Plan Your Visit

view to ocean and oat mountain

Hopper Mountain NWR is currently closed to the public and has been since its establishment in 1974 due to the sensitive nature of California Condor Recovery Program activities, the sensitivity of its resources, and lack of public access to the site. 

There are no public roads accessing the refuge. There are no visitor oriented facilities for the public or interpretive signage on Hopper Mountain NWR. Also, public use could potentially disturb endangered California condors that nest and feed in the area and associated Recovery Program activities.  

As a result of the access constraints, all refuge visitors have been guided by refuge employees or led by partner organizations educated in refuge rules and regulations, such as the Friends of California Condors Wild and Free. Staff and partner-led guided interpretive tours provide limited opportunities for the public to engage in wildlife viewing and photography. Generally, the hiking groups at Hopper Mountain NWR do not exceed 25 people per event.

Wildlife-dependent recreation is also available on adjacent public lands, including the Los Padres National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service.



Dough Flat 
The U.S. Forest Service maintains an observation point at Dough Flat in the Los Padres National Forest. Please contact the U. S. Forest Service Ojai Ranger District Office for more information on road conditions at (805) 646-4348.
The Dough Flat site is along the public access corridor of the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in the Lo Padres National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The driving time from Fillmore to Dough Flat is about 1 hour (13 miles). Plan to arrive around 9am and stay until 3pm to see condors flying over the Sanctuary. Be sure to take plenty of water and carry a spare tire in your vehicle. PLEASE note that the Sespe Condor Sanctuary (located on Forest Service land) is closed to public access. The road going to Dough Flat runs through a corridor which bisects the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. The public may access this corridor, but the Sanctuary to the west and east of this corridor is closed to the public. Please contact the USDA - U. S. Forest Service for more information on public use in the Los Padres National Forest at (805) 646-4348. 




From Los Angeles:

Take Interstate 5 (I-5) north to Castaic Junction (33 miles). Take the Ventura off-ramp and follow Highway 126 west to the town of Fillmore (19 miles). Turn right at the stop light on A Street and head north. You will come to a yield sign where A Street becomes Goodenough Road go right. Goodenough Road will end after 3-4 miles at a fork in the road, go right which takes you into the Sespe oil fields. Follow the road, being careful to stay on the main road, the side roads will take you to oil well pads. After 3.3 miles you will see the Oak Flat Station building (no longer Forest Service station) on your left and a condor observation sign indicating the number of miles to Dough Flat. Stay on the main road going left. Do not make a right turn on the road which passes through a gate. The gate is closed to public access. Go about 7 miles to reach Dough Flat. Park and scan the cliffs. If you continue on the trail about 3 miles north of Dough Flat, you will come to the Cow Spring Campground.

From Santa Barbara:

Take Highway 101 south to Ventura. In Ventura, merge onto Highway 126 go east to Fillmore about 20 miles. In Fillmore turn left at the stop light at A Street and then continue as above