Parking for this trail is about 100 yards down a paved road at a locked gate. There is additional parking along turn-outs on the east side of the main road. This run is great as a one-way trek if shuttles can be arranged. Use the Piedra Blanca Trailhead parking lot as the pick-up point.
The trail begins off to the east of the paved road, crossing Sespe Creek in 0.15 miles; you'll have to rock hop across the creek. The trail follows the creek (though its not visible through the riparian growth) as an old, fairly level, dirt road.
At about 1.5 miles, the trail (now more of a footpath) ascends a minor ridge and offers nice views of the Sespe Gorge. The trail gradually descends some gentle switchbacks and crosses Rock Creek about 3.8 miles down the trail. This would make for a fine place for a lunch break. The trail continues crossing the occasional (seasonally-dry) creek bed and at about fives miles rises up another, though much shorter, minor ridge.
The trail continues, descending again, traversing through similar landscape and crossing more seasonally dry creek beds. As you near the junction with Piedra Blanca - Gene Marshall National Recreation Trail
, you'll enjoy views of the Piedra Blanca rock formations. The trail ends after 7.9 miles at the junction with Piedra Blanca - Gene Marshall National Recreation Trail
. To continue to the parking lot, take a right to head south on Piedra Blanca - Gene Marshall National Recreation Trail
for about 0.4 miles, then at the next junction, turn right again to head west on Sespe River Trail
for about 0.35 miles, which will lead you to the parking lot, and hopefully your waiting ride.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Travelers will enjoy riparian growth on parts of this run.