4.8 miles from Trailhead to Meadow Camp:
—>4.4 miles from Trailhead to Lower Buckhorn Camp
—> 0.4 miles from Lower Buckhorn Camp to Meadow Camp
—> 2.2 miles from Meadow Camp to Indian Creek Camp
From Santa Barbara: Gibraltar Road—>East Camino Cielo—>Camuesa Romero (dirt) Road 13 miles to the locked gate serving as the Trailhead.
Indian Creek Trail leads through the Los Padres National Forest and into the Dick Smith Wilderness. The footpath begins from Camuesa Romero Road, a little less than 1 mile above the confluence of Indian Creek and Mono Creek, and about 1.5 miles upstream from Mono Camp at Mono Debris Dam.
The Trailhead is located on Camuesa Romero Road where it is closed by a locked gate just east of Mono Creek. Just after the gate Camuesa Romero Road continues west and crosses Mono Creek and then Indian Creek several times. From the locked gate continue up the road for about one mile to find the start of the trail heading north into the mouth of Indian Creek Canyon. A metal sign-in box is located at the beginning of the trail, but is not clearly visible from the road due to being set back from it and behind a slight rise in the land.
Indian Creek Trail begins in a fairly arid and uninviting setting, but as the trail climbs up the canyon it enters a lush riparian habitat. The lower sections of the trail up to Meadow Camp are fairly well worn and easy to follow, although sometimes it’s easy to lose the path for a bit through the creek crossings. Above Meadow Camp the trail becomes a bit overgrown in places and certain creek sections there is little or no trail, although it’s easy to find your way up the relatively narrow canyon.
Indian Creek dries up during summer in the stretch that passes by Meadow Camp. The photos below were taken in mid-June; there was plenty of water for camping, but it was getting low. When this lower section of Indian Creek is dry sometimes water can be found near Lower Buckhorn Camp.