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Santa Barbara Hikes

Los Padres Forest Service VWR Trip Reports

Judell - Upper Sisquoc - Madulce Trail Report


Here is a link to my trail report for Judell Canyon, Upper Sisquoc, and Madulce Trail, from a trip I made May 6-8. Sorry that because of my pictures, the file is too large to attach and is instead a Google Drive link.
Trip summary:
May 6: Backpacked in along Buckhorn Road to the top of Judell Trail, and then down Sisquoc River Trail, camping the first night at Cottonwood Camp. Saw one other backpacker, in Judell Canyon.
May 7: Day hiked down to Rattlesnake Falls, and then backpacked to Upper Bear, where we camped. Day hiked to the top of Big Pine Mountain.
May 8: Backpacked from Upper Bear back to the trailhead via Santa Barbara Canyon, with a day hike to the top of Madulce Peak.
Water Conditions: Water flowing along most of the Sisquoc River that we visited. Water at Heath, Cottonwood, Lower Bear, and Upper Bear. No water at Middle Bear. Water in Pine Creek just above Madulce Camp, and slow-moving pools at the camp. Water in the spring. Water flowing intermittently in Santa Barbara Canyon below the confluence with Chokecherry Creek.
Trails Surveyed: Judell Trail, Sisquoc River Trail from Rattlesnake Canyon to Alamar Saddle, and Madulce Trail.
Judell Trail - The trail is in generally good condition. Lots of wild grasses growing in the tread, but less than a dozen downed trees along the trail. The San Rafael Wilderness sign has been well-decorated by the local black bears.
Sisquoc River Trail - From Heath Camp to Rattlesnake Canyon is in generally good condition. From Heath to Alamar Saddle is also in generally good condition, until the trail starts crossing the river, several sections with a fair amount of blown down trees, i.e. twenty or more trees.
Madulce Trail - From the Buckhorn Road down to turn off to Madulce Lookout is in generally good condition. Past the turn off to the lookout there is a number of good size downed trees across the trail. Once the trail begins to follow the creek, there are numerous overgrown sections with chokecherry and ceanothus crowding in. These items will likely be worked a part of the LPFA May working vacation based out of Madulce Camp.