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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
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
Upper Reyes Camp 09-09-2016M SubbotinDry
Oak Flat Camp 09-08-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Willet Camp 09-08-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Kerr Spring - Sespe 09-07-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Sheep Camp 09-03-2016JuancaDDry
Fishbowls Camp 08-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
Miranda Pine Campground 08-25-2016Jack Owen, JrDry
Bates Canyon Campground 08-25-2016Jack Owen, JrDry
Twin Forks Camp 08-22-2016Ken WickershamFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 08-22-2016Ken WickershamFlowing
Blue Canyon Camp 08-20-2016Erin CarrollDry
Bear Creek Camp 08-19-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
Willet Camp 08-19-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Mono Campground 08-15-2016Byrdie BoyStagnant
Matilija Camp 08-15-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 08-15-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Upper Matilija Camp 08-15-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Big Pine Camp 08-14-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Chokecherry Spring 08-13-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationStagnant
Bates Canyon Campground 08-11-2016Jack Owen, JrDry
Bear Creek Camp 08-09-2016Colin RiordanStagnant
19 or Nineteen Oaks Camp 08-09-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Cross Camp 08-07-2016Josh IsaacFlowing
Jackson Hole Camp 08-07-2016Josh IsaacFlowing
Big Cone Camp 08-06-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Big Cone Camp 08-06-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Murietta Camp 07-31-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Estrella Camp 07-29-2016DanielFlowing
Spruce Creek Camp 07-29-2016DanielFlowing
Brookshire Campground 07-28-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Brookshire Campground 07-28-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Alder Creek Camp - Silver Peak Wilderness 07-27-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Mesa Spring Camp 07-17-2016AlexFlowing
Mt. Mars 07-16-2016Steve CypherDry
Dutra Flat Camp 07-16-2016Steve CypherTrickle
Fishbowls Camp 07-16-2016Anonymous SurveyorStagnant
Cedar Creek Camp 07-16-2016Anonymous SurveyorTrickle
Bluff Guard Station 07-16-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Big Pine Camp 07-16-2016Jasonn BeckstrandTrickle
Lower Bear Camp 07-16-2016jasonn beckstrandFlowing
Upper Bear Camp 07-16-2016jasonn beckstrandFlowing
Ballard Camp 07-14-2016J DeVineTrickle
Prewitt Ridge Campground 07-14-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Chalk Peak Campground 07-14-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Manzana Camp 07-13-2016Nick DincelliDry
Manzana Narrows Camp 07-13-2016Nick DincelliStagnant
Mission Pine Springs Camp 07-10-2016JamesFlowing
West Fork Lion Camp 07-09-2016Mark J.Stagnant
Middle Lion Campground 07-09-2016Mark J.Flowing
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 07-09-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Cow Spring Camp 07-09-2016Anonymous SurveyorDry
Shady Camp 07-09-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Sheep Camp 07-09-2016Avid HikerTrickle
Figueroa Campground 07-08-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Piedra Blanca Camp Survey - 09-18-2016 - by erico
Link: Piedra Blanca Camp
Date: 09-18-2016
Surveyor Name:erico
Camp Description:Just stopped by on our way to spend the night at Twin Forks. Turned in to the campground, saw a 150 pound black bear at 11:00 AM. He saw me, started to walk away, then our dog started after him. Bear ran away fast, could hear him crunching through the brush.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Cool and clear
Weather Conditions:Hot in the sun, nice in the shade.
Twin Forks Camp Survey - 09-17-2016 - by Eric O
Link: Twin Forks Camp
Date: 09-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Eric O
Camp Description:Hiked in from Rose Valley, spent 1 night. Got warm in the afternoon, 2 quarts of water only got me to just under Pine Mountain Lodge for a day hike. A few mosquitoes, gnats. Very nice afternoon, warm night. Barely got cold enough to zip up the sleeping bag at 3-4 AM. Did not make a fire.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water. Cold and clear.
Weather Conditions:Hot in the sun, nice in the shade.
Dominguez Canyon Survey - 09-15-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Dominguez Canyon
Date: 09-15-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Article about the Dominguez Brothers:

http://dominguezranch.drupalgardens.com/node/16
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Did not survey the canyon, water unknown.
Weather Conditions:
Bear Creek Camp Survey - 09-11-2016 - by Michael S
Link: Bear Creek Camp
Date: 09-11-2016
Surveyor Name:Michael S
Camp Description:Nice campsite with plenty of shade. PACK OUT YOUR TP! No one wants to see that and it looks like animals have been digging it up. (Lots behind second camp right above the water). Lots of trash in the bushes below first camp.
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Two deep pools with plenty of water for filtering. Tastes like algae though.
Weather Conditions:Hot...High 80s Low 90s
Cedar Creek Camp Survey - 09-10-2016 - by M Subbotin
Link: Cedar Creek Camp
Date: 09-10-2016
Surveyor Name:M Subbotin
Camp Description:No fires or gas stoves allowed due to Level 4 fire restrictions on Forest.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 09-10-2016 - by M Subbotin
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 09-10-2016
Surveyor Name:M Subbotin
Camp Description:trail crossing into camp is dry, but shallow 3" deep pool just above;  trickle of water and deeper pools upstream 100 yds.
Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca trail is closed between Pine Mountain Lodge and Upper Reyes due to Pine Fire closure
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:sunny and clear, mid 70's
Upper Reyes Camp Survey - 09-09-2016 - by M Subbotin
Link: Upper Reyes Camp
Date: 09-09-2016
Surveyor Name:M Subbotin
Camp Description:No fires or stoves allowed, Trail closed past the campground due to Pine Fire
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Oak Flat Camp Survey - 09-08-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Oak Flat Camp
Date: 09-08-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:a 3 foot by 3 foot shallow puddle is left in which fish are trying to survive until the next rain. Basically no water.
Weather Conditions:
Willet Camp Survey - 09-08-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Willet Camp
Date: 09-08-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:water flowing through willet is heavily sulfurized with the sulfer from the spring since the spring is flowing so low.  Not potable even after filter/boil.  Springbox is not providing water currently to willett camp as it is so low.  The hotspring tub is full and nice, but through overgrown thickets of poison oak or very stabby plants.  (we chose stabby plants).
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Kerr Spring - Sespe Survey - 09-07-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Kerr Spring - Sespe
Date: 09-07-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:hot dry
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Lion Canyon Trail Survey - 09-21-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Lion Canyon Trail
Date: 09-21-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Trail report from the Middle Lion Campground to the two backpackers camps in advance of an upcoming trail project for National Public Lands Day:

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=245a4bd1fe69454ca730e16b385ea721
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Johnston Ridge Trail Survey - 09-17-2016 - by Oh Three
Link: Johnston Ridge Trail
Date: 09-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Oh Three
Trail description:I did Johnson Ridge, from trailhead to Hot Springs and back, Sept 17-18, 2016. It's cleared of brush and easy, well, *easy* except for two things: 

It's confusing as you cross the Stonehouse trail valley. There's too many trails, cattle tracks, roads, fences, etc. Just aim to keep the same compass direction crossing that little valley as you came into it. Yes, like Shaddus Maximus said, go left on 1st choice, but when you come up out of the creek, then you take the right path. 

The other thing that is not *that* easy, is coming back uphill out of the Hot Springs. Whoa! Most of your elevation gain is in 1st couple miles. It's a south facing ridge, and you can bake your brains out. But anyone who hikes Los Padres National Forest knows about that! I strongly suggest hitting the trail before the sun. After 2-3 miles of nonstop climbing, it's basically level back to trailhead, maybe a couple hundred up and down.

I last hiked Johnson Ridge in its last year as a motorcycle trail, 1994? God bless Bill Clinton for locking up Sespe and a lot of other land as Wilderness. Back then Johnson Ridge was an old car road, seriously rutted out by the dirt bikes. Now it's a nice trail, with just the right amount of switch backs. Little or no erosion. Excellent job NF rangers! Is there a volunteer group that puts in work? There must be. God bless them! 

Last time I hiked it, and this time, -- nobody else on the trail. That's wilderness!


Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Tunnel Trail Survey - 09-15-2016 - by Valerie Norton
Link: Tunnel Trail
Date: 09-15-2016
Surveyor Name:Valerie Norton
Trail description:We hiked down the back side from Gibraltar Road to the dam for the Wednesday night hike. To say it is getting a little long on the sides would be an understatement, it needs a good cutting. At first, the only real problem is the level of slick bay leaves, but it gets worse. Oak stretches out over the trail at common human height all over the place. One spot is an absolute gauntlet of yucca spikes. Lower down, poison oak is taking over. As the trail turns north at the bottom, there is an oak across it.  Below the oak, there are a number of smaller trees (under 1 foot) that have come down on the trail. These are found especially at the creek crossings. Tread is getting soft at the top and could use some rocks in a couple washes. Coming in around the top of Devils Canyon after the Matias junction, the tread needs a lot of work.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:back side: trees down, vegetation is getting difficult to pass in spots
American Canyon Trail Survey - 09-15-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: American Canyon Trail
Date: 09-15-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Article from the SLO New Times by Trevor Dias:

http://www.newtimesslo.com/art/14339/discovering-the-tuckedaway-american-canyon-trail-in-los-padres-national-forest-/
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Manzana Trail East (Upper) Survey - 08-24-2016 - by Bre Kapner
Link: Manzana Trail East (Upper)
Date: 08-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Bre Kapner
Trail description:I got home from my hike with my dad today, and stumbled upon one of the photos on this website! I was stunned to see that he had snapped a picture in almost the same EXACT location! 

Anyway, the area is suuuuper dry back there. We made it to the "Leaving Public Land" signs at the road, just a little further than Horse Shoe Bend, and then went back for lunch at the picnic tables there. 

There is no water at the swimming hole by Horse Shoe, and the creek is super dry except for a few places where the water is stagnant and dirty. Namely, Cold water. A trickle exists to feed into the pool here, but the water is still too gross for our liking, so we pressed on.

Lots of bugs by any water source, tadpoles & mosquito larvae abound. Saw three deer, many tiny lizards and butterflies, two foxes, a rattle snake, hawks, and an eagle.

The trail is more thickly overgrown with dry brush than I have ever seen it & there are stickers everywhere. It was very hot today, but given the Rey fire, the air quality was not poor until late afternoon.

A few places exist where it may be difficult to follow the trail, especially in several of the dry creek crossings.

The Yucca is all dry, and there have obviously been horses in the area recently.

Bring LOTS of water if attempting this hike in the summer and be sure to wear good shoes, bring sunscreen and bug spray.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Same picture, different date!
Manzana Trail East (Upper) Survey - 08-24-2016 - by Bre Kapner
Link: Manzana Trail East (Upper)
Date: 08-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Bre Kapner
Trail description:More Pics!

Side note, LOTS of poison oak.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Manzana Trail East (Upper) Survey - 08-24-2016 - by Bre Kapner
Link: Manzana Trail East (Upper)
Date: 08-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Bre Kapner
Trail description:
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Manzana Trail East (Upper) Survey - 08-24-2016 - by Bre Kapner
Link: Manzana Trail East (Upper)
Date: 08-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Bre Kapner
Trail description:This is totally the same spot right?
...
Thank you M. Jones!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:I'm not crazy ???? :D
Manzana Trail East (Upper) Survey - 08-24-2016 - by Friend of B
Link: Manzana Trail East (Upper)
Date: 08-24-2016
Surveyor Name:Friend of B
Trail description:My friend, in a couple of the photos (blonde gal - "Bre"), has become obsessed with finding the "M. Jones" that posted on 4-11-2015 and(?) 4-23-2015, if you have any information on this guy/gal, please e-mail findingm.jones@gmail.com. Thank you.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Sespe River Trail Survey - 08-19-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Sespe River Trail
Date: 08-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Very little water. Found some at Bear Creek and Willet. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
View All Trail Reports

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