DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,551 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

views

wildlife

backpacking
4 months ago

This is a very beautiful trail in May with all the wildflowers. This canyon has the most wildflower diversity of any trail I have ever hiked. The views of the San Rafael Mountains from the Sierra Madres was also pretty fantastic. The trail was in decent shape, but it was in great need of some bushwacking at about the 2.5 mile mark, and the poison oak was very thick in areas with no option beyond having to push or bushwack through. The creek that flows down the Judell was stagnant in areas, but flowing in others; either way, it needed to be filtered until you get to the Sisquoc River at the bottom, which runs pretty clean. The trail, despite the need to bushwack, is pretty easy to follow, but does not see a lot of traffic.
The biggest disappointment, and the reason I took a star off of the review, is the locked gate that blocks access to the trailhead. The gate is locked 1.8 miles after you pass Dry Canyon Road, and adds 5.5 miles of hiking before you can even start the Judell trail. It is ridiculous to have this gate locked year round, and it turned a 9 mile hike into a 22 mile hike.
on IG as @picbynathan