San Rafael Wilderness
A very nice camp located in the canyon section of the Manzana Narrows. Just under 8 miles from Nira. One of the most popular overnight spots for a two-day trip or first night on an extended trip.
Elevation: Google Earth says 3044'
Jim Blakley Notes
The camp is near some very Iarge big cone Douglas Fir trees which are numerous in this part of the canyon. The trail 28W04, up the canyon from Manzana Narrows Camp, was washed out by the 1969 flood. The Forest Service decided not to rebuild the trail and to call it a wilderness trail. The Wellman fire in 1966 burned close to this area and a bulldozer operation dozed a fire line down the side of the San Rafael Mountains to the camp area. Hikers began using the dozer line down and then hike out the lower canyon to the Manzana River Trail 30W I 3. The camp once contained a couple of grated stoves and a rotten table.
Bob Burtness Notes
Administration: Los Padres National Forest, Santa Lucia District Access: This site is located about 9 miles above Nira Camp via the Manzana Trail (30W 13) and the Big Cone Spruce Trail (28WO4). The latter trail, not always apparent, is not recommended for pack stock. U.S. Forest Service map coordinates: J-17 Topographical map: San Rafael Mountain Elevation: 3,800 feet (1,160 meters) Terrain: canyon Vegetation: Big Cone Douglas fir (or spruce) and oaks Tables: I Stoves: 2 (grated) Water: Manzana Creek (reliable).
Historical Highlights: Big Cone Spruce is named after the majestic Big Cone Douglas fir trees (or spruce) in the vicinity, some of which seem to be several thousand years old. The question of whether these trees should be labeled "fir" or "spruce" is beyond the scope of this survey. It is probably best to let the botanists continue debating the matter.