The Sespe River Trail begins at the ever-popular Piedra Blanca Trailhead and runs along, and crosses on many occasions, one of the last wild rivers in Southern California: the Sespe River. The Sespe River is designated for 31 miles as a National Wild and Scenic River and National Scenic Waterway.
The Sespe River Trail is a great easy-to-moderate trail for a day-hike and also is a great option for a backpacking! It’s a popular trail that takes you very close the Sespe Condor Sanctuary; stop every so often on the trail and look up to see if you can spot the great California Condors overhead!
A singletrack trail, Sespe River Trail travels through the Los Padres National Forest and hosts two sets of hot springs with year-round water and swimming holes found around the 10-15 mile mark in the Sespe Wilderness along the Johnston River Trail. The water at Sespe Hot Springs is said to be the hottest water in California, and several man-made pools are available. When you get this deep in the Los Padres, you can experience a spectacular view: the great Topa Topa Mountains to the south and Pine Mountain to the north. Catch your breath as they represent several of the highest peaks in Ventura County!