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Any thoughts on backpacking trips in So Cal that have water this time of year. Los Padres and Sespe Wilderness???
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Benjamin Ingalls

Locale: Southern California
Any thoughts on backpacking trips in So Cal that have water this time of year. Los Padres and Sespe Wilderness??? on 05/16/2013 10:32:39 MDT Print View

Tryign to go backpacking more frequently in the backyard Los Padres, Sespe, San Gabriels, San Gorgonio. Any thoughts on some good trip ideas that aren't competlely dried up.

John Taylorson
(heyjt) - M

Locale: SoCal
Water in the local Mtns on 05/26/2013 17:42:38 MDT Print View

I head out into the San Gabriels backpacking at least once a month, all year long. During the dryer months, I choose routes off of the topo map, signifying perennial streams (solid blue lines vs. dotted blue lines which indicate "seasonal" streams.) I've found that most perennial streams on the map have some water even in dry conditions. Also look for springs on the map.

Some of my favorite perennial streams are Santa Anita cyn, West Fork, East Fork, and of course the high country up Angeles Crest Hwy.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Southern Los Padres on 05/26/2013 20:26:28 MDT Print View

If you can stand the heat and dryness on the hikes in/out, you can find water year round at a handful of camps and along a handful of trails in the southern Los Padres. May just have to put up with longer, dry stretches in between water sources though.

Around the Sespe Wilderness, Sespe Creek will at least have some pools year round. If you head in deep (toward Alder Creek) it will probably even still be running into the summer. The Fishbowls will probably have water for a while longer but I wouldn't expect there to be much, if any, water on the hike in/out. Some of the camps along Piedra Blanca Creek (Twin Forks and Piedra Blanca) should have water into the summer. Lower Agua Blanca Creek (heading upstream from Piru) will have water up until the Narrows or so; beyond that will dry up sometime soon. Lower Piru Creek will also have water but it could get kinda' yucky; I prefer to filter from tributaries in this area. Maybe Beartrap Camp/Creek too on the Gene Marshall Trail Might also try Chorro Grande Spring. There's a few other camps with springs that will probably be pretty reliable into the summer (The Pines on Horn Cyn Trail, Valley View Camp on the Pratt Trail, etc.).

Heading a little farther north into the Dick Smith and San Rafael Wildernesses, you should be able to find water into the summer along upper Manzana Creek, Indian Creek, Santa Cruz Creek, and the upper Sisquoc. Again, some of the springs around should prove pretty reliable: Mission Pine Springs, McKinley Springs, Chokecherry Springs, Big Pine Springs.

This year will be tough, especially as we get later into the summer. We didn't get much rain last year and some of the creeks that typically have at least some water year round were bone dry last summer. With hardly any rain again this year, I fear the creeks will be even less reliable. The various springs, if they're good ones (like the ones I mostly listed), should run year round to some extent.

There's always Big Sur a little farther up north. Tends to be a little more temperate and have more reliable water into the summer in my experience.