DISTANCE
20.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,140 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

backpacking
9 months ago

This trail is not that great for the first 8-10 miles, and will lack shade for long periods on hot days, so as the other reviewer said, it is best to start early. Your first source of water is going to be at McKinley Springs 8 miles from the Cachuma Saddle. Bring your water filter. The elevation gain is not too bad until you reach the McKinley Saddle. McKinley has very nice views, but I highly suggest turning left at McKinley Saddle and going to Mission Pine. I'm serious. You will pass San Rafael Mt., which is higher than Mckinley, but you get into the real gold at Mission Pine and beyond. This is going to make it a 30+ mile hike round trip, but it is so worth it!!! Mission Pine is easily the most beautiful place in the Los Padres that I have seen, and I have done a lot of trails. There are actually redwoods at MP, and I am serious. This Trail is best if you want to spend the night at Mission Pine or Pine Basin, but after Mission Pine the trail gets pretty sketchy.