Bureau of Land Management National Park Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service

Sespe Creek, California

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Managing Agency:

U.S. Forest Service, Los Padres National Forest

Designated Reach:

June 19, 1992. The main stem from its confluence with Rock Creek and Howard Creek downstream to where it leaves Section 26, Township 5 North, Range 20 West.


Wild — 27.5 miles; Scenic — 4.0 miles; Total — 31.5 miles.

Sespe Creek


Sespe Creek Management Plan

Photo Credit: Tim Palmer

Sespe Creek

Sespe Creek has exemplary visual features, including contrast created by large rock outcroppings and seasonal colors, and water that attracts regional and national attention. Below Chorro Grande Canyon, Sespe Creek offers excellent dispersed recreation opportunities, such as swimming and wading, picnicking, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, photography, driving for pleasure and viewing scenery on the adjacent scenic byway.

Sespe Creek provides important spawning habitat for the endangered southern steelhead trout, which migrates from the Pacific Ocean, up the Santa Clara River and into Sespe Creek to spawn. The creek also supports one of the largest populations of endangered arroyo toads within a one-hundred miles radius. Its rich and relatively intact riparian habitat, which is rare in Southern California, supports the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and least Bell's vireo and many songbirds.