What is the Condor Trail?

The Condor Trail is a backpacking/hiking thru-trail that extends the length of the Los Padres Forest along the coastal mountains of Central California.

Why is it called the Condor Trail?

The trail is named after the California Condor.  The condor is a critically endangered bird species, which lives along the extent of the Condor Trail within the Los Padres National Forest.  To see the magnificent flight of the condor in the wild is a magical experience.  You can learn much more about the Condor at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Condor

What is thru-hiking?

The exact definition is debatable, but it's more or less hiking many days and many miles along a trail in order to get from one point to another.  You've probably heard of some famous North American thru-trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.  These trails take many months to complete and go for many hundreds of miles.  The Condor Trail is similar to these trails, just at a smaller scale. While the distance is smaller along the Condor Trail, the scenery, isolation and difficulty of terrain can be much more larger than the more famous thru-hikes.  More information can be found at Wikipedia:

Where does the Condor Trail go?

The Condor Trail spans the north to south extent of the Los Padres National Forest in Coastal Central California.  The southern terminus is at Lake Piru along the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.  The northern terminus is at Botchers Gap Campground within Monterey County. You can download the latest map at the following link:


How many miles is the trail?

The trail is approximately 400 miles in length and can be done in a few months time, or completed in sections over many years.

Is the trail finished and can I hike it?

The Condor Trail is not completed at the moment.  We have the basic trail laid out from Hwy 101 at the Cuesta Grade (San Luis Obispo County) to Lake Piru (southern terminus), but the other sections are still a work in progress.  Experienced hikers are able to hike most of the trail but it will require some advanced route finding and bushwhacking.  If interested please contact us and we'll help you plan your trip.

How do I get more information?

There is a lot of information contained within this website and within our Facebook page.  If you need more information please contact us - feel free to email any questions you might have.  Don't be shy.......

When will it be finished?

We're hoping to have the trail fully established within the next few years.  Creating a trail of this distance is a difficult task and not something that will happen overnight.  That being said, we are moving forward, keeping the momentum building and the dream alive.

Do you need help / How can I help?

We thought you'd never ask...  We most certainly could use some help.  We are looking for volunteers to do everything from field/trail research, to serving as an officer, to legal assistance, to swinging pulaskis along the trail.  If you have any skills or time to lend towards the Condor Trail, we'd be more than happy to put you and your talents to good use.  Please fill out the Contact Form and we'll get back to you shortly.