“An all star trail with different type of vegetation and vistas; great for either a day hike or a backpacking trip.”
— Kristen Arendt
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Although younger kids might not be up for the full trail, you can make this as short or as long of an out-and-back hike as they can handle.
The Lion Canyon Trail in the Los Padres National Forest is a moderate-to-difficult trail, taking visitors looking for a shorter day hike into a “wild” setting within 2 miles of the trailhead. It’s an easy-to-moderate trail, and is family-friendly. For visitors looking for a longer outing, this is a great option for a backpacking trip.
The Lion Canyon Trail borders the Great Sespe Wilderness and the Condor Sanctuary, has year-round water, and was recently maintained in the 2016 National Public Lands Day stewardship event. Because this trail is located along a north-facing canyon, you can see all types of vegetation from Douglas fir trees to spruce, oak, yucca and sycamores.
This trail should be more popular as it has the “star” power many look for in a great trail. If you follow the trail for 5 miles, you'll climb to spectacular views of the Channel Islands in Channel Islands National Park and dramatic views of Pine Mountain too. Car camping is available from the Middle Lion Campground.
Flora & Fauna
Douglas fir, spruce, oak, yucca, and sycamores.