Sespe River Trail to Willett Hot Springs is a 20.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ojai, California that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The best time to hike this trail is in the Spring or Fall. In the summer it is too hot and there may not be water in the river for parts of the year as well. Choose your timing wisely based on the time of year and weather and be aware of heat and flash flood potential. You need an Adventure Pass for overnight parking.
Beautiful wilderness, lots of birds. Be aware that there are five pretty serious river crossings - I went just after a storm, and the fords were chest deep at times. Probably best to attempt the hike in the spring, when there's less water. trail can be quite exposed in places.
Fun little hot spring nook. Lots of plant life surrounding Willet Spring. Make sure to hang a left about a half mile after you see the sign reading that Willet is a mile away. Went over Christmas 2016 and had plenty of water options between a couple rivers and ponds. Weather ranged from a day of rain and a day of small snow flurry to 70*F. Happy travels!
don't underestimate the temperature drop when staying overnight because gets mighty cold especially in windy areas. be sure to bring enough water and to fill up when you can some spots offer water but bring some to be safe because it's quite a wall between sources depending on season.
Nice shakeout hike. Super bowl weekend. Back in time Sunday for the game! Tons of water
Easy to follow trail except in a few places. Bring plenty of water, I found none until willlet. There is a spigot near the sheds in willet but the feed hose coming down from the spring box up the mountain disconnects from the water pressure.
Went in at night, some difficult places to follow the trail the further you go. Some puddles from recent rain, but very little in Sespe River. Able to find water flowing from spring both at Willetts and Sespe camps.
Pretty cool backpacking trip with some leg burners if you're not in shape. Make sure you go when there is water running, otherwise you're going to have a bad time.
I've done this hike twice before and it's been a fun experience when there's been water. This isn't a review so much as a warning to any hikers that would want to do this trail at this time of year: THERE IS NO WATER (except for a small pond at bear creek).
This is a beautiful trail that affords many opportunities for wildlife viewing. Beyond the varied animal tracks on trail, we saw several deer and a very healthy black bear. The water is still available in many places but beware the heat. The mid-day temperatures this weekend were staggering. Hike early in the day if you venture out Sespe Creek Trail in the summer. The only downside was viewing the trash left at one of the campsites at Bear Flats. If you pack it in then please pack it out.
Beautiful, easy trail with lots of great spots to take a dip.
Beautiful hike out to Sespe Hot Springs. I counted about 10 river crossings along the way. Beware while exploring near rock piles - I saw (and heard) the largest rattler I have seen in my life when I got too close to one. This place feels truly wild. Recommended reading for the trip is the book "The Sespe Wild."
I love this trail and hate it at the same time. Definitely a winter trail unless you like having your skin melt away in the summer.
What an amazing hike this time of year. Hiked out to Oak Flat campground the first night (approx. 8 mi) in about 3 hours and had time to setup camp before sundown. Lots of water in the creeks, and after talking with some locals, this is NOT the norm. Glad we've had some drought relief. Also, this time of year is exceptional. I was trying to count all the different species of wildflowers we encountered, and lost track after 25! Willett Hot Springs was crowded and overrated, but glad I went and sat in for a bit. Too many people yapping about their backpacking exploits to chill and enjoy the springs coming down the cliff outside the tub. The campgrounds are many and laid out along the trail in places where you won't see the other guy even though there was a TON of traffic on this trail. Traffic was definitely a downside.