San Rafael Wilderness
A meadow camp set below the towering cliffs that provide its name. No longer on the FS map but still a nice place to camp.
Elevation: Google Earth says the elevation is 1,798'.
Distances: The camp is 3.9 miles from Sycamore Camp and 1.15 miles upstream from Abel Camp.
Facilities: The camp is no longer sanctioned by the Forest Service and is being allowed to grow over.
I always thought that Cliuff Camp was be a nice place to spend the night. Situated in a meadow similar in size to Sycamore Camp, with the creek nearby and the cliffs towering overhead, the nightime sihlouettes and the starry sky is fantastic here. The camp is located at the west end of one of the high trail routes and is a pleasant surprise if you are going high on the way downstream.
The section from Sycamore Camp down to Mormon Camp provides some planning challenges because the camps aren't quite situated such that they can be used to divide up the mileage evenly. A first night at White Ledge followed by the 2nd at Sycamore Camp leaves you trying to figure out the best choices for nights 3 and 4. To reach Mormon Camp you'll need to hike close to 12 miles on the 3rd day, a long stretch with plenty of river crossings and a few pioneer homesteads to visit. Making your night stay at Miller Camp, which ios 8.5 miles means an 11 mile day to reach the Schoolhouse. Going for 6 days makes the choices much easier but most people make the Sisquoc Loop a 5 day trip.
Regardless, the lower river valley is a joy to walk and in the springtime with the hillsides filled with green grass, the pastel colorings of the wildflowers and the steady sounds of the flowing river make the trip one of the best in the backcountry.
Jim Blakley Notes
The camp was established by a Forest Service trail crew as a camp while they were rebuilding the Sisquoc River Trail 3OW12 after the 1969 floods. Located between the Sisquoc River and a tall cliff face. Hawks often nest in cavities in the face of the cliff. At one time there were stoves and a throne.