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Wheeler Gorge Campground
Ranked #4 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Reviewed June 6, 2014

I had read the reviews and they were not very good but we were up that way so decided to give it a shot. We drove in the drive and were met by the new hosts Darla and Lenny. They were very friendly and very helpful. The first thing they wanted to make sure we had water because there is none in the camp and said we could have small fires as there was a stage 2 fire alert. The site was clean and had a grill, table and fire pit. What I took notice of being over 60 yrs old that the restrooms were clean and had paper but they drive through the park several days checking on all that. I asked about the load noise comments I had read and they assured me they were going to make a lot of changes to improve the image of the camp and make it more family friendly, which it was. I will not hesitate to go back to this camp and lucky for me it is only a couple hours away.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Imagoof1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 14 of 17 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2013

We went camping for two nights with two other families and our boys had fun running around in the gorge (which had very little water in it) with their kids. It was super loud the first night and although I was exhausted and slept through it our friends were both up until 3am. The second night the sheriffs actually had to come in to kick out some people (kept lighting fires despite the no fire warnings due to dry season). They also needed to warn the other group of partiers to keep it down.

The toilets are vault and do stink, but I think that is pretty normal. They also did run out of toilet paper in one of them the 2nd night so bring your own is the way to go just in case. There are pesky little flies that are there as well, and like to buzz in your ears and face, but at night bats came out, so that sort of made up for it to me to see them catching bugs right above my head!

You need to bring your own water for cooking/cleaning/drinking. There are no showers, so if you are planning on staying for a few days this would be a consideration.

All in all, I would like to go back with the kids when there is more water running in the gorge for a different experience, but I will bring earplugs this time just in case!

The place itself is beautiful, and I think despite the loud people and flies (remember, we go camping to get into nature since we spend most of our lives living in boxes) it still deserves an excellent rating as the place itself is really beautiful. (Hopefully the loud people will not be there when you go up!)

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank travlinfamily1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

What once was my favorite camp grounds have been destroyed by horrible hosts. Very simply for there to be so many sites available on the 4th of July weekend people must have known what I did not. Bathroom's were so dirty I have never seem this way before not even on a Sunday morning. Locks are broken and good luck finding any toilet paper. The new host love to talk but do their job not so much. I will not be back and that makes me sad because I have camped there for many years!

Room Tip: bring toilet paper
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Most sites have shade but some are better than others. Creek runs through camp ground - essential if you go in the summer - gets very hot. Bring water shoes to walk/ hike in creek. Best bets are to find water holes to swim in. Site was nice, fire pit, BBQ, table. Stayed 3 nights, one night was very loud - fiesta going on - o well. About 20 min to town. Would come again but not in August.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

We had a great time dispite the huge spiders (tarantulas) running around. The camp host knew nothing about, said he never saw them and told us how he hated being there. The place was unkept bathrooms had no paper by the end of the week campsite brush was over grown minus this kids had a great time down by the water

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank tilda69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2011

Ojai, CA is beautiful and Wheeler Gorge Campground is situated a nice drive about 2 hours from Los Angeles. I went there for a weekend in July for a friend's 28th birthday, but a weekend was definitely enough for me.

The campground is a series of side-by-side campsites you can reserve, so I advise taking a long look at the map before choosing which site you want to stay at depending on what level of privacy you desire. We stayed on the far end at the end of a loop, and it was relatively quiet although we were still aware of a few other groups. Since our group was about a dozen people, we reserved two neighboring sites, brought ALL of our own camping gear, and pitched tents. Each site has a barbecue pit, so roasting marshmallows and sausages were after-dark activities. Bringing your own food is also important, although a Vons grocery is in town about 15 min drive from the site. The site is also shady and a great woodland environment.

The cons are potential noise depending on where you are in proximity to your neighbors or the highway, the deplorable "bathroom" conditions (Hint: BRING YOUR OWN TOILET PAPER!... and your own SOAP!, and your own BOTTLED WATER for bathing/toothbrushing, and please don't expect plumbing), and the limited availability to town. I would not recommend staying here longer than 2 nights, and it is much better for a group of friends, a family desiring a cheap weekend getaway, or a scout troop than anyone consider a romantic weekend. Dogs were also welcome. A creek also ran through the campsite and was a great place to sit in our swimsuits and hang out.

Temperature-wise, Ojai bakes in the summer sun, but the temperature drops off severely at night, so it will be imperative to have both shorts and multiple layers of sweats to be comfortable around-the-clock.

Within 15 minutes drive of the campsite, we were able to find some of the most spectacular hikes. I am a huge fan of hiking and was impressed!

Cell phone reception was nearly nonexistent so be prepared to be completely separate from civilization during your stay!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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13  Thank AngieAllOver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2011

I love this place and have been three times with my family. There are 2 things to keep in mind when considering this campground. 1) NO RUNNING WATER 2) Lots of poison oak (lots) Site 13 where we stayed had poison oak surrounding the entire site. We were careful the whole time an we were able to not touch.

Beware if you have a larger tent and do not select site 18. 18 is a great site and very private BUT small. If your tent is 4 person or smaller then I am sure you would be fine and enjoy this site a great deal.

Do your research and try to stay away from the group sites (not sure of the numbers on those). The group sites can get very noisy and seem to always have a boy scout troop or family reunion of some kind.

I love the creek and it is great for the kids to play in during the warmer months.

There is no cell signal out here. We love that and it makes us feel like we are really away form it all (even though downtown Ojai is just about 15 minutes away). If you need to stay connected while you are away this will not be the place to go unless you can drive into town to check messages.

The running water and poison oak do not bother us so we are going to keep coming back.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
6  Thank k10754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wheeler Gorge Campground

Address: 1190 E Ojai Ave, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai, CA 93023-3013
Location: United States > California > Ojai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ojai
Price Range: $20 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 68
Also Known As:
Wheeler Gorge Campground Hotel Ojai

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