Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Los Padres National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
3 days ago

Excellent. A little tiring once you pass the private property water fuel up (I’m in average shape). That stretch and the switchbacks had me zapped! Parts of the trail are pretty narrow, and flowering plants line them (read: bees!). Lots of bees. It was not a problem for me, but if you are allergic, keep this in mind! There’s not a lot of avoiding them.

Views at the top are amazing. Once the trail ends, keep going down the utility road when you see power lines. You’ll see a little sub trail off to the right that leads to inspiration point.

When in doubt, keep going up!

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.

hiking
10 days ago

The trail is badly burned. The Mountians are stunning but it's a sad hike. There are no signs of wildlife. It's is uphill all the way and extremely strenuous and Rocky. This would be a nice trail when it's not a bone yard. Thomas fire destroyed it.

walking
14 days ago

Short walk to great views.

Beautiful views, perfect spot to watch the sunset!

fun and easy "hike", it's really walking down a dirt road to the castle. The views of the horizon from the castle are amazing. I would def do it again, but be warned it is easy and super short.

on Tequepis Trail

hiking
17 days ago

Trail is OPEN as of 06.06.2018.

Nothing technical or difficult but gets hot with very limited shade for the majority of the hike. Nice views from the top.

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.

Great hike, very challenging especially the last 1/3 which is steep with loose dry dirt and rocks. It was hot took 2 liters of water and drank it all. Beautiful views and very peaceful didn’t see another person on the trail!

hiking
23 days ago

The trail is overgrown in places, sometimes necessitating up close and personal contact with the bushes on either side, but most of it was a lovely walk zigzagging across the creek (which still has water in it). There’s a good bit of scrambling over rocks, but nothing my wobbly ankles couldn’t handle. Bring extra water—it was quite a bit hotter up there than down by the coast.

hiking
25 days ago

This is a great hike, my first one in Santa Barbara. There were times where I felt like I was so isolated I could be in another country, in the forest, and I loved that. It was difficult for me, cannot speak for all but there were some parts where the path is very small. There are some really beautiful views. If you go to UCSB, extra plus because you can see campus from the top.

hiking
27 days ago

It was the first my trail in Santa Barbara . Love it. Little more that 7 ml. It took me 3:15 hrs. I’m an active person and I cannot say it was hard for me . Was a nice sunny day and the view was gorgeous !

Cool old structure, not really a trail more just a dirt road. With ease of access the Castles is filled with instagram models and littered with plastic Starbucks cups and straws.

great hike. mountain was covered in color today. very steep for the last mile but the view is worth the effort.

Did this as a 3 day back pack trip on 5/21- 5/23 2018 with my friend Linda. Both of us early 60’s. Started at Nira, hiked to White Ledge camp (12 miles), hiked via hurricane deck to Manzana Schoolhouse camp (20+ miles), then back to Nira (10 miles). Hikes to and from White Ledge and Manzana schoolhouse were pleasant, easy, beautiful with plenty of wildflowers and water along the way. Hurricane deck is a different animal. The San Rafael wilderness map tells you it’s about a 15 mile hike, the sign at White Ledge says 23 miles, the one at Manzana Schoolhouse says 22 miles. Whatever the distance, it is a long hike, but spectacular. With the various times you spend backtracking to find the trail you might as well call it a 20+ mile day. There are patches of well maintained trail (thank you so much for those doing the work) and areas where it is easy to get lost due to overgrown areas combined with lack of cairns or marker flags. It does become obvious when you are off trail and I advise you to backtrack right away to find it. Getting off trail can quickly become scary with the very rough terrain and dramatic drop offs. Once we did not backtrack - as it seemed more work then trying to reconnect with it going onward - it was our biggest mistake of the day, that fortunately only cost us time and a bit of a scare. The hike is epic and spectacular, with drop offs on both sides of the long long ridge, with views into eternity. It was a brilliant sunny day, but a nice breeze kept the hike comfortable. Start early so you don’t run out of daylight. Make sure you are in good shape since besides Lost Valley Trail (8 miles) and Potrero trail (3 miles) there is no way off the mountain unless you carry a hang glider or love rides on rescue helicopter. Look for condors and the Sisquoc Sasquatch - no proof of existence of either one this trip, but a trip to remember for sure!
Leesbeth

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. The trail gets a little hard to follow at times.

on Potrero John Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike that was a moderate challenge. We ended up scrambling up the river to the waterfall which was slightly more challenging but beautiful. Met some friendly hikers along the way but most of the time was quiet and serene.

Nice trail, but overrun with poison oak almost the entire way. Shaded, which is nice in the heat, but unfortunately there is almost no view of any mountains, landscape, etc because the entire hike follows a creek down between two large mountains. Only saw two other people the whole way so it was quite peaceful. The only animals I saw were birds. The lower part of the trail, near the Davy Brown Campground, is very lush and green. A bit late for wildflowers seemed like (late April) but still lots of tall green grass. The drive up Fig Mountain to the actual trail head is stunning, a windy, one lane road, with lush green meadows and oak trees the entire way. (PS) Don't park your car in the loose gravel at the trail head, stay as close to the metal fence as you can. It can and will get stuck.

Hike is definitely advanced as far as fitness is concerned. Lots of loose footing on the way down, steep, and uphill the whole way back. (I'm not kidding. I trail run several miles everyday and I found this difficult) I used Strava to track myself: 2,244 feet of climbing, took me just under 3 hours to make it down to the Campground and back up to my car.

If you start from the Figueroa Mountain Road trail head (which the app gives great directions to) the trail goes through a grassy meadow and then down into a ravine. When you reach a river crossing, the trail forks into three. Be sure to stay AWAY from the left trail, this is Willow Pond trail, which I took by accident on the way down and it is nearly impassable. I am covered in ticks. Keep to the center trail at the fork to stay on the Davy Brown Trail. Not sure where the right trail goes. Once you take the center trail, you will almost immediately come to another crossing, this time again, KEEP RIGHT. Don't go up the left trail, this is Willow Pond. Keep right and follow Davy Brown Trail downhill. (SEE PHOTO WITH GREEN ARROW) On the way back up, remember these crossings. Take pictures if it helps. Can get confusing. Stay away from Willow Pond Trail it is overgrown and infested with ticks.

2 months ago

Good moderate hike. Some sun exposure so depending on your comfort pick an early time!

Beautiful views but it’s not a hike

hiking
2 months ago

I started from Stevens park and the trail takes you all the way to the shooting range..it was a loooooong and grueling walk I wouldn’t recommend this trail for somebody that is going by themselves (like what I did) the first hour was fine then you start having to go uphill for the next hour or so and in some parts the trail cuts off into actually wooded areas where it feels like you are going off the trail but it is the actual trail...it feels like the trail just goes on and on then you get to a point where the trail is blocked by a bunch of bushes where you have to crawl through the bush to get past it...and from that point it took me about an hour to reach the shooting range...overall it took me about 4 hours to get through it but that’s because the trail side tracked me where I had to retrace my steps...but if everything would of went smoothly the hike would take about 3 1/2 hours to complete...my phone died when I was trying to record my journey through this trail but it captured most of it...I definitely recommend this to a group that’s avid hikers this is definitely an expert trail and DO NOT GO ALONE!!!!!

This trail while difficult was beautiful today. Poppies and lupine were alive. Nice to be so close to water too.

Went two days ago for a 21st anniversary hike. I hike on average 25 miles a week and am in good shape, and it's no joke that the last mile to the top is tough! The views are incredible though. Went around 11am, and the poppies weren't open. They seemed to be opening a bit more as we were leaving. I've lived in the SB/Ventura area most of my life and had never done this hike. It was on my bucket list. Definitely is beautiful this time of year and worth the tough climb. Celebrated with wine at Sunstone afterward!

We saw snow in the morning. How luck we are!

hiking
2 months ago

It was my first time hiking in the Santa Barbara area and I really liked this hike. I think it could have been a 5 star hike if I had hiked it on a clear day.

Parking- we easily found parking along the side of the road on the right side near the trailhead...which is on the left side of the road

Trail- the sign at the start states that the trail is 4.2 miles with 641 ft of elevation gain...not sure what that is based on, but if you are like me and wish to take this trail to Inspiration Point and back it was 7.1 miles for me with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft...so quite a bit of difference there; the trail is easy to follow and the first 1.5 goes north and sticks close to the creek and the water was running with some recent rain; the trail then leaves the trees and heads in a NE direction through a more open sort of grassland area and you will cross a road and some private property nearby and then the incline kicks in for the final mile or so with some switchbacks up to Inspiration Point...which I didn't see any signs but I had my app to verify we had made it there and there were some other hikers there already but sadly there was no view to enjoy since it was an extremely overcast and foggy morning (4/2/18) and visibility was maybe 200 yards so there was no view of the ocean or island sadly; the hike was green, with the sound of running water for most of the time, and great views of the mountains to the northeast...I just wished we could have seen the ocean...FYI dogs are allowed on this trail off leash which doesn't bother me but might bother some

*the second half of the hike we really worked up a sweat not only because it was steeper but it was very humid and there was a light mist/drizzle

Of course bring plenty of water and hiking shoes or shoes with good traction, trekking poles are not needed for this hike. Plan on this hike taking about 3-4 hours. I would rate this as moderately difficult.

hiking
2 months ago

Went just after sunrise, so the poppies were closed still for the most part but I assume if you go in the afternoon they open up. Lots of poppies and lupines blooming right now! Pretty hard last bit but doable it if you are in okay shape. Cheers to Sean Kelly for the dank review 5 days ago saying to go now!!

Epic bucket list hike.... went out with a bang! Always wanted to do an overnight hiking trip before my big 5-0 .... trail was no easy task (for me) but with the help of my daughter it was a success..... Not so much for one of our team mates who fell about 30ft down a revine and had to be airlifted out after my daughter was able to rescue her enough to get her back on the trail. Hats off #calfire #chp and the medical team.
I will definitely be back.

hiking
2 months ago

As of 14 April, the mountain is in full bloom! Go now!!!

hiking
2 months ago

I went on a very misty/foggy day so the views at the top of Inspiration point weren't that great, but the journey there and back made up for it! Lots of ravines, boulders, wooded streams, and then the winding turns making your way up the mountain made for a great walk. The last mile or two have very little shade so bring sun protection and plenty of water.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike if you're looking for a moderately difficult hike, nothing fancy. Parts of it are challenging enough to make you sweat, it's easy to follow, and there's a rewarding view at the top. We hiked it midday on a Friday and the trail wasn't too busy. It's very well marked. The creeks were flowing and the foliage was lush, but this is early April so I expect it will be dry as a bone later in the summer. Speaking of foliage, there's a ton of poison oak so keep an eye out if you have little ones. My 4 little guys (ages 4-9) hiked it no problem, tho we had to constantly remind them to avoid the poison oak. Parking was really easy too, just along the road opposite the filtration plant. I'd recommend starting early and packing plenty of water.

Load More