Pothole Trail - 18W04
Pothole Trail (18W04)
Length: 5.9 miles
Portions of this trail pass through private property. Please respect these areas and stay on the designated trail.
From Highway 126, turn north on Piru Canyon Road. Drive 6 miles to the Lake Piru gatehouse and inform staff that you are parking at the Pothole Trailhead. Drive approximately 5 miles on Piru Canyon Road to the trailhead parking lot. The trail switchbacks up the ridgeline for 2.7 miles, enters the Sespe Wilderness, and descends into the Potholes for another 2 miles. A loop hike may be taken by connecting with the Agua Blanca Trail (19W10).
This trail branches from the Agua Blanca Trail just upstream from the Devils Gateway and before you reach Log Cabin Camp. It climbs up a small south side canyon with a small stream in its bottom. Reaching the head of the canyon you come to Pothole Sprint; with an old cabin and farming tools that all had to be packed to the cabin area on mule back by William Whitaker. Following the trail south for a short distance, you come to a trail junction. The right hand fork is little used and leads to The Pothole. After leaving the junction, Trail 18W04 climbs steeply to reach the top of a north south ridge. Here there are excellent views of the Devils Gateway far down below you and then on up Piru Creek to the Big Narrows. Finally, it steeply descends to the road between Lake Piru and Blue Point.
The Pothole is caused by a gigantic slide that descended across the canyon forming a large dam. Over the years, the area back of the dam has filled in with sand and silt until it has now formed a floor. This area sometimes floods for a very short period after very heavy rain. A grove of cottonwood trees covers part of the flat area.
Where the trail enters The Pothole the entrance is partially covered by sand, silt and weeds and the remains of an old horse drawn hay rake. The hay rake was used by William Whitaker when he cut the mature grass for hay.
Water seeping into the aquifer at The Pothole seeps out down the canyon to form a small marsh at the spring. William Whitaker filed on 80 acres and by Cash Entry, in 1891 for which he received a Patent. He built a small cabin and packed numerous farm tools up by mule back to farm at the spring as well as The Pothole.
CONDOR TRAIL INFORMATION
The Condor Trail is a recreational thru-hiking route designed to connect the northern and southern portions of the Los Padres National Forest by a single hiking trail. The hiking/backpacking trail is approximately 400 miles long and extends from Lake Piru (border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties) in the south to Botchers Gap (just south of Monterey, CA) in the north.
The Condor Trail is being designed to highlight the beauty and unique characteristics of the Los Padres National Forest and the Central Coast of California. The trail is primarily through rugged wilderness backcountry portions of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. Its important to know that the Condor Trail is not one long trail, but rather a series of smaller existing trails that we are linking together in order to create a route that is passable across the forest. Backpackers can enjoy portions of the Condor Trail in a weekend, as a dayhike, a weeklong trip or attempt to do the entire trail over a couple months.
At a Glance
|Lake Piru Recreation Area is open daily from 6:00am - 8:00pm
|None. Trail use and trail camps are on a first-come, first-served basis.
|There is a $14 day use fee when you enter the Lake Piru Recreation Area. Inform staff that you are parking at the Pothole Trailhead and they will provide you with a pass to park at the trailhead. There is no fee to park at the trailhead.
|A California Campfire Permit is required. Permits can be obtained at: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/
|Campfire permits are required. Check for current fire restrictions.
|The town of Piru is 8 miles. Fillmore is 16 miles.
|No water at the trailhead
|Vault toilet at the trailhead parking area
|No passes required to park at trailhead. Los Padres National Forest does not issue backcountry wilderness permits.
|Parking lot is managed by United Water Conservation District. Trail is managed by USFS.
|Ojai Ranger District (805) 646-4348. For more detailed trail information, go to: www.hikelospadres.com or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Piru Recreation Area Map and Pothole Trailhead Parking
Learn more about the natural resourses of the Pothole Trail and Piru Creek!
Learn more about the opening of the Pothole Trailhead located in the Lake Piru Recreation Area!
From Highway 126, turn north on Piru Canyon Road. Drive 6 miles to the Lake Piru gatehouse and inform staff that you are parking at the Pothole Trailhead. Drive approximaely 5 miles on the Piru Canyon Road to the trailhead parking lot.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
|Vault toilet at parking lot