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.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Points of Interests: Canyons, Creeks, Swimming Holes, Out & Back
User Types: Hikers, Equestrians
Locations: Upper Santa Ynez River
Download Directions: Download PDF Map Directions
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.
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.