Posted by: James Wapotich | June 25, 2017

Trail Quest: Santa Cruz Creek Homesteads

Visited the homesteads and old cabin sites in the upper Santa Cruz Creek drainage back in late April with my friend Jasper.

Our route took us up and over Little Pine Mountain (see previous article for trail conditions). We camped the first night at Little Pine Spring. In the morning saw a bear up on the trail above camp with a red tag in its ear. I haven’t heard of any tagging programs in our area, so perhaps it was a delinquent bear that had been relocated.

From Little Pine Spring, we continued down to Santa Cruz Camp; visited the Alexander cabin site; hiked to Santa Cruz Falls; visited the Romo homestead site in Romo Potrero; and then visited Flores Flats, where the Flores homestead was located, before continuing onto Kellogg Camp, where we camped the second night. While hiking from Flores to Kellogg we spotted a large black bear across the canyon grazing on wild grasses. We were too far away for it take any interest in us.

Article appears in section A of the June 12th, 2017 edition of Santa Barbara News-Press.

Little Pine Spring Camp hiking backpacking Santa Barbara Los Padres national forest

Little Pine Spring

California black bear Santa Cruz Trail Little Pine Spring Los Padres national forest

Bear on the Santa Cruz Trail overlooking Little Pine Spring Camp

california black bear tag tagged Santa Cruz Trail Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres’ Most Wanted?

Little Pine Spring Los Padres National Forest Santa Cruz trail hiking backpacking camp

Beginning of the trail down to Little Pine Spring

Older articles can be seen by scrolling down or using the search feature in the upper right corner. Articles from the News-Press appear here a couple months after they appear in the paper.

Santa Cruz Falls trail hiking backpacking San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres National Forest

Santa Cruz Falls

black mountain romo potrero homestead los padres national forest

Black Mountain frames a view of Romo Potrero near the homestead site

Romo homestead roma potrero los padres national forest periwinkle vinca

Non-native periwinkle and other remnants of the Romo Homestead

Romo Potrero homestead santa cruz trail los padres national forest

Cattle trough Romo Potrero

Flores Flat Santa Cruz Trail creek camp hiking backpacking San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres National Forest

Flores Flat

On the third day we hiked to Pelch Camp, and explored the upper reaches of Grapevine Camp. I’d hoped to find Upper Grapevine Camp for a third article, but came up empty. We camped the last night again at Little Pine Spring. Great weather and saw no one on the trails the entire time.

Lower Grapevine Camp canyon trail San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres National Forest ice can stove

Lower Grapevine Camp


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