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Los Padres National Forest, CA

SOLD OUT! (Put me on the waiting list)

Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2015 -- $1250 ★★★

If you're looking to go hiking this November, come join Fitpacking in the San Rafael Wilderness (within the Los Padres National Forest). November is still warm and the hiking is great. We will be hiking the Lower Sisquoc Loop which includes Manzana Creek in order to be near water as this is a desert ecosystem. Campsites are plentiful and views are abundant.

Only a few hours from Los Angeles, this wilderness contains oak shaded grasslands, dry plateaus, occasional waterfalls, wind carved sandstone formations, California condors, black bears and reclusive mountain lions. This year, get fit before Thanksgiving. We hope you join us.

Our journey will begin at Nira camground. We will head down Manzana Creek before crossing over to historic Manzana Schoolhouse, the lowest elevation on the trip. We'll turn East and head up the Sisquoc River before finally topping out at Happy Hunting Ground before heading back to the starting point.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Autumn is really one of the best times to visit since it's still still warm. Nearby, Santa Ynez Airport weather averages. show that daytime temperatures are in the 60s and nighttime temps are in the 40s. The climate is arid and California has been having a drought so it's possible that fires may be present. We just don't know this far ahead, but will let you know if they develop.

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Jeff Collins


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Los Angeles (LAX) as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.


Please be aware that there may be active fires or trail conditions that are affected by fires that have been put out. We will make alternate plans should this happen.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fly or drive into Los Angeles (LAX)

Take free airport shuttle to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel LAX - El Segundo, 1985 East Grand Ave., El Segundo, California, 90245-5015, 310-322-0999

Equipment shakedown

Distribution of trail mix

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Trip to REI, 1800 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 727-0728, for forgotten or last minute equipment. Hours 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Go out to welcome dinner in town, not included in trip cost

Stay at DoubleTree

Monday, November 9, 2015

Second set of before body composition measurements taken

Store off-trail bags at hotel. Please limit the size and number of bags you are storing.

Check out of hotel

Eat Breakfast on the road, breakfast not included in trip cost.

Shuttle to Nira Campground in the Los Padres National Forest about 3 hours from LA

Begin Hiking at Nira, elevation 1785'

Hike 0.4 road miles to Manzana Trail trailhead, elevation 1739'

Hike 1.3 miles to Portrero Campsite, elevation 1660'

Hike 1.5 miles to Coldwater Campsite, elevation 1534'

Hike 1.6 miles to Horseshoe Bend Campsite, elevation 1431'

Camp at Horseshoe Bend Campsite, elevation 1431'

Distance today: 4.8 miles. Total to date: 4.8 miles

Possible Bailout: Private Jeep Road 30W07

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hike 4.2 miles (half on roads) to Manzana Schoolhouse, elevation 1162'

Hike 4.1 miles on the Sisquoc Trail to Water Canyon Campsite, elevation 1329'

Hike 1.3 miles to Lorna Campsite, elevation 1431'

Camp at Lorna Campsite, elevation 1431'e

Distance today: 9.6 miles. Total to date: 14.2 miles

Possible Bailout: Private Jeep Road 30W07

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hike 0.8 miles to Mormon Campsite, elevation 1447'

Hike 2.8 miles to Miller Canyon Base Campsite, elevation 1608'

Hike 1.8 miles to Abel Canyon Campsite, elevation 1726'

Hike 1.1 miles to Cliff Campsite, elevation 1791'

Hike 3.8 miles to Sycamore Campsite, elevation 2011'

Camp at Sycamore Campsite, elevation 2011'

Distance today: 10.3 miles. Total to date: 24.5 miles

Possible Bailout: Sierra Madre Road

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hike 5.0 miles to the Sweetwater Trail, elevation 2428'

Hike 0.7 miles to South Fork Campsite, elevation 2480'

Hike 0.6 miles on the Manzana Trail to Lonnie Davis Campsite, elevation 2664'

Hike 2.2 miles to White Ledge Campsite, elevation 3183'

Camp at White Ledge Campsite.

Distance today: 8.5 miles. Total to date: 33.0 miles

Possible Bailout: Sierra Madre Road

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hike 1.4 miles to Happy Hunting Ground Campsite, elevation 3507'

Hike 3.9 miles to Manzana Narrow Campsite, elevation 3032'

Hike 0.9 miles to Manzana Campsite, elevation 2733'

Hike 1.3 miles to Ray's Campsite, elevation 2381'

Hike 1.9 miles to Fish Campsite, elevation 2011'

Camp at Fish Campsite, elevation 2011'

Distance today: 9.4 miles. Total to date: 42.4 miles

Possible Bailout: McKinley Mountain Road

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hike 1.6 miles to Lost Valley Campsite, elevation 1883'

Hike 1.1 miles to Nira Campground, elevation 1788'

End of Hiking

Shuttle 3+ back hours to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel LAX - El Segundo, 1985 East Grand Ave., El Segundo, California, 90245-5015, 310-322-0999

"After" measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Leave Hotel

Free airport shuttle

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