Explore the most popular birding 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.

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
4 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
6 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

backpacking
11 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
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
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.

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.

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
Monday, March 04, 2013

If you like steep ups and downs, follow the cat trail from Cachuma Saddle east-wards, instead of going on forest road 8N08. The cat trail stays right on top of the ridges, and has ups and downs of around 60% in places. The road meanders around the same area, so you can always get back onto the road if you like. I couldn't have done it without my trusty Trekking poles though, and there are a few spots where you have to push through brush. Great exercise, a lot more fun than walking on the road, and better views at the tops.

nature trips
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Went backpacking here and loved the elevation gain nearly killed me but the views were completely worth it!

camping
8 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

hiking
Sunday, February 07, 2016