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Memorial and Escondido Campgrounds: some great alternatives to the
Big Sur Coast Camping Spots; Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd Side Trip

south and west to Ponderosa Campground | HOME | Big Sur California Campground Directory | Back to P.C.H. 1, Plaskett Creek Campground



A giant oak on Mission Road Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base makes my car look like a tiny toy; click for a larger file of this ancient giant oak tree on Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base on the way to Memorial Park Campground.
A trail head on Del Venturi Road Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base leads through a strange surreal rocky Ventana wilderness landscape on the way Memorial Park Campground; click for a larger file of these cool sandstone rock formations at one of the many trails in the Los Padres National Forest near Memorial Park and Escondido Campgrounds
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.
Photo of a strange surreal rocky Ventana wilderness landscape near Escondido Campground; click for a larger file of these cool sandstone rock formations.
Photo of a strange surreal rocky Ventana wilderness landscape with the full moon rising during the day; click for a larger file of this sandstone rock formation with the moon.
A strange pennicale sandstone rock formation I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Park Campground picture; a California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana Wilderness landscape with stone pinnacle in the background. Click to enlarge this strange rocky landscape photograph.
A Arroyo Seco River trail head  near Memorial Park Campground that leads to the close by swimming hole, Madrone Camp, Cook Camp and Cone Peak Lookout; click for a larger file of this Arroyo Seco River trail head sign at one of the many trails in the Los Padres National Forest near Memorial Park and Escondido Campgrounds.
Wildflowers in Big Sur backcountry  picture, yucca or century plant: California camping trip vacation photo of flowers in spring along the twisty narrow curvy on the way to this Big Sur wilderness Escondido campground, the road is dirt and narrow winding and twisting through the Pacific Coastal Range Santa Lucia Mountains in the Los Padres National Forest to get to the campgroung. Click to enlarge this twisty windy road Big Sur wilderness backcountry wildflower yucca or century plant picture.
Some wildflowers I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Park Campground picture; pretty little purple wildflowers I don't know what kind: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana landscape that was covered with thousands of spring bloom wildflowers. Click to enlarge this pretty purple wildflowers photograph.

Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.

Photograph of the Los Padres National Forest Santa Lucia Memorial Campground sign north of Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base for the Big Sur back country Ventana wilderness campground Memorial Campground, a U.S.D.A. Forest Service Fee Free Campground in the Santa Lucia Mountains Los Padres National Forest Ventana wilderness.; Click to enlarge campsite photo of the closed road-sign and Los Padres National Forest sign to help locate Memorial Campground.
Click this Big Sur California campsite photo to enlarge
and help you find the location of Memorial 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)
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

Photograph of the Del Venturi Road Sign at end of Fort Hunter Liggett begin National Forest; click to enlarge so you can read milage to Indian Station, Memorial Park Campground and Escondido Campground
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.

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. 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: 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 (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.


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.



Click to visit website for information about Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground.
Official USDAFS website for Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground


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


Google Map Memorial Camp
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

U.S. Forest Service Los Padres National Forest Campground Contact Information:
Monterey USDA Forest Service Los Padres National Forest:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road
Miles from P.C.H. 1: 35 miles
Miles from Carmel: 65
Miles from Cambria: 98
PHONE: 831-385-5434
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:
831-385-5434

Reservations: First Come First Serve
Recreational Activities: camping, swimming, picnicking, hiking, fishing, hunting, jogging, nature study and bird watching, wading river swimming, biking





Rock mountains seen from hiking trail through the Pinnacles National Park picture: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Pinnacles landscape. Click to enlarge this redish stone mountain photograph.
My campsite #4 at Memorial Park USDAFS campground. Click to enlarge this Big Sur camp site picture taken at Memorial Park Campground north of Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base photograph.
Another campsite at Memorial Park USDAFS campground featuring the stunning sandstone mountain view. Click to enlarge this Big Sur camp site picture taken at Memorial Park Campground 12 miles north of Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base photograph.
Some wildflowers I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Park Campground picture; Purple Owls Clover: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana landscape. Click to enlarge these pretty wildflowers photograph.
Some wildflowers I saw from a hiking trail near Memorial Park Campground picture; firecracker penstemon with a stone pinnacle in the background: California camping trip vacation photo of a from a nice hiking trail through the strange Ventana landscape. Click to enlarge these pretty bright red wildflowers photograph.
Photo of a trail through strange surreal rocky Ventana wilderness landscape near Memorial Park Campground; click for a larger file of these cool sandstone rock formations.

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