Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
12,747.00 ft (3,885.29 m)
Trail type
50.70 mi (81.59 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Hildreth Peak Road Hike is a 50.7-mile out-and-back route through the backcountry of  Los Padres National Forest. It starts from a parking area located off of the Maricopa Highway / Highway 33, and uses Potrero Seco Road to reach Hildreth Peak Road. It's a strenuous route, with some steep sections and an overall elevation gain of about 12,747 feet. The area offers sweeping vistas, backcountry camping, and plenty of opportunities for solitude.

The route runs between the Matilija Wilderness to the southeast, the Dick Smith Wilderness to the north, with the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The rugged landscape features pinyon pine and oak woodlands along with chaparral covered hillsides including manzanita, scrub oak, mountain mahogany, buckwheat, laurel sumac, and various sages.

It winds up and down ridges, offering panoramic views of deep canyons and rugged coastal mountains. It follows Sespe Creek and traverses near Agua Caliente Canyon. Hikers can reach Hildreth Peak (5,065'), one of Sierra Club's Hundred Peaks Section peaks, via Hildreth Peak Road (adding less than a mile to the total).

The turnaround point is P-Bar Flats Campground, a first come first serve primitive, backcountry campground nestled among oak trees and situated in a beautiful meadow. It features picnic tables, fire pits, grills and toilets. There is limited cell coverage and no potable water however, water may be filtered from a nearby stream. Campers are advised to check with the Santa Barbara Ranger District regarding water levels and current fire restrictions before heading out.


  • Wilderness/backpacking permit not  required for overnight stays in Los Padres National Forest. 

  • Backcountry camps are on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations. 

Check with the Ojai Ranger Station and Santa Barbara Ranger Station for additional camping info and for trail conditions/closures.



USFS - Passes and Permits

Current Trail and Road Conditions

Santa Barbara Ranger District Office: 1-(805) 967-3481

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

National Forest Pass

Open Year-round



Solitude. Scenic vistas.


Some areas may get damaged or have closures following significant rain or winter storms.

Trailhead Elevation

5,187.00 ft (1,581.00 m)

Highest point

5,331.00 ft (1,624.89 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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