Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest

in California, United States
Los Padres National Forest Trail Map

The Los Padres National Forest is a remarkable area of protected wilderness that occupies the coast and Transverse Ranges in California. Earning the title of the second-largest national forest in the state, Los Padres offers a diverse repertoire of outdoor pursuits to indulge in. Shielding acres and acres of backcountry and rugged coastline, we at 10Adventures can’t imagine a better way to appreciate California’s unrivaled beauty than visiting the Los Padres National Forest.

Los Padres is a spectacular natural playground awaiting exploration, a landscape characterized by sharp-crested coastal mountains, rugged headlands, steep-walled canyons, thermal springs, rivers, and beaches. Stretching 220 miles from the west boundary of Los Angeles County to mid-Monterey County in the north, the national forest protects approximately 1,950,000 acres of land, encompassing ten wilderness areas.

The coastal environment boasts a diversity of flora and fauna— yielding an unparalleled experience for visitors. Enjoy dense communities of chaparral shrubs, old-growth coastal forestlands, and vibrant wildflowers that bloom after a rainy winter! Within the bounds of the national forest, adventurers will also find a variety of wildlife and endangered species– among them is the California condor which the state is desperately trying to reintroduce and protect.

Towering to over 9,000ft above the Pacific Ocean, the Los Padres National Forest serves as the backdrop to popular California towns, including Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Ventura—attracting over 1.8 million visitors from the local communities and nearby urban centers of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The topographic diversity and climate variety present an abundance of recreation opportunities. These activities include hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, surfing, and more.

Offering acres and acres of the incredible coastal environment, the Los Padres National Forest boasts unrivaled outdoor opportunities. There is a reason this wilderness area is one of the most visited national parks in the country, so if you are planning a trip to California, make sure to include a trip to Los Padres.

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