Hot of the Presses for 2015 is a new updated version of the San Rafael Wilderness map. The 2015 version marks the third update of the San Rafael map which was initially published in 2003.
The newest 2015 updated map contains all the same map elements and styles from the previous versions but with all new updated map content. This map was produced locally in Santa Barbara County and repeatedly field checked to ensure a level of accuracy and local knowledge that other map companies cannot provide.
I’ve updated the trail conditions based on completed trail work, plant regrowth and storm damage. New camp locations and additional local landmarks have been added, all trail mileages have been field checked and much much more……
If you enjoy the southern Los Padres, this map is a must have.
$1o.95 + shipping – delivered to your door……
The San Rafael Wilderness is located in the Santa Barbara County backcountry within the southern portion of the Los Padres National Forest. Most of the trailheads are a short drive north of downtown Santa Barbara or Santa Maria and within a few hours drive of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Bakersfield (see locator map above). The San Rafael Wilderness is the main backpacking, wilderness equestrian, camping and outdoor recreation destination within Santa Barbara County. The “San Raf” (as it’s commonly referred) encompasses over 197,000 acres of primitive land and over 125 miles of designated wilderness trails.
The highest point within Santa Barbara County is Big Pine Mountain. Big Pine rises 6,820 feet above sea level and looms over both the San Rafael and Dick Smith Wildernesses. Big Pine is not a technically difficult climb, but does require a multi-day trek from any of the San Rafael and/or Dick Smith trailheads. The views from the summit are highlighted by the Sisquoc River Valley to the west, Madulce Peak and the Dick Smith to the east, the Channel Islands to the south and on a clear day, the Sierra Nevada to the north. The north slopes of Big Pine are predominantly pine covered and are blanketed with snow for most of the winter and spring months. Big Pine is a great year round destination and a terrific central hub for any extended backcountry treks.
The San Rafael is also home to some of the famous potreros (meadows) of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The Sierra Madres form the northern boundary of the wilderness and contain some of the best Chumash rock paintings in existence. The Spring flower display along the Sierra Madres is hard to beat and if you can parlay a packing trip from the potreros down to the Sisquoc, you won’t be disappointed.
Dissecting the San Rafael Wilderness is the Sisquoc River. The Sisquoc is designated a ‘Wild and Scenic River’ and flows from its headwaters below Big Pine, west towards Santa Maria. There is a well defined trail called the Sisquoc River Trail that follows the Sisquoc from the Horse Canyon Confluence all the way to Big Pine Mountain. This trail is highlighted by incredible pools, South Fork Station, the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary, bountiful waterfalls and enough solitude to make John Muir feel right at home.
While most of the San Rafael requires a minimum of 3 days to explore, there are also options for the weekend warriors. The main trailhead for the San Raf is at NIRA. NIRA is a car-camp along Manzana Creek that provides access both up and down-canyon along the Manzana Trail. There are multiple camps along Manzana Creek that are perfect overnighters for veteran backpackers looking for a quick option to test out their gear, or the rookie hoping to just survive the night.
This San Rafael Wilderness Map covers all of the wilderness, as well as much of the surrounding area including a large portion of the Dick Smith Wilderness (which borders the San Rafael on the East), Little Pine Mountain, the Santa Ynez River Recreation Area, Figueroa Mountain, Tequepis Trail, Upper Oso Trailhead, NIRA Trailheads, Colson Canyon, Madulce, Indian Creek, Mono Creek, Cuyama Valley, Little Caliete Hot Spring, Lake Cachuma, Rancho Oso, the mountains above Santa Maria and much more…….
• Printed on tear resistant waterproof paper
• 2009 La Brea Fire perimeter
• Full color user friendly graphics
• Shaded relief with topographic contour lines
• Created with GPS and GIS technology
• Includes the OHV routes around Miranda Pine, Figueroa Mountain and Upper Oso
• Covers mountain bike trails above Santa Maria and off of Paradise Road
• Accurate trail mileages and camp locations
• Designates trail conditions and quality
• Locally researched, produced and distributed
• Map dimensions: 27.5” x 31” unfolded – 4” x 6.3” folded (fits conveniently in your pocket)
$1o.95 + shipping – delivered to your door……
I invite you to also check out the Dick Smith / Matilija Map. For bulk orders or for wholesale orders please contact me directly at BryanConant@yahoo.com. The map will be shipped within a day or so of your order.
I know this map will help you discover the diverse beauty and solitude that makes the San Rafael such a magical place to explore for an afternoon or a lifetime. If you have any questions or comments regarding any of the trails, camps, or anything else pertaining to the map feel free to contact me at BryanConant@yahoo.com
Thank you very much for your support and enjoy your time in the San Rafael Wilderness!
For more information on the San Rafael Wilderness and surrounding areas be sure to check out www.HikeLosPadres.com or www.SantaBarbaraHikes.com.
©2015 Bryan Conant
10 thoughts on “”
Thanks as always Bryan, your maps are always such a valuable resource in helping locals explore their territory!! 🙂 Can’t wait to dive into the map and see what new things we can experience!
Bryan, Love your maps! Have a question on the Big Cone Spruce trail from Mt. McKinley road down to Big Cone Spruce trail. On your map it seems it is .5 miles closer to McKinley saddle than where the sign on McKinley Road says it is and where maps I download on the internet says it is. I once tried to go from Manzana trail up to McKinley road, but could not find the trail above Big Cone Spruce Camp. The trail on your map seems shorter and more direct. Have you been on it and is it easy to find or should I go down the trail that is marked by the sign? Thanks for your help. Dave
Hi David: Thanks for the response. Yes, I’ve hiked Big Cone Spruce (BCS) Trail many times. The trail from BCS up to McKinley Rd can be hard to find. If you are coming up from Manzana Narrows, you go past the camp with the BCS Sign and continue up towards the south (right). There is a second camp located above a small meadow. The trail from there is down and across the creek. It’s hidden but if you poke around enough you’ll find it. Look for flagging and/or footprints to direct you. Does that help? Let me know if you have any other questions and enjoy the trails!
Bryan, Thanks for the reply. When going from McKinley road to Big Cone Spruce trail do I start from the place with the old picnic table and the sign or from the point on your map that appears to be about .5 miles beyond that point. Thanks for your help. Dave
Hi David, the trail down to BCS starts at the trail sign/table junction which is located here: 34°42’48.83″N, 119°51’1.34″W. If you are looking at the USGS topo map, it shows the trail leaving from the wrong spot. There are two knobs in the road that jut out to the north. The topo map shows the BCS trail originating from the western knob but in reality the trail starts at the eastern knob. Copy/paste the lat/long from above into Google and see if that matches with what you have. The San Rafael Map has the trailhead in the right place. Let me know if that helps.
Thanks, big help!
Is there anywhere to purchase your maps aside from online? I have a crew here that wants to head out now, cribbing together maps and winging it, but this guide looks much better. Time is the issue. Thanks!
Great to hear you are looking to explore the Los Padres, I think you’ll love it. As far as places to buy the map, your best bet is to find them at any of the Los Padres National Forest Ranger Stations or at REI’s in or around Ventura and Santa Barbara. Be sure to call the Ranger Stations ahead of time to confirm that they are open. Where are you going to backpack? Stay in touch and thanks again,