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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.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Hike Los Padres Community. This website was created with the mission of being a source of shared information on trails, camps and locations across the entire Northern and Southern portions of the Los Padres National Forest. The more information we all share and catalog, the better we can track the conditions of the forest network and figure out what sections, trails and or locations are safe to use and which need maintenance.

A good portion of the interior of Los Padres National Forest gets very little use by the general public, so any information on these areas will ensure that these places stay accessible for future generations of hikers, backpackers, trail runners, equestrians, O.H.V's, hunters, cyclists, and explorers. Many of the trails listed on this site may be unmaintained, know your level of ability and always remember to bring extra water.

In partnership with the Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA). The LPFA mission is to care for the Los Padres Forest, ensuring it thrives and remains safe and open for the people to use and enjoy. LPFA volunteers work to keep trails open, report and assess forest conditions and provide public education on how to safely use the forest. If interested becoming a member or volunteering, then please visit www.lpforest.org to learn more.

Over 1000+ Cataloged Locations

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

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.

205 Hiking Trails
View All 205 Trails →
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.

293 Camps
View All 293 Camps →
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
View All O.H.V. Trails →

Recent Water Reports
Location Date ▾ Surveyor Water Report
Montgomery Number Three Spring 6-12-17Erica ReinheimerFlowing
Black Willow Spring 6-10-17Erica ReinheimerFlowing
Sheep Camp 07-19-2017bardleyFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 07-16-2017Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Matilija Camp 07-15-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Carrizo Springs Camp 07-08-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Chorro Spring 07-08-2017Anonymous SurveyorDry
Cedar Creek Camp 07-03-2017H. KetchumTrickle
Lady Bug Camp 07-03-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Bates Canyon Campground 07-03-2017Anonymous SurveyorDry
Raspberry Camp 07-03-2017Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Forbush Camp 07-02-2017Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
Beartrap Camp 06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Haddock Camp 06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Three Mile Camp 06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Twin Forks Camp 06-29-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Sheep Camp 06-27-2017RichFlowing
Haddock Camp 06-26-2017Craig R. CareyTrickle
Three Mile Camp 06-26-2017Craig R. CareyTrickle
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 06-26-2017Craig R. CareyTrickle
Sheep Camp 06-25-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Sheep Camp 06-25-2017Troop 1Flowing
Upper Reyes Camp 06-25-2017Craig R. CareyFlowing
Beartrap Camp 06-25-2017Craig R. CareyFlowing
Willet Camp 06-15-2017larry frassoldatiFlowing
Pine Mountain Campground 06-14-2017Anonymous SurveyorDry
Coldwater Camp 06-11-2017MSchlessFlowing
Cottam Camp 06-10-2017SeedubyuhTrickle
Happy Hunting Ground Camp 06-10-2017Paul CronshawStagnant
South Fork Camp - Sisquoc 06-10-2017Paul CronshawFlowing
Coche Camp 06-10-2017Axel Flowing
Alder Creek Camp - Santa Barbara County 06-10-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Chorro Grande Camp 06-10-2017larry frassoldatiDry
Kellogg Camp 06-09-2017axel Flowing
Santa Ynez Peak 06-08-2017Jim YoungDry
Santa Ynez Peak 06-08-2017Jim YoungDry
Valley View Camp 06-06-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Madulce Camp 06-04-2017DirgeFlowing
Alder Creek Camp - Santa Barbara County 06-02-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Heath Camp 06-02-2017Arliss CrowFlowing
Falls Camp 06-02-2017Arliss CrowFlowing
Haddock Camp 06-01-2017JDFlowing
Potrero Camp 06-01-2017Forrest Flowing
Sheep Camp 05-30-2017bardleyFlowing
Cow Spring Camp 05-30-2017Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Reyes Creek Campground 05-29-2017Jeff CFlowing
Sheep Camp 05-28-2017Troop 119Flowing
Matilija Camp 05-28-2017AndrewFlowing
Cedar Creek Camp 05-28-2017Bryant KogerFlowing
Big Cone Spruce Camp 05-28-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Raspberry Camp 05-27-2017Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Cottam Camp 05-27-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 05-27-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Upper Reyes Camp 05-27-2017Paul M.Flowing
Three Mile Camp 05-25-2017bardleyFlowing
Fishbowls Camp 05-24-2017LightningrodFlowing
Manzana Schoolhouse Camp 05-24-2017Ryan CheneyFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 05-24-2017bardleyFlowing
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 05-23-2017Erin cFlowing
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Montgomery Number Three Spring Survey - 6-12-17 - by Erica Reinheimer
Link: Montgomery Number Three Spring
Date: 6-12-17
Surveyor Name:Erica Reinheimer
Camp Description:By my reckoning, this spring is not the spring next to the cabin in Montgomery portero.It is just over the hill, quite close by. It is a better water source than the cattle trough next to the cabin.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Black Willow Spring Survey - 6-10-17 - by Erica Reinheimer
Link: Black Willow Spring
Date: 6-10-17
Surveyor Name:Erica Reinheimer
Camp Description:By my reckoning, this is the spring next to the cabin on Montgomery Portero. The spigot near the cabin was dry, but the inlet to the cattle trough was flowing well. Fortunately, we had a shallow pan to catch the water before it went into the trough; then we filtered the water.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Sheep Camp Survey - 07-19-2017 - by bardley
Link: Sheep Camp
Date: 07-19-2017
Surveyor Name:bardley
Camp Description: - no dead animals this time.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details: - more than a trickle, less than a great flow.
Weather Conditions:73F, sl breeze
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 07-16-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 07-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Note that there is very little shade on the trail from the Piedra Blanca Trailhead. Trail camp is clean, but unmarked. If you get to the Sespe creek crossing, you have gone too far. All the earlier crossings are of dry creek-beds.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Water was still flowing but very slowly
Weather Conditions:
Matilija Camp Survey - 07-15-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Matilija Camp
Date: 07-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:I camped here last year in September, and the water level was noticeably higher this weekend. Was a scorching hot weekend, but we decided to hike the newly opened Matilija Falls trail and enjoyed basking in the swimming holes between treks.

It was pretty buggy, lots of flies in the morning and evening that liked to buzz around your face. There was a fair amount of red angry poison oak along the edges of the trail and dispersed through the camps so you definitely had to watch your footing. Gorgeous scenery and barely anyone else on the trails.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:95 daytime, 65 nighttime
Carrizo Springs Camp Survey - 07-08-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Carrizo Springs Camp
Date: 07-08-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:First time, great trail in good shape to the Springs.  Great morning hike, alternating shade and exposed. Good tread except in two spots. Great to go thru strands of infant, juvenile and established groves of sugar pine...making our way thru sandstone gardens with great views.  The trail impels you to keep going to the next turn and view. Don't realized the steepness of the trail til you go down. Shade was the Savior on this record hot day...nice pool to cool down at the bridge. For more historical information look up Tim Bottoms youtube on his ranch.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Hard to get to thru the poison oak
Weather Conditions:very hot 109
Chorro Spring Survey - 07-08-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Chorro Spring
Date: 07-08-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Completely dry. Heard from a search and rescue person that it has been dry for a few years now even in the winter.
Weather Conditions:
Cedar Creek Camp Survey - 07-03-2017 - by H. Ketchum
Link: Cedar Creek Camp
Date: 07-03-2017
Surveyor Name:H. Ketchum
Camp Description:Lovely open camp.  There are three fire rings, one for each camp site.  Lots of rocks to use as cooking surfaces but no tables.  Plenty of dry wood to burn, mostly small sticks, had to hunt for larger logs.  Wish we had gone in late May or June with more water in the creek.  There were lots small black flies and mosquitoes. Prepare to get bitten.  Not crowded at all.  Just us and one other small party.  Didn't see anyone hike through. 
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Two pools with a trickle between them. It's down a steep little hill on the edge of the Camp.
Weather Conditions:Hot and Sunny. 85 degrees during day, 58 at night.
Lady Bug Camp Survey - 07-03-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lady Bug Camp
Date: 07-03-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:The portion of the spring nearest to the campsite was ample for water replenishing. The higher up I went (South, towards Hines Peak/away from the Sespe River) away from the camp the better the flow of the spring.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:80/50F
Bates Canyon Campground Survey - 07-03-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bates Canyon Campground
Date: 07-03-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Few snake 
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Dry, Sunny. 100F/65F
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Mt Pinos - Tumamait Trail Survey - 07-19-2017 - by bardley
Link: Mt Pinos - Tumamait Trail
Date: 07-19-2017
Surveyor Name:bardley
Trail description: - it is depressing to see how much the constant use of the switchback-cutting use trail down the western side of mt. pinos has almost become the route of choice.

- on my way to sheep camp, i followed a white-haired fellow traveler down that side and watched as he veered off trail onto the use trail before he reached any of the switchbacks.  i continued on the trail.  i watched as he came and went in and out of view all the way down and then lost sight of him.

- the funny thing is that i caught up and passed him just after the sawmill mountain uphill begins.  as most will tell you, bardley is not a fast hiker.  quite the contrary.

- in my opinion, that knucklehead should have known better and is only contributing to the lasting damage that will be left for future generations.  he saved himself zero time.

- rant off.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckeye Trail Survey - 07-10-2017 - by Alan Curtis
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 07-10-2017
Surveyor Name:Alan Curtis
Trail description:My son and I hiked up the Buckeye Trail to Buckeye Camp on July 8 2017.  There are spectacular views and we had the place to ourselves.  We met two hikers on the 9th as we were returning to the trail head.  There are a few sketchy spots on the trail with loose gravel and rock along steep drop offs.  I'm 58 and was carrying a 30 lb pack, so it is doable, but an easy hike this trail is not.  

There are two or three running water sources between the trail head and the camp.  They look seasonal so I wouldn't depend on these later in the year.  The last water source was about two miles from the camp.  I consumed 4 liters of water on the hike (it was 85-90 degrees) and was extremely happy to see water running out of the pipe at Buckeye Spring.  

There are two campsites around the meadow at Buckeye.  One of them has a rickety picnic table under a spread of huge oak trees.  This is the one closest to the spring.  A large snake was drowsing at the entrance to a hole in the base of the main tree so be careful, it's right next to the path from the table to the spring.  There was also some annoying TP litter at the base of one of the other trees.  The other site is 150 yards or so NW, and was a little nicer so we stayed there.  Swarms of gnats were a constant nuisance at both sites.

There is lots and lots of poison oak on this trail.  Most of it was avoidable, but a couple of spots had it hanging from both sides of the trail and it was basically impossible to get by without brushing some parts of your body.  I highly recommend long pants and hiking poles on this trail.

All in all it's a challenging but beautiful trail.      
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:A few downed trees and quite a bit of overly aggressive poison oak.
Franklin Trail South Survey - 07-06-2017 - by La Foote
Link: Franklin Trail South
Date: 07-06-2017
Surveyor Name:La Foote
Trail description:Finally hiked phase 3 today and it is absolutely wonderful!  Wide and clean, some lingering wildflowers still hanging on. We started at 7am, so had adequate shade all the way up to the top. It took us roughly 3 hours from Carp High to the DP road. We then tacked on another 4.5 miles and did FT North to Jameson and back. Glad to get back on FT south and let gravity help us home. Long, hot, gruel-tastic hike. Our (my) pace was slow due to the heat and gains. Total time 5 hours each way from Carp High to Jameson, but well worth it.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Franklin Trail North Survey - 07-06-2017 - by La Foote
Link: Franklin Trail North
Date: 07-06-2017
Surveyor Name:La Foote
Trail description:We hiked up from Carp High on FT South to DP road, and then down past Alder Camp to Jameson and back.  Trail was more brushy on this side but still easy to follow. I had my pruning shears with me so I did some random pruning here and there on obvious overhanging branches.  Poison oak around, but relatively avoidable. Funny to see the toilet just sitting there on the side of the trail prior to entering camp. No water flowing in washes above camp, but flowing below camp. Water flowing at Alder Creek Dam, no water in flume. Flume is being worked on with many new wooden struts in place in the initial section. A hot, long gruel=tastic hike especially re=ascending back up from Alder to the road. Glad to finally check this off my list!  I'd like to go back and see some water flowing down that flume. Total trip time 5 hours each way, 10 hours total from Carp High to Jameson and back.
Pros:  Water, shade, lingering wildflowers, dragonflies and butterflies.
Cons: Lots of biting flies and other pesky flying insects in the woody shaded sections by creek. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Blue Canyon Trail Survey - 07-04-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Blue Canyon Trail
Date: 07-04-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Started on the trail at cold spring saddle, lots of poison oak but the trail was in good shape until the switch backs further down in the canyon. Both forebush flats and cottam campgrounds were in good shape but no water in the creeks until blue canyon campground. There's a tree down across the trail between cottam and blue canyon campgrounds but it was easy to get over. We hiked out the Romero trail, very steep but easy to follow with great views.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Tree down over the trail between cottam and blue canyon campsites, also lots of poison oak covering the trail on the north west end
Judell Trail Survey - 07-04-2017 - by Duane Waite
Link: Judell Trail
Date: 07-04-2017
Surveyor Name:Duane Waite
Trail description:Ignorance is bliss.
I'm one of those people who enjoys hiking at night, so I wasn't too concerned when I headed out to SB Canyon from LA in late afternoon instead of early in the morning as I'd planned.
After a hike up Sierra Madre Road, I arrived at the trail head as the sun was setting. I had hiked the trail several years before, but with the recent storms, finding the trail through the washouts and overgrowth in increasing darkness became more and more difficult as I descended. By the time I made it to the wilderness sign, I knew there was no way I could continue, even with my bright headlamp and trail finding skills.
After 45 minutes, I I turned back at the bear clawed wilderness sign.
It took me nearly two hours to find my way back up the maze of trails, washouts and blind turns to the trail head.
At midnight, I laid out my tent right there on Sierra Madre Road and thought to myself, "a misadventure is still an adventure." About a billion coyotes howled, barked and yipped the rest of the night in response.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Condition details:Aborted attempt to hike down the Judell at night. But I will be back (when the sun's out!)
Willow Creek Trail Survey - 06-30-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Willow Creek Trail
Date: 06-30-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:At one point along the Kinder mine road there is an obvious fork. I believe the right fork goes to the actual mine and the left fork (when coming from the top of coast road) goes to the homestead.   The homestead is in an idyllic location,  a flat meadowy area bordered by redwood trees on one side.  The plumbing at the homestead seems to be still working, though it ran brown for a while before clearing up.   We did not have time to investigate either the mine site or the whearabouts of the spring suplying water to the homestead.
    Finding the willow creek trail from the homestead to the willow creek camp proved to be very difficult.  We failed and ended up walking down the willow creek until the 1st major tributary entering from the north.  We ascended just left (west) of this tributary to find the trail about 200ft above Willow creek, then followed that to Willow creek camp and to Willow creek road.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Condition details:We proceeded from the south-coast-ridge road down the old Kinder Mine road. This road has a lot of brush encroaching on it.
Fishbowls Trail Survey - 06-30-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Fishbowls Trail
Date: 06-30-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Stayed there overnight on a 8 day journey...all good till a group of college age group showed up.....terrible at best....pools were great
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Rinconada Trail Survey - 06-25-2017 - by Wamp Outdoors
Link: Rinconada Trail
Date: 06-25-2017
Surveyor Name:Wamp Outdoors
Trail description:June 25, 2017 We hiked Rinconada through to Little Falls Spring. Trail was completely clear and looked like some maintenance has been completed in recent months. After cresting the trail, the portion of trail / road is very rutted and loose heading down to LF Springs. NO WATER flowing anywhere - even at the springs. We left the TH around 3pm at 95+ temperatures and went through three quarts of water apiece. Yes, we were dripping!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
North Fork Lockwood Trail Survey - 06-23-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: North Fork Lockwood Trail
Date: 06-23-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Article featuring the North Fork Lockwood from the Santa Barbara Independent by Richie Demaria:

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
View All Trail Reports

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