Raspberry Spring Trail
- Location: Pine Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, northern Ventura County. From Highway 33, head east on Pine Mountain Ridge Road (31.5 miles north of Highway 150, 49 miles north of Highway 101 and 5.8 miles south of Lockwood Valley Road). The dirt parking area for the Raspberry Spring trail head is on the left side of the road 5.6 miles from Highway 33, just before the entrance to the Reyes Peak Campground. Exercise caution on the winding, one-lane road. Also note that many of the roads in this area are subject to weather-related closures. Check road statuses here.
- Agency: Los Padres National Forest/Mt. Pinos Ranger District
- Distance: 1 mile
- Elevation gain: 400 feet
- Suggested time: 30 minutes
- Difficulty rating: PG
- Best season: June – October (pending road conditions)
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; insect repellent
- Recommended guidebook: Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura
- Dogs: Allowed
- Cell phone reception: Weak to fair at trail head, none farther down the trail
- Water: There may be water at Raspberry Spring but don’t count on it (and be ready to filter the water if there is any)
- Restrooms: Outhouses at Reyes Peak Campground (walking distance from the trail head)
- Camping/backpacking: Drive-in camping at Reyes Peak Campground; primitive camping at Raspberry Camp
- More information: Trip descriptions here and here; Map My Hike report here
- Rating: 4
If you’re in the Pine Mountain area of the Los Padres National Forest, this short but steep trail is worth a visit. Despite its diminutive length, its difficulty should not be underestimated. The descent is steep and loose in some spots and the ascent back to the trail head is brief but intense. The scenic rewards include a majestic pine forest and a secluded trail camp.
From the turnout by the Reyes Peak Campground, find the trail and begin descending through the thick woods. After one quarter mile, the trail reaches a gently sloping meadow with glimpses of Cuyama Valley between the trees. The descent then becomes noticeably steeper, dropping 200 feet along some tight switchbacks to reach Raspberry Camp. The trail continues from the west side of the camp, making a short but potentially treacherous descent to Raspberry Spring itself. Even if the water is only trickling, this is still a nice spot to rest beneath the tall pines before returning via the same steep uphill route. As for the name, raspberries grow here during the summer.
Text and photography copyright 2017 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.