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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 for day hikes.

199 Hiking Trails
View All 199 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.

288 Camps
View All 288 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
Bluff Guard Station 08-30-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Mc Gill Campground 08-23-2015Hike Los PadresDry
Sheep Camp 08-22-2015JoeDry
Bluff Guard Station 08-21-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Alamar Saddle Camp 08-21-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Sheep Camp 08-17-2015EricDry
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 08-13-2015YamatoTrickle
Three Mile Camp 08-13-2015Yamato SekiDry
Meadow Camp 08-09-2015Chris FerrierDry
Lower Buckhorn Campground 08-09-2015Chris FerrierDry
Indian Creek Camp 08-09-2015Chris FerrierStagnant
Ortega Campground 08-08-2015Phil PulleyDry
Alamar Saddle Camp 08-02-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Ballard Campground 07-26-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Fish Creek Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Manzana Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichDry
Manzana Narrows Camp 07-19-2015James WapotichTrickle
Middle Matilija Campground 07-18-2015David LeoncavalloFlowing
Espinosa Camp 07-18-2015Jesse WilliamsTrickle
Vincent Flat Camp 07-18-2015Jesse WilliamsFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 07-12-2015Jeaninne LittleTrickle
Ballard Campground 07-09-2015HikeFlowing
Bluff Guard Station 07-05-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Fishbowls Camp 07-04-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
Beartrap Camp 07-04-2015Christian HammonTrickle
Cedar Creek Camp 07-03-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Hi Mountain Campground 07-01-2015Richard W Trickle
Hog Pen Spring Camp 07-01-2015Richard W Flowing
La Panza Campground 07-01-2015Richard W Dry
Bluff Guard Station 06-23-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Madulce Camp 06-20-2015CondorStagnant
East Fork Lion Campground 06-19-2015Christian HammonTrickle
Cross Camp 06-18-2015Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Lost Valley Camp 06-18-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Manzana Camp 06-18-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Mono Campground 06-17-2015Joshua IsaacDry
Bear Creek Camp 06-14-2015MikeFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 06-13-2015brianFlowing
Big Pine Camp 06-07-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationStagnant
Chokecherry Spring 06-07-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Goat Camp 06-06-2015Eric Z.Flowing
Trail Springs Camp 06-06-2015Eric Z.Trickle
Mc Gill Campground 06-03-2015Bob HamberDry
South Fork Camp - Sisquoc 06-01-2015Hike Los PadresFlowing
Meadow Camp 05-31-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
Valley View Camp 05-29-2015Dan WhelanTrickle
Bear Creek Camp 05-26-2015Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Sheep Camp 05-25-2015SaraFlowing
Vincent Flat Camp 05-25-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Potrero John Campground 05-25-2015Dan WhelanFlowing
Mission Pine Springs Campground 05-25-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
Santa Cruz Camp 05-24-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Trail Springs Camp 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacTrickle
Ojito Campground 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Goat Camp 05-24-2015Joshua IsaacFlowing
Sulphur Pot Camp 05-23-2015Seth HutchinsonFlowing
Alder Creek Camp - Ventura 05-23-2015Coyote DaveFlowing
Sunset Campground 05-23-2015Erin C.Flowing
Halfmoon Campground 05-23-2015Erin C.Flowing
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Bluff Guard Station Survey - 08-30-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bluff Guard Station
Date: 08-30-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:VWR Patrol / Project

Bluff is officially 100% dry.  No water in the creek or at the spring.  Time for rain, SOON!
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Hot, mid 80's, sunny and windy
Mc Gill Campground Survey - 08-23-2015 - by Hike Los Padres
Link: Mc Gill Campground
Date: 08-23-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike Los Padres
Camp Description:This campground is in great shape, the camp hosts keep the place in good condition, no trash anywhere to be seen, also the camp hosts clean the bathroom a few times a day, I stayed here for two nights and enjoyed this campground very much. The lack water could be a problem for some, make sure to bring all water you will need for your stay. The area is great for mountain biking, hiking, and spending some time in the pine forest.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No potable water available, camp is dry.
Weather Conditions:Warm ~ 80 F
Sheep Camp Survey - 08-22-2015 - by Joe
Link: Sheep Camp
Date: 08-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Joe
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No water coming from the spring. Bring your own.
Weather Conditions:
Bluff Guard Station Survey - 08-21-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Bluff Guard Station
Date: 08-21-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:As part of a VWR patrol.
Bluff Camp was busy with hunters who park their quads at the last gate and ride bikes or hike in to Bluff.  The camp was busy but clean and orderly.  Water along the creek is now 100% dry.  There is still some water up near the spring but it's getting very very light in flow.  When the trees start to gear up for winter they'll stop drinking so much and the flow should consequently increase.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Hot, but not too hot!
Alamar Saddle Camp Survey - 08-21-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Alamar Saddle Camp
Date: 08-21-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:VWR Maintenance Patrol
The tables received a fresh coat of paint.  Paint greatly extends the life of wood when exposed to the elements.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Never has water
Weather Conditions:Nice
Sheep Camp Survey - 08-17-2015 - by Eric
Link: Sheep Camp
Date: 08-17-2015
Surveyor Name:Eric
Camp Description:Hiked up in mid July, pipe spring filled a quart canteen in two minutes. Mid August, the pipe is dry! Camp sites nice and clean, nobody else camping. Got one day-hiker visiting from Mt Pinos. I hiked up from Boy Scout camp 3 Falls. The North Falls 2 miles up from the camp, or 4 miles down from Sheep Camp still had water flowing, it would fill a quart in 2-3 minutes. Low 70 temperatures in the middle of the day at 8,000 ft. Going to wait for it to rain or snow before I go again.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:Both springs at Sheep Camp are dry.
Weather Conditions:
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 08-13-2015 - by Yamato
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 08-13-2015
Surveyor Name:Yamato
Camp Description:Kinda of tricky to find it coming from Piedra Blanca. It's appears dry but if you can find the "Pine Mountain Lodge" campground sign you, the water will be right there. We purified the stagnant water when we arrived around 6pm.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:It trickled in the morning/earlyafternoon then becomes stagnant in the evening.
Weather Conditions:Summer hot
Three Mile Camp Survey - 08-13-2015 - by Yamato Seki
Link: Three Mile Camp
Date: 08-13-2015
Surveyor Name:Yamato Seki
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Meadow Camp Survey - 08-09-2015 - by Chris Ferrier
Link: Meadow Camp
Date: 08-09-2015
Surveyor Name:Chris Ferrier
Camp Description:No water anywhere near Meadow Camp.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Lower Buckhorn Campground Survey - 08-09-2015 - by Chris Ferrier
Link: Lower Buckhorn Campground
Date: 08-09-2015
Surveyor Name:Chris Ferrier
Camp Description:
The table at Buckhorn was indeed very old. No water there.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Mcgill Trail Survey - 08-23-2015 - by Hike Los Padres
Link: Mcgill Trail
Date: 08-23-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike Los Padres
Trail description:The McGill Trail is in perfect shape for mountain biking, the well built banks on each of the turns allow you to flow around the corners without hitting the brakes. I rode from McGill camp to the trail head on Cuddy Valley Road. If you have not ridden this trail yet, I highly recommend this trail to anyone interested in finding a new Mountain Biking Trail. 
Mode of transport:Bicycle
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckhorn Trail Survey - 08-09-2015 - by Chris Ferrier
Link: Buckhorn Trail
Date: 08-09-2015
Surveyor Name:Chris Ferrier
Trail description:
The LPFA trail work in May was obvious. Some of the cuttings, however were in the middle of the trail. As with any LP trail, additional brush clearing would be a be a help. We were grateful for the work that was done. It was clear that this was a big effort.

No water along the Buckhorn between the Indian Trailhead and Lower Buckhorn.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Ortega OHV Trail Survey - 08-08-2015 - by Phil Pulley
Link: Ortega OHV Trail
Date: 08-08-2015
Surveyor Name:Phil Pulley
Trail description:Ortega Trail is maintained by the "Ojai Valley Dirt Riders" a motorcycle club that was founded and organized for the sole purpose of keeping Ortega Trail open year round for the adventurous riders who enjoy it's many challenges.  We have since branched out to help with OHV trail maintenance in other areas of the Los Padres National Forest. From the South the Ortega Trailhead is 1.5 miles north of Wheelers Campground/Visitor Center on Hwy 33.  This single track motorcycle trail is 6 miles long (up to the Ortega Camp Site) and has sections that are very steep, rough and rocky making it very deserving of it's black diamond (advanced rider only) status. Beyond the Ortega Camp Site the remaining 3 miles of trail is an old jeep road that is currently only open to motorcycles and should be Ok for intermediate level riders who would need to access the trail from the North Trailhead via Cherry Canyon Road (3 miles long).  The North Ortega Trailhead is at the end of Cherry Canyon Road.  Cherry Canyon Road is off of Hwy 33 just South of the old Pine Mountain Inn.  Ortega Camp is a remote rustic camp site that has 5 metal fire rings and 2 picnic tables but one of two tables is in very bad shape and not of much use.  

The trail and camp are open and useable at this time.

Intersecting hiking trails: Dry Lakes Ridge Trail and Matilija Canyon Trail. 

Mode of transport:O.H.V.
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Middle Sespe Trail Survey - 07-26-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Middle Sespe Trail
Date: 07-26-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:     Well here we go again, off on another beautiful hike when the dreaded monster of plants take charge.  I was enjoying the expansive views when I dropped into Rainbow Valley and the sage brush plant obscured the trail.  Then when climbing through a knoll, jest before the only major climb, ran into 6' to 7' overgrowth of plants.  So I turned around and went back to the Sespe Trail Head at Rose Valley.   However I will make another trip and try this hike from Highway 33.  Overall this was a beautiful hike, I am just threating to bring a battery powered hedger and take care of business.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Just passed Rainbow Valley 6' to 7' tall plants overgrown on the trail (at the knoll).
Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 07-26-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 07-26-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:The 1-06-15 report should be 7/26/15
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:The 1-06-15 report should be 7/26/15
Rinconada Trail Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Rinconada Trail
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:VWR Sandy and Bill removed a fallen tree from the trail.  Very hot day, many of the oaks are showing stress from the drought.
Mode of transport:Stock
Trail condition:Needs some work
Kirk Creek Trail Survey - 07-18-2015 - by Jesse Williams
Link: Kirk Creek Trail
Date: 07-18-2015
Surveyor Name:Jesse Williams
Trail description:The trailhead is right outside the Kirk Creek campground and is easy to follow.

A few things to note:

The distances listed may be misleading. We had a Fitbit that read around 4 miles when we reached the first campground (Esperonsa).

The first water on the trail was about 1/4 mile up from this campground and is a small trickle across the trail which I was easily able to fill up my camelbak with.

Most of the upper part of the trail is lined with poison oak so pants are a must. Other than that, it's very clear with only a couple of small rocks that you have to step over.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Rancho Nuevo Trail Survey - 07-12-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Rancho Nuevo Trail
Date: 07-12-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:     Well if your into geology I firmly believe you'll love this on.  The canyon walls speak with strata folds and castle like structures.  The first section from Rancho Nuevo Campground to Deal Junction was not a concern.  However once passed Deal you'll have to bring your patience.  I only got maybe a mile passed Deal when I had to give up DUE TO HEAVY WILD ROSE BUSHES clogging the trial, which was about hip high.  I am sorry I did not want to end up as nature's pin cushion.  Bu overall was a great hike full of solitude and geological interest.  The Canyon floor is covered with wide array of plant life, however the Zaca Fire did scare parts of the canyon walls.  If you don't have 4wheel drive vehicle like I did plan on an extra 1.5 miles of un-shaded fire road to campground. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:This trail from Deal to Upper Rancho will need some heavy WEED WRACKING due to overgrown WILD ROSE BUSHES.
Deal Connector Trail Survey - 06-29-2015 - by Volunteer Wilderness Ranger
Link: Deal Connector Trail
Date: 06-29-2015
Surveyor Name:Volunteer Wilderness Ranger
Trail description:Super volunteer Mickey cut out three trees along the Deal Connector Trail.  The trail is clear from Hwy 33 to Bear Trail.  The trail could use some brushing but is in great shape.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Thorn Point Trail Survey - 06-27-2015 - by Donna Spencer
Link: Thorn Point Trail
Date: 06-27-2015
Surveyor Name:Donna Spencer
Trail description:  From start to finish this hike has a little bit of everything.  This hike was great for geology / plant life / and ever changing views.  This hike also is a great workout, straight up ever changing switch backs.  The tower area can serve as a great overnight camp site.  I did see that previous overnighters have used the old water tank base as a fire pit.  I also saw a well used shovel and broom on the side of the tower supply shed.  Just be careful numerous rusted nails and broken glass in the area.  However you will be treated to a Gods Eye View of the area from the tower.  This one is must hike trail.  Further do bring water (due to water in the creek has a heavy alkali presence and extremely dry past the creek.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
View All Trail Reports

Latest Comments

I am looking for this information as well, I am looking for current water conditions in the Piedra Blanca trail Creek up towards pine mountain camp, three mile camp, and haddock camp.Also, If my car is going to be there for 3 days, do I need an adventure… read more...
Hi Jimmy - No permits are needed for Spruce Creek Camp.  It is a first-come first-serve primitive camp.  Remember that campfires are currently not permitted at primitive camps.  More information including how to get a permit for using a cooking stove… read more...
Author's website: www.lpforest.org
I was wondering if you need a camping permit for Spruce creek campsite and how to find out if there is any spaces available for 8/14-8/16/2015 thank you very much  read more...
Hello, I'm interested in going to the trails to go cliff diving into the pools. I was wondering, How the water is? Is it clean, stagnant, fine to swim in, etc. How safe is it to go cliff diving there? Is the water deep enough, does it have alot of water,… read more...
Author's website: None
Hi Teresa - Access up Matilija Canyon would involve trespassing.  There has not been a resolution to the public easement issue that we are aware of.   read more...
Author's website: www.LPForest.org
Has access or easement with regard to the Matilija Canyon Trail or Falls been resolved?  read more...
Hi Yamato - Your car should be fine.  Don't leave any valuables and no Adventure Pass will be needed.  Your bigger concern will be water availability and heat.  Have fun. read more...
Author's website: www.LPForest.org

Hi, I'd like to backpack this trail for 3 nights in August 2015 for my anniversary. However, I noticed it says to park next to "Summit School" with no mention of an adventure pass or how long you can park there. Will my car be alright parked there…

Very little "dripping" occurring at Dripping Springs right now but plenty of water for filtering in the pools below it. read more...
Cow Springs was flowing as of 5/21/2015. Tasting notes: hints of rust and fart but quite refreshing. read more...
View All Comments
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