Posted by: James Wapotich | May 14, 2018

Trail Quest: La Jolla Trail to Manzana Creek, Part 2

I hadn’t intended this as a two-parter, even though there were essentially two different aspects to the hike – overgrown trails and Cascade Canyon. What happened is the original article was too long and so I broke it into two separate articles.

Part 1 covers from Figueroa Mountain Road to Cedros Saddle and the route-finding and bushwhacking associated with hiking the middle section of La Jolla Trail and Zaca Spring Trail, both of which see very little use. The article easily could’ve included Sulphur Springs Trail if I had more space, although in reality it wasn’t that badly overgrown.

Part 2 covers from Cedros Saddle to the lower Manzana Trailhead. In some ways the article is Trail Quest: The Trails of Edgar B. Davison, Part 3 as confusing as that may sound. The Trails of Edgar B. Davison Parts 1 & 2 were inspired by reading Davison’s journal and matching up the various locations he described with their modern names and recounting the story of his career as one of the first rangers in our local area. His patrol area included the north side of Figueroa Mountain down to and including Manzana Creek. Parts 1 & 2 describe the network of trails in Fir Canyon and Munch and White Rock Canyons respectively, and reference Manzana Creek only in passing.

Horseshoe Bend Manzana Creek Trail backpacking hiking San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres national forest

The Meadow at Horseshoe Bend

Swim hole Horseshoe Bend Manzana Creek Trail San Rafael Wilderness backpacking hiking los padres national forest

Swimhole at Horseshoe Bend

This article, which appears in section A of the May 7th, 2018 edition of Santa Barbara News-Press, covers both Sulphur Springs and Manzana Trails which Davison also patrolled. The real inspiration however was feeling that I had located what he referred to in his journal as “Cascade Canyon”. The name doesn’t appear on any map that I’m aware of, but based on his description of it as “a miniature Colorado, being the narrow and precipitous outlet of two large canyons through the south wall of the Manzana” it seemed like it had to be the side canyon just upstream from Coldwater Camp.

And so on the second day of our trip, Curt and I explored the canyon, which does in fact contain a half dozen medium-sized cascades worthy on the name Davison gave the canyon.

waterfall cascade canyon San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres national forest Manzana Creek

Small waterfall in Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon San Rafael Wilderness Los Padres national forest manzana creek trail

Cascade Canyon

Cascade canyon manzana creek san rafael wilderness los padres national forest

Cascade and Pool, Cascade Canyon

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.

Manzana Creek Los Padres National Forest San Rafael Wilderness

Manzana Creek


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