** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: Santa Barbara County, about 21 miles north of Goleta, 135 miles from Los Angeles
- Auto Club: Santa Barbara County
- Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
- USGS Topo: San Rafael Mtn 7½, Figueroa Mtn 7½
explanation of usage
Nearby Peaks: McKinley Mountain, Santa Cruz Peak
Printable version of this route
(USFS Adventure Pass required)
- Distance: 20 miles round trip on road and trail
- Gain: 3400'
- Time: 11 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, very strenuous
Original: Howland Bailey, February 1968
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Take US 101 to just west of Santa Barbara. Turn north on SR 154.
- Continue north and then west about 22 miles past Lake Cachuma, to
Armour Ranch Road on the right. Turn right, note your odometer and go as
- At 1.3 miles, fork with Happy Canyon Road on the right. Turn right.
- At 12.9 miles, Cachuma Campground.
- At 15.3 miles, Cachuma Saddle and a ranger station on the left. Park
in the large parking lot south of the ranger station.
Sometimes Happy Canyon Road is closed by a slide. In this case, continue
farther west on SR 154 to the town of Los Olivos and then go north on
Figueroa Mountain Road, which joins Happy Canyon Road at Cachuma
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (3100'), cross the highway and hike in on
28W01, a dirt road to the east, 7 1/2 miles to McKinley Spring at 5600'.
The spring is below the road on the left. This is a good camping spot.
- Hike 1/2 mile farther east on 28W01 to the saddle between
San Rafael. This is also the turnoff for McKinley
Mountain and Santa Cruz Peak.
- A trail starts
on the east end of this saddle. Follow this trail up along the ridge.
- After about 1/2 mile the trail leaves the ridge and goes along the left
(northwest) side of it for about a mile, then comes back onto the ridge.
Continue about 1/4 mile farther, past a shallow saddle and along the
north side of the ridge.
- Where the trail gains the ridge again, turn sharp
right at a trail junction and follow it about 50 yards up to the summit.
McKinley Mountain, Santa Cruz
Peak, and San Rafael Mountain are together known as "The Big
Three". They are normally done as a two day backpack. Water is
usually available at McKinley Spring though it should be treated.
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.
Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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