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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
Forbush Camp 02-07-2016JamesDry
Forbush Camp 02-07-2016JamesDry
Lost Valley Camp 02-03-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 01-30-2016Howard Cohen Flowing
Cedar Creek Camp 01-30-2016Howard CohenDry
Soto Spring 01-29-2016M. JonesFlowing
Logan Ridge 01-29-2016M. JonesDry
Upper Santa Ynez Camp 01-28-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Big Cone Camp 01-24-2016Heidi Anderson, Trails ManagerFlowing
Ballard Camp 01-24-2016James WapotichFlowing
Lion Den Camp 01-23-2016Mark GarrisonFlowing
Willet Camp 01-23-2016ChesterFlowing
Ranger Peak 01-23-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Bear Creek Camp 01-22-2016ChesterFlowing
Big Cone Camp 01-18-2016JOFlowing
Cross Camp 01-18-2016JOFlowing
Jackson Hole Camp 01-18-2016JOTrickle
Last Chance Camp - Sespe 01-18-2016JOTrickle
Upper Matilija Camp 01-17-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Middle Matilija Camp 01-17-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Murietta Camp 01-17-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Upper Santa Ynez Camp 01-17-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Beartrap Camp 01-17-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Thacher Camp 01-17-2016ChesterFlowing
Apple Tree Camp 01-16-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Dry Lakes Ridge 01-16-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Ortega Camp 01-16-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Maple Camp 01-16-2016Shaddus Maximus Trickle
Manzana Narrows Camp 01-16-2016flynnFlowing
Matilija Camp 01-14-2016Craig R. CareyFlowing
Piedra Blanca Camp 01-12-2016Yellow MantisFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 01-09-2016Craig R. CareyFlowing
Twin Forks Camp 01-04-2016Michael SFlowing
Upper Santa Ynez Camp 01-03-2016Valerie NortonFlowing
Piedra Blanca Camp 01-02-2016Michael SFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 01-02-2016Michael STrickle
Santa Cruz Camp 01-02-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationStagnant
Three Mile Camp 01-02-2016MightyMFlowing
Fish Creek Camp 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Dry
Manzana Camp 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Manzana Narrows Camp 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Trickle
Happy Hunting Ground Camp 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Trickle
White Ledge Camp - San Rafael Wilderness 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Trickle
Lonnie Davis Camp 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
South Fork Camp - Sisquoc 01-01-2016Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Beartrap Camp 01-01-2016MightyMFlowing
China Camp Campground 12-31-2015GRITS in NYCDry
Mansfield Camp 12-31-2015Shaddus Maximus Flowing
Meadow Camp 12-29-2015James WapotichStagnant
Arundell Spring 12-29-2015John WilliamsFlowing
Indian Creek Camp 12-28-2015James WapotichDry
Lower Buckhorn Camp 12-27-2015Jaems WapotichDry
Dinsomore Camp 12-27-2015James WapotichFlowing
Coldwater Camp 12-27-2015Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Manzana Schoolhouse Camp 12-27-2015Anonymous SurveyorDry
Potrero Camp 12-27-2015Anonymous SurveyorDry
Coldwater Camp 12-27-2015Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Manzana Schoolhouse Camp 12-27-2015JamesDry
Coldwater Camp 12-21-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Beartrap Camp 12-20-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Forbush Camp Survey - 02-07-2016 - by James
Link: Forbush Camp
Date: 02-07-2016
Surveyor Name:James
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Creek & Buckley Spring dry
Weather Conditions:Nice
Forbush Camp Survey - 02-07-2016 - by James
Link: Forbush Camp
Date: 02-07-2016
Surveyor Name:James
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Creek & Buckley Spring dry
Weather Conditions:Nice
Lost Valley Camp Survey - 02-03-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Lost Valley Camp
Date: 02-03-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Recent rains have caused the Manzana to flow.  Also got a report from Potrero Camp that there is running water down there as well.

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 01-30-2016 - by Howard Cohen
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 01-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Howard Cohen
Camp Description:Plenty of water for overnight camping or just passing through on an adventure run
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Flow is slow but you can water up near camp or in small puddles on the trail heading back to Piedra Blanca
Weather Conditions:50-60s and windy
Cedar Creek Camp Survey - 01-30-2016 - by Howard Cohen
Link: Cedar Creek Camp
Date: 01-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Howard Cohen
Camp Description:I have been to this camp area many times and was surprised to find it dry.  Our destination was Thorn Peak so we continued in that direction and found water that was slow moving and stagnant.  As we followed the trail the water source became cleaner and flowing much better. We pumped water where water flowed over sandstone slabs probably within a mile of the campground. Granted there is water closer but not as clean and flowing as where we stopped to fill up. 
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No water in the camping area but some down stream
Weather Conditions:50-60s and windy
Soto Spring Survey - 01-29-2016 - by M. Jones
Link: Soto Spring
Date: 01-29-2016
Surveyor Name:M. Jones
Camp Description:

Soto Spring currently has water. The spring has a full water trough and is a protected wild life guzzler. Water flowing from Soto spring feeds into Branch Creek which had flow downstream for at least 2 miles.

The USFS web site states that over 100 guzzlers have been installed on the forest to help enhance the populations of the valley or California quail since they receive the most hunting pressure of any upland species on the forest.

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Sunny, 60*
Logan Ridge Survey - 01-29-2016 - by M. Jones
Link: Logan Ridge
Date: 01-29-2016
Surveyor Name:M. Jones
Camp Description:

Logan ridge road is in good condition, great for hiking during the off season from OHV use.  Logan ridge and accompanying routes provide excellent views. 

Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:A few puddles from recent rains otherwise no water source along ridge route
Weather Conditions:Sunny and 60*
Upper Santa Ynez Camp Survey - 01-28-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Upper Santa Ynez Camp
Date: 01-28-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Good water.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Big Cone Camp Survey - 01-24-2016 - by Heidi Anderson, Trails Manager
Link: Big Cone Camp
Date: 01-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Heidi Anderson, Trails Manager
Camp Description:Eight volunteers joined me on Sunday, 24th, for a trash cleanup. We removed over 100 pounds of trash.  The first tree in the 1/18 report was removed. We did not have a large enough saw for tree #2.  - Heidi
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:East Fork Creek, about 100 yards from camp, is flowing well. Moderate level.
Weather Conditions:Beautiful day. Temps in the 60's.
Ballard Camp Survey - 01-24-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Ballard Camp
Date: 01-24-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:The location shown on the HLP map is where the original camp was located, i.e. at the confluence of Alamo Pintado Creek and the side creek fed by La Jolla Spring. The camp is now located where the trail first meets the creek when coming down from Figueroa Mountain Road. The are two sites for the camp, both along the creek. 
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

La Jolla Trail Survey - 01-27-2016 - by Terrence Rogan
Link: La Jolla Trail
Date: 01-27-2016
Surveyor Name:Terrence Rogan
Trail description:This was a really nice hike down into a steep but very cool shaded canyon.  There was a trickle of water in the creek from the recent rains.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:One section had a tree to step over and two steep sections that were beginning to get washed out.
Sespe River Trail Survey - 01-23-2016 - by Chester
Link: Sespe River Trail
Date: 01-23-2016
Surveyor Name:Chester
Trail description:Hiked to Willet two weekends in a row, water flowing through most parts of the Sesepe which was good to see. a couple sections with serious rain water erosion and some trees blocking the path about a 1/4 past bear creek after you cross the creek. see pictures.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Last Chance Trail Survey - 01-18-2016 - by JO
Link: Last Chance Trail
Date: 01-18-2016
Surveyor Name:JO
Trail description:The last chance to travel the Last Chance Trail above Jackson Camp, may have passed.  Above the turn off to Jackson camp, a kind, benevolent hiker has left 2 ropes at the big trail slide that occurred in the 2005 flood, to aid hikers in getting up and out of the rock faced drainage where it appears the trail ends.  There is the section (maybe .5 mile) between Jackson Hole and the ridge where the trail leaves the creek where no trail seems to exist, where rock hopping and bushwhacking prevail.  Once you get on the ridge the trail improves a bit.  Be on the lookout for a car sized boulder with a cairn looking pile of rocks on the top.  Don’t head for this, you need to be above this.  We lost the trail in this spot and ended up on the side of a steep, loose, and dangerous scree slope.  There is a trail, but it’s not obvious.  At a certain point the trail crosses a wide brush-less open area with a sign post without the sign.  Is there somebody out there that knows what destinations with mileages were on that sign?  After this area the trail gets worse.  We managed to arrive at Last Chance camp at 2:30 PM having left the car at 5:30 AM.  We wanted to reconnoiter the trail to Topa Topa that a woman professor at Aquina's college established or even the old route to the Red Reef trail that meets it near Hines peak, but visibility was about 25 yards.  Lost the trail more times on the return than on the ascent.  If you’ve been to LCC before, you might be able to find it again.  If you’ve never been there, but are an above average map reader you might have a 50-50 chance.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Condition details:Started at T Aquinas College on hwy 150. Turned around at Last Chance Camp. Couldn't see to navigate to Red Reef Trail.
Willow Spring Figueroa Trail Survey - 01-15-2016 - by M. Jones
Link: Willow Spring Figueroa Trail
Date: 01-15-2016
Surveyor Name:M. Jones
Trail description:

Willow Spring Figueroa trail is in good condition. Davy Brown creek has a small but steady low flow at the campground and more flow in the middle of the canyon, no water up at Willow Spring.  Machete and lopper work was done clearing trail for about 2 miles, large downed pine tree (30”) blocking trail at N34° 45.067',  W119° 58.167', elevation 2533 feet.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
North Fork Matilija Trail Survey - 01-14-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: North Fork Matilija Trail
Date: 01-14-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:A recent article in Noozhawk by Dan McCaslin from a hike he took along the Matilija Trail:

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
North Fork Matilija Trail Survey - 01-09-2016 - by Craig R. Carey
Link: North Fork Matilija Trail
Date: 01-09-2016
Surveyor Name:Craig R. Carey
Trail description:The Cubs of Pack 3179 had a great (soggy) hike from Matilija TH to Middle Matilija, with an extended rock-hopping break at both camps and lunch at the crossing near the guerrilla camp. Cleared some fallen alders and mountain mahogany from the trail about 3/4 miles from MM. Tread in good shape; crossings manageable. Could use some light brushing but otherwise all good. Good flow in creek the entire way. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Manzana Trail West (Lower) Survey - 01-07-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Manzana Trail West (Lower)
Date: 01-07-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Passing along a report from the Forest Service:

- There are two trees down
- One about ½ mile before Coldwater, about 12” diameter, can hop over.  
- The other is about ½ mile past Coldwater and is about 8” but chest high. It looks like it’s been there a while though and there’s already a makeshift hiker trail around it.
- Everything is crossable up to Coldwater, after that you’ll get wet to Schoolhouse.
- Trail is in really good shape.
- Campgrounds look good, other than the usual graffiti at Nira.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Big Cone Spruce Trail Survey - 01-03-2016 - by Steve Cypher
Link: Big Cone Spruce Trail
Date: 01-03-2016
Surveyor Name:Steve Cypher
Trail description:Trail is currently tough to hike because of constantly over, under & through blown down trees. Most could be removed by a guy with a Silky saw and lots of time, but there are a few larger logs and one big tangle of an old oak just below camp. The steep trail up the hill is still in pretty good shape.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Numerous blown down trees
Santa Cruz Trail Survey - 01-02-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Santa Cruz Trail
Date: 01-02-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:

Report from Susie T:

- Hiked from Upper Oso to Santa Cruz Station

- The trail tread was in generally in good shape thanks to the LPFA work done this year. Rideable and hikeable.

- There are 6 areas on the 40 Mile Wall that are probably going to completely wash out with the next rain. At the present time they are just narrow areas, almost washed out but are hikeable. They are all in the center of the “40 Mile wall’.

- All the cribbed areas are holding well.

- There are about 6 gaps and holes in the tread along the front side of Little Pine at the scree slides. 

- The slides on the Big Crib Wall are the same as always…no better…no worse. The uphill cribbing is still collapsing inwards onto the trail.

- No brushing needed. Just two overhanging branches that I couldn’t reach.

Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Santa Cruz Trail Survey - 01-01-2016 - by BeccaVT
Link: Santa Cruz Trail
Date: 01-01-2016
Surveyor Name:BeccaVT
Trail description:We camped in the Little Pine Spring camp, which happily still had running water, so we could stay in the area for an extra night (otherwise we would have used up everything we packed in). However, it's pretty clear this is the only water around for miles; the creeks are totally dry. Because of that, the spring is probably the main water source for animals in the area. We saw relatively fresh tracks, and are pretty sure we heard a large-ish animal walking around the camp at night, crunching on all the dry leaves. My guess based on the tracks is either a coyote or a bobcat. We moved camp up closer to the saddle the second night, to avoid 1) potentially meeting/surprising said animal, or 2) scaring it away from its water source.

The trail down to Little Pine Spring is very eroded and sandy, and also very steep. We basically had to slide down the trail, using our trekking poles like ski poles. With the rain coming this week, it will almost certainly completely wash out. It's also pretty hard to follow in places - there are several false turns. In some places there are blue ribbons tied to the brush to guide the way, but they could be much better. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:There are several places on the trail that are very sandy/eroded and are likely to wash completely out with the rain this week.
View All Trail Reports

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