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Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

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Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby jessegooddog » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:43 am

I am hoping to spend some time in Ojai and Santa Barbara this spring when everything is green and blooming. Hotel costs are prohibitive, and public campsites are too noisy, so I am looking to hike in to a safe place to overnight near Ojai, and the Santa Barbara/Figueroa Mtn area. I am not as comfortable being by myself down south as I am in the Sierra, so I really want to be hidden, but without big miles with a backpack. Any suggestions? I will have my dog so state and national parks are out. I prefer a non permit area for flexability.



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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby Rockchucker » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:37 pm

All area of the Los padres nat forest requires not only hiking permit but also parking permit. Figueroa mnt. is a ways off from Ojia. You can camp in rose valley which is off the 33 and hike the Sespe above Ojia. There is a bunch of camping in the whole area but it usually busy and requires permits.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby jessegooddog » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:40 pm

Figueroa Mtn in a good wildflower year rivals anywhere else on earth. The more I think about it, that's where I want to go this spring if we get the rains. Anyone have experience backpacking there? I am wondering about solitude near the creek during the week.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby jdub » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:40 pm

Take a look at the Matilija Canyon area.

The guys from the Patagonia Iron Works in Ventura go up there all the time.

I think they want to tear down the old damn.

I haven't been there in a while, but there are lots of hot springs, and a little honor system fruit stand. If someone is in a pool, keep hiking, I remember lots of tubs. You will smell them before you see them.

Also the Sespe comes out in Fillmore, it is a lot lower than the Lion Campground section, but I have never hiked that end.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby Rockchucker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:17 pm

jdub wrote:Take a look at the Matilija Canyon area.

The guys from the Patagonia Iron Works in Ventura go up there all the time.

I think they want to tear down the old damn.

I haven't been there in a while, but there are lots of hot springs, and a little honor system fruit stand. If someone is in a pool, keep hiking, I remember lots of tubs. You will smell them before you see them.

Also the Sespe comes out in Fillmore, it is a lot lower than the Lion Campground section, but I have never hiked that end.

The lower section if the Sespe is all private property, closest access is Tar creek to the N.

They have talked for years about taking the dam down, the problem is all the silt that is built up behind the dam. The hot springs are lukewarm at best and often attract odd balls and sometimes gangsters. Matilija has the most Western Diamond back rattlers I have ever seen. The place is thick with them.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby freestone » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:51 pm

There is car camping at Davy Brown and Nira, or you take hike the Manzana trail upstream from Nira to Fish camp. These areas are in the shadow of Figueroa. Then there is the Lower Santa Ynez river area and the Santa Cruz trailhead at Little Oso where the possibilities are endless (19 Oaks camp for starters). An excellent resource is http://santabarbarahikes.com/.
If we don't get some rain soon, the display will be minimal. BTW, the most interesting wildflowers can be seen in the nooks and crannies of the Los Padres, I have seen some stunning displays on shady road cuts going into the Upper Santa Ynez drainage and on the side of the trail near Little Oso. Not vast displays of Lupine and Poppies, but delicate specimens that defy the harsh and dry chapperal surroundings.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby jessegooddog » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:18 pm

I love snakes, including rattlers, but my dog runs loose when hiking so perhaps Matilija on a warm spring day wouldn't be ideal. But I'm getting some good suggestions here, thanks!
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:27 pm

I too like snakes, rattlers warn you " rattle rattle, hey don't step on me!!!!" I can't stand people who want to kill them, usually the same people who complain that there are to many mice.
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Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:01 am

Rockchucker wrote:All area of the Los padres nat forest requires not only hiking permit but also parking permit. Figueroa mnt. is a ways off from Ojia. You can camp in rose valley which is off the 33 and hike the Sespe above Ojia. There is a bunch of camping in the whole area but it usually busy and requires permits.

Nowhere in the los padres requires wilderness permits. They do require campfire permits to use stoves and build fires. You do need the adventure pass in the southern region of the Los Padres but not in the Monterey District. An interagency national parks pass works in the place of an adventure pass if you have one.
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:35 am

AlmostThere wrote:
Rockchucker wrote:All area of the Los padres nat forest requires not only hiking permit but also parking permit. Figueroa mnt. is a ways off from Ojia. You can camp in rose valley which is off the 33 and hike the Sespe above Ojia. There is a bunch of camping in the whole area but it usually busy and requires permits.

Nowhere in the los padres requires wilderness permits. They do require campfire permits to use stoves and build fires. You do need the adventure pass in the southern region of the Los Padres but not in the Monterey District. An interagency national parks pass works in the place of an adventure pass if you have one.

Thank you, I stand corrected. I'm planning a winter trip to the Sespe this year. It's been well over 10 years since I've spent much time there. My 10 yo will love it!
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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby freestone » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:18 am

2016 update: Santa Cruz trail is going off with a better than average poppy bloom. On the 40 mile stretch from the top of Alexander saddle to Santa Cruz Station, the bush poppy is putting on quite a show as well.
The front side trail tread conditions are showing some stress from the all the bike traffic, but on the plus side they keep the chaparral from taking over.
Despite the drought, water is flowing in Santa Cruz creek and there still is, to my utter amazement, a fishery. Decent sized landlocked steelhead and some fry, hanging on. My selfie illustrates the necessities needed to protect skin and sanity from sun, wind, and gnats, the latter ever present from early morning till early evening. This is great trail to prep for the Sierra, having a long steep and steady climb up to the Saddle, then another equally long "40 mile" stretch into the Santa Cruz drainage.

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Re: Backpacking Ojai/Santa Barbara area

Postby ERIC » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:11 am

Wow. Looks spectacular.
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