Explore the most popular trails near Los Olivos with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Went in June, however much that shapes the experience, and had a difficult time with water. For anyone going, just know the last stream you'll run across is 2 miles before the schoolhouse and the school house is the final camping spot. We made the mistake of traveling on from the school house, thinking there might be water further along and another campsite and were forced to turn back. Cool hike though.

Nice hike. Water was mostly stagnant but a little trickling here and there. Weather was warm with a little breeze. Did this hike with my wife and two boys 9 and 11. A few sketchy spots towards the beginning of the trail but overall in good shape. Will plan on camping next time.

Nice hike up and around the hill to get to the campsite along the creek below. Beautiful views of mountains and valley.

hiking
3 months ago

We reached the Munch Canyon trail via the Davy Brown campsite, which added ~1 mile on each way. The trail starts out beautifully and the views were amazing. However, when you get around 3 miles into the hike, the trail becomes really overgrown and is overgrown throughout the next ~3.5 miles. At times, I was skeptical that we were even on the trail because it had become so narrow and overgrown. At about 5 miles, we came across what looked like a rusted tractor and bed frames. We ended up taking a wrong turn and didn't realize it until we had gone about 0.3 miles out of the way. Definitely check a map when you get to this site because the Munch Canyon trail isn't marked. We haven't hiked extensively in Los Padres, so this might be common to those who have, but there was fresh mountain lion scat on parts of the trail, so be cautious around here. I also discovered a tick that had burrowed its head into my shoulder about an hour after we got off trail, so be sure to do a tick check after you hike around here. Overall, the views were amazing, but the trail conditions were less than amazing, and we both agreed that we probably wouldn't be back to this particular trail but we definitely will be back to Los Padres!

Good trail for a weekend backpacking trip.

Did this as a 3 day back pack trip on 5/21- 5/23 2018 with my friend Linda. Both of us early 60’s. Started at Nira, hiked to White Ledge camp (12 miles), hiked via hurricane deck to Manzana Schoolhouse camp (20+ miles), then back to Nira (10 miles). Hikes to and from White Ledge and Manzana schoolhouse were pleasant, easy, beautiful with plenty of wildflowers and water along the way. Hurricane deck is a different animal. The San Rafael wilderness map tells you it’s about a 15 mile hike, the sign at White Ledge says 23 miles, the one at Manzana Schoolhouse says 22 miles. Whatever the distance, it is a long hike, but spectacular. With the various times you spend backtracking to find the trail you might as well call it a 20+ mile day. There are patches of well maintained trail (thank you so much for those doing the work) and areas where it is easy to get lost due to overgrown areas combined with lack of cairns or marker flags. It does become obvious when you are off trail and I advise you to backtrack right away to find it. Getting off trail can quickly become scary with the very rough terrain and dramatic drop offs. Once we did not backtrack - as it seemed more work then trying to reconnect with it going onward - it was our biggest mistake of the day, that fortunately only cost us time and a bit of a scare. The hike is epic and spectacular, with drop offs on both sides of the long long ridge, with views into eternity. It was a brilliant sunny day, but a nice breeze kept the hike comfortable. Start early so you don’t run out of daylight. Make sure you are in good shape since besides Lost Valley Trail (8 miles) and Potrero trail (3 miles) there is no way off the mountain unless you carry a hang glider or love rides on rescue helicopter. Look for condors and the Sisquoc Sasquatch - no proof of existence of either one this trip, but a trip to remember for sure!
Leesbeth

hiking
5 months ago

I traveled east on Hurricane Deck and connected with Manzana Trail near the schoolhouse and headed east. The flat terrain and ample water crossing was nice after a long hike up Potrero to the Deck. If you’re looking for a hard elevation trek this isn’t what you’re looking for. Be prepared to cross water 25+ times if you plan on going to the school house from the Sun Valley trailhead.

hiking
5 months ago

I did the eastern portion of Hurricane Deck where Potrero Trail meets the ridge line. It was a blast and saw some incredible views while riding the ridge down to the Manzana Trail. Encountered some diverse little ecosystems along the way. Bring water as there’s little shade

Really enjoyed this trail. The day we went it didn’t seem like there were much bugs and didn’t notice any lady bugs. Most of the trail was maintained at this time. There were just a few parts that you had to push your way through. Be careful of the poison oak though. Great view of the mountains. It was not heavily trafficked and it was very peaceful. Got to where the stream and campsites were and almost turned around to head back, but decided to go just a little further in, past the campsites. So glad we did. There was the nicest part of the stream pooling up and flowing like a baby waterfall. Most of the trail was pretty easy, just a steady incline going back up from the valley.

Fun, scenic trail. Creek at the bottom had some makeshift campsites but the bugs/gnats might be an issue. Ladybugs by the millions as well.

backpacking
10 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.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike. Make sure to bring enough water. I wish that I had worn gaiters, lots of brush that gets in your boots. Great wide open views

Recently moved from the PNW and was using this app as my primary resource. The information provided was sorely missing. The hike started up Grass Mountain which is very steep (no switch backs) and very little shade. The trail past Grass Mountain is overgrown with Manzanita. Legs and area got very scratched. Made it to base of Zaca Peak and excited to find the dirt road to follow (partner and I wee very tired of bush whacking at this point). We continued on looking for the loop. Eventually encountered another very overgrown, dangerously hidden trail. Eventually we turned back and retraced our descent over Grass Mountain. Back through the Manzanita. The way down Grass Mountain is worse than going up. Loose dirt/gravel. I would never recommend this trail and was very disappointed with the trail description here. One star. Difficulty: Hard!

The trail is over grown with prickly weeds that will hurt you and stick to you. We hiked for about 10 mins and turned around because it was not enjoyable :(

Beautiful little trail that is rather easy, but very scenic. It is a bit overgrown in places and the trail can be narrow, so trekking poles are handy. The Alamo Pintado creek at the bottom still has some water flow, but the area was covered with ladybugs.

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Took the trail on a nice, just-right-for-hiking weather. The view of the valley below was magnificent and the breeze on the first half of the trail was encouraging. The winding path was decent and safe to trek though there were areas that needed bushwhacking. Suffice to say, our dog made the round-trip hike. Watch out for stickers though. Both sides of my hiking pants were covered with stickers but seeing the wild flowers, sage and lavender are worth it!

hiking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Not a trail for faint hearted or beginners especially during the warm & dry season. Bring a LOT of water! We did a round trip trek from Manzana Creek Trailhead to Potrero to Hurricane Deck & back to Potrero campground in almost 8hrs. Took a lot of break in between because we had our dog hiked with us. The Hurricane Deck trail offers very minimal shade except the gorgeous meadow, which was almost halfway through the trail. It was an excruciatingly hot, needless to say, exhausting trek for me (and the dog) but it was 1 tick off our bucket list.

hiking
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Beautiful windy road from Los Olivos to trailhead. Spectacular views but we ventured on a day when heavy fog was still clinging to the mountain. The trail was narrow but decent. We turned back about half way because the trail was a bit more treacherous and wet and we didn't have hiking boots with us. Many beautiful wild flowers!

hiking
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This is one of the more rewarding hikes in terms of vistas I've done. You get amazing sight of the backcountry (Castle Rock and Hurricane Deck), Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. I would suggest doing this hike in the spring and starting no later than just before sunrise.

I would also rate this hike with an intermediate difficulty, but I can appreciate how the distance can make it harder. If you have solid endurance you can handle this hike no problem as the inclines are never that steep and there are plenty of level stretches once you get up on the ridges.

I highly recommend this hike, it was an incredibly enjoyable day with some of the most beautiful views I've seen of the area.

hiking
Thursday, March 02, 2017

Did a 20 mile loop from Nira through Lost Valley and Twin Oaks up onto Hurricane Deck, down Potrero Trail and then back to Nira. Did it in December and it took a full day - just over 10 hours. Really amazing hike with great views. Some bushwhacking up on the deck where we couldn't really find an actual trail. No water when we went so bring lots. Didn't see any other people out there except our small group. Did have a rattlesnake encounter up on the deck and saw mountain lion tracks so stay aware. All in all, a difficult but rewarding day.

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

Trail starts out fairly easy with lots of creek crossings. Once you start the climb it only continues to get steeper. Lots of sections with loose gravel so can be slippery at spots. Would recommend for only experienced hikers. Trekking poles would be helpful. Beautiful views and poppies starting to bloom 2/12/17

backpacking
Sunday, December 25, 2016

Did a two day loop from trailhead at Sunset Valley Rd. to Manzana Schoolhouse, then hiked out Hurricane Deck to Portrero trail back to trailhead. Even though we had some rain in recent days, the trail was almost completely dry. Bring lots of water. There was no water at the schoolhouse campsite and definitely no water on Hurricane Deck. The hike in to MS was super easy and pleasant, but be prepared for elevation gain and some bushwhacking on the HD trail. Beautiful views make it worth the effort. Full loop was about 20 miles. I would do it again, but bring more water and leave my dog at home--he was exhausted by the end of the hike.

hiking
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hiked this trail 7/4/16 to Hell's Half Acre (11 mile round trip).
Awesome 360 degree veiws of Lake Cahuma and Huricane Deck.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Beautiful in the spring when wildflowers are blooming and water is flowing! Great for backpacking and day hikes. Lots of river crossing, so be prepared to get your boots wet!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Not sure if I had a unique experience, but this trail is definitely sketch! It's not hiked very often so the trails is overgrown in a few places leading up to the school house. The trail leaving the schoolhouse east is really hard to see! My friend and I got lost and had to back track. Also, watch out for wild donkeys

hiking
Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Beautiful views, varied terrain, and really warm weather. Bring plenty of water !

hiking
Thursday, October 01, 2015

Easy trail. It's really a fire road that climbs to the top of the mountain and meanders through the hills. Kudos for the elevation gain but there wasn't much to the actual hike so I got 3.5 miles in and didn't see much to look forward to so turned around at a lookout.

hiking
Friday, May 22, 2015

Good hike and great for beginners

incredible views of canyons and valley on both sides of the ridge. The trail doesn't go to the top of zaca peak but instead traverses the ridge to above zaca lake and ends abruptly.

camping
Monday, July 01, 2013

Went backpacking on this trail took around 4 1/2 hours to hike all the way out to school house. Went in mid June it is very dry and was minimal flowing water but still some at certain stops (use filtration tabs and drank the flowing water felt good didn't get sick) I do recommend bug spray and sunscreen it was around 80 degrees when I went and feels like it!! But all around great hike!!

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