Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Drove about an hour ish to get here. All trails said we had reached our destination yet we could not see a trail? We were at a ranger station, but of course it was closed

Nice well marked trail. Uphill most of the way, but do able. Only 3 people on bikes passed us and we were on the trail from 10 am-2pm. We went in November so it was cool. But you travel in and out of the sun. Lots of beautiful trees, pine cones and a few nice rock croppings if you go up far enough. Would totally do this trail again. Adventure pass required.

Nice views, can be hot and dry, good idea to take water and a hat.

Decent climb and good trail to bring your dog. Beautiful view of all Santa Barbara at the top. Stay left at the fork. Parking can be variable, but there are several spots along the road if your willing to walk to road to the trail head.

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.

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?

hiking
5 days ago

I don't recommend any body using alltrail map to explore this trail. Is Not safe is not accurate and you can get seriously hurt..

Amazing.

not really a trail but if you near it do it. the view is awesome from the house. great for all ages because it's so easy

Legit. Took a 97’ 4runner with street tires and it did well going down the trail. Would probably need off road tires to go the other direction (up the trail).

My Boy Scout troop originally thought of this hike. We decided to pick numerous trails for a point to point backpacking experience. It was a long trip but extremely worth it. The wildlife and scenery was amazing. Certainly would recommend to others, but do go in the spring or summer. Weather was chilly around this time of year.

I did this hike yesterday 11/5/18 for the first time. There was little water in the river. Areas were effected by the Thomas fire. Flowers were starting to grow, few white poppies. I liked the gradual elevation and steps. At the top there was a lot of loose gravel and the trail got narrow. We didn’t make it to the top. We stopped at two miles when we turned back. My left foot slipped off the trail because of the loose gravel. Lucky it was just my left leg and I was able to catch my fall with my hands. Be careful when you get higher up. There was some shade at first and then mostly sun.

hiking
11 days ago

Loved the hike! Easy trail up to Mt. Pinos from Nordic Base. We added the 3-2-1 Challenge to our hike and included Sawmill Mountain & Grouse Mountain so it was more of a moderate/hard hike. Beautiful trail past Mt. Pinos. They could use some trail markers as it is easy to get off trail. We had downloaded the gpx map to my watch so we didn't get lost. I'd do this one again. Loved it!

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

Beautiful view! Great for pictures
Easy trail

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful fall day!! About 80 degrees. Very warm on some of the ascent. Nice to see some water in the creek. Quite a lot of horse traffic!! It was a strenuous hike for us but reached the Pine camp! Recommend morning!! It was a little tricky to
Find the trail head on the grounds of the school! Trekking poles were very helpful!

Done this trail several times. Great steep training, well maintained trail. Definitely a workout. Tons of mountain bikers who come up on you FAST. Hikers are supposed to have the right of way but it certainly feels like bikers run the path around here. Almost have been run off the trail several times. Campgrounds restrooms are available toward the top of the trail (a mile or 2 down) at the paved campground. Also restrooms available at the very top of the trail.

off road driving
12 days ago

I took my 2012 JK Unlimited with 35's and had no problem. It was a bumpy trail with sharp rocks. I saw on the map after there are some mines I may go back to.

this trail needs some love. very loose surface. 500ft from the top there are 2 slides that are 10-15ft across and extremely dangerous to pass. we turned back. not safe.

really peaceful and great feeling of nature just outside the city

The lower part of this trail was completely destroyed by the recent fires and flooding. Make sure to use the upper trail if you’re going to attempt it on a mountain bike.

hiking
19 days ago

it takes longer to drive here. Beautiful hike but stop at Potrero John on the way down for a more full filling day.

Was excited to do this hike and it was definitely different considering the scenery and that you are right along the stream. But that being said, we didn’t make it to the punch bowl. The arrows were less clear at the end and we were with our pup and the rocks were getting bigger and it had become more dangerous than was comfortable for us. It sounds like there are multiple ways to get to the end - we tried to stick to the red line on the All Trails app Esther than the dotted line. Thinking the dotted line could have actually gotten you there and been easier than the red line, which was right along the creek. The dotted line seemed to be out in the hot sun, which some people were referencing in their reviews. We likely won’t do it again but if we did, we would go the dotted trail route. Would be cool if someone else could confirm that for others using the app!

Moderate hike with some shade in sporadic areas. In mid-Oct it was pretty warm, about 75*F around 9:00am.
Came across quite a few hikers so I wouldn’t say it’s a lightly trafficked area. One small area had a row of light brush overgrowing the path but it was easily passable. Mostly single track and beautiful even though there were some burn scars from the Thomas Fire last year.

You need to get the access code from the ranger and it’s a pretty rough drive up. There’s a steep trail to the ridge with multiple 200 yard cut backs. Beautiful views and lots of slate rock like tiles. It’s been a few years since I’ve been up 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.

hiking
26 days ago

Amazing 360 view!

Beautiful waterfall. We did walk with our two 70lb dogs. And we couldn’t get as close to the falls with them as some people did. But it was beautiful!

hiking
27 days ago

Fun hike overall. Nice clean and quiet trail IE the way it should be.

This trail is a gentle roller coaster through a nice pine forest. The tsurface is nice and soft with a few areas of loose dirt on steeper climbs. There are plenty of points along the way where you can peer down the south side of the ridge. On a clear day you can see San Nicolas Island. To the north you nearly always have Mount Pinos and the Cuyama Badlads in view. As of October 2018, there is no water available to filter.

This is a great beginner hiker trail due to its short length and minimal elevation gain overall. But when paired with Chorro Grande Trail it quickly becomes a long and strenuous day hike (21 miles, 5200 ft of gain) or short backpacking trip.

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.

Load More