San Rafael Wilderness
A very pretty camp located in a large meadow with year round water nearby. Three miles in from the trailhead, it is a great kid's camp — or for adults as well!
Elevation: Google Earth says the elevation is 1,577'
Distance: 2.75 miles downstream from the trailhead; 1.41 downstream from Potrero; 1.5 miles to Meadow Camp in an oxbow in the river.
Facilities: No tables but four well spaces metal grates.
Coldwater Camp is just far enough downstream from the lower trailhead int the San Rafael Wilderness that you'll feel like you've really gotten away without putting in a major effort. Once you've made camp the walk downstream is a really nice way to explore more of Manzana Creek without the weight on your back. It is a mile and a half down to what I call Meadow Camp which is located in a beautiful horseshoe shaped meadow formed the creek finally broke through a sandstone ridge. Not too far below that you'll come to the Davis meadows where you can find remanants of the old homestead built there in the 1880s.
Jim Blakley Notes
In the 1930's the camp was originally located about a mile upstream from the present camp location. After the 1969 flood it was moved down to its present location.The camp is located on a large flat terrace on the northeast side of Manzana Creek. Water is available from the creels and a spring just upstream from the camp.
Bob Burtness Notes
Administration: Los Padres National Forest, Santa Lucia District Access: About 3 miles downstream from the trailhead at Nita Camp via the Manzana Trail (30W 13). U.S. Forest Service map coordinates: H-16 Topographical map: Bald Mountain Elevation: 1,600 feet (490 meters) Terrain: meadow in a very scenic canyon Vegetation: oak woodland and Digger pine Tables: none Stoves: 4 (grated) Water: Manzana Creek
Special Features: This camp is located in a very scenic canyon.
Historical Highlights: Before the flooding of 1969, this camp was located about a mile and a half upstream, but it did not wash down to this point; it was relocated when things dried out. The name is still appropriate, however, because cold drinking water can be found just upstream from the camp. Even if the creek is dry, bedrock forces the water to the surface, thus insuring its reliability.