hiking

views

walking

nature trips

birding

dogs on leash

wild flowers

wildlife

trail running

mountain biking

forest

dog friendly

kid friendly

camping

river

backpacking

off road driving

waterfall

horseback riding

no dogs

rock climbing

Los Padres National Forest is a beautiful place in central and Southern California. Administered by the United States Forest Service, Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,800 feet. Many threatened and endangered species live in this beautiful place. Probably the most famous among them is the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), for whom the United States Forest Service established the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Hot springs, hiking trails, rivers, and desert views about in this recreation area. An Adventure Pass is required within many areas of the park. Wilderness areas in Los Padres include: San Rafael Wilderness (194,380 acres (787 km2)) Ventana Wilderness (240,026 acres (971 km2)) Garcia Wilderness (14,100 acres (57 km2) in the Lucia District) Santa Lucia Wilderness (20,412 acres (83 km2) in the Lucia District, in the Santa Lucia Mountains) Machesna Mountain Wilderness (19,880 acres (80 km2), in the La Panza Range in San Luis Obispo County) Silver Peak Wilderness (31,555 acres (128 km2), in the Monterey District) Dick Smith Wilderness (64,800 acres (262 km2) in the Santa Barbara Ranger District) Chumash Wilderness (38,150 acres (154 km2) in the Mt. Pinos Ranger District, just west of Mount Pinos) Sespe Wilderness (219,700 acres (889 km2), in both the Ojai and Mt. Pinos Ranger Districts) Matilija Wilderness (29,600 acres (120 km2) in the Ojai Ranger District)

hiking
18 hours ago

Would love to finish this hike!

The trail is clean and well maintained. The view was worth the work. Trekking poles are strongly recommended for slick downhill portions.

on Tunnel Trail

3 days ago

Views are great along the trail. it's a hard trail that is mostly open with no shade. you must take lots of water if you plan to finish the whole main trail. also, hiking shoes would help as it's easy to slide with running shoes.

hiking
6 days ago

Please beware that the first quarter mile of trail is literally choked with poison ivy. About 300 yards in the trail becomes a tunnel of P.O. one could probably punch through to make it beyond to P.O. to the drier slope above but I had to curtail my hike.
Note: to complete the Prewitt Loop trail starting from the southern TH, one would have to bushwhack through this tough section

There’s no marked parking area. You have to park on the highway and walk about 1.5 miles on a paved road before you even get to the trail. There is trash littered everywhere. Almost all the bigger rocks have been tagged-kids suck. The trails are marked with blue/green/red paint which is somewhat helpful if you ignore the colors and just follow the markings. I took my dogs with me and they played in the water a bit but they smelled like a sewer when we got home.

great trail but careful - I almost stepped on a rattlesnake (Southern Pacific Rattlesnake from doing some research) there today!! Was down by the river about 3 miles in. It was just under a fallen tree trunk about a foot off the ground that I was walking on - from the path to the river.

This could be really beautiful, but people ruined it by leaving trash everywhere and graffitiing the rocks. I don’t understand why people would want to trash something so beautiful!
Leave no trace!

trail running
10 days ago

I was visiting from AZ and was looking for a 10-12 mile out n back trail run with a good elevation and this trail was absolutely perfect. The first 2-3 miles on single track were pretty much all climbing, then it joined a Jeep trail/service road and it was rolling hills and some more great climbs. I stopped at the end of the road at 5.5 miles out and turned around. I ran at sunrise and the views were absolutely incredible with mtn views to one side and ocean views ocean in the distance on the other. The great thing about the trail is that I can be done by any skill level and at any pace. I def plan to come back next time I’m in the Ventura area.

This is a gorgeous hike but I was SO disappointed by how much trash was on the trail. Picked up 17 water/Gatorade bottles and three dog poop bags worth of garbage. I don’t understand how people can hike to enjoy nature and then trash it.

I backpacked this trail with family early in 2018. The trail was gone, fallen into disuse after the 2017 el nino, and the 2016 soberanes fire. despite GPS unit and maps, trail was far less than a deer trail, and dozens of fallen trees, brush, etc made it nearly impossible to follow. it may be in better shape by now, but I doubt it. fyi I live in big sur, and am used to some bushwhacking, but this was extreme...

Great trail. You’ll come to an area where you think the trail ends, at this point follow the creek it will guide you back to the trail or just follow the creek to the waterfall. Nice area to hang out by the bottom of the upper falls.

Good cliffs to jump off

hiking
17 days ago

Easy and interesting. Drove along Camino Cielo afterwards. Perfect for an after work outing

This trail should be noted as closed Majority of trail is overgrown and the campground is not maintained. Ascent to Happy Hollow Campground included countless washed out sections of trail with serious exposure as of July 28 2018.

on Fremont Ridge Trail

hiking
18 days ago

it's rewarding with lake cachuma views. if you plan to extend the hike after the trail till paradise road, it gets tough on the way up. requires more water and to start the hike as early as 7~8 am. otherwise, you will face noon sun shine.

At this point its a 3 day mountain biking adventure, starting all the way from the dead end of east Camino Cielo, it's easily about 30 miles now. If you plan on doing it. Please bring water! LOTS OF WATER. If you plan on going walking or biking be very cautious of not breaking or twisting any ankles. If you get stuck out there. You probably won't make it out alive. There is a ranger Outpost about six hours in. Don't expect it to be a walk in the park. You will cry, yell into the silence, bleed, and plead to god that a cloud comes around to offer shade. This back country. The wild...

Great hike and do-able with kids. Watch for snakes!

One of my least favorite stops in Big Sur. Not a bad thing but just not anything too memorable the best part of the beach was the stairs. There was no sand dollars to be found at low tide besides a couple of broken ones. The rocks were ok, the caves were pretty. The bathrooms are gross.. the lady collecting the money was very sweet

hiking
23 days ago

The Thomas Fire burnt most of the foliage but there are some large oaks still alive and water was flowing lightly in the creek. We saw lizards, frogs, many types of birds and no snakes, ticks or mosquitos so it was all good in my book. We didn’t make it to the pine grove and are unsure if they still stand.

Pretty good hike. Not hard at all. The trail does disappear so be careful we met some people getting lost. There are distinct purple/green/red arrows on rocks so look down and follow them! Or else you will be lost through the forest/stream. If you get there early enough don’t park in the street, drive in and there is very LIMITED park by the main entrance. It’s 3 in and 3 out of you want to go to the first punch bowl. That one is very nice. Be early or else you deal with families/young people etc. I went to the second waterfall. Got started at 8 Am and was done by 12ish... keep in mind we jumped in and swam a little. Pack a light lunch if you want to hangout, swim suit, towel and water shoes it’s a fun spot.

25 days ago

I like it. Would not consider it as a hard trail . The best time to be there early morning 7-8 am . You can see how clouds move from mountains to the ocean . Gorgeous! Also , you can see Chanel islands

All together spent 8 hours, started at church scrambled up loose rocks to properly insert myself on trail, I'm still sore! Came down near Costco went into wholefoods had dinner. Great views, great training exercise. Used Aveenza offline map app works great.

on West Camino Cielo

25 days ago

it's a different hike. you can start either from the top or from the bottom. Good views but I have seen better. We saw few deers at the end which was rewarding. The drive is nice and tricky.

25 days ago

Amazing views. Very tough.

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

hiking
27 days ago

Details: There are actually two different starting points for this trail. The one mentioned here is off Spyglass road (3 miles RT), but the other one is off Foothill Road (about 7 miles RT). This review is based off the shorter version from Spyglass Road.

Pros:
- Great views
- The first half is mostly flat
- Dogs allowed

Cons
- My biggest complaint, regardless of where you start, is that there is no sign or indication to let you know you've reached the finish line. You just have to assume because of the view and the path everyone else is taking.
- At least half of the trail doesn't have shade
- It is very crowded, but the longer version is less crowded. Even when I left today around 8pm, all the parking spots were still full.
- Not enough parking.
- Not well marked. I got turned around more than once because there were a couple forks with no clear indication of which way to go.

Trailer to the top worth the spectacular view. Can be windy so check the weather report. Trying to time a trip when the air is clear.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail, great redwoods (not old growth). We parked at the trailhead on the right. After we hiked about 100 ft and turned around we realized we should have drove around the corner and parked on the left. The trail seemed to degrade after the 3rd stream crossing at 1.4 miles so at that point we turned around.

Had a great day yesterday! We ran the trail with 9 rigs, no issues, no damage. It’s a fun day run for sure.

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