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Indian Trail - Dick Smith - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 2.78 Miles

One of the most enjoyable trails in the back country. It starts at Bluff Camp and descends along the creek of the same name until the creek joins Mono Creek a short distance up stream from the Santa Ynez River. A beautiful section from Pens Camp down to just above Indian Creek Camp was, thankfully, never completed. Although there isn't a designated trail, you can hike with care through the narrows. There are several beautiful water falls and numerous deep pools that provide good swimming and trout fishing.

Along most of its length Indian Creek runs from north to south but at the upper end of the narrows it runs from east to west until it cuts through a bed of Eocene Age Sierra Blanca Limestone. In the 1890's Jose Morage established Indian Narrows Camp under oak trees on the west side of the creek. Across the creek he dug a tunnel and filed a claim on the limestone for use in lithographic printing. Unfortunately he found small flecks of quartz in the algal limestone rendering it useless for that purpose. He then proposed building a railroad to the site and establishing a cement plant. Thankfully, this never came to pass.
Just down the creek from the limestone bed is a large, deep pool below a waterfall. It is one of the best swimming pools in the forest.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 26W08
  • Wilderness Area: Dick Smith
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 34.57761
  • Trail-head Longitude: -119.67016
  • Water Sources: Water is available from Indian Creek which flows year round.
  • 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
    • Creek
    • Day Hiking
    • Panoramic Views
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness Camping

Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 797 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 408 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 8 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 8 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:

  • Alex Stone - 05-13-2016

  • Alex Stone - 05-13-2016

  • Alex Stone - 05-13-2016

  • Alex Stone - 05-13-2016

Submitted Trail Reports

Indian Trail - Dick Smith Survey - 04-01-2017 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Indian Trail - Dick Smith
Date: 04-01-2017
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Trail description:Forest service road to get to mono camp or trail head to indian creek is closed with a forest gate closing it about 4 miles in where paved road ends. 
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Non existent
Indian Trail - Dick Smith Survey - 05-13-2016 - by Alex Stone
Link: Indian Trail - Dick Smith
Date: 05-13-2016
Surveyor Name:Alex Stone
Trail description:The day started out really great we left the truck at the gate near little caliente and kept a swift pace keeping our eyes peeled for rattlesnakes of course.Once reaching the trail at the one mile mark not far beyond that is a pool of deep water and a culvert obviously manmade. The dogs cooled off and we continued up the creek. Between Pie Cyn. and lower buckhorn we came across fresh bear scat and tracks leading up the creek and continuing on the trail. Reaching Meadow camp the bench and stove are still intact and in good shape. Water was Slowly flowing I would say most areas aren't stagnant. The trail is just overgrown with grass mostly but is visible. One small oak tree was across the trail between here and indian camp. The Indian Camp was in good shape and we got the will to continue upstream another three quarters of a mile after a snack. The pools upstream were my goal but both of us succumbed to the heat and began feeling fatigued. We turned around and realized our water was running low too low. Lets just say the slog back was tough to the point of being so dehydrated I started feeling faint with cottonmouth, loss of sweat and breathing was labored i'd never felt so foolish in my life. BRING MORE WATER THEN YOU THINK YOU NEED. That dry heat and sun isn't a joke. Lesson learned...
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work

Indian Trail - Dick Smith Survey - 03-30-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Indian Trail - Dick Smith
Date: 03-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:The trail to Indian Camp from the Meadow Camp is getting marginal. It isn’t too hard to follow, but it is down to just a break in the brush to push through in some stretches. Otherwise, not bad.
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow

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Questions or Comments

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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    Phone: (805) 968-6640
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    Phone: (661) 245-3731
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    Phone: (805) 967-3481
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    Phone: (805) 925-9538
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    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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