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Erik Dietz
(erikdtz) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Free for 4 days in January, need ideas for a trip on 01/07/2012 22:57:40 MST Print View

Hi everyone,

I've got a few days off coming up (finally!) and I want to get in some backpacking. I'd love to go to somewhere in the Sierras if possible but I'm open to other ideas. I don't need to be covering big miles and I'd prefer to not be traipsing through the snow.

Anyone have some ideas??

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Free for 4 days in January, need ideas for a trip on 01/07/2012 23:00:05 MST Print View

How many miles are you thinking?

Erik Dietz
(erikdtz) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Miles on 01/07/2012 23:01:37 MST Print View

Anywhere from 10-50.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
4 free days in Jan on 01/09/2012 13:48:28 MST Print View

How about something in the Los Padres National Forest just a little north of you behind Ojai/Santa Barbara?

Lots of options ranging from fairly well-maintained trails to practically non-existent.

Are you looking for a loop, out and back, shuttle? How's your route finding skills and tolerance for faint trails and/or bush whacking? Any particular scenery you're looking for?

I could give you some ideas if you can share some more details on what you're after.

Erik Dietz
(erikdtz) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Nicholas... on 01/11/2012 00:01:24 MST Print View

Thanks for the reply. A loop or out and back would be great. No shuttle since I'll be going solo though. My route finding skills are limited so I'd prefer to stay on a trail but I'm fine with it being faint or somewhere less traveled. Scenery wise, anything other than the desert.

I was just reading somebody's blog where he hiked along the Sespe River which is in the area you mentioned and it looked great. Is a bear canister needed/recommended in the Los Padres?

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Sespe on 01/11/2012 12:29:03 MST Print View

Hi Erik,

The Sespe River Trail would be a great trip. The main trail follows an old dirt road (now trail) along the Sespe River. Parts of it get a little brushy and hard to follow as you get more than ~11 miles in, but with some diligence and basic route finding skills, you should be okay. There's lots of great swimming holes along the hike and two areas with natural hot springs (Willetts [~11 miles in from Piedra Blanca TH] and Sespe Hot Springs [~15 miles in from PB TH]). The Sespe Hot Springs are the hottest in southern CA, I think, and probably woudln't be very crowded this time of year since the other two ways in are hampered with seasonal road closures right now (I think).

There are a few other really great trails in the Sespe that you could combine with a Sespe River Trail hike or do instead such as the Alder Creek trail (from Dough Flat), Red Reef Trail and the Gene Marshall/Piedra Blance trail.

This last one might be a good hike for you... it has a Sierra feel to it and can have some snow during the winter, but shouldn't right now since we haven't had any measurable precip in a while. You can leave from the Piedra Blanca trailhead and head north on it, up and over Pine Mtn, or you can start from Reyes Creeek Bar & Grill off Lockwood Valley Rd from Hwy 33 and head south, up and over Pine Mtn. There's some neat areas up around Pine Mtn/Reyes Peak worth exploring too- like the Fishbowls, Cedar Creek, etc.

A good map for the area is Tom Harrison's Sespe Wilderness map.

PM me if you need more info. Also check out the Condor Trail on Facebook... lots of good info/photos/knowledgable LPNF folks loitering on there.