Las Padres National Forest
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Central California Coast
  • However there are many campgrounds all throughout the forest

    • by Sherrie Taylor

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      I lived near the Las Padres National Forest for many years. It was my play ground and my home. I walked the trails, backpacked, camped and 4×4 over it. This is a wonderful forest in the sense there is a lot of open space. It can be accessed from Santa Barbara, California to Cuyama, California and many other places along the coastal towns and valley towns such as Bakersfield, California. The forest is a dry area covered with native grasses and scrub oak trees.

      It doesn’t grow the larger pines you find in most northern forest so it takes some getting used to if you are looking for that kind of envirnoment. Water is limited in the area and a lot of it is ranching land leased by local cattle ranches. However there are many campgrounds all throughout the forest. Many of the campgrounds are free or you can stay

      for a small fee. You’ll find trails leading from every campground into the forest for daily fun.

      Although there are no large rivers there are lots of small streams and ponds. If you are going to enjoy the forest you have to watch for the dangers too. The biggest being wildfires. This area of California become a dry land each summer with an extreme high danger of fire so camp fires will be limited or not permitted depending on the season. In that case you must take along you own stove.

      A Coleman two burner stove is perfect for a local campsite and the safety of everyone around you and for many miles. Next are rattlesnakes. They are common in the California mountains and those of us who grew up in the area know the sounds of a rattle and can tell you how many feet away you are from ...

      • it. You have the choice to freeze or run. If you decide to run you have to remember a coiled rattlesnake can strike faster than you can move to take that first step.

        So it is best to freeze until the snake moves on or someone comes to help move the snake on it’s way. Next is Poison Oak. It is a gound plant that grows to about 4 and 5 feet high, with fives leaves. It turns a beautiful red color that just begs for someone to pick it and make a nature arrangement. If you pick it, hold it or even touch it you can get poison oak.

        You will developes red marks that itch like crazy. The more you scratch it the worse it gets. It will spread to any part of your body you touch after scratching the infected area. ANY part!!!!! So be very careful.

        /> If you do rub against it wash the area well with soap and water to remove.

        If you rub against it by way of your clothing you can still catch it later if you touch the clothing where the poison oak touched. You have to be careful not to touch it or anything it has touched. DO NOT burn poison oak. It will get into your eyes and lungs and you could end up hospitalized. For such a small and pretty plant it can cause a lot of damage.

        Other than that enjoy the forest and all it has to offer. The nights are unbelievable in their beauty and the stars are clear. If you are on the coastal side you can sometimes feel the breeze coming off the ocean to cool your evening. If there is a fire in the area than leave right away so crews can get in without having to make rescue’s.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 38106366440330/k2311a061/6.1.08
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