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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
Lady Bug Camp 02-16-2017Aaron and GCFlowing
Whitaker Peak 02-16-2017Dave BurnettDry
Lady Bug Camp 02-15-2017Kevin FoxFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 02-13-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp 02-13-2017Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 02-12-2017Bryant K.Flowing
East Fork Lion Camp 02-12-2017Nick NameFlowing
Forbush Camp 02-12-2017Michael SFlowing
Willett Hot Springs 02-12-2017Kevin FoxFlowing
Forbush Camp 02-05-2017Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
Sespe Hot Springs 02-05-2017anonymousFlowing
Bear Creek Camp 02-04-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Middle Camuesa Camp 02-03-2017Anonymous SurveyorDry
Rock Campground 02-03-2017Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
Potrero John Camp 01-29-2017Mike MakiFlowing
Forbush Camp 01-28-2017Day TripperFlowing
Middle Matilija Camp 01-28-2017TaliaFlowing
Potrero Camp 01-22-2017Josh IsaacFlowing
Balm of Gilead Camp 01-17-2017Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
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
View All Water Reports

Latest Camp Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Lady Bug Camp Survey - 02-16-2017 - by Aaron and GC
Link: Lady Bug Camp
Date: 02-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Aaron and GC
Camp Description:Seems like a cold shaded camp in the winter.  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water in the creek
Weather Conditions:
Whitaker Peak Survey - 02-16-2017 - by Dave Burnett
Link: Whitaker Peak
Date: 02-16-2017
Surveyor Name:Dave Burnett
Camp Description:Day hike on Thursday, 2/16/17 with two other hikers.  Day was cloudy with some threat of rain seen to the north, but we stayed dry.  Our hike was about 9 miles RT.  We did not follow the road the entire distance, starting on a firebreak about 3/4 miles south of the main trailhead.  Very steep and challenging, but fun.  From there we also took a couple of side trails as much as was practical.  See the included track and profile for a summary of this hike.  Note that the 3D vies of the track is to the southeast from high above a location roughly above Cobblestone Mountain.  Hike took about 5 hours including time for rest and geocaching.  No issues with the trail(road, mostly).  Off road was mostly on a reasonably well-defined path.  Most challenging was the narrow ridge from the location of the fire tower (now removed) to the actual peak.  This was generally brush covered.

Great views, especially of Cobblestone Mountain, Slide Mountain and Piru Lake.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Cloudy with temp in 60's
Lady Bug Camp Survey - 02-15-2017 - by Kevin Fox
Link: Lady Bug Camp
Date: 02-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Fox
Camp Description:Camp is in good shape.  Not a ton of good flat spots for tents here so it could be tight for a group.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of water flowing in the creek - Lulled me right to sleep on a cold night!
Weather Conditions:Not sure if this camp sees any sun in the winter months!
Middle Matilija Camp Survey - 02-13-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Middle Matilija Camp
Date: 02-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:First solo trip and first time camping in Los Padres. Camp was generally clean apart from a little trash in the fire pits. Stayed at the first campsite when approaching the campground from south since it looked a little more tidy and there were a lot of ants around the other fire pit. Water flowing rapidly but murky. Not much firewood probably due to Bryant K. being there the night before (haha)... I mostly took remnants from around and in the other fire pit. Temps in the low 40s at night. Encountered some ticks in the area so check yourself if going through bushes.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Flowing rapidly; murky
Weather Conditions:Sunny and partly cloudy at times. Low 40s at night.
Pine Mountain Lodge Camp Survey - 02-13-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Pine Mountain Lodge Camp
Date: 02-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Survey by Bardley of Ojai.

Plenty of water, lots of ladybugs, snow along north slopes and in the shade.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Middle Matilija Camp Survey - 02-12-2017 - by Bryant K.
Link: Middle Matilija Camp
Date: 02-12-2017
Surveyor Name:Bryant K.
Camp Description:Trail was in pretty good condition even after the heavy rain the day prior. Trail was a little grown over at times and with poison oak creep in sections, but in great condition for the most part. Camp had an abundance of wood in its various desirable forms to have a nice fire. Up stream from the camp the trail required a little bush whacking, but still easily hikeable. Experienced strong gusts around 3 am, but tempature never got lower than 48 degrees.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Water was flowing great. A bit murky so you may want to bring your blackflow tool if you have a Sawyer Mini
Weather Conditions:Very pleasant with the right layers.
East Fork Lion Camp Survey - 02-12-2017 - by Nick Name
Link: East Fork Lion Camp
Date: 02-12-2017
Surveyor Name:Nick Name
Camp Description:Flowing water and deep pools from the falls through the campground parking lot. Very high flow and water level at the upper pool. Several crossings are required and parts of the trail are in shallow water. Rudimentary trails over flattened shrubs are being used to get around stagnant water in a few areas.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:High flows
Weather Conditions:70s and clear
Forbush Camp Survey - 02-12-2017 - by Michael S
Link: Forbush Camp
Date: 02-12-2017
Surveyor Name:Michael S
Camp Description:Got caught with an unexpected and unforecasted rain through the afternoon and evening, but cleared by 9 PM or so. Full moon was phenomenal and lit up the whole camp. Water flowing at both the upper and lower campsite. Lots of food scraps around the upper site. Looks like people were just scattering their leftovers instead of packing out or at least burying appropriately.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Steady strong flow at both camps
Weather Conditions:Rain Saturday night. High 30s-low 40s overnight. Sunday was sunny in the upper 60s.
Willett Hot Springs Survey - 02-12-2017 - by Kevin Fox
Link: Willett Hot Springs
Date: 02-12-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Fox
Camp Description:Good flow and soaking.  Crawl up past the tubs to see if you can fix the pluming if things aren't flowing right.

Trail up to springs is passable
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Lots of flow from 2 pipes Hot and very warm. Whome tub can fill in about 1/2 hour
Weather Conditions:
Forbush Camp Survey - 02-05-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Forbush Camp
Date: 02-05-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Cedar trees were planted to replace the recently fallen dead trees at Forbush Camp.  Legend has it, as per James Wapotich, that the original cedars were planted at Forbush by kids at Camp Conestoga.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Water is flowing well.
Weather Conditions:
View All Camp Reports

Latest Trail Reports

Please click on a report below to view the survey

Matilija Canyon Trail Survey - 02-24-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Matilija Canyon Trail
Date: 02-24-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:The trail is open. The recent rains have made this an epic hike!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Rattlesnake Trail Survey - 02-19-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Rattlesnake Trail
Date: 02-19-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:LPFA cleared approximately 10 downed trees between Gibraltar Rd and Tin Can Meadow.  The trail is clear other than one HUGE boulder that is blocking the trail about 1/3mile below Gibraltar Rd.  It is easy enough to get around the boulder.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Sespe River Trail Survey - 02-15-2017 - by Kevin Fox
Link: Sespe River Trail
Date: 02-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Fox
Trail description:Trail is in great shape to Bear Creek camp.  Then in good shape, with the above mentioned gillies, from Bear to Willet.

I hiked from Piedra Blanca to Willet on Saturday 2/11. There had been rain on Friday 2/10 and off and on during the day on Saturday with some of the side creeks dying the whole Sespe a chocolaty brown.  Attempting the 2 crossings of the Sespe between PB and Willet were significant factors for a number of people that day.  There were a few groups that either got to Bear creek and stayed put or decided to turn around and return to the car not willing to risk the river.  These folks were a bit disappointed to not make the hot springs.   Exploration of the canyon beyond Willet was restricted as no one was willing to attempt the third river crossing due to depth and speed.

In an effort to help those who come next, see links to the two stream gauges below:
 javascript:nicTemp(); - This is upstream from Piedra Blanca TH
javascript:nicTemp();    - This is below the canyon carved by the Sespe

On 2/11 the Sespe near Wheeler springs was at 100cfs and the Sespe near Filmore was at 380 cfs.  At these levels, on a 6'3" guy, the first river crossing at Bear Creek was thigh deep and moving quickly.  The second river crossing was waist deep but moving slowly.  Dogs are not a good idea at these flows.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Sisquoc Trail Lower Survey - 02-15-2017 - by Richie DeMaria
Link: Sisquoc Trail Lower
Date: 02-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Richie DeMaria
Trail description:Hiked to Water Canyon late January 2017. Somewhat brushy on section between Manzana Schoolhouse and Bald Mountain's west terminus before the trail meets the Sisquoc River. One large tree fall about halfway through.

Trail around Water Canyon can be somewhat easy to lose, but the camp is directly across where Water Canyon Creek flows into the Sisquoc River.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Lion Canyon Trail Survey - 02-14-2017 - by Kevin Fox
Link: Lion Canyon Trail
Date: 02-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Fox
Trail description:Trail is in good shape with water available in a few places.  No down trees to speak of.  Unfortunately someone took a horse up this trail in recent wet weather and did a bit of damage to the tread.  It's nothing that makes it impassible but it is a shame that this damage could have been avoided with a little patience.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Red Reef Trail Survey - 02-14-2017 - by Kevin Fox
Link: Red Reef Trail
Date: 02-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Fox
Trail description:Trail tread is in great shape from the Sespe all the way up to the ridge.  There are a few down trees along the way.  The worst is just above the timber creek crossing and just above Lady Bug Camp.  Lots of water available along the trail right now!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
North Fork Matilija Trail Survey - 02-13-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: North Fork Matilija Trail
Date: 02-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:I did a quick overnight solo backpacking trip to Middle Matilija Campground. It was my first solo trip and my first time camping in Los Padres. The hike itself was easy, however due to recent rains, the stream was deep and flowing rapidly which made stream crossings challenging. Most stream crossings were impossible to cross without getting your feet wet. Adding to that, there are many stream crossings (I didn't count but there were at least 10). Also, there were two small rockfalls and a fallen tree on the trail around the last mile before the campground but they were easily passable. The bugs were not too bad, mostly small flies and very few mosquitoes. I did see a few ticks, one on my socks after I removed them and one on my pants after going through some bushes around the campsite, so watch out for those. Overall, it was an enjoyable trip but I'd be wary of taking anyone not quite nimble enough to hop across stream rocks without beefing it.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Easy hike to Middle Matilija apart from challenging stream crossings
Piedra Blanca Trail Survey - 02-13-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Piedra Blanca Trail
Date: 02-13-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:We got a report from Bardley of Ojai of some slides and damage along the Piedra Blanca Trail from the Piedra Blanca Trailhead up to Pine Mountain Lodge - see photos.

• Great water flow along the creeks, you will get wet at the first crossings.
• Snow along the upper reaches.
• A few trees down, especially along the upper stretch.
• The big 75' landslide is about 1.25miles above Twin Forks Camp.

Additional upcoming storm will probably cause more damage.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Santa Barbara Canyon Trail Survey - 02-12-2017 - by Kevin Pietrzak
Link: Santa Barbara Canyon Trail
Date: 02-12-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin Pietrzak
Trail description:Water water everywhere! We had to wade a number of the creek crossings as the creek was too high for rock hopping. The trail was in good shape and easy to follow. The roses haven't taken over... yet. Thanks to all the folks who have been working on the trail! There were about 10 trees down between the TH and Madulce. A couple of trees were down at creek crossings which made for awkward fording. Next time I'm bringing a saw. Manzanita and silk tassel were in bloom but otherwise a little early for spring. It was very nice to see all the green in the hills and water in the creeks

I was taken aback by the abundance of trash along the trail, almost entirely beverage containers (water bottles, beer/soda cans, gatorade, pedialyte, etc.) My girlfriend and I packed out all we could find. In total we brought back 83 plastic bottles, 34 aluminum cans, a glass bottle and a small trash bag of non-recyclables. Both of our packs doubled in volume with all the trash. While I'm glad people are taking care of themselves and staying hydrated I wish they would show the same respect for the Los Padres and their fellow hikers. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Manzana Trail West (Lower) Survey - 02-11-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Manzana Trail West (Lower)
Date: 02-11-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Lead a group of Scouts. Only made it too Potrero because the creek was so swollen with a brisk current. Didn't want to take any chances with a kid that was not mine.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
View All Trail Reports

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