A California Campfire Permit is required if wanting to have a campfire or use a stove. Campfires are generally banned in the summer months and into the fall due to fire danger. No permit is required to enter or camp in the wilderness, so it is a good idea to sign the register.
The junction at the bottom was washed out after the Zaca Fire, but the trail is still there. New trail is not as well marked, but it is well used. Go up along the east side of the washout and pass the old sign at a sharp right turn onto an old road bed. This road was never finished, but the road bed is still nearly intact as it climbs close to the top.
This makes a gentle climb high above the creek with some sections getting narrow on the unstable canyon walls. You pass only a few trees, but some are impressive in size. Eventually, there is a creek crossing and the old road bed is harder to see in the flatter landscape. The trail should still be obvious. There is a table for camping at a tight turn as the road starts to climb up on the canyon wall, now heading west.
The road bed is obvious again and more so as it gets higher. After it turns east again, there is a famous blank sign that no one can remember a purpose for. It wraps around above Sulphur Canyon showing off some rather nice views. The last half mile, where it appears the road was not built, can be a little harder to navigate, but is usually very solid.
Vulture Spring can be found just above the road bed on the way up, but cannot always be relied upon for water and is usually a very thin trickle.
For trail, water, and camp reports, check on Hike Los Padres