Hiking & Environs
In the early part of the season (April), Tassajara weather is highly variable. It could be cold and rainy or warm and sunny. Be prepared for nighttime lows in the upper 30s. At the height of the summer season, Tassajara is very dry and hot. The warmest months are generally July and August, with usual highs in the 90s to 100s. Usual lows are in the 50s with occasional 40s. Rainfall is unlikely after May.
Hiking trails are abundant around Tassajara, which is located in the Los Padres National Forest. Maps and information about the trails are available in our office. The Suzuki Roshi Memorial is a ten-minute walk up a nearby trail to the ashes site of our founder, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and the site also includes memorial stones and stupas (traditional Buddhist monuments) in honor of Chogyam Trungpa, Katagiri Roshi, and Trudy Dixon, the editor of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. Other trails and points of interest:
- Overlook Trail
- Horse Pasture Loop
- Church Creek Trail/Wind Caves/Indian Caves
- Tony Trail
- The Narrows
- The Waterfall
The Los Padres National Forest, where Tassajara is located, includes some of the most rugged terrain in the country. We ask that you not go hiking alone if you have not hiked in the area before, and also that you let someone know what trail you will be hiking and what time you expect to return to Tassajara.
There are also a number of potential dangers of which to be aware. There is poison oak on the trails as well as ticks, rattlesnakes, and the very rarely seen mountain lion. Please do not drink the creek water -- like many wilderness areas, Giardia intestinalis has been found in the creek in recent years. Tassajara's drinking water is from a spring and is thoroughly tested and safe.