SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: San Rafael Wilderness, Non-Summer Backpacking< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2013, 10:50 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do most of my backpacking in the local mountains above Santa Barbara. It's a short drive and the season is September - June. It's not the Sierra, but more accessible.

This time of year some people think their only backpacking option is the desert. The San Rafael Wilderness has shady trees, perennial streams, and luxury camp sites. This on top of big views and solitude. You could easily spend two weeks on the trails and rarely see anyone else. There are a lot of good trails, but also lots of really rough & brushy trails that beat you up. There have been some bad fires, but the place is healing up nicely.

I used to think I should keep my favorite local wilderness a secret. But now I feel like there should be more feet on the trails to keep them clear and put pressure on the Forest Service to take care of them. So check out pictures of my hikes the last two weekends. Send me a PM if you want more info.

https://picasaweb.google.com/toejamh....ectlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/toejamh....ectlink
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
tarol Search for posts by this member.
Well I never!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11041
Joined: Mar. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2013, 6:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Keep the goats a secret, though, okay?

--------------
Got elevation? www.tarol.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 3
beantownR6 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2013, 7:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been wanting to do some backpacking through there.  I need a map.  What would you recommend for a weekend trip getting up there Friday afternoon to Sunday?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 6:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only map worth having can be bought at this site:

http://www.bryanconant.com/

My recommendation would depend on how frisky you feel - how many miles and can you follow a bad trail?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
Born to hike, forced to work ...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7107
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 20 2013, 5:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is an interesting place if one can get out of Los Angeles (where I spend winter w/family) in a timely fashion.  I was up above Ojai last January and it was somewhat colder than I expected …  should've pack the 3-season (+) gear.   All my photos came out looking like an overcast winter in New Mexico or Big Bend country .. but the perennial water (Sespe Creek) was sweet.  Some hikers but not many.

Beantown: Those Bryan Conant maps look really nice and I just may be picking them up if I'm that way.  For maps, I used the National Geographic "Trails Illustrated" #812 "Los Padres National Forest East" map at 1:80,000 scale (2 sided - one side above Santa Barbara, the other above Ojai), and then Tom Harrison maps "Sespe Wilderness" at a 1:63,630 for just above Ojai, one sided (I imagine there's one for above Santa Barbara too).  Got them both at REI Santa Monica .. but last year.  Might be donating the Tom Harrison one if I buy the Byran Conant maps Toejam linked to though (donate to "budding Kerouacs"  trying to walk into the wilderness from Ojai with a synthetic bedroll .. they could probably use it)


--------------
Usually Southwest and then some.

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry Thoreau
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 2:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bryan volunteers in the wilderness and knows the trails well. That makes his maps a lot better than the competition. He doesn't have a Sespe map though. There are issues with the Tom H. & Nat Geo maps, namely that you may not find the trail marked on the map, but that's the best available for the Sespe.

Soemtimes goats assist trail crews.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-a0n4HE....019.JPG
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
Hungry Jack Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2118
Joined: Nov. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 1:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey toe, I have spent a lot of time hiking Romero, Hot Springs, Rattlesnake, and San Ysidro canyons, as well as many hikes around the Red Rocks loop at the end of Paradise Road (followed up with a trip to Cold Springs Tavern, of course). But I have yet to spend a night in the SB backcountry. When Little Hungry gets a bit older, I will take him. Any suggestions are appreciated.

EDIT: A friend who now lives in SB has met Conant and says he is a great guy.


--------------
Summon the Minions!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 22 2013, 12:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The standard easy hike in the San Raf is Manzana Creek from NIRA campground. There are nice camps a short distance either upstream or down. I've also done long loops out of NIRA, including the Lower Sisquoc Loop. There is everything from easy shady campgrounds to huge climbs and bad trails out of NIRA.

Another nice easy backpack is to 19 Oaks Camp from Upper Oso Campground at the end of Paradise Rd.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 22 2013, 12:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is a new guide book by one of the locals that covers the San Rafael, Sespe, and other nearby wilderness areas.

http://www.craigrcarey.net/trail-guide/

Craig is a hoot - I've only met him once but hope I get to share a campfire with him some day.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
Born to hike, forced to work ...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7107
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 30 2013, 10:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Really dry back there today (if overnight, bring water).  No rain in sight

--------------
Usually Southwest and then some.

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry Thoreau
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2013, 6:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SW Mtn backpacker @ Dec. 30 2013, 10:07 pm)
QUOTE
Really dry back there today (if overnight, bring water).  No rain in sight

Been praying for rain for a while. There is flowing water in many places - I had no problems a couple weeks ago. Where did you go?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
beantownR6 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 12 2014, 2:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

toejam how many days / miles is the lower sisquoc loop?  i ordered the maps from bryan's website so im waiting for those.  i also picked up craigs guide but was disappointed it did not cover that loop, but its still a great guide.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 13 2014, 8:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lower Sisquoc Loop is 45 miles. We did it in 4 days - 1 short & 3 long.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
beantownR6 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 13 2014, 3:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hey toejam,

I picked up the maps for san Rafael wilderness, dick smith and the craigs book.  I was wondering if you could help me with a 2 night loop for next weekend 3/21-3/23.  Friday about 5 miles - Saturday and Sunday about 10 miles each day, with water sources at each camp.  im not familiar with any of the areas up there with water, and open roads to trailheads.  I wish I had time to do the sisquoc loop.

thanks
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2014, 7:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hmmm...

The most obvious trips would be from Nira (National Industrial Recovery Act) Campground on Manzana Creek. You could hike downstream to Horseshoe Bend first day. It's not on the map, but about a mile past Coldwater Camp is a nice, large camp where the river leaves the trail to take a big bend. Next day go to Manzana Schoolhouse, set up camp, and explore the area. If you are feeling adventurous, climb up the Hurricane Deck Ridge and come down the Potrero Trail on the way out. It's a huge climb and the trail is rough and hard to follow, but the views are amazing.

Or upstream to one of a couple of off-the-map camp sites before Manzana Camp. Next day climb ~ 4000' up San Rafael Mountain via Big Cone Spruce and camp at the best site in the wilderness - Mission Pine Spring. Hike back down McKinley Mountain Road to your shuttle car at Cachuma Saddle.

There may be dozens of boy scouts and horse packers on Manzana Creek that weekend. I will be on the upper Manzana working the trail all the way to South Fork.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
Hungry Jack Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2118
Joined: Nov. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2014, 1:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Toejam! I saw you mentioned in one of Bryan's updates. I was out last week for a visit, and managed to squeeze in a nice hike up Romero Canyon, across the summit ridge and down the Blue Cyn trail to the fire road before coming back to Romero TH.

Question: How reliable is the water in Blue Canyon and Forbush Canyon?


--------------
Summon the Minions!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 3:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Hungry Jack @ Apr. 01 2014, 1:33 pm)
QUOTE
Question: How reliable is the water in Blue Canyon and Forbush Canyon?

I'm not familiar with the hikes out of Santa Barbara or Ojai, since I live to the north. I'd guess the water is pretty reliable, considering people once lived & farmed at Forbush Flat, but it seems like one of Bryan's notes last fall said it was dry.

I did a trip on the Sisquoc River with Bryan a few weeks ago. At one camp he dug up a bottle of tequila he'd stashed earlier. That kinda guy.

Weekend before last 16 of us worked 17 miles of trail upstream from NIRA. Cut out lots of fallen trees. Conditions are great. If you hike past Manzana Narrows you'll probably be free of the scouts.

Several parties have been doing a lollipop loop up the Manzana to South Fork, Mansfield, up Fall Canyon to Mission Pine Basin (you'd be lucky to find water), Mission Pine Spring (always good water/best camp site in the area), over San Rafael Mountain, down Big Cone Spruce Trail and back to the Manzana. Realistically a 4 day trip. The Fall Canyon Trail has been really bad, but I'm hearing it's currently pretty good.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
16 replies since Nov. 15 2013, 10:50 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply San Rafael Wilderness
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions