Looking for a great trail in Los Padres National Forest, California? AllTrails has 170 great hiking trails, trail 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 80 moderate trails in Los Padres National Forest ranging from 0.6 to 37.3 miles and from 187 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

no dogs

lake

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
over grown
1 day ago

some shade near the creek. saw some nice wildflowers, like California fuschia. Nice chance in elevation. some parts were overgrown, still good for trail running too. would love to come back in the Spring. Bring sturdy boots for loose gravely descent and long pants for all the thorny seeds. The map doesn't indicate loop but trail could be done in a loop.

hiking
1 day ago

This hike was a real treat! We went on to hit Sawmill Mountain which I would highly recommend. Even if you don't want to extend your hike just walk a little past Pinos and the view really opens up. The incline was nice and gradual for the most part. Lots of shade and rolling mountains! Happy hiking!

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

running
no shade
1 day ago

I’ve been on this trail many times. It is one of my favorites for getting in a long run. I always start at the Pratt Trailhead and go up to Nordhoff Peak then come down Gridley and cut across Shelf Road. It makes for a very nice loop that is approximately 15 miles. There is very little shade on any of these trails but you get amazing views of the surrounding Ojai valley and when it’s clear you can see Lake Casitas and the ocean. Gridley generally has more traffic as it seems to be a favorite for mountain bikers but it’s great for trail running as well. I would consider this trail to be moderate and I highly recommend if in the Ojai area.

hiking
4 days ago

Visited this site during our camp trip. Light waterfall but incredibly cold & refreshing. Great little hike.

backpacking
bugs
no shade
4 days ago

What happened to Thorn Meadows? Every backpack is an adventure for my girlfriend and I in the Sespe! That is how we found ourselves under a full moon walking down the forest service road in pitch black darkness on the night of Friday Sept 13 looking for the Thorn Meadows Campground. Past Fishbowls and Cedar Creek Trailheads, at the end of the road next to a stockade, we found a good spot to pitch our tent for the night but the Campground itself appears to be washed away. The next am we set out for Pine Mountain by way of the Cedar Creek Trail so we did not do the Fishbowls loop. Gnats are bad so bring head mesh and you gain about 1000 feet in 1.5 miles between Cedar Creek Campground and where the trail forks to go to either Fishbowls or Pine Mountain.. Unlike the Gene Marshal Trail from Reyes Creek to the Sespe River, this trail is well marked and maintained. We did not get lost once, a first for us. It was a very HOT tough climb out of the CC Campground and not much water until you get to Pine Mountain though we did not look at CC Campground for water. There is a spring or water source next to the campsite at Pine Mountain and while not streaming by any stretch of the term (it did seem to have a little stronger flow in the am) it’s cold and we filtered it. Beautiful campsite and as usual nobody is out there. The next day, Sunday Sept 15 we made the long, hot descent to the Piedras Blancas/Sespe River Trailhead getting water when the trail crossed the still strong flow in the North Fork (?) of the Piedras Blancas Creek. Love the Sespe, this was our 3rd time backpacking out there this summer. It’s isolated, stark, hot and beautiful.

On my mountain bike. Left from my house in downtown Ojai up to the trail head for a 12 mile warm up. Went up Sisar trail. There is still some water in both water crossings located in the first 2 miles. Continued up to Nordhoff ridge road across to gridley trail. I hadn’t been further than 5 miles up the trail in years. There was a sign at the gridley junction warning that there could be a variety of hazards post fires....hiking would be totally fine but riding a bike is a bit more precarious due to higher speeds, loose gravel, rocks, and overgrown trail. Be careful. :)

hiking
no shade
7 days ago

Pretty good, paved for the first while, then you get to the trail. Lots of college student types until you get to the trail. Bluetooth speakers included. Trail is mostly uncovered, so be careful on sunny day. Took my 4.5 month border collie puppy and she did great on it, lots of other dogs on trail too.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

Not a lot of water currently! Also, on seven falls trail, there’s a very tough rock face you must scale in order to move on. I do not like heights and therefore did not like that. I am thankful to have had good friends who supported me and helped me through that part. Other than that, it’s a great and beautiful trail. If you take the route that follows the river, you will have to scale the hillside using a rope. That part is definitely not for the faint of heart! All in all, not a fear-of-heights friendly trail. But a beautiful trail for sure.

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail. Highlights are views of swimming areas in gorge and old Adobe Ranger Station. Some poison oak, but passable. Wear long pants. We went right at SE fork to Lakes Trail to Primitive Camp. Other trail was pretty overgrown and very exposed. We were camping at Arroyo Seco and saw only one other hiker on the trail

hiking
bugs
7 days ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

This trail description is a little misleading... it’s actually more like 8 miles. The hike around the campus is not shaded so got pretty hot but then you finally make it to the shaded and cool river after 1.5 miles or so. The map also doesn’t show this but the punch bowls are north a bit... there is a second stream coming into the main river right near the punchbowls and it becomes easy to lose the main trail. For me, I went to the 2nd and I think third punchbowl and on the way back thought I was following the main stream but it was a different stream! The one that continues east. Once I realized I was walking upstream not down it became clear I was not heading back down the canyon. It looks the same tho so be careful! The main canyon has spray painted arrows. The secondary one only has tree flag markers. And if you hike to the second punchbowl be sure to head back down to the first one before hiking back. All in all though the water and punchbowls are unparalleled in this region! So refreshing and fun. You can do some clif jumping in P1 and there’s a fun rock slide at the 3rd one too!

This is a great trail with beautiful scenery. The trail travels along the creek, crossing over to one side and then the other as the terrain allows for walking. The first third or so of the trail offers ample shade, but later trees are more sparse and those that are there are badly damaged by a previous fire. Some parts of the trail are overgrown and you have to fight your way through the foliage a bit. The trail is wide enough for one person and is pretty uneven walking terrain, with many rocks and roots. A walking stick and some good hiking shoes are helpful here. We went in the middle of the day, when it was approaching 90 degrees, but the heat was tolerable. The intermittent encounters with water as you cross the creek are pleasant and refreshing.

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

The hike to the summit is steep and very slippery. Otherwise, great hike with great views. Not much shade. Don't hike it when it's hot.

A little longer than stated. Amazing view on top!

My friends and I hiked this Saturday morning (9-14-19) and it was awesome! Best hike I’ve done here in SoCal that involves your entire mind, body and soul. The reward at the end is epic! After a hot day, jumping in an ice cold waterfall is what you need.

hiking
10 days ago

It is dry for the first mile or two but if you keep going you will reach pool 1 pool 2 pool 3. This app helped so much getting there.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful one of the best trails in the area.

hiking
12 days ago

Great forest hike in early September! Beautiful pine trees and much cooler than Bakersfield.

hiking
12 days ago

Really fun trail. Challenging but easy enough for a beginner. Leads into a bunch of other trails if you wish to be a little more adventurous

Sweet and hard hike. Ate our tacos at the top with Sasquatch.

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