Hike to Willett Hot Springs near Sespe Wilderness, Ojai, California

Sespe River Trail to Willett Hot Springs

Willett Hot Springs is a 10 hours (31.9 km or 19.8 miles) round trip hike with an elevation gain of 2522 feet or 769 meters. The maximum altitude that you can reach in this hike is 2903 feet or 885 meters. This trail is filled with the ultimate beauty of the nature. This is a moderate difficulty hike in Sespe Wilderness, Ojai, California. This is a loop trail which starts and ends at trailhead.


2522 ft


31.9 km


1.0 Day








Willett Hot Springs Trailhead



Terrain Information & Trail Conditions

This can be termed as low difficulty in terms of the inclination of the route.This trail can turn out to be fun for getting a cardio workout done. There is little to no shade throughout the route and thus the sun exposure is extreme. This trail has hot and flash flood prone weather conditions. If you want to witness the best weather conditions, visit this place between Jan to April. This trail involves crossing of river stream which will be a refreshing experience for you!

The trail is well maintained by the authorities. In any case, always make sure you have proper sandals and shoes in order to avoid injuries and provide comfort to your feet. The visibility is straight forward and, in any case, you should always follow the directions properly. It goes without saying but it’s always a good practise to keep an online or offline map (with a compass) handy during all your hikes. This trail isn’t extremely popular and thus attracts a moderate amount of traffic.

Who Can Visit This Trail?

Girl Hiking with leashed Dog

Sespe Wilderness, Ojai, California is suitable to bring dogs along. However, please ensure that they are fit enough to embark on this hike. Your dogs cannot communicate this but when they are hiking alongside you, they require frequent hydration just like you do. Keep them hydrated and well-fed. Additionally, it’s always safer to keep them on the leash.

Since the difficulty of this hike is high, this hike is not suitable for kids.

If you want to do some trail running or nature walking, this can be a trail that’s suitable for you.

If you love watching birds then you’re going to love this place. You can find varieties of birds like Woodpeckers, Anna’s Hummingbird, Violet-green Swallow.

Entry Information & Parking Details

The park closes by 4:00 PM. The entry fees for this is $5 which can be paid at the entrance of the park. Parking facilities are available.

Route Description

Willett Hot Springs

Willett Hot Springs Elevation Profile

How to Reach the Trail-head?

You can drive your car up until this point. Use GPS to get to this point. If you follow the directions correctly, you can get here easily.

Resources and Facilities Available

Drinking water is not available along this trail so please carry atleast 2-3 litres of water with you.

Safety Guidelines

Pay attention to road and trail closure signage. Sightings of snakes such as have been done in this area so keep an eye out for these reptiles. Never try to intimidate the snakes. Wild animals found in this region are bobcat, mountain lion, and bear. Stay safe and have a word with the local authorities to take precautionary measures for dealing with the wild animals.

As long as you are aware about the route and are carrying either a physical map or a digital map, you can do this hike pretty much on your own without hiring any guide.

There are no specific technical requirements for this hike.

Things to carry

In addition to the usual hiking gear, we recommend you pack a rain jacket, and sun protection

Here is the list of typical hiking gear that you must carry for all the hikes:

  1. 2-3 Liters of water
  2. Sun hat or cap
  3. Good Hiking boots
  4. Light snacks to munch on during breaks, Trail Mix, Fresh fruits / Dried fruits such as dates, figs / Nuts mix, etc. for eating along on the trail
  5. Personal medications and a first-aid kit
  6. Sun goggles
  7. Wet tissues
  8. Cameras (optional)
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