SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – May 1998

California's Sespe Wilderness

A roadless wonder in California's Los Padres Wilderness.

by: Brett Pauly


Unlike most waterways in the United States, Sespe Creek still flows undammed and crystal clear through one of the nation's largest roadless areas, the 220,000-acre Sespe Wilderness in Los Padres National Forest. A vigorous grassroots campaign to "Keep the Sespe Wild" led to the creek's wild and scenic designation in 1992, and the slogan is now a victory banner on Ventura County car bumpers.

There is much worth saving in this southern California wilderness: sheer gorges, cool pools, hot springs, parched badlands, barren chaparral, chalky sandstone with bizarre outcroppings, aboriginal petroglyphs, pine-spattered peaks, and a variety of wildlife, including bears and bobcats. It all adds up to limitless possibilities for trekking in an untamed land that's just a short drive from Los Angeles.

TRAILS: There are 18 trails offering a total of 136 miles of hiking. The 11-mile Alder Creek Trail from Dough Flat to Sespe Hot Springs is exceptionally mouthwatering. A short bushwhack away from the lazy-flowing Sespe leads into Hot Springs Canyon and a sulfur-scented nirvana.

DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate; elevation, 2,225 to 3,700 feet.

WHERE: The Alder Creek trailhead is only 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles, but allow 21/2 hours driving time for traffic and bumpy back roads. Take I-5 north to CA 126 west; turn north in Fillmore on A Street-Goodenough Road for 141/2 jolting miles (high clearance or 4WD vehicle is recommended).

MAPS: Overview of Sespe/Ojai District Trails ($1.07), USGS quadrangle Devils Heart Peak, and Los Padres National Forest Map ($4.29 each) available from Ojai Ranger District (see address at right; make check payable to "LPIA").

CONTACT: Ojai Ranger District, 1190 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023; (805) 646-4348. User fee: $5 per day/per vehicle, $30 per season/per vehicle; free campfire permit required. ($4.29 each) available from Ojai Ranger District (see address at right; make check payable to "LPIA").

CONTACT: Ojai Ranger District, 1190 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023; (805) 646-4348. User fee: $5 per day/per vehicle, $30 per season/per vehicle; free campfire permit required.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Tony
Apr 10, 2012

Our Boy Scout troop back packs in this area regularly and it is great.

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Gear
Gore tex vs leather - lined light vs heavy
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Walkinman
The Political Arena
Another Example of the Big Brain Advantages
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Walkinman
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions