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Backpackers wade across Manzana Creek.

Richie DeMaria

Backpackers wade across Manzana Creek.


Manzana Trail Magic

Good Time to Explore San Rafael Wilderness


Now is the perfect time to revisit the San Rafael Wilderness’ most popular backcountry route, the Manzana Trail. The water is flowing after many bone-dry months, with bright green grass growing in every little potrero along the way.

What’s more, the lower route of the trail, which leads toward the mythic Manzana Schoolhouse built by religious settlers, has gotten some love from the Los Padres Forest Association. Over MLK Day weekend, the intrepid band of volunteers took to brushing and slough removal down to Coldwater Camp.

Want to get involved? Look out for two trail projects and campouts coming in February: the first on President’s Day weekend, along the Lower Manzana Trail, and the next on Saturday-Sunday, February 25-26, along the Figueroa Mountain trail network. For more information, visit lpforest.org.

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