Sespe Wilderness

This weekend we drove North to the Los Padres National Forest for a short backpacking trip. We started at the Piedra Blanca Trailhead and headed to the Twin Forks Campground.

Map to Piedra Blanca Camp

Sespe Wilderness Sign
Sespe Wilderness Sign

It’s only about 3.2 miles in, but it was a great trip. It was my first time to Sespe and it was absolutely gorgeous.

We’ve avoided the Ojai are in the summer because of the heat, but I think that has been a mistake. Either way, Sespe in the spring time is amazing. The small town vibe of Ojai is pretty great too.

On Saturday it rained like hell for a while, then it let up, but then it rained pretty much all night. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We’re waterproof.

Raining at Piedra Blanca
Raining at Piedra Blanca

Twin Forks looks like it’s been thoroughly used, but it was refreshing because there wasn’t really any garbage laying around and people seemed to try to take care of the place. There was a few small bits of glass on the ground, but honestly I think that’s pretty good for Southern California.

Twin Forks Camp
Twin Forks Camp

I made a big mistake with our food waste. Normally we seal it up and hang it quite a ways away from the tent, but not this time. It was just a couple of empty freeze dried food bags and a leftover tortilla, but it didn’t matter. I also sealed it all in a gallon ziplock bag and put it under my sleeping pad. Around 5 am, I had to go pee. So I go, but when I’m walking around the side of the tent, I almost tripped over a raccoon (named Rocky now). He was trying to get to the food. Stupid me.

I think I scared him as much as he scared me, and he scurried off, but he soon came back. As I said earlier, it was raining all night, so our packs were on the outside of the tent, but underneath the rain fly. Rocky crawled under the rain fly and started sniffing around, promptly making me spring up like a ninja.

We started to pull all of our gear inside the tent, but Rocky went to the other side and started tearing into Callie’s pack. She got into a tug of war with Rocky which I strongly advised against in a high pitched voice (like this guy from I Love You Man), but she came out on top.

The raccoon kept sniffing around and wouldn’t go away, so we were up at 5 am and waited there for sunrise. So it was about an hour and a half of fending off Rocky with a flashlight.

The next day was amazing. The rain was actually snow in the surrounding hills so all the rain and raccoon fighting suddenly became more than worth it.

Enjoying Piedra Blanca
Enjoying Piedra Blanca
Trail to Piedra Blanca
Trail to Piedra Blanca

 

Trail to Piedra Blanca
Trail to Piedra Blanca

 

Piedra Blanca
Piedra Blanca

We took our sweet time walking out, and for good reason. Just about every spot of the trail was a great photo op.

We’ll be going back before long, and I’m thinking that we’ll up the ante the next time around. We talked to a group of people on Saturday night who said they started from the Reyes Creek Campground and hiked to Haddock, then continued on to the Piedra Blanca Trailhead. It’s almost 20 miles, but is definitely doable in a weekend.

Map of Piedra Blanca Trail
Map of Piedra Blanca Trail

 

2 Comments on “Sespe Wilderness

    • Yeah it was pretty interesting. I believe it’s sandstone, but am not positive. There were a lot of small caves too that looked like birds were nesting in them. Another interesting point was that the trailhead sign said there were drawings on the rock in certain spots by the Native Americans that lived there once upon a time. I didn’t see any, but I find that pretty cool.

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