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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.

Recent Water Reports
Location Date ▾ Surveyor Water Report
Potrero Camp 01-22-2017Josh IsaacFlowing
Mono Campground 01-16-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Forbush Camp 01-16-2017Shaddus MaximusTrickle
Middle Matilija Camp 01-16-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Lady Bug Camp 01-15-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Rock Campground 01-15-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Upper Caliente Camp 01-15-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Potrero Camp 01-15-2017Coyote DaveFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 01-15-2017Coyote DaveFlowing
Cottam Camp 01-14-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Twin Forks Camp 01-14-2017Yellow MantisFlowing
Gridley Springs Camp 01-08-2017Anonymous SurveyorDry
Blue Canyon Camp 01-08-2017Joshua IsaacFlowing
Upper Blue Canyon Camp 01-08-2017Joshua IsaacFlowing
The Pines Camp 01-08-2017Josh Lee PasholkDry
Gridley Springs Camp 01-06-2017Josh PasholkDry
South Fork Camp - Sisquoc 01-01-2017Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Lonnie Davis Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
White Ledge Camp - San Rafael Wilderness 01-01-2017Shaddus Maximus Trickle
Happy Hunting Ground Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusTrickle
Alcove Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusTrickle
Manzana Narrows Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Manzana Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusFlowing
Rays Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusTrickle
Fish Creek Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusDry
Lost Valley Camp 01-01-2017Shaddus MaximusTrickle
Hi Mountain 12-29-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
American Canyon Campground 12-25-2016Jon-Erik StormFlowing
Chester Spring 12-25-2016Jon-Erik StormTrickle
Don Victor Camp 12-19-2016Menso de JongDry
Rollins Camp 12-19-2016Menso de JongStagnant
Lower Alamar Camp 12-19-2016Menso de JongFlowing
Manzana Schoolhouse Camp 12-17-2016Matt DailyStagnant
McKinley Spings Camp 12-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
McKinley Spings Camp 12-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Cottam Camp 12-05-2016TJDry
Alder Creek Camp - Santa Barbara County 12-04-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 11-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
Willet Camp 11-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Painted Rock Camp 11-26-2016NathanFlowing
Hartman Camp 11-26-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
White Ledge Camp - Red Reef Trail 11-26-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Matilija Camp 11-24-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Brookshire Campground 11-23-2016Condor TrailFlowing
Big Cone Spruce Camp 11-22-2016Curt CraggTrickle
Middle Lion Campground 11-21-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Alejandro Camp 11-19-2016Greg S.Stagnant
Matilija Camp 11-15-2016Jasonn BeckstrandFlowing
Manzana Narrows Camp 11-15-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
South Fork Camp - Sisquoc 11-15-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Cottonwood Camp - Sisquoc Trail 11-15-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Mansfield Camp 11-15-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Escondido Campground 11-14-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Cottonwood Campground 11-12-2016Oh ThreeFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 11-12-2016Jasonn BeckstrandFlowing
Big Pine Mountain 11-11-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Sespe Hot Springs 11-11-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Sunset Campground 11-11-2016Oh ThreeFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 11-11-2016Jasonn BeckstrandFlowing
Forbush Camp 11-06-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Potrero Camp Survey - 01-22-2017 - by Josh Isaac
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 01-22-2017
Surveyor Name:Josh Isaac
Camp Description:Visited during a dry spell between storms -- the storm had toppled a tree in camp. It fell on the table and over the campfire ring. Needs removal and table needs repair.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Beast mode! Thigh high, strong current.
Weather Conditions:High 40s, had just stormed
Mono Campground Survey - 01-16-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Mono Campground
Date: 01-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of water flowing in Mono Creek with the recent rains
Weather Conditions:
Forbush Camp Survey - 01-16-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Forbush Camp
Date: 01-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Good clear pools of water to filter from with a small amount of flow.
Weather Conditions:
Middle Matilija Camp Survey - 01-16-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Middle Matilija Camp
Date: 01-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Flowing nicely with several pools
Weather Conditions:Mild and sunny!
Lady Bug Camp Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lady Bug Camp
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Trail from Sespe in good shape. 
Camp area is visted a lot less than the usual Sespe destination. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:My visit was just after the recent storm. Lows in the 30's
Rock Campground Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Rock Campground
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good amount of flowing water in Caliente Creek
Weather Conditions:
Upper Caliente Camp Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Upper Caliente Camp
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Coyote Dave
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Coyote Dave
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Manzana was boot to calf deep at crossing
Weather Conditions:
Lost Valley Camp Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Coyote Dave
Link: Lost Valley Camp
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Coyote Dave
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Manzana was fllowing nicely
Weather Conditions:
Cottam Camp Survey - 01-14-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Cottam Camp
Date: 01-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of flowing water in the creek right now!
Weather Conditions:
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Manzana Trail West (Lower) Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Coyote Dave
Link: Manzana Trail West (Lower)
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Coyote Dave
Trail description:Trail was in excellent shape down to Portrero Camp and had clearly been worked on recently. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Horn Canyon Trail Survey - 01-08-2017 - by Josh Lee Pasholk
Link: Horn Canyon Trail
Date: 01-08-2017
Surveyor Name:Josh Lee Pasholk
Trail description:

We went hiking on a Sunday after the rain. There were quite a few other hikers on the trail and there must have been horses hours before as we saw lots of fresh horse droppings. A few mountain bikers as well

Horn Canyon is a steep unforgiving hike in many ways. It doesn't mess around at all. I'd estimate that the elevation gain from the trailhead to The Pines campground where we went is about 1500 to 1700 feet in just 2 or 3 miles, which is a lot.

The trail was pretty muddy in some sections especially where it's torn up from the horses. This is pretty expected and didn't deter us in the least. Other than that it was easy to follow and wasn't slippery other than the ground being a little soft in places.

Check out more info and pictures on my blog!

If you'd like, you can sign up for my newsletter. Right now I'm having them go out once a week, every Monday. I may change that as it might be too much. Please leave any feedback as a comment on my site! 


Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Red Reef Trail Survey - 01-08-2017 - by Carlos Davidson
Link: Red Reef Trail
Date: 01-08-2017
Surveyor Name:Carlos Davidson
Trail description:Backpacked Jan 8-11. Heavy rain on night of 8th and 10. Trail in great shape. Up Sisar canyon, went as far as junction with Santa Paula canyon trail (Last Chance Trail). Also took side spur to top of Topatopa bluff.

On backside of Topatopa bluff lots of bear scat on the trail.

Water available just below where trail first crosses upper reach of Santa Paula creek - just east of spur trail to top of Topatopa bluff.

Great views into Sepse and out to Channel Islands with constantly changing clouds.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Gridley Trail Survey - 01-06-2017 - by Josh Pasholk
Link: Gridley Trail
Date: 01-06-2017
Surveyor Name:Josh Pasholk
Trail description:Hiked up to Gridley Springs camp after a day of rain. Ground was still pretty wet with sitting water here and there. Not too muddy on the trail for the most part. Lots of cars on the trailhead. Saw plenty of hikers and mountain bikers. Very cold in the shade, getting down to around 48 degrees. Trail was in really good shape.

Saw the Ojai fritillary just sprouting up in many areas. I want to hike back up and check on the progress soon!

Check out my blog post on this hike for more pictures if you'd like!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Murietta Trail Survey - 01-03-2017 - by Matt Swider
Link: Murietta Trail
Date: 01-03-2017
Surveyor Name:Matt Swider
Trail description:Hiked up the trail to the forest rte 5N13 up to the spring of the right side of the road.  Trail from a bit past the Murietta camp to the road was a bit overgrown in areas, but still very passable.  Once we got on the road we encoutered a downed oak tree limb that blocked the road.  Fortunately I brought a hand saw and we cleared about half the road, see the pictures.  Just below the spring a few hundred yards we encountered the biggest ladybug gathering I have ever seen.  And I have seen some pretty good sized ones on the trails in the area.  About 20 feet on both sides of the road were loaded with lady bugs.  

Had hoped to hike up to the divide but one in our group was tiring, so we turned around at the spring.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Horn Canyon Trail Survey - 01-02-2017 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Horn Canyon Trail
Date: 01-02-2017
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Trail description:Walked the Horn Cyn Trail en route to the Morgan Barnes today. Route's in great shape aside from all the dog leavings along the trail (CARRY IT OUT, FOLKS!). Good water in the first and second crossings. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Potrero John Trail Survey - 12-29-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Potrero John Trail
Date: 12-29-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Great writeup by ValHikes featuring some of the sights and sounds (if you look really carefully) of the Potrero John Trail:

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Ortega OHV Trail Survey - 12-26-2016 - by EH
Link: Ortega OHV Trail
Date: 12-26-2016
Surveyor Name:EH
Trail description:Rode the trail yesterday. Trail is in good shape. There are lots of loose rocks, but that is normal for this trail. The bushes in the forrest section (mile ~1 to ~2) seemed adequately trimmed, and caused no hindrance. There was no wash-out of the trail from the rain storm on 12/23/16 and 12/24/16. All the rocky sections had dried up sufficiently for the tires to get good traction while going up them. The last few hills before the campground (6 miles in) was covered with snow. Also, most of the trail section from the campground to the intersection with Cherry Creek Rd (mile 6 to 9) was snow covered. 

Cherry Creek Rd is currently closed, so you have to ride back down the same way.

Regarding seasonal closure of this trail: I called the Ojai Ranger district office and they confirmed that this trail does not close seasonally. They might close it if a storm washes out the trail, but then it will be posted at the trail-head.
Mode of transport:O.H.V.
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
American Canyon Trail Survey - 12-25-2016 - by Jon-Erik Storm
Link: American Canyon Trail
Date: 12-25-2016
Surveyor Name:Jon-Erik Storm
Trail description:Trail was in good shape on 12/25/2016, with a couple of streams running across that took some luck to cross dry. Easy enough to follow. Before Coyote Hole there is a rocky area that might confuse, but it's minor.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckhorn Trail Survey - 12-18-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Buckhorn Trail
Date: 12-18-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Upper buckhorn burned in the Rey fire but is holding up nicely. It looks like someone left their tools on the trail, which appear to have survived the fire. The trail gets over grown once you reach the first creek.
View All Trail Reports

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