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Ballinger Canyon OHV Area

Monday, April 11, 2022

Other Names

Mt. Pinos Ranger District, Balinger, Los Padres National Forest, Deer Park

Last Known StatusOpen

This popular off-road area has about 68 miles of marked and rated ATV trails on public land. The terrain ranges from hard packed 4x4 roads, twisty sand washes, rugged and steep black diamond hill climbs and narrow single track for motorcycles. If you manage to leave the valley floor and make it to the top of the hills bring the camera - the views are stunning!

While most of the trails cater to skilled riders, there are some wide forest service roads, makeshift motocross tracks and play areas that are perfect for beginners or mini bikes. Overall this is a great place to bring the family or a large group for a weekend of riding and camping.

This area has a separate day use staging area that is located adjacent to the RV campground, which has 13 pull through sites that come with a picnic table and fire ring. A vault toilet and information kiosk is also provided. Shade is limited and there is no water so bring your own camping supplies.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Dates OpenDaily Year-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted from 10/1 to 4/30
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsSome AreasCA OHMVR stickers required
some trails allow motorcycles only
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSSome AreasCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Some Areassome trails allow ATVs or motorcycles only
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Some AreasCA OHMVR stickers required
2 Stroke EnginesCertain TimesCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
permitted at Ballinger Campground
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
permitted at Ballinger Campground
Night RidingNoquiet hours 10pm-6am
Trail BlazingProhibitedkeep on designated trails
Rule EnforcementSomeJeep/SUV Patrol


Approx Size20,063 acres (31 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail68
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation3000 to 4400 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
SandThis trail has some sandy areas.Some
MudThe trail has no mud after it rains.None
DustThe trail has some dust on typical days.Some
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has few trees.Few
Steep HillsThis trail has many steep hills.Many
Water CrossingsThe trail has no water crossings.None
Small JumpsThis trail has some small jumps.Some
Large JumpsThis trail has few large jumps.Few
BermsThe trail has many berms.Many
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has some single track trails.Some
RoadsThis national forest has few roads.Few
ShadeThis national forest has few shaded areas.Few
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has some expert terrain.Some


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest


Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (NE)Shell (661) 769-8944
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (NE)Shell (661) 769-8944
Potable Water Water30+ Miles (S)Lake Casitas Recreation Area (805) 649-2233
RV Hookups RV Hookup30+ Miles (S)Lake Casitas Recreation Area (805) 649-2233
RV Dump Station RV Disposal30+ Miles (S)Lake Casitas Recreation Area (805) 649-2233
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Site
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (NW)C & H Market (661) 766-2761


ParkingYes ($10.00)
Annual Pass - $50
Tent: $20.00
RV: $20.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $10.00
Ballinger Campground Fee
CommentAdventure Pass not required to park here. Area is managed by private concessionaire on behalf of the Forest Service. Self pay kiosks are located at staging area and campground.


Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityCuyama, CA
AddressBallinger Canyon Road, Cuyama, CA 93254
Go Back To California List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Bakersfield, CA
1) Take I-5 South to Exit 244
2) Turn right (west) onto SR-119/Taft Hwy, continue about 20 miles
3) Merge onto CA-33 South, continue 6.3 miles
4) Turn right (west) onto Poso/Klipstein Street (road name changes to Hwy 166/West Side Hwy), continue 13.8 miles
5) Veer left (south) onto CA-33, continue 3.5 miles
6) Turn left (east) onto Ballinger Canyon Road, continue about 3 miles toward staging area.


Contact InfoLos Padres National Forest - Mt. Pinos Ranger District
34580 Lockwood Valley Road
Frazier Park, CA 93225
(661) 245-3731
Commentselect option 3 for trail conditions
Contact InfoParks Management Company
P.O. Box 1018
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-1996


Ballinger Canyon Trail Photo

Ballinger Canyon OHV Area Trail

All motorized trails are clearly marked with difficulty levels and the permitted vehicles. For instance this trail is for motorcycles only. UTVs and ATVs are prohibited.

Ballinger Canyon Trail Photo

A scenic top down view of the of the RV campground and the ATV staging area.

This is a photo of the ATV unloading area and the RV campground.

Ballinger Canyon Trail Photo

A close up photo of a narrow motorcycle trail along the ridgeline of steep mountain.

The perimeter trails offer some great scenic views. This is a motorcycle only trail but there are plenty of trails wide enough for a UTV.

Ballinger Canyon Trail Photo

Two young children riding Suzuki 50cc dirt bikes on wide and flat 4x4 road.

Trail 24 is rated easy and is the main artery to some of the tougher trails. It is great for mini dirt bikes and low powered UTVs.

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