Posted by: James Wapotich | August 26, 2018

Trail Quest: San Ysidro Canyon

Made two hikes up San Ysidro Canyon. The first was during some ridiculously hot weather. Rather than push past the falls, I decided to follow San Ysidro Creek as it turns away from the trail, just before the falls. The off-trail hike quickly arrives at the confluence of two side creeks flowing into San Ysidro Creek. Prior to the debris flow, exploring each of these three canyons would’ve requiring pushing through brush and weaving around poison oak and downed trees. Now, however, it’s relatively easy to travel up each of the canyons. In one, I found fresh bear tracks, in another a pair of garter snakes, and in another a Humboldt lily with an impressive 28 flowers.

For the second hike I got an earlier start and quickly made my way back up to the falls. The trail is in good enough shape overall. All the Edison access roads have been cleared and although the creek and debris flow flooded across parts of the trail, volunteers and hikers have forged a viable route.

Past the falls the trail continues uphill through the more exposed section that leads to the top of the mountains. There are a number of slides areas that require care and slow going in order to traverse before the trail gets up on to the ridge that separates the side canyon with San Ysidro Falls from the main canyon. Here, trail conditions start to improve. About a mile before the top, the trail arrives at a steep slide section that is essentially impassable.

I also made a hike from East Camino Cielo Road down to the slide. The trail is in decent shape until just before the slide. It will likely be a while before the slide damage is repaired.

Article appears in section A of the August 6th, 2018 edition of Santa Barbara News-Press

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.

San Ysidro Canyon Trail debris flow Thomas Fire damage Santa Barbara montecito hike los padres national forest

San Ysidro Canyon looking downstream

Humboldt lily San Ysidro Canyon trail Santa Barbara montecito hike Los Padres National Forest

Humboldt lily with 28 flowers

Papilio rutulus western tiger swallowtail on Humboldt lily Lilium humboldtii san ysidro canyon santa barbara montecito los padres national forest

Swallowtail on Humboldt lily

Papilio rutulus a pair of western tiger swallowtail on Humboldt lily Lilium humboldtii san ysidro canyon santa barbara montecito los padres national forest

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San Ysidro Canyon Trail debris flow Thomas Fire damage Santa Barbara montecito hike los padres national forest

Off-trail San Ysidro Creek


Responses

  1. Wow! Great shots of lily and swallowtails. 28 blooms shatters my personal record. Amazing!

    >

    • I’d seen a lot of lilies going off in Lion Canyon behind Ojai, as well as in Romero Canyon, many with a fair amount of flowers lit up, but was blown away when I stumbled across this one. The one next to it has almost as many.

      I went back a couple weeks later to see if the ones at the top had opened up, but the heat we’ve been having took out most of the lower flowers and so neither one of them looked nearly as impressive.


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