot shower, sleep on a comfortable real bed and soak in the historic William Randolph Hearst history, magnificent end to a great camping vacation! Click to enlarge the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge back courtyard Nacimiento Campground nearby point of interest photo.


See what other campers say about staying at Ponderosa U.S. Forestry Fee Campground
See what other travelers say about the U.S. Forest Service Los Padres National Forest Big Sur campsites at Ponderosa Campground in travelers reviews at www.yelp.com.
www.yelp.com campground reviews


Click to visit website for information about Ponderosa Campground.
Parks Management Website for Ponderosa Campground


Click to visit website for information about Nacimiento Campground.
Official U.S. Forest Service Website for Ponderosa Campground


Activities Points of Interest
Custom Big Sur California Area Google Map: Locate Ponderosa Campground and area visitor points of interest and nearby camper tourist activities with this map: Camping Big Sur California;
Camp, Picnic, Hike and enjoy campgrounds on or reached from the scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 near Big Sur California 93920, including information on all campgrounds, day-use picnic areas beaches, hiking trails, tourist attractions and visitor activities near Big Sur campgrounds.
Camp Picnic Hike Explore Map


USDA Forest Service Map
Online topographical map Los Padres National Forest: Locate this campground  and other places to camp, picnic and hike near Big Sur and driving hiking camping tourist visitor Pacific Coast Highway 1 and Los Padres National Forest Ventana Wilderness and Silverpeak Wilderness Santa Lucia Coastal Mountains points of interest using this USDA Forest Service online topographical map of the Los Padres National Forest.
Los Padres National Forest


Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (Forest Route 22S01) Photo: the road quickly starts climbing and winding through the steep Santa Lucia Coastal Mountains, in this photo you can see the Nacimiento Fergusson Road cross a mountain in the foreground then look down on Kirk Creek Campground like you were hovering above in a helicopter. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento-Fergusson Road photo.

U.S. Forest Service Los Padres National Forest Campground Contact Information:
Ponderosa Campground; Parks Management Company:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road
Miles from P.C.H. 1: 13 miles
Miles from Carmel: 66
Miles from Cambria: 69
PHONE: 805- 434-1996
Road Status and Hunter-Liggett military reservation access information:
(831)386-2513 or (925)875-4636
Area Information Phone:
U.S. Forestry Department
Pacific Valley Ranger Station:
(805) 927-4211

Reservations: Campground Reservations call 1-800-444-PARK (7275). Make camping reservations online or check campsite availability at Ponderosa Campground.
Ponderosa Campground at www.reserveamerica.com/...

Recreational Activities: camping, picnicking, hiking, jogging, kite flying, nature study and bird watching, wading river swimming, biking





Nacimiento River  picture: the Nacimiento River is really not more than a small trout stream as it passes beside the Nacimiento and Ponderosa U.S. Forestry campgrounds on the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in the Los Padres National Forest Big Sur high country. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento River next to the Ponderosa and Nacimiento campgrounds picture.
Upper Nacimiento River Photo:  Nacimiento-Fergusson Road often follows the river and opens it up for fishing and outdoor recreation. Like all rivers the Nacimiento River has seasonal level changes and there are weather related ups and down but it is seldom it usually appears as a small stream as it passes the Nacimiento and Ponderosa U.S. Forestry Big Sur high country campgrounds, this Nacimiento River photo shows in some places the river can be quite substantial and indicates that a short drive or hike from the campgrounds could provide some good splashing, wading, inner-tubing and swimming holes depending on the time of year and such; Click Nacimiento River photo for a larger file.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road milage sign east of the campgrounds Photo: east of the campgrounds you start seeing less and less pines and more oaks, this sign on the roadside says Fort Hunter Liggett boundry 8 miles, Mission San Antonio 20 miles and the town of Jolon is 21 miles. Click this photo of the road sign by the roadside in the Los Padres National Forest Big Sur high country oak forest to enlarge.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base Photo: the road widens and has lines on the Army Base; the landscape becomes spotted with old giant oak trees teaming with wildlife like wild turkey and pigs and even heards of elk. Click to enlarge this Nacimiento-Fergusson Road on Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base picture.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base Back Gate Photo: You will have to go through an inspection gate entering and leaving the Army Base, have your driver's license, registration and proof of auto insurance ready. Click this Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base back gate photo to enlarge
Wide shot photograph of the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge: the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge is a wonderful place to stay, eat, and drink located on the Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base; it would make a great break in a Nacimiento Campground camping trip, stay overnight at this fantastic lodge, have a nice shave, hot shower, something to eat and a few drinks at the lounge sleep on a comfortable real bed and soak in the historic William Randolph Hearst history, magnificent end to a great camping vacation! Click to enlarge the Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge photo.
Wild turkeys heading up the hill in Big Sur high country photo: wild turkeys in a small group like this are common in the meadowlands of the Santa Lucia Mountains and grassland of the Big Sur Los Padres National forest backcountry Ventana and Silver Peak wilderness areas. Click this photo of a small flock of turkeys to enlarge.
Wild tom turkey Big Sur high country wildlife photo: small flocks of wild turkeys are common in the meadowlands of the Santa Lucia Mountains of the Big Sur Los Padres National forest backcountry Ventana and Silver Peak wilderness areas; usually there are several hens and one or two gobblers or tom turkeys as the males are called, click this wildlife photo for a larger file.
California Quail Big Sur high country wildlife photo: Close up photo of the head of California State Bird the California quail that are common in the meadowlands and chaparral covered hills Santa Lucia Mountains of the Big Sur Los Padres National forest backcountry Ventana and Silver Peak wilderness areas. Click this wildlife nature photograph to enlarge.


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