Sespe River Trail

Los Padres National Forest, California

Distance16.8mi
Elevation Gain7,031ft
Trailhead Elevation3,046ft
Top3,050ft
Elevation Min/Max2231/3050ft
Elevation Start/End3046/3046ft

Sespe River Trail

Sespe River Trail is a hiking trail in Ventura County, California. It is within Los Padres National Forest and Sespe Wilderness. It is 16.8 miles long and begins at 3,046 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 33.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 7,031 feet. This trail connects with the following: Alder Creek Trail and Jonhston Ridge Trail.

Sespe River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This extremely popular route follows the old Sespe River Road, with the main attraction being the numerous swimming spots, Willett Hot Springs, and Sespe Hot Springs (the hottest springs in California)."

"Sespe Creek is a wide body of water that appears more like a river than a creek. This hike follows a portion of the Old Sespe Road into the Sespe Wilderness to a scenic overlook. The trail parallels the creek past deep pool and sandy flats, crossing Piedra Blanca and Trout Creeks. The 18-mile Old Sespe Road eventually lead to Sespe Hot Springs."

"The Sespe Wilderness boundary takes a job around two parcels of private property that lie along the river to just below Trout Creek. The boundary crosses the old road at a gate where to start to climb away from the Sespe Creek. You may ride bicycles from Lions Camp to this gate, but no farther."

Sespe River Trail Reviews

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12/20/2009
Great day hike!!! Super easy aside from the 3 river crossings. Staying dry was easy with the rocks lined up at each crossing. I would like to make it to the Hot Springs next time
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5/4/2008
An easy trail to the Bear Creek Camp ground. Water was about 60 degrees, and with the warm weather/temp there was some thick algae covering some of the rocks that seemed to indicated a less than healthy water shed. Maybe from recent fires or the tethering of horses less than ten yards from the stream, I watched as four were tied in our intended campsite, which already showed droppings all around what was a good, sandy location. Also be aware that the Forest Service was at the trail head at 10 am handing out violations to anyone who had not returned.
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3/16/2008
Fun, flat, easy hike on good trail. There were 2-3 stream crossings in the first couple of miles (get wet up to knees or thighs). Beautiful and great place to explore in the river bed. Recommend it for a day trip or a couple nighter.
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3/5/2003
Starting at Beaver camp,(off 33)hike east.This is a great trail.The path is wide,and a lot of fundamentals can be learned on this hike.Hike to Lion camp.(about 5 miles or so)Mountain lion and bear tracks can be seen along trail.A small climb and descent down will reviel camp Lion. After lion (about 2 miles) a beatiful undevolped camp,camp Oak flat is a good destanation.Continue on to Willet hot springs(about 7 miles).
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Sespe River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Los Padres National Forest
Nearby City
Sespe Wilderness
Parks
Los Padres National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS: Lion Canyon, Topatopa Mountains, and Devils Heart Peak; Harrison’s Sespe Wilderness
Local Maps