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Exploring The Los Padres National Forest

1,257 Miles of Trails on 1,762,400 Acres, with 875,000 Acres of Protected Wilderness to Explore.

Over 1000+ Cataloged Locations

Location specific weather reports, recent camp and trail surveys, water data and much more.

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Hiking Trails

Explore the hiking trails of the Los Padres National Forest. Combine trails to make loop trips, discover new trails for backpacking, or find new areas to explore for day hikes.


198 Hiking Trails
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Camps and Campgrounds

This updated list on camps enables you to find a new camp to visit anytime; we have included all car campgrounds and trail camps in this section.



278 Camps
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O.H.V. Trails

We got you covered on the O.H.V areas, including Google maps view of all trails, slope gains and losses, so you can be prepared for your next off road adventure.


56 OHV Trails
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Recent Water Reports
Location Date ▾ Surveyor Water Report
Lost Valley Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Fish Creek Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Manzana Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Manzana Narrows Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichTrickle
Middle Matilija Campground 07-18-2015David LeoncavalloFlowing
Espinosa Camp 07-18-2015Jesse WilliamsTrickle
Vincent Flat Camp 07-18-2015Jesse WilliamsFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 07-12-2015Jeaninne LittleTrickle
Ballard Campground 07-09-2015HikeFlowing
Bluff Guard Station 07-05-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Fishbowls Camp 07-04-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
Beartrap Camp 07-04-2015Christian HammonTrickle
Cedar Creek Camp 07-03-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Hi Mountain Campground 07-01-2015Richard W Trickle
Hog Pen Spring Camp 07-01-2015Richard W Flowing
La Panza Campground 07-01-2015Richard W Dry
Bluff Guard Station 06-23-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Madulce Camp 06-20-2015CondorStagnant
East Fork Lion Campground 06-19-2015Christian HammonTrickle
Cross Camp 06-18-2015Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 06-18-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Manzana Camp 06-18-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Mono Campground 06-17-2015Joshua IsaacDry
Bear Creek Camp 06-14-2015MikeFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 06-13-2015brianFlowing
Goat Camp 06-06-2015Eric Z.Flowing
Trail Springs Campground 06-06-2015Eric Z.Trickle
Mc Gill Campground 06-03-2015Bob HamberDry
South Fork Campground - Sisquoc 06-01-2015Hike Los PadresFlowing
Meadow Camp 05-31-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Valley View Campground 05-29-2015Dan WhelanTrickle
Bear Creek Camp 05-26-2015Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Sheep Campground 05-25-2015SaraFlowing
Vincent Flat Camp 05-25-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Potrero John Campground 05-25-2015Dan WhelanFlowing
Mission Pine Springs Campground 05-25-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Santa Cruz Campground 05-24-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Trail Springs Campground 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
Ojito Campground 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Goat Camp 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Sulphur Pot Campground 05-23-2015Seth HutchinsonFlowing
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 05-23-2015Coyote DaveFlowing
Sunset Campground 05-23-2015Erin C.Flowing
Halfmoon Campground 05-23-2015Erin C.Flowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 05-22-2015Philip AnkromTrickle
Madulce Camp 05-22-2015Condor TrailTrickle
Manzana Schoolhouse Camp 05-22-2015Paul CronshawDry
Espinosa Camp 05-22-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
Coche Camp 05-22-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Willet Camp 05-20-2015Kara HooperFlowing
Cow Spring Camp 05-18-2015Kara HooperTrickle
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 05-18-2015Kara HooperFlowing
Shaddy Campground 05-18-2015Kara HooperFlowing
Painted Rock Campground 05-17-2015Brian PidduckStagnant
Beartrap Camp 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderFlowing
Three Mile Campground 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderTrickle
Twin Forks Campground 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderTrickle
Peidra Blanca Camp 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderFlowing
Peidra Blanca Camp 05-16-2015Jeremiah SwiderFlowing
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Lost Valley Camp Survey - 07-19-2015 - by James Wapotich
Link: Lost Valley Camp
Date: 07-19-2015
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:no water, however there is good flowing water less than 1/8 mile upstream from the camp
Weather Conditions:
Fish Creek Camp Survey - 07-19-2015 - by James Wapotich
Link: Fish Creek Camp
Date: 07-19-2015
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Manzana Camp Survey - 07-19-2015 - by James Wapotich
Link: Manzana Camp
Date: 07-19-2015
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Manzana Narrows Camp Survey - 07-19-2015 - by James Wapotich
Link: Manzana Narrows Camp
Date: 07-19-2015
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Water at the pool not moving, good flow just downstream, as well as in places between Manzana Camp and Manzana Narrows. Standing water at Ray's Camp
Weather Conditions:
Middle Matilija Campground Survey - 07-18-2015 - by David Leoncavallo
Link: Middle Matilija Campground
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:David Leoncavallo
Camp Description:The campsite is in good condition, and there is enough space for 4 or 5 two person tents.  Shady enough to stay cool in the summer.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water for camping, not enough for swimming.
Weather Conditions:
Espinosa Camp Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Jesse Williams
Link: Espinosa Camp
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Jesse Williams
Camp Description:The campsite is easy to spot on the left when going up the Kirk Creek trail. It was two flat areas reach with a fire ring (although fires are not allowed in July). There are a couple of small boulders to sit on and is quite comfortable.

A few things to note:

There are a couple of smaller trails off of this site that lead to what look like common "bathroom" areas.

The site is pretty dusty and is just dust/rocks (no grass or pine needles).

The actual distance that we recorded walking was around 4 miles.

Water is about 1/4 mile up from the site.

Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Small trickle across trail about 1/4 mile up from the camp. The water falls off of a log so a bottle is easy to fill.
Weather Conditions:Weather was nice with slight overcast, followed by a light thunderstorm.
Vincent Flat Camp Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Jesse Williams
Link: Vincent Flat Camp
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Jesse Williams
Camp Description:We got to the campsite from the Kirk Creek trailhead at Highway 1. A few things to note:

The distance form Highway 1 that we recorded was 6+ miles.

BRING A BUG NET! In the summer, there are millions of little mutant black flies that are resistant to bug spray that make it their mission to land on your face/lips/ears. Bring a face net. If you read this and don't bring one, you will regret it.

The creek that runs directly through the camp is dried up but there are two smaller creeks about 1/4 mile up from he camp. These were flowing nicely and had several pools that look like you could have bathed in them.

This is a popular camp and when we went on a non-holiday weekend there were ~5 other groups there at the same time.

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Slightly overcast with a mild thunderstorm
Lost Valley Camp Survey - 07-12-2015 - by Jeaninne Little
Link: Lost Valley Camp
Date: 07-12-2015
Surveyor Name:Jeaninne Little
Camp Description:Camp is in good condition. You may need to walk up stream a little for water, but it is still there.a nice quick hike to the campsite.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:water is mostly clear, somewhere between a trickle and flowing
Weather Conditions:It was pretty hot during the day.
Ballard Campground Survey - 07-09-2015 - by Hike
Link: Ballard Campground
Date: 07-09-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike
Camp Description:
Water flowing nicely through Ballard camp.

As discovered in an online post from Santa Barbara EdHat:
http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=155504
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Bluff Guard Station Survey - 07-05-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bluff Guard Station
Date: 07-05-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:LPFA trail and road patrol.  Water is flowing slowly by steadily at Bluff.  There is water in the pools around the camp and down the trail on the Indian Creek side.  Much more water this year compared to last.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Middle Sespe Trail Survey - 07-26-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Middle Sespe Trail
Date: 07-26-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:     Well here we go again, off on another beautiful hike when the dreaded monster of plants take charge.  I was enjoying the expansive views when I dropped into Rainbow Valley and the sage brush plant obscured the trail.  Then when climbing through a knoll, jest before the only major climb, ran into 6' to 7' overgrowth of plants.  So I turned around and went back to the Sespe Trail Head at Rose Valley.   However I will make another trip and try this hike from Highway 33.  Overall this was a beautiful hike, I am just threating to bring a battery powered hedger and take care of business.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Just passed Rainbow Valley 6' to 7' tall plants overgrown on the trail (at the knoll).
Rinconada Trail Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Rinconada Trail
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:VWR Sandy and Bill removed a fallen tree from the trail.  Very hot day, many of the oaks are showing stress from the drought.
Mode of transport:Stock
Trail condition:Needs some work
Kirk Creek Trail Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Jesse Williams
Link: Kirk Creek Trail
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Jesse Williams
Trail description:The trailhead is right outside the Kirk Creek campground and is easy to follow.

A few things to note:

The distances listed may be misleading. We had a Fitbit that read around 4 miles when we reached the first campground (Esperonsa).

The first water on the trail was about 1/4 mile up from this campground and is a small trickle across the trail which I was easily able to fill up my camelbak with.

Most of the upper part of the trail is lined with poison oak so pants are a must. Other than that, it's very clear with only a couple of small rocks that you have to step over.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Rancho Nuevo Trail Survey - 07-12-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Rancho Nuevo Trail
Date: 07-12-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:     Well if your into geology I firmly believe you'll love this on.  The canyon walls speak with strata folds and castle like structures.  The first section from Rancho Nuevo Campground to Deal Junction was not a concern.  However once passed Deal you'll have to bring your patience.  I only got maybe a mile passed Deal when I had to give up DUE TO HEAVY WILD ROSE BUSHES clogging the trial, which was about hip high.  I am sorry I did not want to end up as nature's pin cushion.  Bu overall was a great hike full of solitude and geological interest.  The Canyon floor is covered with wide array of plant life, however the Zaca Fire did scare parts of the canyon walls.  If you don't have 4wheel drive vehicle like I did plan on an extra 1.5 miles of un-shaded fire road to campground. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:This trail from Deal to Upper Rancho will need some heavy WEED WRACKING due to overgrown WILD ROSE BUSHES.
Thorn Point Trail Survey - 06-27-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Thorn Point Trail
Date: 06-27-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:  From start to finish this hike has a little bit of everything.  This hike was great for geology / plant life / and ever changing views.  This hike also is a great workout, straight up ever changing switch backs.  The tower area can serve as a great overnight camp site.  I did see that previous overnighters have used the old water tank base as a fire pit.  I also saw a well used shovel and broom on the side of the tower supply shed.  Just be careful numerous rusted nails and broken glass in the area.  However you will be treated to a Gods Eye View of the area from the tower.  This one is must hike trail.  Further do bring water (due to water in the creek has a heavy alkali presence and extremely dry past the creek.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Fishbowls Trail Survey - 06-25-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Fishbowls Trail
Date: 06-25-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:   If you like serenity and solitude, you will love this hike.  Once you finish the small climb up and over into the watershed.  You will treated to island of pine forest and oak tress.  While navigating the creek area be mindful of (pink or yellow) tape for trail directions.  Two areas of trail has been washed out, however easily found tape shows you the way.  The Fishbowls Campground is an excellent site, graced with beautiful rock formation and forest.  However depending on water levels (the day that I went) was disappointing.  However great hike I did it as a loop to Cedar Creek Trail Head and was picked-up by my DAD.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Big Cone Spruce Trail Survey - 06-19-2015 - by Paul E
Link: Big Cone Spruce Trail
Date: 06-19-2015
Surveyor Name:Paul E
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Lower trail is overgrown in places. Unavoidable poison oak. Fallen trees.
Chorro Grande Trail Survey - 06-16-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Chorro Grande Trail
Date: 06-16-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:  This was a great trail from start to finish, if you want a good workout start from Highway 33 and climb to Pine Mountain Road.  Only iffy section will be from lower campground through the canyon with tall grasses.  However this hike has excellent views and majestic pine trees and rock formation from Chorro Spring Campground to Pine Mountain Road. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Manzana Trail Survey - 06-13-2015 - by Robert Feinberg
Link: Manzana Trail
Date: 06-13-2015
Surveyor Name:Robert Feinberg
Trail description:

Hiked the upper Manzana trail from Nira to Manzana Narrows. Spent the night and returned.

Trail is easy to follow and in good condition but a little overgrown in a few places. There's a tree down across the path in between Manzana and Manzana Narrows but there's plenty of room to go under it without bending over too far.

First water after Nira is at Rays Camp which is still flowing a little bit. Rays Camp doesn't appear to show on this map, but it's about a mile before Manzana Campground. Water still flowing at Manzana and Manzana Narrows.

Camp sites are all in good shape -- pretty clean. There's one small table kind of broken at one of the sites, Manzana I think.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Arroyo Burro Trail Survey - 06-07-2015 - by Caddo Mounds
Link: Arroyo Burro Trail
Date: 06-07-2015
Surveyor Name:Caddo Mounds
Trail description:

Much improved on south-facing private owned stretch compared to a couple of years ago thanks to some trail volunteers.  Could use some more work.  Probably can't be organized work by county or forest service because on private property.

Trail from SY river to E Camino Cielo is in usual good condition.  Trail down to Santa Barbara is not hard to follow and appears to be getting more use recently.

Available water at usual places on both sides.

Abundant poison oak at this time but very few ticks found.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Could use more lopping south-facing private section
View All Trail Reports

Latest Comments

Hi Teresa - Access up Matilija Canyon would involve trespassing.  There has not been a resolution to the public easement issue that we are aware of.   read more...
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Author's website: www.LPForest.org
Has access or easement with regard to the Matilija Canyon Trail or Falls been resolved?  read more...
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Hi Yamato - Your car should be fine.  Don't leave any valuables and no Adventure Pass will be needed.  Your bigger concern will be water availability and heat.  Have fun. read more...
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Author's website: www.LPForest.org

Hi, I'd like to backpack this trail for 3 nights in August 2015 for my anniversary. However, I noticed it says to park next to "Summit School" with no mention of an adventure pass or how long you can park there. Will my car be alright parked there…

read more...
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Very little "dripping" occurring at Dripping Springs right now but plenty of water for filtering in the pools below it. read more...
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Cow Springs was flowing as of 5/21/2015. Tasting notes: hints of rust and fart but quite refreshing. read more...
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Just a trickle from the spring on May 18, 2015.  There is a small crack in the spring box, however, and I was able to use a siphon to fill the bottles for my group (of 10) in conjunction with the trickle from the pipe below the spring. Trough was full… read more...
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I visited Squaw Spring on Sunday, May 17, 2015, and it had a wonderful little water flow.  One has to walk upstream from the campsite area to find it, but it is there and pump-able and drinkable.  Last year in May of 2014, this was dry, so I was very… read more...
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Sespe Hot Springs is a must see if you are heading down the Sespe trail.  It is like entering a lunar landscape, with so steam pouring out of the rocks and water pools and strange things growing in the pools of water.  Also, the camp sites are unique,… read more...
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Currently, the spring itself is not easy to access; there is a lot of poison oak right in front of the water.  Be careful! read more...
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