Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Sespe Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The forest is growing back but the huge trees are not there to shade the trail. Last years Thomas Fire stripped the trail of its lushness. It’ll be back soon. Very moderate climbs and the trail is well taken care of.

What a beautiful hike! We did the whole thing in a day, cut it a bit close (did the last 45 minutes with headlamps on) but the hot springs helped rejuvenate us halfway through :) Trail is very hard to follow at times, there were two river crossings in particular that didn’t match what was on the all trails map (one of which we ended up waist deep unnecessarily), so, if it feels wrong, maybe go down river a bit to see if there’s an alternative route. The hot springs themselves were also a bit difficult to find, it’s a man made tub nestled into a corner, just so you know what you’re looking for. Overall, a really fun time, can’t wait to come back and backpack it / spend some more time enjoying the springs and swimming holes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
rocky
11 days ago

Poor trail with disappointing

hiking
flooded
15 days ago

I couldn’t get to the trail this time because of a foot deep creek crossing my scion couldn’t make. Besides that, the first 5mi (before the creek) of the 7mi dirt road to the trail was well kept and well used (As of 11/2/19). I will attempt again with a truck.

Trail is a little hard to follow at some of the river crossings but generally not too bad, I got really turned around and exhausted after willet hot springs and ended up turning back and going to willet rather than u all the way to sespe in one day. Willet springs was really nice in November and under rated in my opinion, I only saw 3 other groups on the entire hike up there and the springs were way cooler than I thought they’d be, it was a little tub tucked away in the trees with only a few people hanging out when I got there. Watch out for poison oak on the left as you approach the springs! There is a ton right there about 100 yards from the end. The best part was the total seclusion and beauty on the hike from the trailhead to willet, there are a bunch of spots along the way to cut off the trail and go dunk into waist deep chilly water in the creek and fill up water. I’d highly recommend doing this route and I’d make it a multi day thing if you want to go all the way to sespe so you can enjoy it and take it slow.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful mountains and wildlife. I suggest a compass and gps map (I used downloaded map in all Trails) as the trail the last half mile or so to Willet hot springs before going up the mountain can be hard/nearly impossible to follow. Also extremely hot when I went, drink lots of water filtered from creeks. On flip side check trail conditions in winter as river crossings can be dangerous and uncrossable.

It as a nice trail but I’m docking 2 stars because of the bugs. There were so many bugs that it made it not enjoyable. At about 2.5 miles you climb a few switchbacks up to what a passing hiked called “the saddle” and it has nice views. At 3 miles there is a campground but I was so over the flies trying to get into my ears and eyes that I turned around. At least you get an arm workout with your hike too

Found a google pixel phone dropped in the river crossing shortly after bear creek. If anyone is looking, let me know. Plenty of water left in the creek, especially near Bear Creek Camp. Pretty hot out there this weekend but on the plus side, not a lot of bugs.

The trail is ok. There is little shade. But once you hit the swimming holes it’s not so bad.

Great for trail running

backpacking
bugs
no shade
4 months ago

Awesome weekend trip. Left for the trailhead Friday after work and hiked in about 4ish miles to bear camp with a super scenic sundown the entire way. Finished the rest of the hike to the hot springs the next morning with the final stretch right around noon which was extremely tough with the heat (high 90’s). The trail between bear camp and oak tree was somewhat tough to follow at times and had a few tough river crossings so take it slow or have a gps to follow to make sure your on track. Spent the afternoon enjoying the views and soaking in the hot springs. Left at sunrise back to the trailhead to try to avoid the heat. Overall, this is a super scenic trail with great camping spots along the way and plenty of water (at this time). Highly recommend to plan for the heat as it killed the fun for brief periods of the hike. Bug spray too, they are ferocious in parts where the creek water pools or is stagnant.

Fun hike, crossed the creek 3 times each way, lots of wet shoes and biting flies.

hiking
bugs
no shade
4 months ago

This is a great trail for those who understand the meaning of 1 mile at a time. This trail is best completed during the end of winter or early to mid spring. I have done this trail in the summer time and it beat the hell out of me. Overall, amazing trail with great scenery and outstanding views.

Did a quick backpacking to the springs and back. Great trail though got pretty hot during mid day. Not much in the way of shade but an absolute blast

backpacking
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Gluttons for Punishment or the Second Time is the Charm. Well, sort of... The good news is that we made it from Haddock to the Piedras Blancas Trailhead (Sespe River-Rose Valley) without getting lost. It was very hot and a tough ten miles plus hike out but plenty of water and no company. We had spent the night at Haddock after hiking down from the Reyes Peak Campground-great Campground. Of course, not having hiked that trail before we got lost and after tough scrambling up and down boulders, sides of canyons, etc, we finally found the unmarked trail down from Haddock Peak to the Haddock Campground where we spent the night. The trail down from Haddock Peak is overgrown, unsigned and not even on this App!!! Bottom line: this was our second backpacking trip, again thankfully my girlfriend is made of stern stuff as we got lost but we are learning. We love the Sespe Wilderness, nobody is back there, lots of water and adventures galore!

good beginner backpacking trail. only somewhat difficult part would be picking up the trail after some of the crossings. follow the carins. Also campgrounds are not well marked

Great hike, although temps were pretty hot today - upper 80s. Lots of water running so we were able to cool off in several places. Not much shade along the route. We hiked about 4.5 miles in and turned around. Wildflowers are gorgeous and a breeze that kicked up on the way back helped us with the heat.

backpacking
over grown
scramble
washed out
5 months ago

Granted this was the first backpacking trip for my girlfriend and I but it was very hard and not for the faint of heart. Thank god my girlfriend is not faint of heart! We left Friday May 31 from Reyes Creek Campground and spent the first night at Beartrap. Leaving Beartrap, trail is washed out, overgrown and no signs as you follow Beartrap Creek until you climb out of the Canyon and have a pleasant mile or so to Haddock Campground. We got lost once that day as the trail up out of the Canyon is not marked and/or washed out. From Haddock to Three Mile Campground again the trail disappears and there are no signs. Lost for a second time that day. Spent the second night at Three Mile Campground and made a huge mistake the next am by not looking at the map to realize that the ghost trail that led us down Piedras Blancas Creek was not the one to follow. Again, no clear signs indicating direction of trail. After an incredibly tough scramble through mesquite and chaparral up the side of Piedras Blancas Canyon we rejoined the trail after Pine Mt Lodge and made it to the trailhead in Rose Valley about 6:30pm on Sunday June 2. Bottom line, lots of water and no company, saw only three backpackers headed in from Reyes Creek on Friday and out on Saturday, but from Beartrap to Pine Mt Lodge trail is overgrown, no signage and very hard to track! Beware!!!

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