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Mono Creek Trail -


Overview
Access
Things to Know
On the Trail

Overview

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate • Mileage: 1
Elevation Gain: 200 ft. • Location: Upper Santa Ynez River
Features: Canyons, Creeks, Swimming Holes, Out & Back
User Type: Hiking, Equestrian Trail


Highlights

The upper Mono hike is along what once was a dirt road that leads for 5 miles to the historic Ogilvy Ranch which was previously owned by Sunburst Farms. The ranch itself is still private and is off limits. The trail is almost non-existent, meaning you'll be enjoying more of a true wilderness experience as you follow the creek and the many creek crossings. On the way back you can stop at the Little Caliente Hot Springs before heading off. 

 

The Basics

  • Length : 1-5 miles depending on how far you go.
  • Gain : 200-500'
  • Difficulty : Moderate. Poor trail condition from the lower road. You may want to drive up to the hot springs turnout to begin.
  • Path : Trail severely damaged after the 2007 Zaca Fire.
  • Season : All year.
  • Restrictions : Hiking
  • Canine : Ok for dogs off leash.
  • Admin : Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara District

Things to Look For

  • Points of Interest : Canyons,Creeks,Swimming Holes,Out & Back


Find Other Similar Trails

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Points of Interests: CanyonsCreeksSwimming HolesOut & Back
User Types: HikersEquestrians
Locations: Upper Santa Ynez River

Links & Resources

Gallery

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Hike Details



  • Length : 1-5 miles depending on how far you go.
  • Gain : 200-500'
  • Difficulty : Moderate. Poor trail condition from the lower road. You may want to drive up to the hot springs turnout to begin.
  • Path : Trail severely damaged after the 2007 Zaca Fire.
  • Season : All year.
  • Restrictions : Hiking
  • Canine : Ok for dogs off leash.
  • Admin : Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara District

Access / Getting There

  1. Follow Gibraltar Road for 7 miles to Camino Cielo.
  2. Turn right on Camino Cielo and follow the crest road for 5.8 miles to Romero Saddle then drop down an additional 4.6 miles on a rough dirt road to the Santa Ynez River crossing where the road leading up to Jameson Reservoir takes off on the right.
  3. Continue past the crossing additional 7 miles (1 mile beyond Mono Camp) until you reach the intersection leading to the Little Caliente Hot Springs.
  4. Just beyond this intersection a locked gate keeps you from crossing Mono Creek. Park along the road here to begin your hike.
  5. To begin hiking further up the river, take the right turn to the hot springs and drive up to the parking area for them and hike in from there. 
  6. While this also provides access to the hot springs, the road can be difficult. High clearance vehicles only and better yet 4x4.

 

Things to Know

In 2007 the Zaca Fire burned through almost all of the upper Indian and Mono Creek watersheds and rainfall the winter after caused the creek channels to shift and loads of sand to be deposited along Mono Creek and wash the trail out in others. Trail conditions still change from year to year.

Background

Trip Log

On The Trail

While one of the most impressive swimming holes to be found in the backcountry is in the upper end of Mono Creek, it is a little too far to the Mono Narrows for you to consider a day hike there. It is the kind of place you might think about coming when you have time for an overnighter.

But for those who would like an easy walk along a graded road while at the same time still having that feeling of being out in the country, this is nice. The walk begins just beyond a locked gate near Little Caliente Hot Springs at the point where the Mono Road goes over a saddle and drops into Mono Canyon proper. It is 5 miles to the Ogilvy Ranch. The creek runs most of the winter and through early summer and the road crosses it a number of times. You may have to take your shoes off here and there if you don’t want to get them wet.

On the way back, stop at the hot springs for a dip. The water isn’t real hot but it feels great.

 

On The Bike

On The Run

On The Walk


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Last Updated: Sunday, November 9, 2014