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Lopez Canyon Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 6.61 Miles

The Lopez Canyon Trail is a scenic 6.61 mile trail in the Santa Lucia Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County . The trail head is located off the Upper Lopez Canyon Road at 35.27929, -120.54034. Please let us know if you have explored this trail recently.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 13E03
  • Wilderness Area: Santa Lucia
  • County: San Luis Obispo County
  • Ranger District: Santa Lucia Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 35.27929
  • Trail-head Longitude: -120.54034
  • Water Sources: Potrero Creek
  • Trail Condition: Kind of Good - Little to no bushwacking and easily followable
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Camping
    • Day Hiking
    • Panoramic Views
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness Camping



Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 1285 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 2704 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 8 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 10 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:


  • Curt Cragg - 02-21-2015

  • Curt Cragg - 02-21-2015

  • Curt Cragg - 02-21-2015

  • Curt Cragg - 02-21-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 01-06-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 01-06-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 01-06-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 01-06-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 01-06-2015

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 02-24-2017

  • Anonymous Surveyor - 02-24-2017

Submitted Trail Reports

Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 02-24-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 02-24-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:I hiked in from Mt Lowe Side. I followed the switchbacks down the hillside till the trail met up with a partially running stream  At this point the trail shared space with the intermittant stream bed.  This year was a exceptionally wet winter and the trail was mush at this point and too overgrown to continue.  There are several downed trees blocking the path and lots of encroached overgrowth making the tail very narrow in places.  This trail needs some attention to be feasible again.  i cleared a flew blockages where i could, however, the main blockage was too large for me to deal with without tools.  5" plus logs across pathway near trail head down about 1/8th of a mile.  I did not reach the first camp, turned back because the trail was too overgrown
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Images:

downed trees

trail turns to intermittent streambed
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
Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 01-06-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 01-06-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:The trailmap above is deceptive. The actual parking area/trailhead is shared with the Big Falls trailhead. There is approximately a mile of easement access across private property (mainly camping sites and a couple shacks). Like other said driving to the lower trailhead involves about 12 significant creek crossings. 4WD not required, but high clearance is if you want to keep the inside of your car dry. Most of them are at least a foot deep, if not a few inches more, and you will have all 4 tires in the water at the same time. A Subaru could certainly make it across, but you might get wet.

Trail conditions get quickly overgrown. I was up there about 9 months ago (11/2014) and it was significantly more overgrown. Lots of PO.

But its dang cool.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Images:







Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 04-22-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 04-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:I planned a trip to backpack on this trail and it turned out to not work.  First if you enter from the northwest, you have to hike in an extra 4 miles due to closed gate.  I planned to drive in on the south east due to ranger recommendation.  I was not able to make it due to running water (Yes water in CA ruined my trip LOL ) crossing the road.  I later learned that there were several river crossings.  So if you plan to take this hike from the High Lopez road then be ready to have a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 03-22-2015 - by Nathan Claud
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 03-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Nathan Claud
Trail description:Passed through on way from Rinconada to the top of the grade.  The trail is easy to follow however it could use some machete work.   A group of pack mules had come through and they did some clipping bout mostly at the higher level.  The poison oak is unavoidable.  Water is good in most of the creek.  There is one area low in the canyon where the creek is non existent but it picks up again above portrero creek.  The trail is marked in a few spots with pink ribbons.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Lots of poison oak encroaching on trail.
Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 02-21-2015 - by Curt Cragg
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 02-21-2015
Surveyor Name:Curt Cragg
Trail description:The trail does still need some work, but it is probably in the best shape that it has been in for some time thanks to some recent trail projects including the one we did today with LPFA clearing fallen trees off of the trail.  Be prepared for poison oak thoough.  There is plenty of it and it is just starting to bloom so it is likely to get worse through the spring and early summer.  Water flow is excellent in the creek and both camps, Sulpher Pots and Upper Lopez are in great shape.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Images:





Lopez Canyon Trail Survey - 02-15-2014 - by Steve
Link: Lopez Canyon Trail
Date: 02-15-2014
Surveyor Name:Steve
Trail description:To get to the trailhead, you must park your car on 101, and walk about 100 feet to a gate that is locked. It says "private property", but all hikers must climb over the gate and follow the road for 4 miles to the trailhead. The road is not well marked, but the trailhead is. Be careful of poison oak on the trail and campsite. Also, the hike back is up, up, up for several miles. Be well rested.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:Trail needs better signage at intersections
Number of trees down:2
People Seen:6


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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016



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L.P.N.F. Contacts »

  • Forest Headquarters
    Phone: (805) 968-6640
  • Mt. Pinos District
    Phone: (661) 245-3731
  • Ojai Ranger District
    Phone: (805) 646-4348
  • Santa Barbara District
    Phone: (805) 967-3481
  • Santa Lucia District
    Phone: (805) 925-9538
  • Monterey District
    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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