Sespe Wilderness Campaign

The Sespe Wilderness covers over 200,000 acres of the Los Padres National Forest within Ventura County and is home to dozens of miles of backcountry trails. One of the most popular trails within the Sespe is the Sespe River Trail, which follows a historic route along Sespe Creek for over 16 miles.  Other popular trails include the Gene Marshall – Piedra Blanca Trail, which is one of only two National Recreation Trails within the Los Padres National Forest.  Some of these trails are also key segments along the 420 mile Condor Trail, which begins in LA County and crosses the length of the Los Padres before ending at Botchers Gap near Big Sur.  The Sespe is also home to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary as well as the only herd of bighorn sheep in the Los Padres.  The Sespe is most popular in spring and early summer when the swimming holes are at their best but remains a popular destination for year-round recreation.

The Los Padres Forest Association is asking for funding to maintain recreational access to the Sespe Wilderness. Trails on the forest do not maintain themselves, and without continued maintenance, our forest will loose these trails to overgrown brush and downed trees. If you’ve ever been on a hike in the Los Padres, you’ve probably had to push your way through thick chaparral on trails that have not been maintained for over 20 years…. 

Maintaining trails involves a massive cooperative effort between the US Forest Service, local outfitters, and volunteers. Funds raised will go directly to the trails by helping to pay for numerous working vacations and volunteer based trips within the Sespe Wilderness. We expect to complete about 10 miles of trail maintenance before the end of 2020. 

Trails needing work:

1. Sespe River Trail

2. Gene Marshall-Piedra Blanca

3. Alder Creek

In response to declining federal funding for recreation, LPFA has become a key player in the continued care and maintenance of trails across the Los Padres. We are out working the trails almost every day of the year. Our continued efforts to keep trails open would not be possible without financial support. THANK YOU!