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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
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
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
Cottam Camp 11-06-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Blue Canyon Camp 11-06-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Big Pine Camp 11-06-2016Cameron DTrickle
Piedra Blanca Camp 11-06-2016James WapotichFlowing
Twin Forks Camp 11-06-2016James WapotichFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 11-06-2016James WapotichTrickle
Coldwater Camp 11-05-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 10-30-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
McKinley Spings Camp 10-29-2016TinaFlowing
Nira Campground 10-25-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Davy Brown Campground 10-25-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Brookshire Campground 10-23-2016James WapotichStagnant
Coldwater Camp 10-22-2016Troop 91Dry
Coldwater Camp 10-22-2016Troop 91Dry
Upper Santa Ynez Camp 10-22-2016Craig R. CareyTrickle
McKinley Spings Camp 10-19-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Big Cone Spruce Camp 10-18-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Matilija Camp 10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Upper Matilija Camp 10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 10-17-2016Eldon WalkerTrickle
Manzana Narrows Camp 10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Manzana Camp 10-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Lonnie Davis Camp 10-15-2016lesliegomesDry
Middle Lion Campground 10-11-2016MarkTrickle
Rose Valley Campground 10-11-2016MarkFlowing
Mission Pine Springs Camp 10-02-2016SebastianFlowing
Piedra Blanca Camp 09-26-2016Stan KruslickyDry
Buckeye Camp 09-24-2016B.WamplerTrickle
West Fork Lion Camp 09-24-2016Craig R. CareyTrickle
Sheep Camp 09-20-2016John SantoyoDry
Piedra Blanca Camp 09-18-2016ericoFlowing
Twin Forks Camp 09-17-2016Eric OFlowing
Dominguez Canyon 09-15-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationStagnant
Bear Creek Camp 09-11-2016Michael SStagnant
Cedar Creek Camp 09-10-2016M SubbotinDry
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 09-10-2016M SubbotinTrickle
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Alder Creek Camp - Santa Barbara County Survey - 12-04-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Alder Creek Camp - Santa Barbara County
Date: 12-04-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:At the camp is dry but flowing nicely just downtrail from the camp.
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 11-27-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 11-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Large pool of water. Not flowing. Enough water to swim, filter, etc.
Weather Conditions:
Willet Camp Survey - 11-27-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Willet Camp
Date: 11-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:water flowing slightly in sespe creek directly south of camp. water spigot working fine
Weather Conditions:
Painted Rock Camp Survey - 11-26-2016 - by Nathan
Link: Painted Rock Camp
Date: 11-26-2016
Surveyor Name:Nathan
Camp Description:Found water by the cabin. Flowing at a slow rate from the hose. Judging from the green grass down stream the spring had been flowing for some time. Saw a nice snow storm the way out. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Trickle
Weather Conditions:Windy and Snowing
Hartman Camp Survey - 11-26-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Hartman Camp
Date: 11-26-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:water barely flowing in sespe creek west of camp. enough water to filter
Weather Conditions:
Matilija Camp Survey - 11-24-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Matilija Camp
Date: 11-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Quite a few nice spots to camp. We chose to stay right by the river, unique spot. Short and easy hike from the parking spot just before walking through a gated ranch. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Brookshire Campground Survey - 11-23-2016 - by Condor Trail
Link: Brookshire Campground
Date: 11-23-2016
Surveyor Name:Condor Trail
Camp Description:Miner is section hiking the CT and reported plenty of water at Brookshire.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Big Cone Spruce Camp Survey - 11-22-2016 - by Curt Cragg
Link: Big Cone Spruce Camp
Date: 11-22-2016
Surveyor Name:Curt Cragg
Camp Description:Los Padres Forest Association Volunteer Wilderness Rangers cleaned up the campsites.  Sign was re-installed at entrance to lower camp.  Carlon sign installed near trail to upper camp.  Upper camp can be hard to find due to duff on trail, but is a nice spot.  Creek is above the camp to the right as you're facing the fire pit.  Upper picnic table in decent shape, lower picnic table needs replacement.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Water was pretty good in the creek above the upper camp and below the lower camp. Flowing slowly
Weather Conditions:Clear Low 70's
Middle Lion Campground Survey - 11-21-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Middle Lion Campground
Date: 11-21-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The river was shallow around the campsites, but the further you walk up the trail the more water there was.
Weather Conditions:Clear and chilly. At night it got down to 29 degrees F.
Alejandro Camp Survey - 11-19-2016 - by Greg S.
Link: Alejandro Camp
Date: 11-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Greg S.
Camp Description:Alejandro Trail  is in good shape from Colson Canyon Rd. to Alejandro Camp considering it doesn't get much use.  wear protective clothing to guard off poison oak and ticks, LOTS OF TICKS!  Trail between Alejandro  Camp and Barrel Springs is very hard to follow, we had to turn around and head back up Alejandro Trail because it constantly dissappears.  Still, the hike was worth it because its a beautiful  lush canyon and very secluded.
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Mid 60's
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Potrero John Trail Survey - 12-04-2016 - by Don Jackson
Link: Potrero John Trail
Date: 12-04-2016
Surveyor Name:Don Jackson
Trail description:
Trail is in generally good condition and now clear of downed tree and lean-to. Water condition on creek is low, but flowing well...with many pools.
1. At 1.6 mile up, could use a trail sign to identify campground on other side of the creek.
2. For safety, there is need to rebuild the creek crossing from the trail to the campground, especially going down from the trail to the creek.
3. Campground and stove is in good shape.....very clean and welcoming.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Last 1/3 mile before campground could use some brushing to widen the trail.
Potrero John Trail Survey - 11-29-2016 - by Jim Kenney
Link: Potrero John Trail
Date: 11-29-2016
Surveyor Name:Jim Kenney
Trail description:Decided to just knock this one off of the list.  The start of the trail is well maintained and easy to follow.  The creek is flowing nicely easily forded.  There is a tree across the trail at about the 1/4 mile mark.  The walk around is a little challenging.  If you head up this way, bring a saw to clear the trail.  i may head up there to do it in the next couple of weeks to complete it.  TICKS are alive and abundant.  Check yourself and if you take a pet check them also.  I took my dog and removed about 10 by the time i got back to the truck.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Nice little Day hike
Matilija Canyon Trail Survey - 11-26-2016 - by Joe C
Link: Matilija Canyon Trail
Date: 11-26-2016
Surveyor Name:Joe C
Trail description:Open access once again. Day hike from N. Fork Matilija/Murrietta trailhead to Matilija falls. Nice to see some creeks and pools on the way to the falls with decent flow. Trail was in great shape until about 2 miles from first falls. Thanks to the spray paint and cairn help, whomever!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Lost Valley Trail San Rafael Wilderness Survey - 11-25-2016 - by Erin C
Link: Lost Valley Trail San Rafael Wilderness
Date: 11-25-2016
Surveyor Name:Erin C
Trail description:First time exploring this trail. For Los Padres Standards this trail is in good shape. The cut into the slope from the old road is still very visible. The slope of this trail is gentle and would be a very good MTB trail. Too bad it is wilderness so you can only walk it or horse it. The spring has just a trickle of water but it is flowing very slightly.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Thorn Point Trail Survey - 11-25-2016 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Thorn Point Trail
Date: 11-25-2016
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Trail description:Day trip to Thorn Point lookout with Troop 201 Lady Mountaineers. Cold, breezy, perfect day. Trail is outstanding condition — a few recently-downed trees have been removed in the lower section (thx VWRs!). No obstacles to top.

See also https://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/albums/72157675849954530
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Middle Sespe Trail Survey - 11-24-2016 - by Jay Rock
Link: Middle Sespe Trail
Date: 11-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Jay Rock
Trail description:Thanksgiving Day 2016

I stared at the interior Trail Head and walked it out and back. Having never been here before it was a bit confusing to find.  From the parking lot you'll start a trail and start down into the valley, you'll cross over the creek bed (dry as of this writing) and pick up the trail on the other side.  You'll ascend and wind around a bit but you'll come to the conjunction of the trials as marked with a wooden sign. see below.
The trail is more or less flat through the middle with good footing about 97% of the way.
50 degrees but no shade, I imagine it's a killer hot trail during the summer.
This time of the year, there is ice in the shade at the bottom of valleys and it was very chilly.
Trail varies in width from almost 6ft wide to single file. 
Low brush, some signs of deer, but mostly birds with a few scattered lizards.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Big Cone Spruce Trail Survey - 11-22-2016 - by Curt Cragg
Link: Big Cone Spruce Trail
Date: 11-22-2016
Surveyor Name:Curt Cragg
Trail description:The Los Padres Forest Association Volunteer Wilderness Rangers spent two days clearing trees and some brush off of the Big Cone Spruce Trail.  Both the upper and lower camps were also cleaned up.  This trail is now passable from the Manzana Junction to the camps and up to McKinley Road.  There is still some brush clearing that needs to be done but all of the large fallen trees have been cleared as of 11/20/16.

There was flowing water in the creek above the upper camp and just below the lower camp.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Lion Canyon Trail Survey - 11-21-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lion Canyon Trail
Date: 11-21-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Monte Arido Trail Survey - 11-19-2016 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: Monte Arido Trail
Date: 11-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Trail description:Ascended the Monte Arido Trail with BSA Troop 111 on a recent service project. Steep, and recent fireline work during the Rey Fire has resulted in many of the old switchbacks being brushed in, so it's even steeper than usual (if you can imagine that). Great views once we hit the Ocean View OHV route!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Fishbowls Trail Survey - 11-17-2016 - by Dave Burnett
Link: Fishbowls Trail
Date: 11-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Dave Burnett
Trail description:

                Our hike started about 7:45 am.  It was a cool, crisp day with temperature 37 degrees at the start.  Very sunny and completely clear.  We saw nothing in the sky all day other than birds, the nearly full moon and an occasional high flying aircraft.  Our plan was to hike at least to Fishbowls Campsite.  In fact we hiked about 0.6 miles past the campsite to a high sunny ridge for lunch.  Total one way distance was 6.4 miles of the 7.8 mile length of the trail.  Returned to the trailhead at about 2:30, still clear, sunny and warmed to 65 degrees.

                No difficulty following the trail except at one point about 3.25 miles from the trailhead.  The trail descends a steep, three foot bank towards the creek bed.  One path stays on the south side of the creek, which we took.  The correct path crosses the creek.  So we had a short detour around a small hill, but soon got back on track.

                We noted a couple of obstacles on the path.  One was a 2 foot diameter tree lying across the trail about 100 yards beyond the Sespe Wilderness boundary.  The other was a fallen tree about ¼ mile before the Fishbowls campsite.  More details on both of these in the images.

                All-in-all a great hike.  Trail appears to be lightly used.  However, we saw no one from the time we left the Lockwood Valley Road until our return there except one person in a pickup truck driving near the trailhead.  There was also very little trash along the trail.

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

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