Click on photos for larger images. Sometimes you have to refresh the page to re-activate this feature. Hide Slide Show (you will have to refresh the page to see it again)

Los Padres National Forest, CA

Two Week Trip

Oct 15 - Oct 25, 2017 -- $1750 ★★★★

If you're looking to go hiking this October, come join Fatpacking in the San Rafael Wilderness (within the Los Padres National Forest). October is still warm and the hiking is great. We will be hiking the Sisquoc Loop which includes Manzana Creek in order to be near water as this is a desert ecosystem. Campsites are plentiful and views are abundant.


Only a few hours from Los Angeles lies a wonderful seldom-visited wilderness called the San Rafael Wilderness, located in the Los Padres National Forest. This wilderness contains oak shaded grasslands, dry plateaus, occasional waterfalls, wind carved sandstone formations, a California condor sanctuary, black bears and reclusive mountain lions. This year, get fit before Halloween. We hope you join us.


Our journey will begin at Nira camground. We will head up Manzana Creek before traversing the high country -- McKinley Mountain and Big Pine Mountain. From there we will descend the Sisquoc River, losing almost 4500' of elevation before crossing over to the historic Manzana Schoolhouse, the lowest elevation on the trip. We'll turn back and head up the Manzana River before finally completing the entire loop at the starting point, Nira.



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Autumn is really one of the best times to visit since it's still warm. Nearby, Santa Ynez Airport weather averages. show that daytime temperatures are in the 70s and nighttime temps are in the 40s. The climate is arid and California has been under a historical drought so it's possible that fires may be present. We just don't know this far ahead, but will let you know anything if it develops.



Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Rick Romine

Cost

$1750 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Los Angeles (LAX) as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 9 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.



Note

Please be aware that there may be active fires or trail conditions that are affected by fires that have been put out. We will make alternate plans should this happen. There may also be scarce amounts of water in certain places which would necessitate us carrying up to 8 liters of water on some days.


Back to top

 

Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
Sign up Now!

Itinerary


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fly or drive into Los Angeles (LAX)


Take free airport shuttle to Baymont Inn and Suites LAX, 14814 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA, 90260, 310-676-1111


Equipment shakedown


Distribution of trail mix


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Trip to REI, 1800 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 727-0728, for forgotten or last minute equipment. Hours 10:00 am – 9:00 pm


Go out to welcome dinner, not included in trip cost




Monday, October 16, 2017

Second set of before body composition measurements taken


Store off-trail bags at hotel. Please limit the size and number of bags you are storing.


Free hotel breakfast


Check out of hotel


Shuttle 3+ hours to Nira Campground in the Los Padres National Forest


Begin Hiking at Nira, elevation 1788'


Hike 4.6 miles to Ray's, elevation 2381'


Camp at Ray's, elevation 2381'


Distance today: 4.6 miles. Total to date: 4.6 miles


Possible Bailout: Nira


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hike 2.7 miles to the Manzana Trail, elevation 3143'


Turn right and hike 4.0 uphill miles to McKinley Spring, elevation 5502'


Camp at McKinley Spring, elevation 5502'


Distance today: 6.7 miles. Total to date: 11.3 miles


Possible Bailout: McKinley Mountain Road


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hike 0.6 miles to McKinley Saddle, elevation 5769'


Drop packs and day-hike 1.2 round-trip miles to the summit of Mckinley Mountain, elevation 6182'


Hike 7.5 miles on the Mission Pine Trail to Mission Pine Trail, elevation 5337'


Hike 0.3 miles to Mission Pine Basin, elevation 5440'


Camp at Mission Pine Basin, elevation 5440'


Distance today: 9.6 miles. Total to date: 20.9 miles


Possible Bailout: McKinley Mountain Road


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hike 0.3 miles to the Santa Cruz Trail, elevation 5337'


Hike 7.2 miles on the Mission Pine Trail to Windy Gap, elevation 6319'


Hike 0.2 miles to Big Pine, elevation 6103'


Camp at Big Pine, elevation 6103'


Distance today: 7.7 miles. Total to date: 28.6 miles


Possible Bailout: Big Pine Buckhorn Road, 9N11


Friday, October 20, 2017

Hike 0.2 miles to to Windy Gap, elevation 6319'


Hike 0.6 miles on Big Pine Buckhorn Road to the Big Pine Mountain Summit Trailhead, elevation 6316'


Drop packs and day-hike 1.4 round-trip miles to the summit of Big Pine Mountain, elevation 6827'


Big Pine Mountain is the highest elevation on this trip


Hike 2.4 miles on Big Pine Buckhorn Road to the Upper Sisquoc Trail, elevation 5660'


Hike 5.4 miles on the Upper Sisquoc Trail to Heath, elevation 3422'


Camp at Heath, elevation 3422'


Distance today: 10.0 miles. Total to date: 38.6 miles


Possible Bailout: Big Pine Buckhorn Road, 9N11


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hike 7.0 miles on the Upper Sisquoc Trail through the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary to South Fork, elevation 2480'


Camp at South Fork, elevation 2480'


Distance today: 7.0 miles. Total to date: 45.6 miles


Possible Bailout: No good options, over a day away


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hike 9.5 miles on the Lower Sisquoc Trail to Cliff, elevation 1791'


Camp at Cliff, elevation 1791'


Distance today: 9.5 miles. Total to date: 55.1 miles


Possible Bailout: No good options, over a day away


Monday, October 23, 2017

Hike 4.1 miles on the Lower Sisquoc Trail to Manzana Schoolhouse, elevation 1162'


Manzana Schoolhouse is the lowest elevation on this trip


Hike 4.0 miles on a dirt road following Manzana Creek to Horseshoe Bend, elevation 1431'


Hike 1.4 miles on the Manzana Trail to Coldwater, elevation 1534'


Camp at Coldwater, elevation 1534'


Distance today: 9.5 miles. Total to date: 64.6 miles


Possible Bailout: Private dirt roads near Manzana Schoolhouse


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hike 2.8 miles on the Manzana Trail to Sunset Road, elevation 1739'


Hike 0.4 miles on Sunset Road to NIRA, elevation 1788'


End of Hiking


Distance today: 3.2 miles. Total to date: 67.8 miles


Shuttle 3+ back hours to Baymont Inn and Suites LAX, 14814 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA, 90260, 310-676-1111


"After" measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leave Hotel


Free airport shuttle


Back to top