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Tar Creek [CLOSED] is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ojai, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.9 mi Elevation gain 1,788 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Closed

Description
Waypoints (0)
Tips
Getting There

Note: This trail is closed to public entry due to a threat to the condor. For more information, please see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3818885.pdf One of the more spectacular destinations in the Los Padres. This great hike takes you deep into the remote Las Padres National Forest. Although the trail traverses mostly scrub brush, the mountain vistas are quite spectacular. For those who want a shorter hike, simply stop and explore the lovely seasonal Tar Creek, before turning back. For those with more energy, continue on to Sespe Creek. This is a wonderful setting, with sandy beaches, house size boulders, cascades, jumping fish, and everything else you could wish for in a stream side setting.

No special equipment is required. Just bring plenty of water and be cautious at the eroded area where the shortcut down to Tar Creek deviates from the original trail continuing to the right.

From the town of Fillmore in Ventura County, take A Street on mile north to Goodenough Road. Turn right and continue 2.7 miles to Squaw Flat Road on the right (its marked as the Dough Flat Turnoff. Turn right and drive 4.8 miles up the winding mostly dirt mountain road to the unsigned parking pullout on the left. It's located 1.5 miles beyond the Oak Flat Guard Station. From the pullout, take the wide path to the northwest through the metal gate.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (51)
Photos (44)
Recordings (26)
Completed (132)
Ruben Vargas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 10 2020
HikingClosedNo shadeRocky

The hole itself is ok, but once you get to the creek and follow it down, it is so beautiful. The “Pools” are deep enough for people to jump from rocks above. Definitely worth the trip.

Karmella I
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 07 2020

Went today and they were giving out tickets and towing cars

Alejandra Hancock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 26 2020
HikingBugsClosedNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

Awesome spot once you’re there but the hike there and especially the hike back did not feel moderate

Kel C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
HikingOver grownScramble
View Kel's Recording
Jimmy Ameca
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Oct 03 2019
Hiking
Victor Miramontes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 19 2019

one of a kind hike in Ventura Co..

Victor Miramontes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 07 2018

closed

Audrey E. McDaniel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 14 2018
Hiking
Mario Rossi
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Feb 03 2017

closed!

Yeon-ho Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 17 2016
Hiking

went a long time ago...still think about this one from time to time. too bad its closed.

James Bailey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 12 2016

Secret gem. Waterfalls! Pools! Don't tell anyone.

Hiker Osmak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 08 2015
Hiking

Pretty great hike, haven't been in awhile. But once you hit the 70ft waterfall you have to keep going for that five star experience. Pretty challenging throughout the hike, but the way back is the toughest part.

Ryan Hoverman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 04 2015
Hiking

It's too bad this beautiful area got trashed! This is one of my favorite trails ever, great hiking, rock scrambling, cliff jumping, natural rock waterslides, and swimming! Haven't been since I moved out of Ventura county, but came across three condors last time I was there: one at the top of the 70-foot waterfall, and two down by the infinity pool.

Francisco H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2015
Running

At this time (July 2015), trail is closed due to endangerment to the California Condor by litter left behind careless idiots. Creek is dry.

Celia Contreras
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 08 2015
Hiking

Intense, but worth the struggle!

Steven Ipswitch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 29 2015
Hiking

I hiked this trail for the first time in the late 1970's, then several times in the 80's and 90's while living and working very nearby. Before it was a wilderness area, it was common for me to be the only person on the trail. Hiked the trail into the West Fork Sespe Creek in 1984 and didn't see anyone for several days. I don't know how crowded it is now, but it sure was nice then.

Tony Rasmussen
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Mar 03 2015

CLOSED I spoke with the Rangers and this whole area including the trails are totally closed permanently to help save the endangered California Condors. The fine for going in here is very expensive and every member of your party will get their own ticket. I Believe you can be arrested as well. Please help save the condors. They clean up dead animal corpses to keep the waterways clean and diseases down. We need them. let's give them some space to rebound. They are on the brink!

Rob Herr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Feb 03 2015
Hiking

New signs posted on the trail and parking area on 30 Jan 2015. My son and friends got individual tickets at $175 each. Be aware of enforcement.

Scott Fulkerson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 18 2014

Its winter 2014 im going this year early 2015. Lots of rain this year, going to see the sites. Wont be foregoing taking plenty of pictures. Should be cool as I wont be " needing to jump into the stream " too old for that and " Who ever jumped in there nude " It wasn't me". Im to old for that nonsense ...

Nick Cleary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 25 2014

As of 10/21/14 TAR Creek trail head has been closed by the USFS because of the condors. $5000 fine if found hiking in there

Scott Fulkerson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri May 30 2014
Bird Watching

Well it's 5/30/2014 as we've had a wonderful rainy season to have lest wise a short lived Tar & Sespe Creek season. Used to live in Newhall area and seen friend or two active on these sites. In reading the one review regarding the officer taking license plates and anyone's drivers license info. down who were there in his presence. To the fact that hiking back there is no longer allowed. It's been since 73 since Ive been there. I'd be willing to participate in a trash haul expetdition as maybe we'd could get passes to get back there to clean up. Even at it maybe taking " A few Days." Back pack some large trash bag's pick and clean it up the best we could in the "time it takes to do a worth wile job. Of course all this done for the "Condor" sanctuary. If the graphite could be covered in the color of the natural rock Light red and beige.? Pictures for the archives and the nice work that we'd of done. Call me I'll volunteer even buy some hefty trash bag's . We should huddle with one of the local rangers as in getting permit and plans My phone number (707) 395 - 6664. Stillman let's do it.

Eric Broadfoot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 20 2014
Hiking

We went there yesterday (1/19/14) and this hike is now one of our favorites. Since Southern California is in a drought there was no water in the river bed, but that didn't affect the beauty and fun that we experienced climbing over house sized boulders and down the sides of could be waterfalls. The drive up to the hike is part of the fun as it is a 1 lane treacherous mountain dirt road that has a steep cliff on one side. We made our way down the trail to the river bed and eventually made it to the first jumping/swimming hole. Since there was no water flowing the water was full of algae and looked pretty gross so we didn't go in. We continued on and as we went further the boulders got larger and larger. We ended up at the edge of a 70-80 ft cliff with another stagnant water hole at the bottom, where apparently some people have jumped (saw it on youtube) and it was truly breathtaking. The "trail" continued on around the small canyon but we only went a little ways before we headed back. This is an amazing hike with great geological features and I recommend it to anyone that is an avid hiker and doesn't mind a little drive to get there (about an hour from San Fernando Valley). I definitely want to come back here once it rains more. edit: we brought a dog along, it was difficult and a little scary at points when we had to carry her down the steep cliffs and pass her to someone on the boulder below. If you plan on bringing a dog or a child, use caution as it's very dangerous at certain areas.

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