The original plan was to camp at the Rose Valley Campground, however once we got there Friday afternoon we found that the small drive-up campground was filled. We headed back down highway 33 to the bigger Wheeler Gorge campground and paid for a spot there. We got a fairly nice little spot there that was somewhat secluded and not too close to anyone else.
In the morning we made breakfast burritos and coffee. Damn I love a good camp breakfast.
Oh, we also made a spur of the moment rope swing.
After we ate breakfast and the morning foolishness was done we headed out for some hiking off highway 33. It was an awesome day out in the hills of the Los Padres National Forest.
We finally made our way back to Rose Valley Campground where we had tried to camp the night before. Nothing had changed with all the campsites still taken. We parked in a dirt area right outside the campground and accessed the Rose Valley Falls trailhead. The trailhead can be found towards the back of the camp. Look for the sign.
The hike to the falls is quite short, about a mile round trip, but totally worth going. It’s a nice shaded trail and very well traveled. We saw about 15-20 people on the trail while we were there.
The waterfall is quite impressive. About 300ft of moss covered rock with water falling over it. When we arrived at the falls there was a crowd of other hikers standing around watching a group of people rappelling down the face of it.
There was also a cave where you could crawl in behind the waterfall. It’s a tight squeeze getting in the cave, and you get a little wet, but once inside the cave is big enough that you can to stand up in it.
We hung out near the waterfall for a while but finally headed back to our camp for food and drink. After sundown we made a campfire and talked and drank into the night.
It would have been nice to have camped at Rose Valley but Wheeler Gorge turned out to be alright. It’s just a bigger campground which also accommodates the RV crowd and is right next to the highway.
Map of Wheeler Gorge Campground:
Map of Rose Valley Campground (Trailhead to the falls):