Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 963: Little Caliente Hot Springs - Indian Canyon Trail - Lower Buckhorn - Indian Creek Snake Camp

Indian Creek Snake Camp

Day #963 * Hike #1228* New Track #948
Little Caliente Hotsprings - Santa Barbara, CA
Saturday July 6, 2013
My Tripometer: .25 Hours * 1 Mile * +50 Feet

 Fork in the road - Little Caliente is to the right...

Follow the directions from Day 530: Jameson Lake - Juncal Dam.  From there the road levels out and switches back to the west.  Keep following the dirt road for another 7 miles or so.  You will pass the Big Caliente Hotsprings turn off, one of my favorite locations.  Keep following the road all the way to the very end.  The road passes some camping areas and then turns north.  Pass Mono Camp and then you'll reach this fork as seen in the picture above.

I snapped this picture many hours later after the second hike.  Be careful, the short road to the dead end gets a little gnarly...

Trailhead to Little Caliente

The only people we saw all day were hiking back from Little Caliente as seen in the photo above.  The advised us that they went about 3 miles in and could not find the hot springs.  According to the map, the hot springs should be just up here on the right.  They said there was a cemented over area up there.  Hmm, I did not read anything to the effect that Little Caliente was closed off?  However, it was discouraging being that the creek was bone dry, unlike the bigger and better Big Caliente Hot Springs.

Discouraged, coming back

Oh well, we came back after a short hot hike.  Already, Sammi was beat and Ayden wanted to go home.  I explained that it was the two hour drive and we just needed to get out there and hike.  Instead, we drove back to the fork and went up the other way.  This brought us to the Hike of the Day:

Day #963 * Hike #1229* New Track #949
Indian Canyon Trail - Santa Barbara, CA
Lower Buckhorn - Indian Creek Snake Camp
Saturday July 6, 2013
My Tripometer: 3 Hours * 7 Miles * +350 Feet

Romero Camuesa Road - Trailhead

 I believe this hooks up to Little Caliente

Sorry that I am not sharing the map of this area.  Rather than turning off to the right, we continued straight down the road...

 Cross the dry creek a couple of times

 Big Tree on an island

I imagine that this area would look spectacular after a busy rainy season.  The water probably goes up against the hillside to form the island with a tree.  Pretty neat...

 at about 3/4's of a mile in, look off to the right...

 Indian Canyon Trailhead

Our plan was to go another 4 miles (8 miles round trip) to reach Lower Buckhorn.  According to the map, which I temporarily misplaced, there is another camp just beyond Lower Buckhorn - Meadows Camp?  From what I read, Meadows is a better spot.  It will take you 2 hours from here to reach the scenic area.  My understanding is that there is year round water flowing, waterfalls and real life livable nature unlike the unshaded torment that we were walking through.  The sacrifice is well worth the effort, but you have to get there first.  In the rainy season, you may have to go knee deep in the water to really get to a good destination like Indian Creek Camp.  There is said to be poison oak and what not back there.  Due to the little elevation gain that it takes and the long drive, this trip should definitely be planned as an overnighter.  In fact, there are so many trails and extensions back here, you can easily hike for a week and get picked up on the far other side...

 Let the torture begin, temperature was only 78 when we started

 Dont forget to sign in - last hiked was on 6/22/13  .. vacant lot

 Dam Water Source

Without hesitation, Sammi cooled off by jumping in and slurping down this green guck.  She was wheezing and panting heavily, choking on her water intake.

 For now, easy trail to follow - No Shade!

 This is not dog or human - found the scat everywhere!

 Creek goes around - look for cut through to the left

 Just follow the creek from here on out...

 Later on, we lost the trail - Do Not Go Up There!

 Back down to the creek

 For the most part, there will be a trail just above the dry creek

 Overall - Pretty easy to follow

 Water source at Indian Creek Camp - about 2.25 miles up Indian Canyon Tr.

 1 match, fire lit - be careful - bone dry!

I wanted to go further but Ayden insisted that this would be our resting point.  It was a good spot, until we saw the SNAKE!  As we were eating, a loud noise began moving vigorously the bushes side to side.  Then, it appeared.  A five foot long rattler slithered its way into view.  Sammi approached it but I yelled loud for her to pull back.  The snake came within 3 feet of me and looked me dead in the eye.  It came down from where I rested my backpack and food, creepy.  It's tongue hissed out at me but the slowly fast moving snake went through the sand, into the bushes, down into the water and up the other side of the creek canyon wall.  We heard the movement for a few minutes until it finally stopped.  Ayden was screaming like a little girl and I grabbed my camera but was not in time to capture the moment.  Hence, this no named camp becomes Indian Creek Snake Camp... 

After the late lunch we turned back to the car.  When we got there, the temperature was 89 degrees.  I'm sure it topped 90 along the trail.  We began our drive back and passed these deer...

 Car camping off the dirt road

We turned up the road to soak in the Big Caliente Hot Springs.  This is a 10 minute detour.  We met some people there and just chilled out in this tub.  The better hot spots are a short hike from the parking area:

Finally, up past the dirt road overlooking the ocean
This was on the first Water Tower as you head back
Day #963 * Hike #1230* New Track #950
Cold Spring Trailhead - Santa Barbara, CA
Saturday July 6, 2013
My Tripometer: .5 Hours * 1 Mile * +50 Feet

 Santa Barbara

 From the nest water tower

 the pier


 Cold Springs Trailhead

From the Water Tower, we explored around the ridge and then hiked down the trailhead for a bit.  I hiked up from the other side which leaves from Montecito.  If you want to beat the drive up, you can always hike it?!  However, the drive to this point is no big deal.  That said, parking up here is not a bad alternative to avoid the dirt road which takes an hour from this point to reach Little Caliente...

Cold Spring Trail to Mono

Okay, well this is a 5 mile hike which would take about 2 hours.  Only problem is, you will have to climb back up and that is a 3000 foot workout.  Isn't is worth it to go yee-hawing on the dirt road to skip this trail?  Anywho, it would be a neat experience to hike from Montecito all the way through to be picked up somewhere near Lockwood Valley Road and the 33.  Who has a week to do this adventure?

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