About Us

Founded in 1979, the LPFA is an official non-profit 501(c)(3) partner of the Los Padres National Forest.  Our mission is to care for the Los Padres Forest, ensuring it thrives and remains safe and open for the people to use and enjoy.

The LPFA shares the Forest Service motto of “Caring for the Land and Serving the People.”  We love nothing more than to help people enjoy their time in the Los Padres in a sustainable and respectful manner.  If you have any questions about the forest, trails, camps or anything Los Padres related – we are more than happy to help!

Latest news from LPFA…


While we have you, feel free to browse around and check out all the cool things we have going on across the forest……….

The Los Padres National Forest is the second largest forest in California.  It stretches across the central coast from Los Angeles County up to Monterey.  There are 10 designated wilderness areas within the Los Padres, along with thousands of miles of trails and some of the most spectacular natural wildlife and scenery.  With elevations ranging from sea level to almost 9,000ft, the Los Padres offers a wide assortment of recreational activities including surfing, skiing, hunting, backpacking, mountain biking, bird watching or sitting next to a creek reading a book.  It is also home to thousands of black bear, mountain lion, steelhead trout and of course the iconic California condor.

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Maybe the most amazing thing about the Los Padres is that it is located within a few hours of over 25,000,000 people!  In today’s hurried world of devices pinging at you, urban sprawl and constant availability; having the option to get out of town and spend time in the mountains away from the chaos is something so simple, yet so hard to achieve.  We need places like the Los Padres and these places need groups like the LPFA helping keep them wild and open.

The LPFA helps coordinate volunteer projects across the Los Padres Forest. Our volunteers work to keep trails open, report and assess forest conditions and provide public education on how to safely use the forest.  Shoot us an email if you are interested in learning more about the LPFA, would like to volunteer or would like to sign up for our weekly Los Padres E-Newsletter.

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Click above and below to see bears being bears
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The third virtual public meeting for the Reyes Peak Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project will be held TODAY Thursday August, 13, at 12:00pm on the Microsoft Teams platform. Go to go.usa.gov/xfAZD for Teams Meeting information.

Thanks to U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest for hosting the space to share facts and hear from the public.

For more information on the proposed project - click here: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58012
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1 day ago  ·  

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HUNTING SEASON IS HERE

While there are a variety of hunting seasons across the Los Padres, the A-Zone South general deer season is by far the most busy and impactful. A-Zone South extends across most of the Los Padres including all portions within Monterey County and SLO, most of Santa Barbara (99%) and a large part of Ventura west of Highway 33 and south of Sespe Creek (see map for more specifics). This year A-Zone started this past weekend (Aug 8) and lasts until September 20. During that time you should expect to see far more people within the forest and in particular around access roads and trailheads. We did a quick tour along Hwy 166 and across Hwy 33 on opening weekend and it was amazing how many makeshift camps were along the trailheads, turnouts and just about anywhere else you could park and access the forest. We also saw two Fish and Wildlife wardens on patrol, asking for licenses and checking tags. It will be interesting to see if the number of 2020 hunters parallels what we've seen from hikers due to COVID and is higher than normal?

If you're not hunting and you're looking for solitude then you may want to look elsewhere over the coming weeks. Perhaps Mt Pinos, the northern Sespe or the Sierras. if you plan on heading into A-Zone you may want to wear bright clothing, take a few minutes to talk with any nearby hunters so you all know where you’re headed and expect a different experience than usual at the trailheads and along the trails and forest roads. Most hunting occurs around sunrise and sunset.

If you are hunting, be careful, cautious, safe, good luck and remember no campfires please.
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3 days ago  ·  

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SANTA CRUZ CAMP UPDATE

It wasn't too long ago when the Santa Cruz Camp was a very popular destination for backpackers and equestrians. It wasn't uncommon to make the long 10-mile trek from Upper Oso and find all the campsites full. It was sort of a bustling outpost in the Santa Barbara Backcountry on the edge of the San Rafael Wilderness where you'd see a combination of mules in the corral, scouts earning merit badges, bikepackers testing their gear and backpackers over-nighting on their way to deeper locales. Then came the destructive combination of the 2007 Zaca Fire, an extended drought and the 2016 Rey Fire which ruined parts of the Santa Cruz Camp and destroyed the trail coming over Little Pine. We're gearing up to start some extensive work on the trail (we'll be on it a lot this year), more on that soon but today lets talk about Santa Cruz Camp.

When camping at Santa Cruz, people usually stay at either the main campsite in front of the cabin or the lower campsite under the large oaks. The main campsite is great but the lower campsite is a bit of a mess due to downed oaks, encroaching poison oak, no clear water access and the two camps being basically right next to each other. Not many people know this but there is another campsite above the barn that hasn't been used in many years. The other campsite is set at the location of the old Alexander Cabin and is famous for having an elaborate cooking setup with the acronym SYVSA (Santa Ynez Valley Sportsman's Association) welded to the top of the BBQ. The SYVSA campsite is a comfortable distance away from the rest of the camps at Santa Cruz, has nice water access, plenty of space for tents and will be a really nice 2nd or perhaps 1st option for campers.

With the goal of getting Santa Cruz ready for future bustling days, the LPFA spend a few days earlier this year cleaning up the SYVSA campsite and getting it ready for (hint hint) a future scout project. We cleared a couple downed trees that has crashed onto the BBQ, established the old trail to the camp, cleaned up some of the downed branches and flagged the old path to the creek. Up next would be repairing the old table, finishing both access trails, dialing in the BBQ and setting up a safe fire pit. This will be a really fun and adventurous project and if any of you know of scouts interested in taking it on, please let us know and we'd be happy to help.
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3 weeks ago  ·  

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