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Manzana-Sisquoc-Manzana Loop

Manzana-Sisquoc-Manzana Loop Award PatchThis 46 mile round trip in the San Rafael Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest starts and ends at Nira and may be taken in either direction.


  1. Access from Freeway 101: From South: Take San Marcos Pass off-ramp to Highway 154, go past Cachuma Lake, turn right after bridge onto Armour Ranch Road, right onto Base Line, right onto Happy Canyon Road, and straight down Sunset Valley Road to the Manzana River. From North: Take Highway 154 and Zaca Road off-ramp, go south on 154 to Los Olivos, turn left onto Fiqueroa Mountain Road. At Cachuma Saddle turn left onto Sunset Valley Road and to the Manzana River. Park ½ mile west of Nira above the Manzana River or at the road end at Nira.
  2. This 4 to 6 day trip should be taken during the months of February, March, April or May. From Manzana Narrows take an eight (8) mile round day-trip via Big Cone Spruce Camp to 6,188 ft. McKinley Mountain high above the Santa Ynez Valley.
  3. Camps en route: Nira (Drive-in camp), Coldwater, Manzana Schoolhouse, Mormon, Abel, Cliff Sycamore, South Fork (not a desirable camp), Lonnie Davies, White Ledge, Happy Hunting Ground, Manzana Narrows, Manzana, Fish Creek, Nira. (In 1989 no Forest Service permits were required) Topos: Bald Mt., Figueroa Mt., San Rafael Mt., Zaca Lake and Hurricane Deck.
  4. Check on necessity for any Forest Service permits.
  5. Topos: Bald Mtn, Figueroa Mtn., San Rafael Mtn., Zaca Lake, Hurricane Deck.
  6. Prepare a brief description of your experience including of trail, camps, water, etc.
  7. Comply with the General Requirements.