Davy Brown Campground -



Figueroa Mountain

Thirteen campsites on a first come, first served basis. Located along Davy Brown Creek two miles upstream from the entry point into the San Rafael Wilderness near Nira Camp.

Reservations: Thirteen campsites. First come, first served.
Camp Cost: No charge for the camp but an Adventure Pass is required to stay there.
RestrictionsMust pack out garbage. 14 day stay limit.
Water: None
Restrooms: Vault toilets

Forest Notes
Cradled in the beautiful Sunset Valley of Los Padres National Forest, along the serene and peaceful Davy Brown Creek, sets Davy Brown Campground.  Davy Brown Campground is the home of 13 scenic and picturesque campsites. The soothing sounds of the running creek can be heard from all campsites, making this campground a favorite for those planning a tranquil and relaxing get-away.  Each campsite is equipped with fire rings, pedestal barbeques and a picnic table along with two sets of vault bathrooms (wheelchair accessible) spaced strategically throughout the campground.  Davy Brown Campground can accommodate up to 25 foot trailers and RVs, although hook-ups are not available.Three dumpsters are located on Figueroa Mountain Road for convenient trash disposal, although none are available at this site.


As of March 1, 2013, Fishing is NOT allowed in the Davy Brown Creek. On hot summer days, the creek provides relief as visitors bask in the water holes located along the creek.  It is also a birders delight as it houses such birds as king-fishers, juncos, stellar jays, white-breasted nuthatches, warblers and many more. Migrating birds, such as the exquisite western tanager are often seen from spring to August.  

Davy Brown Campground is the starting point for several trails, including the spectacular Davy Brown Trail/Fir Canyon Trail. Two miles further are the Lower Manzana and Upper Manzana Trailheads, entry points to the majestic San Rafael Wilderness.  From mid August to late September, this campground is very popular with hunters during the annual deer season. Hot summer months also bring out gnats and deer flies, so don’t forget your insect repellant. Potable water is not available.


  1. From Highway 154 take Armour Ranch Road one mile and turn right on to Happy Canyon Road.
  2. Follow Happy Canyon 11 miles northeast to Cachuma Saddle.
  3. Continue straightahead on Sunset Valley Road four miles to the camp.

Jim Blakely Notes
Davy Brown was born in 1800 in Ireland. At a young age he went to sea and is reported to have brought slaves from Africa to the Americas. He came to the United States and is said to have fought in the battle of New Orleans. Coming out west be became a hunter furnishing meat to the 49'ers. Davy settled on the Cuyama River but when people moved in to the area, he purchased property near Guadeloupe then rented it and moved to the San Rafael Mountains.

At first he lived in a tent and then in 1879 he built a log cabin and lived there with another old fellow he called "his boy". When this man died in 1895, Davy moved to Guadeloupe in 1898 and died at the age of 98. He said he wanted to live to be 100 years old but missed it by two years. In the 1930's the CCC razed the o1d cabin. Now all that remains is a pile of rocks from the chimney, purple glass fragments and square iron nails.

Burtness Notes
The camp is named for William S. (Davy) Brown, who kept a cabin here from 1879 to 1895, and had an interesting and mysterious past. He ran slaves from Africa to Cuba, hunted with Kit Carson and other scouts, fought Indians and smugglers with the Texas Rangers, and supplied meat to California Forty-niners during the Gold Rush. He reportedly killed a man earlier in life, came here to evade the law, and although a long time heavy drinker, never talked about the murder charge or his slave trading days. Considered a recluse, he welcomed visitors, led an active life, and died in Guadalupe in 1898 at age 98. His cabin was razed by the C.C.C. in the early 30's. An earth encrusted pile of rocks at the lower edge of camp are its only remains today.





Visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to reserve a site. 60% of sites are reservable and others are first come, first served.

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Davy Brown Campground Details

  • Location Facts : Managed by Rocky Mountain Recreation Company (805) 967-8766 / www.rockymountainrec.com. 8 persons per site, 14 day stay limit.
  • Reservations : Visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to reserve a site. 60% of sites are reservable and others are first come, first served.
  • Use Fees : None
  • Canine : Dogs must be on leash in the campground

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Comments (1)

    Davy was a month shy of 98 when he died. Also, the Burtness guide may (likely) erred in reference to Davy being William S. Brown who was instead a USFS Historian who wrote the "History of the Los Padres National Forest" first published in 1945. See: Link to History of Los Padres

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Last Updated: Sunday, December 14, 2014