Reviews (160)
Photos (569)
Recordings (131)
Chris L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingNo shade

Lots of great views in different directions to other parts of the Los Padres Mountains and the Channel Islands from this trail. If you go in the summer months like we did in July, it can get really hot so take plenty of water and electrolyte pills / salt tablets. There are stretches of the trail such as Hells Half Acre which have long stretches with no shade and its about a 3000 foot climb to the first water resupply source at McKinley Springs. Starting with 5 liters I ran out of water before the springs but my hiking buddy still had about a liter left. If the spring had been dry it would have been a bad day but luckily it was running steadily. Note that you want to filter or treat the water and you want to drink from the covered well tank not the horse trough full of algae water and bugs that we first found. Lol. After we rested up and ate lunch in the nice shady campground area of McKinley Springs, we hiked up about half a mile to the saddle between McKinley Peak and San Rafael Mountain. I was beat and only went to the saddle to take in the views. My buddy hiked up McKinley Peak and said it was steep and overgrown with thorny bushes but there are great views there. San Rafael Mountain has the better maintained Mission Pines Trail going up it and beyond. You can camp at McKinley Springs but we made this a 21 mile day hike. We made it back down in the dark but I needed to go to the ER that night due to electrolyte depletion and get an IV so that was a hard lesson learned. Probably easier to camp up there and come down the next day but just that much more stuff you have to carry up the mountain. All in all a great hike if you want a challenge and to see some great views.

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Julie Lord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingOver grown

The road out to the trailhead is bumpy and has little cell service. It was a rather flat trail all the way out to the hunting lodge. The trail crosses over the river at many points and it can be difficult to locate where the trail continues. We spent a good amount of time trying to figure this out. For particularly confusing spots, we would recommend leaving carins or markers of some kind. There were green ribbons marking some of the trail, which were helpful. There was a good bit of brush, particularly near the river. For the last bit to the hunting lodge, you walk along a dirt road. We brought 60+ ounces of water a person, but this was not enough. Bring lots of water! Despite the confusion, it was a lovely hike and we would highly recommend!

Mary B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
HikingOver grown

Hikers Beware! This loop would be a favorite if not for the rampant poison oak that covers the entire Willow Spur portion of the trail. There was no way around it and attempts to avoid it did detract from the overall enjoyment of an otherwise perfect day. The second half of the loop was a bit more open and largely uphill, but definitely more travelled. If the poison oak doesn’t get cut back, choose a different trail or simply go out and back on the Davy Brown side!

Kelsey Childs
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Over grown

The trail was overgrown and ended where there should have been 7 more miles.

John Hogg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 13 2020
BackpackingBugsNo shadePrivate property
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Ryan Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 10 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grown

This is more of a PSA so you don't end up in a position like I did. First off, I want to say that I am happy I completed this hike as it feels like a big accomplishment that you will understand if you decide to do this. In doing other hikes in the area, you'll be able to look up at Hurricane Deck and feel like you conquered it. Also, if it is hot out, I would advise against doing this trail. I hiked from Manzana Schoolhouse to White Ledge Camp on Hurricane Deck. it was a very hot day, and had I not packed enough water, I would have been in big trouble. Be warned, the trail is exposed to the sun most of the way, and even if there is a breeze, it will blow the hot air from the face of the deck up to the top where you are hiking. Around mile 5 there is a lot of bushwhacking along the north side of the slope and can be very tough to find and remain on the trail (even with gps). There is also a lot of yucca dotted through portions of the trail that will stab through whatever clothes you are wearing and is mostly hard to avoid while wearing a pack. Pack lots of water, especially if you think its going to be a warm day. I brought 6 liters, which I thought was overkill, but ended up cherishing every drop near the end. Getting lost is also a very real possibility, and happened to me multiple times. There were moments where I would find a tiny bit of shade and sit down and marvel at the extreme heat and ferocity of the trail. It might be best to wait for the shoulder seasons before committing to this hike. There were some parts where it felt like I was walking through hell, and started thinking how easy it would be for someone to get stuck up there due to lack of physical abilities or supplies. I did not bring a PLB with me, but if I were to do this hike again if it were warm out, I would absolutely bring one. Dehydration and the resulting cramping and inability to press on is a possibility. Remember to pack electrolytes. Be warned, this is no joke!

Kyle Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 06 2020
Backpacking

Beautiful hike! We completed this trail as an overnight backpack (6/6-6/7) and logged a little over 26 miles. First off, the road leading to this trailhead is filled with potholes, so drive carefully. The beginning of the trail is along Manzana Creek which is flowing nicely. We then took the Lost Valley trail to Hurricane Deck. Hurricane Deck has no shade. We did not see anyone on this trail until we got to White Ledge. The trail is gradually uphill but nothing too tough. There were a couple of spots where we had trouble finding the trail so I'd recommend downloading the map just to be safe. Some parts of the trail were quite overgrown so be sure to wear long pants. There were some cool spots to camp at White Ledge, along with nice places to swim. If you are continuing on, get water there because the next water source is Manzana Narrows. There is no water at the Happy Hunting Ground camp. We camped at Manzana Narrows (mile 18), which had 3-4 camp spots near the creek. Very nice spot with picnic tables, fire rings, and lots of shade. Keep an eye out for an outhouse at this camp (provided by local Eagle Scouts). It was not crowded at all for a Saturday night in June. The hike back is a lot more shaded and has a couple of small swimming spots where you can cool off. We saw 4 snakes on the trail (literally), including one diamondback rattlesnake, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Mark Case
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
BackpackingBugsOver grownRocky

When in shock and your walk is blocked, look for flocks of rocks. If you're not a thug when it comes to chugging bugs, don't fret, get a net. Don't be a dork, take the detour to South Fork. Both ways uphill, but if you've got the skill and the will to kill you will surely fulfill and chill. If it is white ledge you seek, we suggest you start along Manzana Creek. Don't be a fool, pick a pool and stay cool. The brush is lush. If you want your skin undiscovered, come covered.

Shannon Sarver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020
Backpacking

Backpacked to the Schoolhouse Camp this past weekend, stayed one night and then backpacked out. Trail is easy to follow and in great shape. Many creek crossings but they are easy to navigate. I would highly recommend this as a good trail for first time backpackers. The trail is mostly level. I had amazing weather but could see that it could get blazing hot in spots so definitely check before you go.I took my dog and he enjoyed it too. Saw other people but its not overly crowded out there. We saw two horned lizards, a couple of deer and a whipsnake. Also be prepared for the drive out there. Doable with 2WD but full of huge potholes and very narrow in places. Go slow and enjoy! The Toyota key mentioned below was still at the trailhead!

Baron Santos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 27 2020
Hiking

Toyota key found at camp. We brought it out to the trailhead and placed it on the sign-in book.

Hanna Inman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

Great for moderate hikers and first time backpackers. LOTS of water in the trail. We counted at least 35 water crossings! Also LOTS of poison oak in the last 2-3 miles, closer to the narrows. We didn't make it to the top of hurricane deck because the oak was so bushy, oily, and thick, decided to spend some time wading in the creek instead. It was well worth it. This trail was generally exposed like classic California chaparral is. wildflowers even in May! It was very difficult to find a spot to camp as there was a large amount of people backpacking. Other reviews say this was a moderately trafficked trail, it was most definitely heavily trafficked. head out early if you want a spot to sleep that is not within 6ft of your neighbor. The trail was narrow and through a canyon after ~4th mile so it was not easy to find a spot that was just off the trail either. Overall beautiful and there are many places to wade in the water on a hot day!

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Amanda Grandfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 13 2020
Hiking

Our recording was 26.4 miles without any off trail wandering— something to take into account if you’re doing it as a day hike as we were. Amazingly beautiful backcountry, especially around white ledge. A few spots where the trail gets hard to follow, but easy to sort out with the GPS map loaded into the phone.

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Rachel Dreese
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 12 2020
Hiking

went backpacking with my boyfriend and our dog here from 5/09-5/12. the weather was nice and rivers were flowing. stayed at a different campsite each night, each one very nice. the bugs can be annoying near the water and beware there ARE rattlesnakes, we saw three. the water is very clear and clean, we swam in it many times. had a great time, would recommend or come again. only downfall... lots of ticks this time of year. beware if you have dogs

Ami McKenna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 11 2020
HikingBugsNo shade

Awesome trail. We went last weekend. The only downfall of this hike is the lack of shade. There is none. Gnats can be bothersome. The poison oak wasn’t bad. Snakes here and there, none poisonous. River crossings were pretty easy. We ended up staying two nights at Manzana Narrows (7 miles in), next to the waterfalls. Great camp! Lots of places for tents. 3 tables and fire rings. It was a hot weekend, the swimming hole there was an added plus! We tried to venture up creek to the next camping site, Big Cone Spruce Camp. I’m was impassable. Don’t even bother. Downed trees and poison oak galore.

Andy Dowhower
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 07 2020
Hiking

Great two night backpacking trip to the schoolhouse. Plenty of water but the wet winter brought pretty thick poison oak too. We saw several snakes including garters, rattlesnakes and a king snake. Large bear and mountain lion tracks in the sand near the swimming hole we swam in near the schoolhouse. Flies and mosquitoes were not bad yet but that will probably change soon. Hiked in on a Thursday and the campground was empty but we saw quite a few hikers going in on our way out on Saturday.

Andrew Gregg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 02 2020
HikingNo shade

Great overnight backpacking trip! Decided to do CW starting with Lost Valley Trail to Hurricane Deck to Manzana Creek. Weather was great at 70s and sunny, still very green from recent rains and flower blooms everywhere. Very chill gradual uphill for the first several miles leading to Lost Valley. Lost Valley was super cool (very similar to Pinnacles NP). Hurricane deck was overgrown and had NO shade, pretty miserable even at around 80 degrees with the sun. Stayed the night at White Ledge which is the first water for 12 miles after you leave the Manzana Creek area (where the fork splits at the beginning). Next day hiked out via Manzana Creek and it was completely different from the first half of the trip. Mostly in the forest along the river, there were plenty of places to swim and relax in the shade and it was downhill most of the way to the parking lot. Definitely recommend!

Amanda Grandfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 01 2020
HikingOver grown

What a great challenge and amazing landscape. The hurricane deck portion of the trail can be difficult to follow despite being on the spine of a ridge. Glad to have a GPS map loaded on my phone. Also, if you have a fear of heights you’ll find this trail trying at times where the ridge falls off steeply on both sides.

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Kristen Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Super pretty trail right now! Everything is super green! Only down side is that the water crossings are pretty deep and wide right now...definitely need either waterproof shoes or hiking sandals and extra wool socks to complete this hike.

Dan Tatum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 25 2020
Backpacking

Once you're down in the valley after the first mile or so (past Protero camp), this hike levels out a bunch and is very pleasant. Manzana Creek is pretty high right now so plan to bring good watershoes or lots of replacement socks - we counted 30+ crossings each way, none of which were possible without wet feet. The Schoolhouse camp itself is well kept though the grass is a little high right now. Shade is nice for most of the trail even when it's hot! The hike is longer than advertised here, about 10 miles each direction.

Joon Chang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 24 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Nice trail but very overgrown in some areas. Had to crawl through at certain points. Very steep at some points. Didn’t see a single person the entire trail.

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Ted Bascom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 24 2020
Hiking

This is an unforgettable hike. It kicks ass. We started at 10am and finished around 830pm, a lot of time was spent looking at plants and animals. Hiked counterclockwise. I brushed off at least 10 ticks from my legs throughout the day. Check for ticks after walking through tall grass, it's easy to brush them off if they haven't bit you yet. Heard a rattlesnake while walking through a dense patch of sage. 30 min later I almost stepped on one, that woke me up. Saw another lying in the shade next to the trail. Wicked cool. The trail at the top of the ridge is overgrown and hard to follow. If I did it again I would wear pants to prevent my legs from getting scratched up. You walk right next to a steep drop off in some places which is scary and exhilarating. The views at the top are unbeatable. The Potrero trail portion, which we hiked on the way down, is a nice soft beautiful meandering trail that passes by some mighty oaks. It was really relieving to hike that after struggling through all the brush! This is a gnarly trail! I will never forget it!

Corinna Bernasko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 20 2020
HikingOver grown
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Matthew Rybak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 18 2020
Mountain bikingMuddy
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