NATIONAL TRAILS DAY 2017
- Howard Creek Trail, Ojai First Saturday
- Piedra Blanca Trail, Reyes Creek TH, MPRD
- West Fork Cold Spring Trail, Santa Barbara
- Lopez Lake Trail Day, SLO
- Santa Cruz Trail, LPFA
- Carrizo Trail, VWA
One project in particular we’re trying to focus our energy on for NTD is the restoration of the Santa Cruz Trail within the Santa Barbara Backcountry. If you spend any time exploring the Los Padres, eventually you’ll find your tracks along the Santa Cruz Trail. It’s one of only two designated National Recreation Trails in the Los Padres and provides access for trail-users to Little Pine Mountain and the backcountry beyond. The Santa Cruz Trail is popular for just about all non-motorized trail-user groups including mountain bikers, hikers, equestrians and backpackers. It’s an epic mountain bike ride, a challenging day hike to summit Little Pine, a perfect first-time backpacker trail to 19 Oaks and the start or finish of backcountry adventures to Santa Cruz Station and the San Rafael Wilderness.
Sadly, the Santa Cruz Trail was hammered in the 2016 Rey Fire, destroying much of the upper cribwall structures and just about all the brush along the south-facing portion of the trail. While the upper portions of the trail need substantial evaluation before we can even get started working the trail, we’re going to start fixing the lower section of the trail specifically the single track up to 19 Oaks Camp – and that work will start this coming Saturday.
If you’re interested in helping, the Santa Cruz Trail can use your help! We’ll be meeting Saturday June 3 at 8am at First Crossing Dayuse Area along Paradise Rd (all parking is FREE). From there we’ll caravan to Upper Oso Campground for a safety briefing then start the 1 mile hike to the singletrack and get started restoring the trail. We’ll work until the early afternoon or until it gets too hot then retreat to nearby Rancho Oso for a BBQ dinner and evening celebration under the stars. Camping is FREE at Rancho Oso for trail volunteers and dinner/entertainment is provided at no cost. You just need to invest a little sweat equity in the trail and we’ll make sure you get to bed with a full belly and smile on your face.
For more details or to sign up please email INFO@LPForest.org. Please RSVP if you plan on camping with us at Rancho Oso. Rancho Oso has generously provided us with FREE camping as well as access to their amenities, including pool and miniature golf (not a typo). We’re also going to be treated to some fun and games by REI who will setup their famous ‘Chill Zone’ at Rancho Oso for trail volunteers to relax after a hard day under the sun. We also want to send thanks to the Los Padres Sierra Club for helping sponsor the trail project as well as Hollister Brewing Company for supplying the evening refreshments – THANK YOU!
We hope you can make it to one of these projects this weekend and thank you all for the help!
April 4, 2015 – May 22, 2017
• In case you missed it, the Los Padres made national news this past week when the Mud Creek landslide in southern Monterey County let loose covering Hwy 1 in 40 feet of mud and literally creating a new point of land in the Pacific Ocean. Experts are predicting the slide will keep Hwy 1 closed between Ragged Point and Gorda for at least another year while they attempt to excavate what’s left of the Hwy.
• First Crossing along the Santa Ynez River in Santa Barbara was opened this past weekend for the first time since the January storms forced its closure. River Road (aka Paradise) is now open in its entirety to Red Rock as well as Upper Oso Trailhead. While dayuse is open along River Road, Upper Oso Campground will remain closed for a little while longer until the campsites can be cleared of flood debris.
• Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has also reopened some of its campsites for the first time since the July 2016 Soberanes Fire started. Not all campsites are open for campers but they’ll hopefully be opening the remainder of the sites throughout the summer as cleanup efforts are completed.
• Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is now in full swing with our weekly Summer Interpretive Programs. While we’re taking June 3rd off, the programs resume on June 10 with a talk by Dr. James Caballero about how to be prepared for hiking. Check out the full summer program here.