It's really beautiful in the San Rafael
I've done a couple of really nice hikes lately.
One is the Ranger Peak trail. It starts at a former shooting area on Sunset Valley Road and climbs up toward Figueroa Mountain, topping out at the summit of Ranger Peak. The trail actually goes all the way to Figueroa Mountain Road and it's a brief jaunt across the street to get to the East Pinery Trail or a slighly longer walk along the road to the Davy Brown Trail. You could make a loop of some sort with parts of all three. The Ranger Peak Trail is very steep but a beautiful hike through fields of open grasslands with gorgeous views of the Santa Ynez Valley and the mountains of the San Rafael Wilderness. We've done this one twice now. It's very muddy right after a rain. If you are a bicyclist, it is easily accessible, since you can start on Figueroa Mountain Road. I don't know of anyone who actually has the Ranger Peak Trail listed. It is on the topos that GAIA GPS uses and James Wapotich has a nice write-up.
The other is the Manzana Trail to Dabney Cabin. If you're thinking of doing a backpack trip, we saw water in the creek near Coldwater camp and in a few places here and there beyond and also just before Dabney Cabin. We did not see any water at Potrero Camp and we didn't make it all the way to the Schoolhouse so we can't tell you if there's water there or not. If you don't mind carrying water, you can find some realy pleasant camping back there right now. There is green grass poking up between the dry brown grass and the sycamores are starting to turn golden and orange and the soft fall lighting is soft and beautiful.
There is no target shooting or fires allowed back there right now.