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Santa Barbara Hikes

West Hurricane Deck

Hurricane Deck (Western Part)

[out of 5]
 *  *  *  *  * 1/2
For:Steep, rugged, remote. Parts of trail overgrown. Not appropriate for a day hike.
View along Hurricane Deck
Contemplating the hike along Hurricane Deck

Start at Nira, up Potrero Trail and turn west toward Manzana Schoolhouse along Hurricane Deck, then from Manzana Schoolhouse, return along Manzana river.

About 18 miles

There is something about Hurricane Deck that fascinates everyone. Maybe it is the name. Maybe it is the way it looms over anyone who hikes in the area for miles and miles. Maybe it is the element of the "extreme adventure" because it is so hard to get to, so dry and hot, and without water. You really push your body and mind to the limit up there, while also enjoying beautiful 180 degree views.

The trail is barely maintained at all. I think the Forest Service would prefer that the trail fall into disrepair and close up with brush permanently. They probably get tired of sending rescue squads, and they probably sit behind desks so much that it's too hard for them to get there themselves to keep it maintained.

Some things to consider while hiking the Deck:

  • Should you decide to camp on Hurricane Deck and make it a two day hike, do not make a fire. This place will set on fire like a blowtorch!
  • Don't forget to bring a few gallons of water for your camp. There is no water on Hurricane Deck. You can fill up at the Schoolhouse end or down on Lost Valley trail or at the White Ledge end, but on top, you will have no water at all any time of year. You can stash water on Hurricane Deck a week in advance if this concerns you.
  • You should probably consider bringing a pair of clippers or even a small saw. You will most likely need to hack your way through here or there. The brush is very scratchy, so bring appropriate clothes and gloves, too.

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

Algalita Research - Learn about the pelagic plastic problem

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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