Los Padres National Forest

After leaving Channel Islands we headed to Los Padres National Forest. This forest is just North of Ventura, California. The forest is split into four ranger districts. We visited only the Santa Barbara Ranger District. We camped at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area on the northeast side of the forest.

Lake Cachuma National Recreation Area

This park offers many utilities such as a grocery store, gas station, RV dumps, and more than 500 campsites. While at Lake Cachuma, Alan learned that there was two 18-hole disc golf courses. So our first day there, he played both courses while I stayed back at the campsite reading and blogging. Time apart comes rarely when you live in a van so it was nice to be able to do our own thing for a bit.

Tequepis Trail

On day 2, we hiked the Tequepis Trail. This trail is 7.8 miles in and out with an elevation gain of 2,437 feet. After parking the van, we had a little trouble finding the trailhead because we had to enter a summer camp campground, we had to hike up a dirt road past a swimming pool and bunkhouses to get to it. But alas, we made it.

The trail starts off in the shaded forest with views of a flowing creek. After about a mile into the hike the switchbacks begin and the incline gets a little steeper. As we hiked up, the views of the mountains and Lake Cachuma kept getting better and better.

Lake Cachuma as we ascended

We also saw this slug on the way up. We think it’s a banana slug based on our google search. If there are any slug experts out there, let us know what it is called!

Banana Slug (maybe?)

Once we made it to the top, we were able to see the Pacific Ocean on one side of the mountain and Lake Cachuma on the other. Pretty incredible! We ate a quick snack and hurried down because it was super windy and we were both getting a little cold.

The Pacific Ocean from the top of Tequepis Trail


Our visit to Los Padres National Forest was short but so sweet! The forest has multiple hot springs and we wished we would have stay a day longer to take a refreshing dip.

Lake Cachuma as we descended from the top

Want more?

For more photos of our visit to Los Padres National Forest, click here!


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