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Santa Barbara Hikes

Hurricane Deck

Hurricane Deck

[out of 5]
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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.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

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Hiked the trail yesterday (Feb. 27, 2016). Trail was in great condition (well, relatively). Came up on Potrero, and that section and the whole ridge was very well-cleared -- much better than when I last hiked it a couple months ago. Someone has clearly spent some serious time clearing brush up there and the efforts are appreciated. I wore shorts and there were a few prickly sections, but nothing terrible. Ran into a rattler halfway across the ridge. Trail back down was a bit washed out in parts, but nothing impassible. River was flowing well enough to fill up on water if you needed to.
Posted by: deviltwin01  on  2016-02-29
[quote:a7293debf5="brhacker"]Have been loppering away on various sections of this trail over the last few months. Now consider it finished.[/quote:a7293debf5] Maybe it was someone else, but lopping is only half of the job. Leaving all the cuttings right on the trail, effectively blocking the path and line of sight isn't finishing the job. If people don't have time to chuck the cuttings, it's better not to cut in the first place. Again, it might've been someone else, but it added quite a bit of time to an otherwise enjoyable hike yesterday. (Yes, we cleared almost all of it, so NOW I would consider it finished for the time being.)
Posted by: Jeff  on  2015-11-22
Walked the western part of Hurricane Deck today: Nira -> Potrero Trail -> West Hurricane Deck -> Manzana Schoolhouse -> Manzana Trail -> Nira 7 AM start; 2:30 PM finish Easy to find trail everywhere, as long as you go this direction (CCW) so that you can look down through the sections where the trail is faint. There is one section of the Deck trail that needs some work (34.8132318°, -119.9801149°). There is old flagging, but the trail is poor to nonexistent. Lots of pools of water along the Manzana from Dabney Cabin to the Potrero Trail. (Some of the posts below do not apply to West Hurricane Deck, but to Hurricane Deck; can someone move them?)
Posted by: brhacker  on  2015-11-09
Nice work Jeff. Yes, I did the "middle" Hurricane section west of where you worked.
Posted by: brhacker  on  2015-11-07
One man's hell is another man's heaven...
Posted by: Jeff  on  2015-09-09
There is some disagreement. [img:b68653945b][/img:b68653945b] East of here was brushy for a couple miles and in good shape after that. I need to hike the middle part and check out you guys' work.
Posted by: toejam  on  2015-09-09