Wilderness Corps, Santa Barbara Canyon Trail
Wilderness Corps Volunteers Cutting. Santa Barbara Canyon Trail – Clear

Santa Barbara Canyon Trail – Clear

hiker4evr . Posted in Enviromental Stewardship, Trailcrew, Volunteering 2412

Beth and I had already been on that trail and cut 10 trees on the recon trip we did a few weeks prior. On March 03/28/15 & 03/29/15 Wilderness Corps Leadership and six Wilderness Corps volunteers camped out at the Santa Barbara Canyon trail head in the Dick Smith Wilderness.

Wilderness Corps, Volunteers Mules and Horses

Volunteers mules and horses.

Beth and Tom came with their Mules and rode clear to the end of the Trail on Saturday, cutting trees as they advanced up the trail. They found dead  tree that was totally covered in vines. They made a good choice and left it alone as it was a four hour job in and of itself. Meanwhile the rest of the crew was working on the lower section of trail cutting trees. We knocked off early because we hadn’t set-up camp yet and Katie was insistingly asking me when we were going to cook dinner only because she had never heard of a the Pigs in a Cornfield recipe that we were cooking.

We found a nice little meadow that was just North of the trail head to set-up base camp in. The grass was green and the gophers were happy. Since we were there early in the season there were no fire restrictions, which is why we could have a fire and cook in a Dutch Oven. Honestly, in the near future Fire Restrictions will be implemented, I feel very lucky to have been able to have a fire.

Dinner took about 2 hours to cook which allowed Robert a chance to drive clear down to the gate and call Los Padres Dispatch and put us out of Service. There is little or no radio coverage in that area. Beth and Tom showed up not to soon after Robert got back. That gave us some time to prep the food and get the fires going. Cooking in a Dutch Oven is a great way to feed a trail crew. If you fill a 12 inch Dutch oven with food that is enough for a hungry crew of six.

Wilderness Corps Cooking

Wilderness Corps – Dutch Oven Cooking

James built a nice small fire, as you can see from the picture. I think after the chocolate and cherry cake people had food coma and headed off to bed. When I had checked the weather prior to leaving Cambria, CA it said it was going to be in the mid 40’s that night. Ha, I woke up the next morning with a sheet of ice on my tarp! That just shows you how much we know about the weather.

On Sunday we headed out and proceeded to cut a lot Trees off the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail between all of us. Again Beth and Tom took off up the trail with there pack stock and left us hiking in. We picked up where we had left off the day before right around 10 am. We cut straight through until about 2 pm and at that point we met Tom and Beth. We had one tree left and needed their 4 foot Tuatahi to finish the job.

Beth on the Crosscut making the final cut.

All and all it was a great trip. And the good thing is that the LPFA Volunteer are going to get the last tree on the trail. Our next trip will again be the Dick Smith Wilderness and it will be another logging trip but this time we will have our water dropped off a week a head of time and we will then hike in to where our water is and spike out.


Todd Brockman is one of the founders of Wilderness Corps. He came up with the idea while on Trail Crew in the Los Padres National Forest. He has been backpacking just about all his life. Todd Brockman was a Trail Crew Leader for the Ventnana Wilderness Alliance and was a Volunteer Wilderness Steward in the Los Padres National Forest for 2 years. Todd then volunteered as Weekend Wilderness Ranger for the 2013 season in the Sierra National Forrest. Todd’s is involved with many organizations that promote Wilderness Stewardship from Washington D.C. to the local level. Todd is an IT Professional however, Todd says the best job ever would be to part of the solitude of the Wilderness.

Quick Links

California Fire/Stove Permit Caltopo.com for trip planning inciweb to check if there are wildfires in your destination area

Wilderness Permits

Wilderness Permits are required to overnight in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, Kaiser Wilderness, John Muir Wilderness and Ansel Adams. Please get a permit. Bear cans are required in the Sierra National Forest.