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Sespe River Trail

Intermediate

Trail

18.2 mile 29.2 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,951' 595 m
Descent: -2,311' -704 m
High: 3,070' 936 m
Low: 2,233' 681 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A popular trail that takes visitors close to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and leads to two hot springs and swimming holes.

Kristen Arendt

Features Hot Spring · River/Creek · Swimming · Views

Description

The Sespe River Trail begins at the ever-popular Piedra Blanca Trailhead and runs along, and crosses on many occasions, one of the last wild rivers in Southern California: the Sespe River. The Sespe River is designated for 31 miles as a National Wild and Scenic River and National Scenic Waterway.

The Sespe River Trail is a great easy-to-moderate trail for a day-run and also is a great option for a backpacking! It’s a popular trail that takes you very close the Sespe Condor Sanctuary; stop every so often on the trail and look up to see if you can spot the great California Condors overhead!

A singletrack trail, Sespe River Trail travels through the Los Padres National Forest and hosts two sets of hot springs with year-round water and swimming holes found around the 10-15 mile mark in the Sespe Wilderness along the Johnston River Trail. The water at Sespe Hot Springs is said to be the hottest water in California, and several man-made pools are available. When you get this deep in the Los Padres, you can experience a spectacular view: the great Topa Topa Mountains to the south and Pine Mountain to the north. Catch your breath as they represent several of the highest peaks in Ventura County!

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 8 votes

#7359

Overall
  4.0 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
25%
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#743

in California

#7,359

Overall
58 Views Last Month
2,755 Since Dec 14, 2016
Intermediate

0%
33%
50%
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Photos

Pool of water
Apr 15, 2019 near Ojai, CA
Enjoy great views on the way to Willett along the Sespe River Trail.
Apr 11, 2017 near Santa P…, CA
Sespe Wilderness
Dec 6, 2017 near Ojai, CA
The sun rises over Hartman Camp.
Apr 11, 2017 near Santa P…, CA
Hiking back toward the trailhead, don't forget to turn around and enjoy the view one last time.
Apr 11, 2017 near Santa P…, CA

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