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Las Padres National Forest contains thousands of epic trails over mountains, through forests, and across beaches. The area of Piedra Blanca is located in Ojai, California, between the Sespe Wilderness, Hines Peak, and not too far from the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. This huge block of protected land is perfect for an adventure! The Sespe Wilderness area makes up the fourth largest roadless region remaining in the contiguous United States, making it even more special.
The amazing rock formations in this area take on all kinds of different shapes and sizes. The white colored rocks look like various nature-made sculptures poking out from the green shrubbery. Many of the formations are made of sandstone and reveal a history of underlying geologic movement. The Piedras Blancas trail follows along Sespe Creek and crosses a few other streams, providing opportunities to trek through riparian habitat and take a swim. Be sure to peer into the crystal-clear waters of Sespe Creek as you get a closer look: this is the last free-flowing, undammed river in southern California! It runs just over 30-miles through the wild and scenic California woodlands.
Day hiking, backpacking, and fishing in the streams and rivers are the most common activities here. While you hike, check prominent rock surfaces for petroglyphs – ancient drawings carved into the rock by native cultures many years ago. Using all of your senses, consider the many different things you see, touch, smell, and hear. These are the perfect inspirations for sketching or writing in your very own nature journal. Many scientists, from those in a research laboratory to those working outdoors with plants and animals, learn and discover amazing things just by writing down their observations and taking the time to consider what their surroundings can teach them.