Route: Los Padres Traverse (CA)

California, US
42 mi
Vertical Gain
5,100 ft

A traverse of Los Padres National Forest from Cuyama/Ventucopa to Upper Oso Campground (outside of Santa Barbara). The route starts at the last gate at the entrance to the Dick Smith Wilderness on Forest Route 9N11. It follows this road until it turns into Buckhorn Road, which it follows until Buckhorn Road terminates at Upper Oso Campground, where there is a gate as the road turns into Camuesa Canyon Road. This is the path of least resistance, following a fire road with no major turns for the entire traverse. The start point and end point are the last places to which a car can drive (with the exception of road closures), as these gates are permanently closed. 72km. A Strava segment has been created for this route.  Traveling from north to south has the advantage of a net altitude loss of about 700m.

GPS Track


This is a stunning route with a surprisingly mellow elevation profile considering the surrounding terrain. I highly recommend it, especially because of how underappreciated this area is -- not many people get out into this chunk of wilderness. It's very runnable, and water logistics are super easy. This could become a classic.

Feel free to get in touch with me for beta! Insta: @krisbobbrown

User Picture
Profile picture for user cspicychrisandrews

Hi there! I will be attempting the first supported FKT on this route this Sunday, November 22. I can barely contain my excitement; I can’t wait to have a long morning out running through the mountains, moving with friends and diligence along the way, and exploring across the traverse to see all about what’s up in that beautiful forest! 

User Picture
Profile picture for user Jeffrey Stern

I'll be attempting this FKT unsupported on Saturday, January 16th.