Dough Flat Trailhead

Los Padres National Forest, Near Maricopa, California

Dough Flat Trailhead does not offer reservations through Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Open in Spring, Summer and Fall and is within the Winter Seasonal Closure between approximately December 15th – April 30th.

Alder Creek Trail (20W11)

Difficulty: moderate from trailhead to Cow Spring Camp; difficult to Shady Camp turnoff

From the Dough Flat Trailhead, you will enter the Sespe Wilderness within ¼ mile.  Hike 2.5 miles north to the Bucksnort Trail Junction.   Continue west one mile to reach Cow Spring Camp.  Continue 3.2 miles down to Alder Creek Camp.  The trail below Dripping Springs becomes narrow and sections of the tread have been destroyed from winter flooding.  There are two campsites separated by the creek crossing.  Continue west along the creek .8 miles to reach the junction with Sespe River Trail (20W13).  Water is usually only available here during winter and spring.

Length: 7.5 miles

SESPE WILDERNESS - More information on the Sespe Wilderness:

Maps: Tom Harrison - Sespe Wilderness Map or 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps (Devils Heart Peak)

Take Highway 126 to Fillmore.  Turn north on A Street/Goodenough Road and drive 14.1 miles to Dough Flat Trailhead. This is a narrow, rough road that is traveled by large oil trucks.  Be very cautious en route to trailhead. Follow the road, being careful to stay on the main road, the side roads will take you to oil well pads. The Dough Flat parking area is adjacent to the public access corridor of the Sespe Condor Sanctuary.