|Location||California, United States|
|Nearest city||Ventura, California|
|Area||219,700 acres (88,900 ha)|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
The Sespe Wilderness is a 219,700-acre (88,900 ha) wilderness area in the eastern Topatopa Mountains and southern Sierra Pelona Mountains, within the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF), in Ventura County, Southern California. The wilderness area is primarily located within the Ojai and Mt. Pinos ranger districts of the LPNF.
The wilderness was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-301). The same legislation also established the Chumash, Garcia, Machesna Mountain, Matilija, and Silver Peak Wilderness areas.The Sespe Condor Sanctuary is within the Sespe Wilderness. It was established to promote the propagation and growth of the California condor, and is closed to the public.
The Sespe Wilderness is primarily chaparral-covered terrain, with areas of California oak woodland and riparian habitats. A section of Sespe Creek flows through it.
There are hiking trails, perennial and seasonal creeks, waterfalls, hot springs, rock formations, and designated campsites in the wilderness area.
Nearby wilderness areas of the southern Los Padres National Forest include the Matilija Wilderness (west) and Chumash Wilderness (northwest). The Dick Smith Wilderness is further to the northwest.
Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318. The largest city is Oxnard, and the county seat is the city of Ventura.
The Santa Ynez Mountains are a portion of the Transverse Ranges, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges of the west coast of North America. It is the westernmost range in the Transverse Ranges.
Los Padres National Forest is a United States national forest in southern and central California. Administered by the United States Forest Service, Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,847 feet (2,697 m).
Mount Pinos is a mountain located in the Los Padres National Forest on the boundary between Ventura and Kern counties in California. The summit, at 8,847 feet (2,697 m), is the highest point in Ventura County. The mountain is the highest point of the Transverse Ranges west of Tejon Pass, as well as the southernmost point of the Salinian Block.
The Topatopa Mountains are a mountain range in Ventura County, California, north of Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore. They are part of the Transverse Ranges of Southern California.
Sespe Creek is a stream, some 61 miles (98 km) long, in Ventura County, southern California, in the Western United States. The creek starts at Potrero Seco in the eastern Sierra Madre Mountains, and is formed by more than thirty tributary streams of the Sierra Madre and Topatopa Mountains, before it empties into the Santa Clara River in Fillmore.
The Chumash Wilderness is a 38,150 acres (15,440 ha) wilderness area within the southern Los Padres National Forest. It is located in the Transverse Ranges, in northern Ventura County and southwestern Kern County in California.
The Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest is a federally designated wilderness area located in the Santa Lucia Range along the Central Coast of California. This wilderness was established in 1969 when the Ventana Wilderness Act redesignated the 55,800-acre (22,600 ha) Ventana Primitive Area as the Ventana Wilderness and added land, totalling 98,000 acres (40,000 ha). In 1978, the Endangered American Wilderness Act added 61,000 acres (25,000 ha), increasing the total wilderness area to about 159,000 acres (64,000 ha). The California Wilderness Act of 1984 added about 2,750 acres (1,113 ha). The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 created the approximately 14,500-acre (5,900 ha) Silver Peak Wilderness and added about 38,800 acres (15,700 ha) to the Ventana Wilderness in addition to designating the Big Sur River as a Wild and Scenic River. The Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002 expanded the wilderness for the fifth time, adding nearly 35,000 acres (14,000 ha), increasing the total acreage of the wilderness to its present size of 240,026 acres (97,135 ha).
The Sespe Condor Sanctuary is a 53,000-acre (210 km2) wildlife refuge in the Topatopa Mountains, in northeastern Ventura County, California. It is within the Sespe Wilderness in the southern Los Padres National Forest.
The San Rafael Wilderness is a wilderness area in the mountains of north central Santa Barbara County, California, United States. It is north of the city of Santa Barbara and east of Santa Maria within the Los Padres National Forest. Formed in 1968, it was the first wilderness area to be created from a previously designated Primitive Area after the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act. It also includes the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary, created in 1937, which is the oldest designated sanctuary for the large endangered birds.
The Dick Smith Wilderness is a wilderness area in the mountains of eastern Santa Barbara County, California, United States, with a portion in Ventura County. It is completely contained within the Los Padres National Forest, and is northeast of the city of Santa Barbara and north of the city of Ojai. It is most easily accessible from two trailheads off State Route 33, which runs north from Ojai. It is adjacent to the large San Rafael Wilderness on the west and the Matilija Wilderness on the south. Across Highway 33 to the east, and also in the Los Padres National Forest, is the large Sespe Wilderness.
The Silver Peak Wilderness is located in the southwestern corner of Monterey County in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. It southern boundary largely follows the Monterey County/San Luis Obispo County line. Its eastern boundary is defined by Ft. Hunter Liggett, while on the west it follows closely along Highway 1 and the Big Sur coastline. It is one of ten wilderness areas within the Los Padres National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service.
Pine Mountain Ridge is a massif of the Transverse Ranges located in northern Ventura County, and entirely within the Los Padres National Forest. The ridge is a large block of Matilija Sandstone, and reaches some of the highest elevations in the southern Transverse Ranges. The north slope of the ridge is part of the Sespe Wilderness.
Matilija Creek is a major stream in Ventura County in the U.S. state of California. It joins with North Fork Matilija Creek to form the Ventura River. Many tributaries feed the mostly free flowing, 17.3-mile (27.8 km) creek, which is largely contained in the Matilija Wilderness. Matilija was one of the Chumash rancherias under the jurisdiction of Mission San Buenaventura. The meaning of the Chumash name is unknown.
The Garcia Wilderness is a 14,100-acre (57 km2) wilderness area within the Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo County, California.
Wheeler Springs is an unincorporated community that grew around a set of sulphurated hot springs in Ventura County, California. It is located 6 miles north of the Ojai Valley, within Los Padres National Forest. It is named for Wheeler Blumberg, who founded the town in 1891, and the many natural hot springs.
The Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 is a Federal law that established five new designated Wilderness Areas and three new designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Los Padres National Forest and Angeles National Forest in California. The law was sponsored by California Republican and Ventura County native Robert J. Lagomarsino while he represented California's 19th District in the United States House of Representatives. The legislation was cosponsored by Democratic and Republican representatives from districts representing the entirety of the Los Padres National Forest.
The Matilija Wilderness is a 29,207-acre (11,820 ha) wilderness area in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, Southern California. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, being situated within the Ojai Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. It is located adjacent to the Dick Smith Wilderness to the northwest and the Sespe Wilderness to the northeast, although it is much smaller than either one. The Matilija Wilderness was established in 1992 in part to protect California condor habitat.
Sespe Hot Springs are a system of thermal springs and seeps that form a hot spring creek in the mountains near the Sespe Condor Sanctuary near Ojai, California.