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Santa Barbara Hikes

Hurricane Deck

Hurricane Deck

Rating:
[out of 5]
 *  *  *  *  *  *
For:Very long, sun exposure, insufficient water to complete the hike (bring extra), overgrown trail that is easy to lose, people sometimes die on this trail.
Hurricane Deck from Lost Valley Trail
Hurricane Deck from Lost Valley Trail

Parts (not all) of this hike are shown on these two maps: West Manzana, and East Manzana.

The Hurricane Deck Marathon is a loop that circles from Nira, up the Portrero Trail, across Hurricane Deck lengthwise, then meets up with Lost Valley Trail, loops back to the Manzana trail and emerges at Nira Campground. It is an inappropriate day hike at 24 miles, unless you want an extreme hiking experience.

Should you decide to camp and make it a two day hike, do not make a fire. This place will set on fire like a blowtorch!

And don't forget to bring a few gallons of water for your camp. There is no water on Hurricane Deck and there is only one source to refill your water supply on the loop, 18 miles into it.

You can do this loop the other way, of course, beginning from the Lost Valley Trail and heading toward Portrero Trail.

There has been much debate over which way is best. To start at the Potrero Trail end you get all the steep uphill over with, then Lost Valley offers a gradual descent that is gentler to the tired knees and feet after all that work. You also get a water refill at about 18 miles, when you'll really be needing and and your waterbottles are empty.

To start at the Lost Valley end, you have a gentler uphill, tiring you out less. But your refill station for water comes before your bottles are empty, at about the 5 miles mark. Unless you bring empty bottles to fill up there, you may not have enough water, risking serious illness from dehydration. You can stash water on Hurricane Deck a week in advance if this concerns you.

Don't attempt this hike without significant hiking experience. Even experienced hikers I know have been rescued by helicopters because of extreme dehydration and getting lost! In fact, many of us now do this hike twice - once to plant stashes of water the week before, and then the following week we do the hike.

Total mileage is 18 to 24. The exact figure will be posted after May 13.

You will need an Adventure Pass Pass to park at the trailhead.

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