Jun 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm #1260189
@sdwhiteyLocale: Smoky Mountains
I will be visiting family in Santa Barbara, CA in mid July. I am looking for ideas/suggestions for an overnight trip that I can complete in approximately 24 hours. I am not at all familiar with CA and its National Parks/Forests.
Here are a couple of parameters
-I would prefer a loop hike
-anything from 10 to 25 miles
-if possible avoid bear canister areas
-minimal driving time from Santa Barbara to trailhead
Thanks for your suggestions!Jun 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm #1620326
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I am not super familiar with the area, but the Los Padres forest is less than an hour away. I have done some hiking the the area. It gets hot in the summer, and water can be an issue. I am sure Piper will post some information, as this is her "backyard."
I would seriously consider driving to Big Sur, which is maybe 4 hours north.Jun 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm #1621816
@joefishLocale: All Over California
Well, it's not exactly what you had in mind, but I spent 2 days doing 4 hour hikes on either side of Gaviota SP, 30 miles from SB. The camping in the park sucks, it's an asphalt lot designed for beach bums to put up tents from walmart and run generators, but it's surrounded by 2800 acres of beautiful foothills. If you're a plant geek, so much the better.
I've hiked out there a bunch and have never seen anyone else in the hills except at trailheads on weekends. I don't think there's any wilderness camping permitted there per se, but I don't know that it's prohibited either. It might be worth looking into, though beware the wildcats.
If you come across the sulfur springs, admire them from a distance, they are filled with chiggers.
Pics of the 2 day trip below:Jun 23, 2010 at 10:05 am #1622697
@dagreekpackerLocale: California's Central Coast
I live and work in the Santa Barbara area and do 90% of my backpacking in the local Los Padres.
FYI- mid-July can be a rough time to backpack in this area. Heat and water availability can be an issue. Luckily we got a pretty heavy winter this year so all the major creeks are still running. But still expect mountain temps to exceed 90 degrees. If you don't like hiking in the heat, an overnight trip to the Channel Islands can be a viable option.
If the heat doesn't scare you away, I would recommend a hike out of the Nira campground trailhead. Plenty of trip options from there and the TH is only about an hour from downtown SB. Check this site for a primer on hiking in the area: http://www.santabarbarahikes.com/
Bear canisters are not required anywhere in the Los Padres. There are bears but they are extremely skiddish. Mice are more likely to steal your peanuts.
If you need more detailed info, feel free to PM me. Depending on what weekend you are in town I may even be able to join you if you're interested in a trail partner for the trip.
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