Southeast of Cuyama in the Los Padres National Forest, the Ballinger Canyon OHV Area is one of the most popular areas to ride ATVs in California. The trail system has wide diversity, including winding singletrack. It consists of over 30 trail segments to form an infinite number of loops ranging from easy to difficult. There are 11 4WD roads, 12 ATV trails and 14 motorcycle only trails in the area. Overall, there are about 68 miles of trails in the area.
To reach the trailhead from US5, use Exit 225. Head west on SR166 for 23 miles to Maricopa. Head south on SR33 for 18 miles. Turn east on Ballinger Canyon Road (FS 9N10). Park near Campground.
It is best to call ahead since there are several random seasonal closures in this area due to rain or fire.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding is only permitted on Forest Service roads with vertical number signs. All ATVs must have a valid California Green ATV sticker. ATV riding is prohibited on Forest Service roads with horizontal number signs.
Overall, Ballinger Canyon OHV Area is the 34th most popular ATV riding trail of all 106 ATV trails in California.