Colson Canyon Hike

I took these photos on a hike up Colson Canyon Road in the Fall of 2007. Summer conditions can be very hot, and there are enough deciduous trees along the way to make a Fall hike worthwhile. The hike is an “in and out”, about 10 miles round trip to the top of the Canyon, or 16 miles r/t if one goes all the way down the other side into LaBrea Cyn.

Colson Canyon Road is a dirt county road for the first 2.5 miles or so until it enters the Los Padres National Forest. There is an obvious marker on the right side of the roadway at that point. The road is entirely dirt, and open to vehicular traffic, so one must be on the lookout, though there is seldom very much traffic on the road. There are several shallow creek crossings as well, so one should be prepared to rock hop a little, particularly in the Spring.

There are some private residences along the first 2.5 mile stretch.

Colson Canyon Road begins at a point on Tepusquet Canyon Road about 4.5 miles North of the “Y” where Santa Maria Mesa Road meets Tepusquet Cyn Road. Colson is on the East side of Tepusquet Cyn Road. One can park just off Tepusquet Canyon, at the mouth of Colson Cyn.

About 5 miles up the road one arrives at a ridge crest near a privately held rock quarry.  Going down the other side to the East you are in LaBrea Canyon.  About 3 more miles down the grade is LaBrea Creek.

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