Looking for a great trail in Los Padres National Forest, California? AllTrails has 179 great hiking trails, running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 79 moderate trails in Los Padres National Forest ranging from 0.6 to 37.3 miles and from 308 to 8,815 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

views

hiking

wild flowers

nature trips

wildlife

bird watching

dogs on leash

forest

running

mountain biking

walking

dog friendly

camping

river

kid friendly

backpacking

ohv / off road driving

waterfall

horseback riding

lake

no dogs

rock climbing

partially paved

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
1 day ago

Nice trail with a beautiful view up top. I don’t think it’s quite as nice as the trail Nextdoor but still beautiful and satisfying.

Loved this trail. The first couple of miles is uphill continuously so good work out. I followed the stream (running water) most of the way. There’s a lot of big rocks to navigate through. Once up towards the top magnificent views of the ocean and Channel Islands. It got rather hot today but coming back down there’s lots of shade. Overall excellent trail, not too many people.

This is a really easy hike. It's a great hike to take your dogs or beginner hikers. The area is really pretty and the parking lot Nordic Base has a lot of room for parking. The only concern about hiking this area is there were a lot of hunters there with their rifles so it may be a little concerning for some. Encountered other hikers throughout the hike be it was never over populated.

hiking
2 days ago

Great for kids. Just watch for some of the steep sides of the trail. The waterfall is a nice easy pay off.

hiking
no shade
scramble
2 days ago

Probably the best hike in Santa Barbara, just because of the challenging gradient, exposure and unique high perspective from within the Santa Ynez Mountains. Straddling the pyramidal boulder at the summit to get to the register box is really the only sketchy feeling part of this hike. Lots of hand over hand class 2-ish moments, but nothing difficult/technical (isn’t that the definition of class 2??). Super fun and tiring with a solid sense of accomplishment. Depending on the season you can dip down to the creek on the way down for a refreshing dip.

It was a nice hike. The view was beautiful but it was very hot and not much shade. The downhill part of the hill was very steep and slippery. I would recommend going counter clockwise.

hiking
bugs
2 days ago

hiking
over grown
3 days ago

Took this hike last week (10/12). Went to the the top of the ridge. We have done this hike in the past and had found it to be a well maintained trial. However, this time much of the upper trail was overgrown and difficult to traverse. Additionally, there was a lot of poodle grass once you trek past the pines. Would not recommend it at this time. Trail definitely needs maintenance.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice easy hike, not too exiting

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
scramble
washed out
3 days ago

lots of poison ivy, good water flow and erosions as well.

hiking
3 days ago

it's an ok trail a little boring but its nicer than not doing anything.

This is not a hike its just a private property with a house under construction

hiking
3 days ago

The trailhead is just past the filtration plant on the same side of the road. It is a little hidden and back from the road. I parked across the street in the gravel. I saw some broken window glass so make sure to not leave valuables visible in the car. I went on a Tuesday morning and the trail was rather crowded for the first 1.5 miles. A portion of the trail goes along and crosses a dry creek bed several times. The oaks along this section are gorgeous. There are a few steep areas and some switchbacks and as you gradually hike up to Inspiration Point, which is not clearly marked. Overall a nice hike. My Apple Watch clocked it at almost exactly 7 miles long.

backpacking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
3 days ago

The Adventure Continues: this was the fourth time backpacking this summer in the Wilderness behind Ojai off of the 33 for my girlfriend and I but our first in the Matilja Wilderness. Is there a Matilja Trail? We were dropped off Saturday am at the top of the Trail off of Cherry Canyon Road. 4 wheel drive or at least a high clearance vehicle is a must, our driver in their Toyota Rav 4 had to turn around about a mile or so from the unmarked trailhead which was not so bad but it meant we had to eat motorcycle dust for a bit. If you come to the 12 foot Iron bar cross you have gone to far, go back up the "road" five hundred feet to three large boulders that "mark" the trailhead down to the Maple Campground. The trail to Maple is pretty easy to follow and the campground itself is shaded with lots of water. Unfortunately, the night we spent there, the wind was howling all night long, not recommended for high wind conditions. The problem starts south of Maple as you head down the "trail"to the Matilja Campgrounds. There is no trail! For the first mile or two out of Maple the trial is followable but hardly well marked or developed. However, basically from above Upper Matilja to about 3.5 miles from the bottom trailhead, where the is an old steel Forest Service sign with mileages leaning on a rock, there is no trail. Or at least not one we could find. Some helpful soul has tried to mark a trail with ribbon but even that disappears or leads you to where you are rock hopping and bushwhacking your way down the Matilja Creek. It is tough going on your ankles and feet. Be prepared for unstable footing. That being said, tons of water, frogs and garden/water snakes (3), beautiful canyon and isolated, we did not see a soul on the trail. We will return to camp at either end of the trail but probably not to try and hike the whole trail from Cherry Canyon to Matilja Road as there is no trail.

Loop hike, walked over to Cold Springs first

hiking
5 days ago

Nice trail until you hit the top of the hill then it’s all forest service road “Edison Catway” with no shade until Romero Canyon. But there is still a little water flowing in the creek, a few small wildflowers, and some decent elevation climb with great views from multiple small peaks. Everything is so dry and dead looking though, hoping for some rain soon! My two dogs came with and had a lot of fun, but I take 5L of water in my pack for us.

hiking
5 days ago

Lots of mosquitoes near the creek but that means lot of lizards and silver frogs. Parts of the trail are a bit overgrown. I was glad I wore a hat but wished I had brought a bandana during the buggy parts.

hiking
no shade
over grown
6 days ago

For those who want to hike cathedral to la cumbre... I just did inspiration point TH to la cumbre. Very fun getting to cathedral. Dropping down from cathedral the trail started being hard to follow and then plunged into thick brambles. The trail disappeared out from under me and I had to hulk through 1/4 mile of terribly thick bramble bushes. Was extremely relieved to get back to on the trail. Maybe I missed the trail turn. Point is, its a challenge. Just wanted to give people a heads up.

hiking
8 days ago

Easy path at top. Well kept. Double path from base to the top. Minor trash scattered. Please keep the trails clean!

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

Cool short hike! Be careful on your way down as the rocks can be slippery.

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