No hike if raining. Bring plenty of water.
This is a Friday 8:30am meetup—no need to register.
Forbush Flat – 8:30AM. THIS IS A NEW HIKE. This is actually the continuation of the Cold Springs Trail on the far side of Camino Cielo. The trail goes all the way to the Santa Ynez River, but we will only be taking it to a small campground named Forbush Flat. Fred Forbush was a homesteader who built a cabin there around 1910. It is now a small camping area, and all that remains of the homestead are the meadow and a few aging apple trees. The area was unaffected by the Thomas Fire, but this section of Camino Cielo remained closed until the beginning of June.
From the trailhead, we descend down the north slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains past a bench and down along the canyon wall. There are beautiful views of Blue Canyon, the Santa Ynez Mountains, and the San Rafael Mountains in the distance. We turn around at the campground and Gidney Creek, which has water in it part of the year. There are also options for longer hikes. The trail splits at the campground—the right fork leads to Cottam Camp and Blue Canyon, while staying on the Cold Springs Trail takes one to the Santa Ynez River.
The hike to Forbush Flat is 4 miles roundtrip with an elevation loss/gain of 1000 feet. Please note: This hike goes downhill to Forbush Flat and then back uphill to the parking area, so you will be working harder on the way back. The top 1/3 of the hike is in the open, but the remainder has a lot of shade. The trail is narrow in places but is in good shape and not too steep. Hiking time: approx. 2 hours.
Directions: (Carpool available--see below). You are headed to the top of Gibraltar Road. From 192, go north, (to the mountains) at Sheffield Reservoir on Mountain Dr. Go 1/2 mile to where the street trifurcates, the middle road is Gibraltar Rd. Go 1/2 mile to a stop sign and turn left on to the continuation of Gibraltar Rd. Travel 7 miles up Gibraltar. When you reach the top, turn right on E. Camino Cielo. Travel 3.6 miles east on Camino Cielo until you reach a parking area on the right side of the road next to a large cement water tank. The drive up Gibraltar is 15-20 minutes plus another 10 minutes to the trailhead, so consider this in your planning as the hike is at 8:30am.
Carpool Option: If you prefer not to drive up Gibraltar, you can ride with a carpool from the Mission. We will leave there promptly at 8:00am. Meet in the front parking area by the drive.
Hike leader: Dave Ellenberger
Hope to see you there!