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girlhiker70

Figueroa Mtn Area in Los Padres National Forest

On Wednesday, I met a group in Santa Barbara continuing our sometimes wild Wednesday hikes. We toned it down a bit this week, not hiking our usual crazy cross country routes. It was a 3 hour drive for me, but well worth every penny of gas! I drove on the Ca-154 San Marcos Pass Road, through the Los Padres National Forest, continuing onto the Figueroa Mtn Road with my final destination at the Figueroa Ranger Station.

Passing by Lake Cachuma


Entering Los Padres National Forest


The fog enhanced the beauty of the trees



As soon as you approach the Figueroa Mtn Road, its a 12 mile drive of switchbacks with spectacular views. I stopped to take some pics along the road.


More views


I arrived early at the station but in addition to my early arrival, I had to wait 30 minutes extra because the group was running late due to traffic.


From the Station, we continued the drive a couple of additional miles to the Davy Brown trailhead. As mentioned before the views were spectacular and for miles along this portion of the road Poppies and Lupines were quiet a treat!



It was now almost 10am and we started our trek at the Davy Brown Trail.


We had to descend 250 ft before ascending onto the ridge pass the Campground. The trail was so beautiful. The Davy Brown Trail runs through the prettiest backcountry canyons. We hiked alongside cool rock formations beautiful Douglas Fir, Sycamore and pine trees.


The creek was filled with plenty of water and ran the entire length of Fir Canyon.


Pretty flowers



The canyon was filled with multiple little falls and cascades. The only set back was the ton of poison oak which was unavoidable at times and clearly I walked right through it trying to climb down a small water fall.




More pretty flowers


Quite a few Banana slugs in the canyon. This was the first time I had ever seen one!


The Monarch butterflys loved this canyon. I am lucky to have captured one shot!


Finally lunch time taking a break at the Davy Brown Campground.


The ascent towards the ridge of Figueroa Mtn started immediately at the campground. For the next 3.5 miles, we continued a loop hike through Munch Canyon, the trail was quite steep and slippery at times. There was some light bushwacking and more poison oak.





Overall, the hike was a little over 8 miles with 2500ft elevation gain. We were not able to bag Figueroa Pk from this trail. All we could do was hike around the mountain. There are ways to approach Figueroa Pk from the roads, but there is a service order road closure for 8N16 & 8N32 until August 2017 due to dead and dying hazardous trees that pose a safety risk. Rumor has it these dead trees are due to the Beetles destroying them. Personally I have never heard of such thing.


If you are looking for a pretty hike, I strongly suggest hiking the Davy Brown Trail.  The long drive alone is worth it! Just prepare yourself for poison oak!
Sean

Thanks for the great report. You got some neat pictures of the flowers and bugs.
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