Road trips from Southern California: Santa Barbara
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( Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times )
Sespe Hot Springs
Santa Barbara area
Distance: 104 miles one-way
From the rock layer beneath the Los Padres National Forest, several hot springs bubble to the surface. But the Sespe Hot Springs, in the heart of the Sespe Wilderness, have a reputation among hikers as the hottest in Southern California.
No one, it seems, keeps an official ranking of hot springs, but having soaked in a few natural hot springs over the years, I wanted to answer the question: Is Sespe Hot Springs tepid, like dishwater, or "¡Ay, caramba!" hot?
-- Hugo Martín
Read more: Sespe Hot Springs in Ventura County: a hot time in the wilderness