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Agua Blanca Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 12.44 Miles

In the 1930's the U. S. Forest Service, using C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps) labor, improved an old chumash trail that followed Agua Blanca Creek up the canyon. It was a popular trail because of the good hunting and fishing in the canyon. The trail begins at Festers Camp at the junction of the canyon with Piru Creek. Following up the canyon it comes to the Devils Gateway which is a narrow cliff cut through a conglomerate rock ridge. There is a trail over the ridge but it is rocky and steep. It is best to go up through the pools in the bottom of Devils Gate. Just beyond the narrows is a junction with the Pot Hole Trail that crosses the creek and climbs to reach the old Whitaker cabin and Pot Hole. Just beyond the trail junction is Log Cabin Camp. The cabin is long gone but a trail camp is located at the site. Continuing on up the Agua Blanca Creek the trail will pass a historic campsite called Hollister Camp. It was named for an early day U. S. Forest Ranger who had a camp beside the creek. Next comes Cove Camp on the left hand side of the creek.

A short distance beyond this camp is Big Narrows. Here the creek cuts through a ridge of cobblestone to form a "U" like narrows. The walls of the cliff are very tall and numerous pools form as the creek descends through the narrows. There is a trail that climbs over the ridge on the west side of the narrows but it is more enjoyable to go through the narrow part of the canyon.

Further up the creek the trail reaches Ant Camp where a trail comes in from Dough Flats and Fillmore. The Agua Blanca trail used to continue up the creek passing two old hunting camps to finally climb to the top of Cobblestone Mountain but the trail beyond Ant Camp has not received any maintenance and is now a wall of dense brush and washouts from floods.

From Highway 126 turn north on Piru Canyon Road. Drive 6 miles to Lake Piru Gatehouse pay the entrance fee and drive 2.3 miles to the launch ramp where parking is available.

From the launch ramp hike 4.2 miles north on Piru Canyon Road to the old Blue Point Campground which is closed. Walk through the gate on left before the stream crossing. Follow the dirt road up Piru Creek for 1.2 miles and at the junction turn left (west) to the Agua Blanca Trail where the Sespe Wilderness begins.

Log Cabin Camp above Devil's Gateway is 4.3 miles from the trailhead. The Pothole Trail (18W04) intersects the trail near Log Cabin Camp. Continuing on the Agua Blanca Trail is barely passable for hiking and is definitely not recommended for horseback riders. Poison oak along the trail is unavoidable. The Agua Blanca Trail is one of the most scenic trails on the Ojai Ranger District.

Story Map Link:

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 19W10
  • Wilderness Area: Sespe
  • County: Ventura County
  • Ranger District: Ojai Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 34.531085037346486
  • Trail-head Longitude: -118.75692844390869
  • Water Sources: Agua Blanca Creek
  • Trail Condition: Bad - Trail may require some bushwhacking and/or searching for markers due to potential sub standard trail conditions
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Day Hiking
    • Wilderness Camping



Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 3264 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - -1282 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 5 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 5 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

Photo: B. Conant
Upload Images Aerial Overview Image Login to Download GPS File
Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:


  • Los Padres Forest Association - 04-11-2015

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 04-11-2015

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-10-2015

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-10-2015

  • Mark Subbotin - 11-15-2015

  • Daniel Meinzer - 04-17-2016

  • Mike Maki - 03-10-2017

  • Mike Maki - 03-10-2017

  • Alan Coles - 03-18-2017

  • Alan Coles - 03-18-2017

  • Alan Coles - 03-18-2017

  • Alan Coles - 03-18-2017

  • Alan Coles - 03-18-2017

  • Kevin K - 06-14-2017

Gallery:

Submitted Trail Reports

Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 06-14-2017 - by Kevin K
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 06-14-2017
Surveyor Name:Kevin K
Trail description:Creek was easy to walk and relatively open from Ant Camp to big Narrows.  Had to do some searching but there are some small saw cuts and rock stacks to mark the route.  Maybe a mile or so from Ant Camp there is an actual trail down Agua Blanca but it disappears and you are rock hopping.  Water was flowing good along the entire Agua Blanca from Ant to Big Narrows except for one or two very short sections of creek bed.  Overall I'd  it is a moderate difficulty hike.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Images:

Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 05-11-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 05-11-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:I day-hiked the Agua Blanca trail from Ant Camp to Pothole Spring and back, making it from Pothole Spring back to Ant Camp in 4 hours. Along the way there were a lot of broken branches, saw-cuts, rock stacks, and footprints in the sand and grass; plus a few sun-bleached ribbons scattered between them which I have a good eye for spotting (because they're micro-trash). I never felt like I was lost or bushwhacking. The junctions to Pothole Spring and Dough Flat trails were obvious to find and well-marked too. This trail has amazing scenery and was a great wilderness experience!
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 03-18-2017 - by Alan Coles
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 03-18-2017
Surveyor Name:Alan Coles
Trail description:Pictures for previous survey.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Images:

Typical trail condition.

Another example of trail.


Devils Gateway. Wading required but not difficult.

Log Cabin Camp


Log Cabin Camp
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 03-18-2017 - by Alan Coles
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 03-18-2017
Surveyor Name:Alan Coles
Trail description:We scouted Agua Blanca Trail from Blue Point to Log Cabin Camp.  We cleared the crossings of branches and debris, cleared some minor slides, cut a few small trees out of the trail and flagged the important locations.  Otherwise the trail is in the same shape that it has been in for several years.  It is not difficult to follow if you are able to find it.  The trail is overgrown with deep grass in places.  Going through the Devil's Gateway was not difficult and wading was below the knees.  Beautiful area now with abundant flowers.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Trail scout and repair
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 03-10-2017 - by Mike Maki
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 03-10-2017
Surveyor Name:Mike Maki
Trail description:This is for the section from Log Cabin Camp to Ant Camp. If you were to try and actually follow the "Trail" it would be hard to follow. I had a hard time trying to find any reasonable trace of the trail and ended up walking in the creek for most of the section. Recent flooding has obliterated where the trail would cross  the stream but it also scoured out the stream channel so it was fairly easy to travel up the stream. Some choke points occurred but noting major stopping you. I'd estimate it took me about 8 hours to go from Log Cabin Camp to Ant Camp. Big Narrows was beautiful. Hike pics
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Condition details:Recent flooding has obliterated visible crossings. Overgrown
Images:

Walk up the creek when open like this

One of the easier debris piles to get around
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 05-22-2016 - by Alan Coles
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 05-22-2016
Surveyor Name:Alan Coles
Trail description:Removed trees and better defined trail at stream crossings from Piru Creek to Devil's Gateway.  Trail is passable and easy to follow but lack of use has allowed grass to obscure the path.  I noticed some false trails in the canyon bottom indicating that some hikers cannot find the true trail which is above the canyon bottom alternating on the north and south sides.  This might explain the previous erroneous report.  We have placed flagging to help locate the crossings.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 04-17-2016 - by Daniel Meinzer
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 04-17-2016
Surveyor Name:Daniel Meinzer
Trail description:Trail from Piru Creek to Log Cabin is bush-wacking and rock-hopping most of the way.  Trail has been washed out and is mostly non-existent.  Trail picks up occasionally closer to Piru Creek.  Where there is a trail, there are markers.  Watch out for poison ivy and stinging nettle.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Non existent
Images:

Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 12-11-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 12-11-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:VWR's Mark and Mickey removed a large fallen oak from the lower part of the trail before the wilderness boundary.  The AB trail is in fair shape and makes a great weekend loop trip along with the recently worked Pothole Trail.

Information courtesy of the Ojai Ranger District.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 11-15-2015 - by Mark Subbotin
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 11-15-2015
Surveyor Name:Mark Subbotin
Trail description:Ojai Ranger Dist. recon/survey; hiked from Kester Cabin to Log Cabin Camp through the Devils Gateway.  Creek crossings were flagged.  Trail is generally easy to follow, but be extra alert at creek crossings to pick up trail on opposite side and where trail climbs back out of creek bottom onto south slope.  Devils Gateway had knee high water.  Water flowing at Log Cabin Camp and up Potholes Trail to Potholes Cabin.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Images:

Devils Gateway
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 05-10-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 05-10-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:The Ojai Ranger District VWR's cleared the large rock slide along Agua Blanca Trail.  See before and after photos.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Images:

Photo Ranger Heidi

Photo Ranger Heidi
Agua Blanca Trail Survey - 04-11-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Agua Blanca Trail
Date: 04-11-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Report from the Ojai Ranger District

- There are some downed trees, none larger than 15" in diameter.
- Water levels on the AB were good
- Brush quite thick in many areas
- Tread is fair except for a rockslide that is about 2.5miles up the single track

Hoping to schedule a project to clear the slide.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Images:

Water at second crossing, photo Ranger Heidi

The new slide, photo Ranger Heidi


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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016



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