My California - Tar Creek

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For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @socalsteemit I'm going take you on a cliff jumping adventure to...

Tar Creek!!

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In the southern part of the Los Padres National Forest is a small yet beautiful creek filled with stunning waterfalls and deep pools... Tar creek! I have been visiting Tar creek for years now. When the weather warms up it's time for a trip to Tar! Technically Tar creek is off limits due to it being inside the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. But they have only started trying to enforce those rules the last few years. So now days I don't visit Tar as often as I used to, but every so often I still meet up with a few friends for a secret under cover mission to cliff jump at some of the most beautiful pools in SoCal!

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Tar Creek

The trail stats at a high point on the dirt road to Dough Flat. From there it climbs around a few hills and then drops down into the canyon. The hike down is around 3 miles and there are great views the entire way. Once you get to the creek you head downstream and shortly you will run into the top of the Cascades. A set of small water slides and swimming holes all in a row! This is where most people stop.

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Views from the trail

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Views from the trail

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Rock formations along the trail

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Arriving at the top of the Cascades

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The upper pool at the Cascades

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The Cascades

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Cliff jumping at the Cascades

Below the Cascades the hike gets more challenging. Requiring navigating cliffs, boudlers, and lots of creek crossings. After scrambling for about a half mile you will pass a few nice pools and then you'll end up at the top of 70 foot falls! A really picturesque 70 foot waterfall with a super deep pool at the bottom. Jumping off this waterfall is the ultimate cliff jump at Tar creek. Only the craziest cliff jumpers even think about attempting it. I've jumped it and it is one heck of a rush! For those not interested in the big jump there is a lower ledge around the pool and the lower half of the falls is a super awesome water slide!

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70 foot falls from the top

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70 foot falls from the bottom

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70 foot falls from across the canyon


Video of me and my cousin jumping off of 70 foot falls

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Having fun on the water slide

Below 70 foot falls the hike gets even rougher and requires navigating several obstacles with increasing difficulty. On your way down you pass several small waterfalls and pools. Then after about a mile you end at a giant pool that sits just above the top of a 200 foot tall waterfall! This is the largest and deepest pool at Tar creek and there are lots of great cliffs to jump from into the deep water. All the amazing waterfalls and pools combined with the incredible views over the Sespe river canyon make this area feel almost unreal. It takes some work to get there, but it is SO worth it! The bottom pool at Tar creek definitely holds a special place in my heart.

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Cliff jumping at the bottom pool

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Looking off the top of the 200 foot falls

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Views from the top of the 200 foot falls

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The bottom pool

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Cliff jumping at the bottom pool

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Cliff jumping at the bottom pool

I have so many great memories from Tar creek. Lots and lots of fun times with good friends. If you are ever lucky enough to get to visit Tar creek be warned of the illegality, be careful and don't hurt yourself, pack out all your trash and any other trash you may see, and of course... enjoy the beauty of nature and have lots of fun!!

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Tar creek

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Tar creek

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Camping with the kids at Tar creek

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks glimpse into

My California!

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all photos by @derekrichardson


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Topics: ADVENTUREMYCALIFORNIASOCALSTEEMIT

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