Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

Love that Jesusita connects you to other trails giving you a choice to seek more or turn right back and seek more maybe another day.

Best views are at the very beginning then it’s not very exciting after that.

well kept up trail..great to bring your best friend..very enjoyable

Nice hike with beautiful views

Great hike! Not sure why this is rated moderate. It's definitely easy. It's flat the whole way. The trail gets a little messy sometimes and you have to go over rocks and cross the river but nothing crazy. This was absolutely lovely.

hiking
6 days ago

We'll definitely go again because I have a CA State Park Pass. It is a great and somewhat difficult trail. My advice would be to bring cash because there is a $10 parking fee if you don't have a pass.

Completed the hike today with my dog. The first portion of the hike is very easy, almost flat. Once the trail splits, stay to the right. If you go to the left, you'll end up at Haddock Peak.
After the trail split, it leads you up several switchbacks that are relatively steep. The soft ground coupled with fallen pine needles could make it easy to slip. Next time I will bring a hiking stick for extra footing.
Once you get to the peak, you'll see large boulders that you can climb on and get an amazing 360* view. It is absolutely worth the hike. You can see the US Geology markings, and there is a red can with lots of paper in it where people sign and date when they completed the hike, as well as share thoughts, poetry, etc. Make sure you plan this hike with some time to relax on the rocks and soak in the scenic views.
The only other thing I would mention is that there's several paths. If you're a novice, pay attention and make sure you go back the way you came up.

This was my first ever backpacking trip. Although backpacking way out of my league I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful trail. Taking the Santa Cruz trail just off a service road from Upper Oso Campground you follow a stunning shaded river bed through the canyon. After that the trail gets pretty scary, 90% of the trail you hike right on the edge of the mountain, zig-zagging on soft dirt (one wrong step leads to potential 800 ft fall). The trail was washed out in places, making for an even more adrenaline rushed hike. Incredibly stunning views, just make sure you’re up to the task!

off road driving
11 days ago

No challenge here, but the scenery is great

Delightful but more challenging than anticipated with some steeper inclines. But we were rewarded with fantastic views and the length was perfect for us (took 2 hours with a couple of short breaks).

hiking
16 days ago

Easy trail with gorgeous views

Beautiful trail, 2 miles gradual uphill then back down. Chilly this time of year, should have brought a light sweater. Some lovely birds in the meadow near the top.

hiking
17 days ago

This was harder then I expected. It’s really uphill and pretty bumpy/rocky. Some beautiful views along the way. It’s 2.8 miles to the top. Would recommend when it’s not too hot out or cloudy day because there’s no shade.

hiking
19 days ago

On an overcast weekend morning, starting out at 9:15am, it was not crowded on the trail though parking was pretty full. A beautiful hike even with some clouds. The trail forks about halfway up. Stay to the left.

Loved this trail arrows are everywhere make side to make it to the back pool where there is a waterfall and rope to climb

I have done this trail twice! Both times it was pretty hot out so make sure you bring plenty of water with you. You can hike two main ways through santa Paula canyon, or along the water to the punch bowls. I preferred going along the water the second time because there was more shade and I enjoy an occasion splash when I get hot but that’s just me! However stunning views overlooking the canyon if you follow the main trailhead/orange and green markers! There is trash unfortunately so be a handy earth lover and bring a trash bag with you, it made me feel better cleaning up as I went. But the Punchbowl was awesome! Fun area to have a picnic and say hello to fellow travelers!

Nice trail, bikers and hikers are friendly. I logged 16.4 miles round trip! Excellent views at the top. There are toilets available at the campgrounds you pass through, but no water.

hiking
1 month ago

Finally made it up today! Pretty steep trail at certain spots but the views from the top are breathtaking! Highly recommend it.

Solid

trail running
1 month ago

Magical spot and heck of a climb. Yearning to go back and go farther.

on Mount Pinos Trail

1 month ago

Fantastic views for such an easy hike. What I really like is that you can add much more to the hike when you start below the Nordic base. A bit more challenging and beautiful shaded meadows with lots of flowers.

Worth the winding ascent to be flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the West and Lake Cachuma to the east. Saw many native lizard species and some insect species also. The switchbacks have some loose sand as it is currently quite dry in the area, but otherwise a very straightforward hike and I would say more "Moderate" than Hard. We were completely alone with only Mother Nature for company. Lovely! Highly recommend (but bring bug spray)

walking
1 month ago

9-1-18: Nice walk anyone can do. There was an 89 year old gentleman by himself with COPD breathing hard that was taking lots of breaks and moving slowly so anyone that can walk up can do it. I think it's 2 miles from parking lot to the top. Great weather, temperature 73 deg at noon (not cold or hot), no wind... Perfect. It is over 8,000 feet so oxygen in the air is less... You'll be breathing a little harder.

Super great trail a bit confusing at times really fun

Great place to go hike and spend time with friends and family. Highly recommended to those who love to hike and admire nature. Also great cliffs to jump off if you are into that!
!!!GO CHECK OUT MY VIDEO ON THE SANTA PAULA PUNCH BOWLS!!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3na2KTAzXSw

Road up is closed. Don’t even try it from the Refugio side.

Great Trail. A bit confusing at times. Looking for green or blue arrows to remind you your goin correct way. Apparently there are multiple ways to get to first punch bowl. Tiring but so worth the hike when you take that jump in pool. Planning to go back but explore the other bowls.

Super easy, beautiful hike❤️⛰

Trail can be a bit confusing at times but as long as you follow the arrows you will get there. And it’s true, you have to park on the highway and walk up a steep paved hill through the college and some dirt road next to some job sites just to get to the trail head but it is worth it! Wear sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a bathing suit if you want to jump in! It can also be a cool hangout spot if you want to bring lunch, drinks and some music to reward yourself at the top.

wonderful views

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