Fillmore is a small city in the northeastern section of Ventura County where State Route 23 intersects with State Route 126 between Santa Paula and Piru. Ojai is to the west. The Santa Clarita Valley is to the east. The town was founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1914. Fillmore is located in the Santa Clara River Valley which is a rich agricultural area that produces large quantities of citrus, avocados, and strawberries. Fillmore has intentionally retained its turn of the century architecture in its downtown, making it a significant tourist attraction which includes the Fillmore and Western Railway. Bardsdale, established in 1887, is a small unincorporated agricultural community approximately three miles to the south of Fillmore. Moorpark is about six miles to the south and Santa Paula is about seven miles to the west. Growers produce large quantities of avocados, citrus, and strawberries.
The Sespe Creek is a 61-mile-long stream in Ventura County that starts in the eastern Sierra Madre Mountains and empties into the Santa Clara River in Fillmore. Thirty-one miles of the Sespe Creek has been designated as a National Wild and Scenic River and National Scenic Waterway. It is one of the only natural rivers in Southern California. The name of the Sespe Creek is derived from the former Chumash Indian village of Cepsey which once existed adjacent to the stream. The Sespe Creek watershed is famous for the 53,000-acre Sespe Condor Sanctuary created in 1947 which protects the habitat of the California Condor which is an endangered species.
Sespe Condor Sanctuary
The Sespe Condor Sanctuary is a 53,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Topatopa Mountains in northeastern Ventura County. The refuge, established by the United States Forest Service in 1947, is within the Los Padres National Forest, directly north of Fillmore, to the east of Lake Piru, and to the northeast of Ojai. The refuge was created to protect the California Condor, an endangered species and the largest bird found in North America with a wingspan of up to nine and one half feet. The sanctuary has been highly successful in accomplishing its goal.
The Sespe Wilderness is a 219,700 acre wilderness area in the southern Sierra Pelon a Mountains and eastern Topatopa Mountains of Southern California. The wilderness area is totally within the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
Sespe Hot Springs
The Sespe Hot Springs are located along the Sespe Creek in the Sespe Wilderness north of Fillmore in ventura County. The location is very remote, but very beautiful.