Click this Big Sur California campsite photo to enlarge
and help you find the location of Memorial Campground.
Get the News in this Big Sur 2015 Spring Camping Tips & Campground Conditions Report:(Full Report)
These campgrounds are new to me.
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 north of Hunter Liggett Military Reservation up Del Venturi Road 12 & 15 Miles (last 3 unpaved narrow). Memorial Campground: 36.1188507 -121.4652133; Escondido Campground: 36.140202 -121.495003
Click to enlarge this sign where Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base ends and Los Padres National Forest Begins.
Directions: Accessible from Hwy. 1 or Hwy. 101, about 35 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 5 miles, then north on Del Venturi Road for about 12 and 15 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.
Facilities: Each campground has 8 units with a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal barbecue grill, most are drive in some require a short walk from the vehicle; all are first come first serve. Most have shade and scenic views. Mission and Del Venturi Road roads are paved but the last 3 miles to Escondido requires one creek crossing and is narrow dirt but scenic. There are vault toilets, and trash pickup. Arroyo Seco River is a hop, and skip away from Memorial and 1 mile from Escondido, Indian Station is across the street from Memorial Camp. Bring your own water and firewood none is available at either.
Activities: fly shooing, camping, hiking, fishing and hunting, swimming and wading, The Arroyo Seco River is great for fishing and there are many places for a cool dip in the stream.
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. Both campgrounds have trailheads and a short drive many other trails can be accessed for hiking, backpacking, bicycling, hunting and horseback riding. These trails offer a variety of experiences including sandstone landscapes, wildflowers and wildlife, swimming holes, giant oaks and madrone, breathtaking views, meadows and little 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: 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 (little flys want in your eyes, drives you crazy) sometimes late summer fall too. Temperatures can often 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.
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.
U.S. Forest Service Los Padres National Forest Campground Contact Information:
Monterey USDA Forest Service Los Padres National Forest:
Miles from P.C.H. 1: 35 miles
Miles from Carmel: 65
Miles from Cambria: 98
Road Status and Hunter-Liggett military reservation access information:
(831)386-2513 or (925)875-4636
Area Information Phone:
U.S. Forestry Department
Monterey Ranger District:
Reservations: First Come First Serve
Recreational Activities: camping, swimming, picnicking, hiking, fishing, hunting, jogging, nature study and bird watching, wading river swimming, biking