San Rafael Wilderness
Mormon Camp is located in a small meadow just under 2 miles upstream from Water Canyon Camp and a half mile downstream form the Wellman ruins.
Elevation: Google Earth says the elevation is 1,473'
Distance: Mormon Camp is 1.75 miles upstream from Water Canyon Camp and 2.88 miles downstream from Miller Camp.
The camp is located on the east end of an extended meadow near the point where the trail crosses the creek. The setting is picturesque and not too far downstream from the Wellman homestead described below. I've often stayed at Mormon Camp and always enjoyed the camp. The meadow is pretty and the camp situated at the edhe of the meadow in a spot that provides nice early morning sun and plenty of of shade in the afternoon.
Jim Blakley Notes
The camp was named by William Griffin who was a Forest Ranger and member of the Mormon Church. It was stated that the homesteaders along the Sisquoc river were Momons but this was not correct.
Wellman Canyon is located short distance upstream, the site of Adolph Wellmann's homestead. He probably had the largest homestead on the Sisquoc. He grew apricots, apples, grapes and ran cattle. About I mile up the Sisquoc, on the south bank, Herman Wellmann built a stone house on his homestead. He died of tuberculosis and is buried near Adolph's home. A stone chimney and numerous pieces of abandoned farm equipment marks the site of Adolph's home. The house burned in 1920 and the family moved to Santa Maria so their son could attend school. Wellmann is the correct spelling. The U. S. Geological Survey made the mistake about the spelling when they mapped the area.
Bob Burtness Notes
Administration: Los Padres National Forest, Santa Lucia District
Access: About 14 miles from Nira Camp via the Manzana(30WI3) and Sisquoc River (30WI2) trails.
U.S. Forest Service map coordinates: 1-15 Topographical map: Bald Mountain
Elevation: 1,520 feet (465 meters)Terrain: canyon
Vegetation: oak woodland Tables: I (home made)
Stoves: 2 (grated)
Water: Sisquoc River
Historical Highlights: This camp was so named by William Griffin, a forest ranger and member of the Mormon Church. While it is commonly assumed that the homesteaders in this area were Mormon, they actually were not. They followed the faith healing of Hiram Preservid Wheat, patriarch of the community.
Just up the river from this camp, Adolf and Louise (Kline) Willmann, born in Germany, established a homestead in the 1880's. Here, they had a large apricot orchard and a wine grape vineyard, and they were among the most successful homesteaders in the Sisquoc River Valley. However, times began to change for them when they encountered problems with the Sisquoc Ranch over the road access to their property. Consequently, they sold out and left the area around 1912 or 1913. They were one of the last families to leave. The grave is that of one of Adolfs relatives, Herman Willmann, who died of tuberculosis. He established a homestead further up the river, and the remains of his stone house can still be seen. The present name, "Wellman," used to label the adjacent canyon, is a corruption of "Willman" by the U.S. Topographic map maker in 1902.
In June, 1966, a small airplane attempting to land on Wellman Mesa crashed at a spot between the river and the trail and caused a 90,000 acre fire. While two persons were killed in the wreck, two others miraculously survived.