The Dick Smith Wilderness is a wilderness area in the mountains of eastern Santa Barbara County, California, United States, with a portion in Ventura County. It is completely contained within the Los Padres National Forest, and is northeast of the city of Santa Barbara and north of the city of Ojai. It is most easily accessible from two trailheads off State Route 33, which runs north from Ojai. It is adjacent to the large San Rafael Wilderness on the west and the Matilija Wilderness on the south. Across Highway 33 to the east, and also in the Los Padres National Forest, is the large Sespe Wilderness.
The wilderness is named after Santa Barbaran Dick Smith, who was a reporter, photographer, historian and pioneer in environmental journalism for the Santa Barbara News-Press. Smith spent more time in these remote regions of Santa Barbara County than anyone, covering the area on horseback and accompanied by his dog. In recognition of Dick's personal pursuit to preserve the wild back country the area was named in his honor, and the U.S. Congress created the wilderness in 1984 as part of the California Wilderness Act.
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The very best of Big Sur
We had the most incredible experience staying at this campground. The views from every site are second to none. The campground is relatively small, which keeps it quiet and very peaceful. An absolutely epic road (Naciamento-Fergusson Rd) directly above the campground serves as a hefty climb for road bike enthusiasts. There is no water at the campground, so be sure to bring your own. No wifi or cell service nearly anywhere in Big Sur or along that stretch of HWY 1, so plan ahead. Diesel can also be scarce, so fill up before you get there.
Most Beautiful Campsite Ever!
This hidden gem of a small central California coast campground was absolutely the most picturesque I’ve ever seen, with pretty much every campsite having stellar rugged Pacific coastline views. Our campsite #5 was particularly beautiful because of it’s direct overlook of the beach below and a huge tree providing shade and privacy. Great for tent or small trailer camping, as well as for day sojourns to Big Sur and Carmel - my wife and I cherished the ocean sunsets and stunning scenery.
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