Ponderosa Campground and Camping

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About the Campground

Ponderosa Campground is located in Big Sur, CA approximately 45 miles north of Cambria, CA (to Nacimiento/Ferguson Rd.) and 55 miles south of Carmel, CA (to Nacimiento/Ferguson Rd.). Ponderosa Campground has family campsites along a mountain trout stream under a canopy of beautiful trees approximately 13 miles east from Kirk Creek campground on the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. The Nacimiento-Ferguson Road runs from the coast at Kirk Creek on Rt. 1 to the Big Sur high country. 38 miles east of Nacimiento, the road provides access to King City and US 101 via Jolon Road (County Road G-14), passing through the Hunter-Liggett US Military Reservation. Ponderosa's rich environment contains Ponderosa Pine, Oak, Madrone & Sycamore trees in a high valley with the Nacimiento River running through. The Nacimiento River is great for fishing and there are many places for a cool dip in the stream. The campground has 23 units, each with a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal grill. Average Temperature in the summer is high 80s to mid 90s in the day and high 50s to mid 60s at night. Wildlife includes Fox, Bobcat, Deer and Raccoon. Occasional Mountain Lion and Bear are seen in the area although they have never entered the campground. Keep food in a secure location as the Raccoons will get at anything left out. The Forest Service is enforcing a 2 car maximum per site at the campground.

Services & Amenities

Within Facility
  • Barb B Q Grill
  • Bicycle Riding
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hiking Trail
  • Hunting
  • Photography
  • Picnic Tables
  • Sightseeing
  • Swimming
  • Water Drinking
  • Water Spigot
Within 10 Miles
  • Historic Sites
  • Museum


Peak Season
May 01 2010 -
Sep 30 2010
Walk In Season
Oct 01 2010 -
Dec 31 2010
Walk In Season
Jan 01 2011 -
Apr 30 2011

Alerts and Important Information Accessible from Hwy. 1 or Hwy. 101, this campground is situated next to Nacimiento Stream and has a scattered canopy Ponderosa Pine, Oak, Madrone & Sycamore trees. It is located in the Los Padres National Forest in the mountains of Big Sur. Walking from the campground you can explore the Nacimiento Stream, fish for trout or take a dip in one of the 'secret' water holes. 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 just a short drive from the campground. Located in the Fort Hunter Liggett Military Base, it is one of the oldest Missions in California and it offers a museum, original aqueducts and Indian cemetery. Ponderosa has 23 sites each with a parking pad, picnic table, fire ring and pedestal barbeque. There are water spigots located throughout the campground, but there is no water, sewer or electrical hookups. The sites can be used for tenting or RVers. There is no dump station. All roads are paved and there are vault toilets and trash pickup. The campsite must be occupied the first night and each subsequent night of the reserved period. If the site is not occupied by 7 a.m. the following morning the reservation is cancelled. The holder of the reservation will be charged a two day minimum or the total amount paid for the site, whichever is greater. No Refunds will be given due to weather or road conditions. Refunds will not be provided if cancellations are not made 24 hours in advance of reservation.

Campground Contact Information

Open From: Jun 21 2010 to Dec 14 2010
Reservation Phone: 877-444-6777
Campground Reservations: Ponderosa
Campground Phone: 805-434-1996
Customer Service Phone:888-445-1474
Backcountry Permits Phone: 877-550-6777
Location: Templeton (near Salinas), CA
Phone: 805-434-1996

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More About Ponderosa Campground

Ponderosa is a campground located in Salinas, California. This is a US Forest Service campground. All reservations can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777.

To find this campground check the map shown above, or enter -121.3764 latitude, and -121.3764 longitude into your GPS device.

After your camping adventure, be sure to come back and share a review of the campground. And please visit our California Fishing Spots to explore all the the local fishing spots, complete with detailed California fishing reports. Remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure that fishing and hunting are options near here.