Working Vacation Season Is NOW!

Hello Friends,

It sure seemed impossible that we’d be where we are after the December deluge but sure enough we’re staring directly into another drought year. California just endured our driest January and February in recorded history and even after the phenomenal 2021 Holiday storms we’re currently around 55-60% of normal total rain percentage for the year. {insert profanities as needed} Even with the recent lack of substantial rain the Los Padres remains in ideal spring mode at the moment, we’re just not sure how long this moment will last….. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pivot some of our volunteer projects in order to ensure we have enough creek water for the Working Vacations. 

First, a little background: what is a Working Vacation? Working Vacations are larger scale volunteer trail maintenance projects that the LPFA organizes with the support of the Los Padres National Forest. Working Vacations are generally focused on maintaining harder-to-get-to trails which require a larger time commitment. We usually host Working Vacations for 7-10 days which allow us to accomplish miles of really solid trail work. The LPFA provides all the food for the Working Vacations and we normally have stock support bring in food, gear and supplies with a dedicated cook on-hand to make sure everyone is fed good food throughout their stay. While we’d love to have everyone volunteer for all 7-10 days, we realize that life doesn’t usually allow us to be away for that long and we always have shorter options available for people as well. We do ask that everyone who signs up commit at least 3 days towards the project. The usual day starts off with sunrise coffee followed by breakfast then we pack our lunches and hit the trail by 8am. We work throughout the day or until we’re tired and return to camp for a cold drink, dinner and ideally some story telling and laughter around the campfire before heading off to bed. The flow of Working Vacations is very soothing and somewhat addictive, most people who come on a Working Vacation end up signing up for the next one as well. The Working Vacations are a lot of fun and a truly rewarding wilderness experience. That’s the sales pitch, in case the opportunity to spend time in the forest wasn’t enough of a pull all by itself. 

The LPFA has two Working Vacations scheduled for spring 2022, see details below and we hope you can make it to one or both. Please email us with any questions or to sign up. We are currently looking for cook help and could also use some help camp sitting, truck shuttling and of course helping maintain these incredible trails…..

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We’ll be working to restore the Indian Creek Trail within the Dick Smith Wilderness between Meadow Camp and Indian Creek Camp. Volunteers will be able to drive to the Indian-Mono Trailhead and from there it’s a 6 mile backpack out to our basecamp at Meadow Camp. Indian Creek is a special spot which has suffered of late due to lack of access and the trail hasn’t been maintained since before the 2007 Zaca Fire. This will be a fantastic opportunity to get back out there and ensure the trail remains open for years to come. Email us to sign up or with questions or you can check our Facebook Event posting for more details as well.

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The Red Reef is another classic LP trail which hasn’t seen much dedicated maintenance in quite some time. We’ve been chipping away at Red Reef over the past year and have most of it cleared and in good shape expect for about 2.5 miles directly below Lady Bug Camp within the Sespe Wilderness. The Working Vacation will be based at Lady Bug and we’ll be focused on reopening the final couple miles of trail. We’ll be able to drive up from Rose Valley to the base of Topatopa Bluff which will leave us about 5 miles of trail to backpack out to Lady Bug. Stock will be bringing in all the food, gear and supplies – should be a great project and we hope you can join us. Email us to sign up or with questions or you can check our Facebook Event posting for more details as well.

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The Bridges of Sunset Valley – NIRA remains closed but remains on target to reopen Friday April 1. Click here if you’d like information about alternative backcountry locations to check out while NIRA is closed in order to minimize overcrowding at the usual suspects. Photo South Coast Creek Habitat Restoration