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Alamar Trail

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Diane
Guru at the summit


Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 836
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Alamar Trail
Post Posted: March Sat 26, 2005 5:11 pm
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Post your update here or from Bryan's Interactive Backcountry Map.
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: March Mon 19, 2007 9:06 pm
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Hiked Alamar trail from Cox flat over Puerta Suela down to Alamar to Dutch Over March 6,2007.

PUERTA SUELA
Puerta Suela trail from Madulce is pretty overgrown. You can see the tread but the brush is pulling at you from the Don Victor junction to the Puerta Suela saddle. Great views here!!! I cleared this portion of the trail but really just scratched the surface - should help though. Puerta Suela from the saddle down to Dutch Oven is much better. There is brush but the trail drops into the creek area and its basically following cairns down through the occasional brush and poison oak. There is a section about 80% down that is solid bushwhacking for 100 yards or so. Not too bad since its only a short distance. Note that Dutch Oven camp is downstream from the Puerta Suela trail junction with Alamar. Dutch Oven is not near water but head downstream for water access about 3 minutes.

ALAMAR
Cleared Alamar Trail from Dutch Oven downstream to the Don Victor fire road. Trail is not too bad. There are some spots you have to stop and look for the trail but its easy to stay on and not too overgrown, comparatively. There is one washout about 60% down that would cause problems for horses.
Upstream is a different story. From Dutch Oven up is in really bad shape. Bushwhack city! We cleared what we could in three hours from Dutch Oven to Bill Faris. Trail is followable and our lopping will certainly help. BRING LOPPERS to help - help you and the next people too. Once at Bill Faris the trail gets significantly worse. As the trail climbs into the higher elevation oaklands the brush becomes all encompassing to the point where the trail is virtually gone. We got lost multiple times and had to crawl our way out of at least 5 places. I think the occasional snow at the higher elevations caused the oaks to collapse and in some cases collapse over the trail. Expect to go real slow from Dutch Oven to the bottom of the Alamar climb. The climb is nice with some fallen trees but compared to what lies below is a walk in the park. Really be careful here, bring loppers to cut your way through, plan on going 1 mph, and watch for old cuts in the brush.

We did not see one footprint in 3 days along the Alamar.
hills
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: May Mon 11, 2009 9:12 pm
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Hiked from Rollins Camp down to the old Tin Shack site on 5/1/09. The trail was pretty much gone, but we did flag and cairn the route pretty thoroughly. The next people should have better luck. Pretty remote area that does not get much human impact.hills
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: June Mon 01, 2009 8:27 pm
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Alamar Trail
May 23-25, 2009

We hiked and worked on the trail from Alamar Saddle to Dutch Oven and back. Here are some parts of a report sent to the Forest Service.
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• The trail is sort of broken up into 3 stages between the saddle and Dutch Oven. The first being the trail down from Alamar Saddle to the bottom of the hill or the first substantial creek drainage. This section was in pretty good shape, comparatively, and is not so bad until you get to the bottom. We cut maybe a dozen or so fallen logs, and brushed the trail down to the bottom. The tread is still there so not much work needs to be done on this first section. I would like to come back sometime later in the summer and root up some of the pines and other brush that is starting to grow on the trail. There is also a short 50 yard section that needs to either be re-routed or cut back into the hillside. Another factor for down the road will be when the dead pines start to fall across the trail. That will no doubt cause a major mess along the trail.

• The second part of the trail goes from the bottom of the hill to Bill Faris Camp. This is by far the worst section. I last hiked this in March 2006 and we literally crawled through this section. Its a lot better than that now, but signs of the old trail are few and far between. We basically took the path of least resistance and tried to tie in as many signs of the old trail as we could. Our approach is to flag the trail for the time being so at least people are going the right direction and along the same path, then come back and work the trail to the point where we can remove the flags, nobody likes to see those things but it certainly helps with the way the trails are right now. We cleared this section of trail pretty well and the next people through should have little problem at least knowing they are heading the right way. There is a section of trail about a 1/4mile above Bill Faris where we could not locate a way through where the old trail went, since we didn’t know where we were we did not flag – this section will need some additional attention. For as few visitors as this canyon gets its crucial that the foot traffic follow the same path. I think we got that established at least for the time being. There is much more brushing that we could have done and tons of tread work. Much of this trail was covered in silt/rock run-off coming off Madulce.

• We got to Bill Faris Camp and it was pretty much gone. There were 3 ice cans, of course the steel sign and some nails in the trees; but the old table burned and the brush had overgrown the entire area. We pulaskied out a few sleeping areas, rebuilt the fire ring, built an ice can table and built a trail down to the water. Unfortunately many of the trees are dead around Bill Faris as the fire burned extremely hot. The large pine in the center of camp is dead. All that being said the camp is really nice even with the burn scars.

• From Bill Faris to Dutch Oven was the part that I worried the most about. The trail goes from Bill Faris up the hillside and gets pretty steep. I figured that this section would be gone, but amazingly its in better shape now than it was immediately post fire. The trail is by no means perfect but the tread is followable and there is not a ton of regrowth impeding this section. We did spend almost an hour clearing out a particularly nasty section of the trail towards the top of this section where the fire did not burn. Still precarious in spots but better than expected. Once over the small hill you start down towards Dutch Oven Camp. The trail here has changed quite dramatically. In 2006 this was a tunnel of brush, now its knee high brush. This section could also use some treadwork. If we could just hack away now before the plants get established that would really help, but its a lot of work. Once through this section the trail takes a eastern jog and goes along another steep hillside. The tread was followable but again will need some serious work in order to get up to standard. Just the trip in and out that we hiked made a huge difference as the tread was much more visible after our journey than it was on our way in.

• Dutch Oven was in poor shape, would be nice to move it closer to the water.
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: July Tue 21, 2009 2:07 pm
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We spent this past weekend working the top mile of the Alamar Trail down from Alamar Saddle. Myself and three others spent approximately 24 work hours on the trail over Saturday and Sunday mornings. I had led a trip back to Alamar in May and this was a follow-up to tread and rip out all the pines and other plants that were well on their way to growing on the trail. We also established a new trailhead since the last one was destroyed by a fallen tree, and we created a reroute around a washed out gully section. All in all a great trip and we got a lot done. Sort of scary that it took us 24hrs to work one mile of trail – do the math and its overwhelming.

I plan on continuing work on the Alamar and chipping away here and there until its dialed in. As of now the trail should be more or less followable to Dutch Oven and clear to the bottom of the switchbacks.
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: May Tue 04, 2010 12:52 am
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April 8, 2010

Worked, lopped and flagged the trail from Alamar Saddle to Puerto Suello and up to Madulce. It was good to see that much of our work from the previous years is doing well. The trail to Dutch Oven should be obvious, although expect to bushwhack a little here and there. The Puerto Suello should be followable as well, but we did not spend as much time on that section as we did on Alamar proper.

NOTE: The Alamar trail is still tougher traveling than almost all the trails in the area. Don't expect it to be a highway, yet!
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Bryan
I live on the trails


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 233
Location: Goleta


Post Posted: April Sun 24, 2011 6:24 am
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April 15, 2011

Update on the trail from Puerto Suello to Alamar Saddle. Probably the easiest way to see the current condition is to read the report on Facebook, see below:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.210695002293593.62918.125 271487502612&l=3cc21c84d3
hills
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Cowboy Clark
Day Hiker


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 23


Post Posted: October Thu 27, 2011 8:02 am
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A couple of friends and I are heading from Potrero Seco into the Alamar this weekend. We hope to make it to the Saddle and then come back out. Should be interesting to see how the trail is holding up.
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Cowboy Clark
Day Hiker


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 23


Post Posted: November Tue 01, 2011 6:49 am
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Wow... 20 years of no trail maintenance and the Zaca fire have taken their toll on this trail! Someone has done some work on it lately and there was some flagging, but this trail is not horse friendly anymore. What a shame. Crying or Very sad
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