May 2, 2011 at 11:17 am #1273191
had a great time in the sespe wilderness this weekend hope everyone else did too
weather was great little windy friday night but got better the next day temps were mid to low 40 s at night and high 70 s to low 80 s in the daytime great weather for a soak in the sespe saturday afternoon (how refreshing that was )
on a side note i have to give kudos to jared at mountainsmith for getting my 2011 mountainsmith morrison tent to my door just 1 hr before leaving to head out there
no it isnt a ul tent but it has a lot of great features for a tent in its price range
and the customer service i have recieved from mountainsmith has been excellent
here are a few pics and im sure everyone else will post thiers soon hopefully we will be able to make another trip awesome time with awesome people
it was great meeting and hiking with you your z packs pack was awesome and the hexamid
was a cool tent along with your ul camp shoes hopefully we will make another trip this summer and get some more hiking in
thanks for the wine that really hit the spot
you have an awesome playground in your backyard the sespe is like your local hangout
your bivy was awesome i might have to get one like that soon it was really cool
it was great meeting you and checking out all the cool gear we had in camp i will definatly hit you up for future trips in the area so be ready lol
thanks to all who came out for the trip and for adan and the crew who hiked further into the sespe to get more milage it was great meeting you all and i hope you guys made it out ok on sunday
im sure everyone else will post up soon with more photos of the trip
maybe next time we will have a bit bigger group who knows
May 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm #1732202
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
Kevin, thanks for organizing this trip. Pretty bummed I didnt get to hang out with all of you longer and spend the night. I agreed to meet the other group up at Sespe springs and then we found out it was going to be another 13 miles! I had hoped to hang out with you guys Saturday and then crash at the springs and be back to hang out with you again in the morning, but it was just way further than i thought so you were all gone by the time we got there. It was good to meet Nick though and see you, Jack, Andy and all again. Jack, it was awesome to see your daughter out with you, it looked like she was having a good time. You guys picked a killer spot too, Sespe was beautiful and the swimming was killer.May 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm #1732217
Ken T.BPL Member
What was the headcount? When is the next trip?May 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm #1732231
Looks like a fun trip! I've got to make it back out there one of these days!May 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm #1732248
Backpack JackBPL Member
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who made it out, I had a great time. Adan, I was hopeing you would bring some of your family, maybe next time, good to see you again. It was nice to meet Andy and Nicholas, Kevin's right, Nicholas has a lot of knowledge of his play ground, and some cool gear. I was really impressed with Andy's whole set up, his whole pack with everthing in it weighed less than my daughter's, I fell so quilty, my poor daughter carrying all that weight, yeah right! when we got back to the truck I wanted to see how much it weighed, it was a mere 13# not to bad considering she had all the food, and she started with 16#. Got to try out my new Cloud burst 2, nice shelter. We were going to have a few contest, but they never took place. The first contest was going to be a test to see who could start a fire, with just the gear you brought, no matches, or flame, of any kind, then it would have to burn for 3 minutes. I didn't want to give the contest rules out before we left so people would try to pack extra stuff, I wanted it to be like survival, could you, build a fire without flame, in the wilderness, if you had to, the prize was going to be a MYOG wood stove that I had put together before the trip. The stove is actullay 4 stoves in one, wood stove, warmer, slow cooker, and alcolhol stove with simmer capabilities, the whole package if carried together weighes about 16 oz including 3 oz of fuel, if seperated the wood stove weighes 5.5 oz, not sure on all the individual pieces. I did use it on this trip, and really liked it. The next contest was going to test the skills of how fast, and how well you can pitch a tarp, a 5×7 tarp, this was Kevin's idea, and mine was the fire starting idea, the prize for the tarp contest would have neen the tarp. Even though we didn't get a chance to do these things we still had a good time. Now for some pics
My daughter took this pic, leave it to a teenager to figure out my new camera
My daughter took this one also, Sunrise at Sespe.
My Cloudburst 2 with the now famous Chilba hat by Kavu, never leave home without it!, inside is a WM Alder with a summer coupler, and off to the right is a MYOG solar lantern that I made, and gave to the BPL members that were at Bear camp, I would have given everyone a lantern, but the rest of the crew continued hiking up to the springs, and I didn't see them when we got ready to leave, sorry guys.May 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm #1732272
we were talking yesterday about maybe next time finding an in between spot and try something new the southern hikers (nicholas andy and anyone else who has to come from the south ) hike in from that side of the los padres and us northen side hikers hike in on our side and we meet somewhere in between i found this to be an awesome idea
i guarantee nicholas will get you southerners thru the trail even if it has to be a bushwhacking adventure im sure he is totally up for it poison oak and all he will find a way thru im sure
maybe we can make it happen sounds like a cool trip
kevinMay 2, 2011 at 8:50 pm #1732282
@shortbusLocale: So Cal
Hey guys, nice pics so far, keep them coming! I was a bone-head and forgot my camera.
I was one of the guys that tagged along with Michael, Craig, and Adan. I think we all felt a little cruddy about continuing past Bear Creek without spending more time with you guys, but, personally, after a 2.5 hour drive I really wanted to kick some more dirt.
It was great meeting you all! It was nice having the confirmation that there really are people on the other side of the internet.
Some of the views from the trail below Bear Creek were incredible. I can't wait to get up in that area again to do some more exploring, hopefully before it dries up.
Anyway, thank you so much for putting this together, Kevin. It was a blast, I haven't had that much fun (or learned as much) in quite a while.
-Rob V.May 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm #1732296
It was a great weekend fellas…I had a ton of fun especially jumping off a 10 foot high boulder into the 45 degree creek below ;) It really lets you know your alive. It was good meeting you Andy, hope you can join us again sometime. Too bad Jerry had to leave a day early, Good to see that Nick made it to the sight, I think his vast knowledge and experience with the region will aid in further planning of future trips in the surounding areas. I hope you BPL's from up north will be able to join us Central and So. Cal hikers next time, You guys would have had fun on this one. Good seeing all those that could make the trip, I hope to see all of you again in the near future.
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May 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm #1732314
Andy DuncanBPL Member
Thanks to everybody for making this a fun trip. It was good to meet all of the local BPL'ers and the Sespe area was beautiful in spring. Jacks UL solar LED lights at 1.3 ozs were very much appreciated by all. Here's a few pxts~
The beginning of the trail was dry with a few creek crossings.
First view of the Sespe Creek.
Red rocks along the trail.
Red rock dude.
Kevin crossing the creek.
Kevin helping out some non UL hikers.
Sespe swimming hole.
A sandy campsite we passed along the trail.
Crystal clear very cold water.
Downstream along Sespe Creek taken on a day hike toward Willet Hot Spring on Saturday.
Campers along Sespe Creek.
Wildflowers along the trail just before our camp at Bear Creek.
Kevins new Mountainsmith 2 person/2 door/2 vestibule tent w/ WM Alder 20 degree quilt. The tent was delivered earlier that same day.
Ryans solo tent.
Jacks Tarptent Cloudburst.
Jacks Cloudburst. He was using a WM rectangular Alder 20 degree quilt w/ the zip on fabric bottom for two. Nice.
Zpacks Hexamid Solo.
Nick was using a Katabatic quilt and bivy, NeoAir and GG LT4's.
Nicks BPL Absaroka backpack.
Jacks MYOG stove w/ wood fuel in grill mode.
Jacks MYOG stove w/ alcohol fuel in simmer mode.
Nicks wood burning ti stove.
Kevins MYOG cat alcohol stove.
Jack & Kevin were using a MYOG gravity filter system.
Links to a few a short videos:May 3, 2011 at 9:40 am #1732419
Nice photos everyone!
I'm going to try to get mine up tonight after work, although it looks like y'all have the scenery pretty well covered.
Jack and Kevin, thanks for putting this together and getting everyone out there. The Sespe is the perfect southern CA spring destination- warm weather and plenty of cold, clear water for a dip.
And thanks Jack for the solar-powered LED lamp; very cool! On Saturday night when everyone had one set up outside their shelter, it looked like a bunch of little porch lights. Made it easy to find my way back to my bivy later than night!
Ryan and Andy, it was great meeting you guys. It's fun to see that you both got a photo of the rock outcrop that looks like an Indian's head. In fact, that rock has some name amongst the locals that is along those lines. Andy, you also unknowingly got a picture of the swimming hole I hiked to after I left you guys at Bear Camp. I spent a couple of hours there, taking turns swimming and getting warmed back up laying in the sand. Had to dismantle a couple of fire rings and pack out about a dozen empty burned up beer cans and some other assorted trash from previous campers though. :-(
Andy, did you end up hiking out to the Piedras Blancas on your way back to the trailhead?
I saw the quartet that continued on the hot springs on their way back out. They were passing by on the trail above me while I was hiding out at my swimming hole. I figured I'd missed my chance to meet them but then, on my way out, I caught up to Michael on the trail near Kerr Spring and then Craig, Rob and Adan at the swimming hole just upstream of Bear Camp. Great to meet all you guys! The strategically placed swimming holes are a real saviour along this trail in the spring!
If any of you guys want to do other trips out this way, shoot me a PM and I'd be happy to give you advice or try to join you.
NickMay 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm #1732725
Okay here's a few more photos from the trip. I have to admit, I'm not very good about shooting photos of people or their gear (sorry); I'm more interested in the scenery! Enjoy.
You are now entering the Sespe Wilderness.
A couple of views looking upstream and downstream of the first couple of crossings.
The trail follows what was an old road along the Sespe River. Parts of it still resemble a road, other sections more closely resemble typical single track. Either way, the trail is well worn and you'd be hard pressed to lose it somewhere along the way!
I met up with the group at Bear Camp, a sandy wash adjacent to the river, just downstream of where Bear Creek meets the Sespe. There's always great fields of lupine in the spring around Bear Camp.
A popular trailside swimming hole. I ended up catching up to Craig, Adan and Rob here on my way out Sunday afternoon.
I love the look of the slabby headwalls of this un-named canyon. One of these days I'd like scramble up there and have a look around. There's a nice lush pocket of pines hidden back in there.
Aside from the river, there's various creeklets and springs along the way that feed the Sespe. This one is known as Kerr Spring. There's also a nice swimming hole nearby.
Active rock slide area along the trail.
After breaking camp on Sunday morning, Kevin, Jack, Jack's daughter, Andy and Ryan headed back out to their cars. I followed the Sespe downstream to a favorite swimming hole for a little R & R. Overview and close-up of one of my favorite pools.
I really love the contrast between the brushy chapparral of the hillsides and the more vibrant riparian corridor along the river.
A couple of views of the Piedras Blancas near the trailhead.May 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm #1732925
Andy DuncanBPL Member
Thanks to everyone for posting your photos from Sespe. Nick, that picture of Kerr Spring is very cool. I saw a group down by your swimming spot on Saturday that may have left all the trash and fire rings, nice of you to restore it to it's natural setting. I can't wait to go back and check out that spot more closely. I didn't make it to Piedra Blanca on the way out, in my attempt to keep a low pack weight I only brought enough food to get back to the car (and a burger in town was calling).May 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm #1733091
if there is any interrest i will plan another central area trip i want to get something cooking for memorial weekend but it would be a saturday thru monday gig if anyone is interrested let me know
nicholas any higher elevation medium milage hikes that are dooable memorial??
would gladly head that way if we could avoid the blazing heat
of course i guess the sespe is right there and would be calling me for a swim lol
kevinMay 6, 2011 at 9:03 am #1733745
Check your PM for a trail suggestion for you and your boy.
NickMay 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm #1735081
@codycolor2Locale: Los Padres NF
a couple of us U.L. are heading out to South Fork Station (santa barbara ranger district to thank the CCC's for their trail help that weekend. Let me know if you are interested via PM.
-Kevin "Keen Eyes" CodyMay 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm #1735135
There's a good chance I'll be out that way a few days prior to Memorial Weekend with a buddy who will be in town. We're still nailing down our final destination, but a South Fork trip is on the short list.
Looking forward to checking up on the C's work along the Sisquoc and the VWR work on the old South Fork Station.
NickMay 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1741467
@codycolor2Locale: Los Padres NF
Paul & I are heading out to do some work on the lower part of the Fall Canyon Trail this weekend you should join us or if you do make it out to South Fork I'm sure I will bump into you.
Have a great weekend everyoneMay 30, 2011 at 10:06 am #1742763
Edward ZBPL Member
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
Thanks for this thread guys. I'm gonna poke around out there weekend of June 25th. Hopefully that water source is still going strong through there. (Sounds like its a year round stream so shouldnt be much of an issue………..) Thanks!May 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm #1742823
you will love the sespe its a great place to go exploring for a few days and soaking in the sespe is very refreshing if you need any info on the area nicholas b is the go to guy for that place hit him with a pm if you have any questions about
the area im sure he will be happy to help you out plenty of campsites and clear running water around so you should be set
have a great time
kevinJun 2, 2011 at 7:32 am #1743936
@clebowLocale: Orange County
Has the hotspring at Willet been cleared? I went out there about 2 months ago and it was filled with mud.Jun 2, 2011 at 8:32 am #1743959
As of sometime last month, the hot spring tub at Willet is at least partially clear (for a couple of bodies), if not totally clear. I thought I heard some folks were out there around early May and had done some work on it.
-N.Feb 27, 2012 at 10:51 am #1845606
…Feb 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm #1845658
There ought to be plenty of water in the Sespe for your March hike. This year, maybe not as much water as past years, but still, you ought to find water in the Sespe River for the entire extent of your hike.
From the trailhead at Piedras Blancas to Bear Camp, you will cross the creek several times and/or be in relatively close proximity (a couple of 100 yards off to the side).
A little after Bear Camp, you will be on the south side of the Sespe and will enter a shady, green lush area. Kerr Spring seeps out of this hillside and some folks do climb higher up the hillside (there's a trail from the downstream side of the shady section) to get closer to the source and drink without filtering (ymmv). This spring is reliable.
You eventually climb up above the Sespe for a little while (now on the north side of the river). This, as I remember it, is the longest, dryest section you will encounter. I wouldn't count on any of the little streamlets you cross having running water this year unless we get some good rains between now then when you hike. The trail climbs up above and then drops back down almost to river level several times, always keeping the river about 1-200 yards off to the side. If you were in a really bad way during this section, you can follow an unnamed tributary back down to the Sespe approximately at the confluence with Timber Creek or use the Red Reef trail to scoot over the Sespe for some water.
Anyway, Willet has, or had, a piped spring for water, just a little uphill from the cabins. It's been a few years since I've stopped at Willet so I can't say for certain whether the spring is still operational, but there's a good chance it still works as the site is popular with the local horse packer crowd as a quick weekend get-away.Feb 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm #1845883
…Mar 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm #1857393
I'm new to backpacking in general, and Southern California in particular, and am hoping to do a 2 night backpacking trip to Sespe sometime during the next 2 weeks (depending on weather).
Has anyone hiked/backpacked it recently and can comment on the conditions of the trails and stream crossings? I'm a bit worried about losing the trail at the crossings, as I've heard some have been moved, and hikers depend on rock cairns to find their way…
Any advice on that point, or about Sespe generally, would be much appreciated.
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