Explore Los Padres - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Los Padres Map
3 days ago

I accessed this trail by parking at Cold Spring Trailhead off E Mountain Drive. I actually started on West Fork, then to Cold Spring Trail, then to the peak. Yes, there are signs that say that Cold Spring Trail is closed, but I chose to ignore the signs and press on. The trail is actually totally fine and completely accessible without worry.

I brought my pup, who I had off leash the entire time. The lower part of WFCS and CS trails were moderately trafficked. Once we got to the first top out (Edison access dirt road), it changed from moderately trafficked to light trafficked. I think that's typically where people stop, take in the scenery and head back down.

We continued on the trail and actually passed the unmarked narrow trail to get to the peak. We ended up at the top of Cold Spring Trail, at the other entrance for East and West Fork Trails (off E Camino Cielo). So we headed back down and I guessed at which unmarked narrow trail it was. Once you leave Cold Spring Trail to continue onto the peak, the trail is SKETCH. It's not maintained by any means, definitely a forged path with lots of loose rocks. I would caution anyone who doesn't have the proper shoes. But the sight is definitely a sight to see. I was very happy to be up there and see all of SB and even as far as Carpinteria!

I definitely recommend this hike to anyone. We had a blast :)

I hiked this with my dog the other day. Yes, it does say the trail is closed, however we pushed on. The trail is actually very well maintained, which makes me wonder why it's still technically closed. This hike is fairly easy and moderately trafficked. There are many parts of the trail that are covered, so even on a sunny day you should be alright. It's not my favorite hike, by any means, but definitely a fun one to check off the list and take your pup.

Don't trust G-maps to get you there. Gibralter Rd is currently gated and locked where it forks from East Camino Cielo. Tried driving further to find that Forest Route 5N20 is also gated and locked. Per the USFS website it looks like you might be able to get to the trailhead from Highway 154 via Paradise Rd, but I didn't make it out that far.

1 month ago

The Cold Spring trailhead on East Mountain Dr. is closed. Not sure how people are hiking this, unless they accessed the trail from another point?

One of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara. Great views all throughout.
Moderate hike

The trail is closed! Super disappointed I was not aware of this before I made my trek over there.

This was an interesting hike. We were headed for the falls but seemed to have taken a wrong turn. The trail is very off and on. It seems to have been washed out starting around the 2.5 mile mark and then continues off an on if you can find where it picks up again. If you make it to the metal sign with arrows pointing up to maple camp and upper matilija make sure you stay to the right as there are two canyons and water flowing down each. We went left and eventually stopped after no signs of trails or upper matilija, go right. Poison oak and the rattlesnakes are out there as well.

Just did this trail Oct 14 and really enjoyed it! I loved the scenery, there's some creek side walking, which to still have some water this time of year is great. The elevation gain in minimal, so taking kids is no problem and plenty for them to explore. At the first camp, the creek is right there with a nice little waterhole. I'm sure in the late Spring/ early Summer the water is really great to dip into, even now it reached the knees, just enough to cool off. There are certain spots where the trail gets washed out, but as long as you keep walking parallel to the creek you're good, it would actually be hard to get lost. Of course the Thomas Fire came through the area, but it's regrowth is amazing to see and you can imagine what it once looked like. Towards the 2+ mile area, there is less shaded area, so plan accordingly.

2 months ago

A good time. The first .5 miles is along a road. You then turn onto the trail and head up the canyon following the creek. The next mile the path is very clear as you meander along the creek to camp one. Beyond camp one the trail is a bit washed out and there are a few sections where you lose the trail a bit. As long as you follow the creek you should be able to head the right direction and find the trail again. There is a STUNNING camp site about three miles in. Chirping birds and crickets, the sound of the flowing creek, a lovely breeze, a big oak tree and a nice flat camp spot. THERE IS A LOT OF POISON OAK ON THIS HIKE. SO MUCH POISON OAK. IT IS EVERYWHERE. But minus the poison oak it is a really good time and super beautiful.

Easy (quick) escape to nature. Beautiful hike and drive

We hiked from the southern trailhead. Trail is good to a short distance beyond Matilija Camp. However, after the canyon turns sharply right, the trail effectively ends - all paths are blocked by large amounts of fallen tress, brush, etc. So total in and out hike is about 3.5 mi.

Trail is open.

Nice views but trail definitely needs work- very hard to follow at times. We found ourselves sliding on dirt and having to whack through bushes.

Did this hike last year, attempted today but the trail is closed. You might be able to push through but from what I saw it isn’t worth it. Hopefully the trail will be open by the end of the year.
Again as of today, the trail is marked as “closed” when you get there and the road is closed on your way there as well.

expectacular hike. great sources of water for backpacking. beautiful views. trail is very clean with poison oak. a little narrow close to strella campsite but not too bad.

The road to Red Rocks trail head is open, check: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lpnf/recarea/?recid=81860. Hiked the trail on Saturday; 8/18/2018 with two others. It was a pretty hot day with temps in upper 80s low 90s, with low winds and no cloud coverage with some tree shade coverage. Started at 8:30 am, we brought lots of water, about 6L-7L each and used it all. We hiked to the dam and continued to the mercury mine, time totaled about 7 hours, with lots of stops in shade, and food breaks.

The trail follows and criss-crosses the mostly dry bed, flat for the most part, with a hill leading up to the dam. most of the grass is golden and If you continue to the mercury mine, you walk along a fire road, which runs along the side of the reservoir. There are hardly any trail markers so, make sure you have a map or someone who knows where to go. We saw 2 people on the way there, and lots of people enjoying the water spots closer to the beginning of the trail as we came back.

Overall this is a good solid hike, just make sure to take into account heat, and bring plenty of water.

easy hike. great for quick trip to nature

3 months ago

Would love to finish this hike!

Both trails that run along the north and south side of the creek are CLOSED. Nothing indicated when they would reopen.

Great loop! New growth there is nice to see!

This must have been an excellent trail before the fire, but the blaze has changed this area drastically. It destroyed the trees and vegetation (though a surprising amount of greenery has re-emerged) which provided shade and something to look at and appreciate while pushing uphill. However, now it’s just a boring grind under a punishing sun. I can tell this trail once had a lot going for it. Hopefully it will again one day soon.

5 months ago

Parked at the Big Falls Trail. Recommend a truck as the water crossings to get there would be too much for a sedan/ car. From the parking lot to Sulphur Pots Camp site is just over 4 miles, crossing the stream about 30 times. Your feet will get wet so take extra shoes/ socks. The trail is overgrown and we did some trimming. There is a ton of Poison Oak, but It doesn't affect me. Camp site was nice with a fire pit and picnic table (Boy Scout project). Trees worked well for hammocks. Saw 3 eagles under the tree canopy on the trail and a small bear. Great camp.

Cold Springs rd. closed and barricaded heading up to the trailhead due to damage from the fire and mudslides. Parked below and attempted to walk 0.3mi to the trail head, but was turned away by a park ranger doing his rounds. Will try back in a few weeks!

I wouldn't recommend taking your dogs. the rough surface is hard on them if u walk by the river. nice fun hike until my 120 rotty had to carried out 2.5 miles.

pretty creek but don't go this way looking for the waterfalls. the topo map shows some way up but probably not what you are looking for.

One of the better hikes in the area if you like some variety of bouldering/hiking. Not the best for trail running as most open path trails have been affected by the mudslides. Lots of visible poison oak but I was not affected by it after knowingly walking through it. Fun and not too strenuous. I did not realize the path forked and decided to go left instead but still found some falls and active streams. Fun for dogs too. Enjoy!

I went last Sunday and the gate leading to the trail was closed and it was 9 miles from the gate to where the hike started. Does anyone know if it is open yet?

Easy hike and family friendly. Like the cave!

Hiked trail this past Sunday. The fire and subsequent mudslide have devastated the trail. It will need our help to restore it.

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