Lower Santa Ynez River,San Rafael Wilderness
Nice camp located in a large meadow located 2.7 miles from Santa Cruz Station and camp.
Elevation: Google Earth says the elevation is 2,429'.
Distance: It is 2.6 miles up the Santa Cruz Trail to Kellogg Camp and 2.72 miles to Santa Cruz Station.
Flores Flat belies its name; it isn't just a flat, it is one of the largest and prettiest meadows anywhere in the backcountry. Though almost all of the vegetation between Santa Cruz Station and Flores Flat was burned to mineral soil, the area is returning to its former self and the camp is back to being one of the nicest to spend the night. Though it may be a bit overgrown now, one of those memorable cross country hikes can be made from Flares by following the creek downstream to Santa Cruz and then taking the trail back to camp. Think nice pools and loads of fun.
Jim Blakley Notes
Carlos Flores homesteaded the flat where the camp is located. Jose Flores, another member of the family homesteaded Flores Flats on Gibraltar Road in the Santa Ynez Mountains. Leo Flores, his son, was foreman for Alexander who owned Rancho Oso on the Santa Ynez River. A small frame one room cabin was built and the family attempted to farm by irrigating a flat near the mouth of Coche Creek. Ricardo Ruiz, Leo's father-in-law dug a tunnel in the Franciscan Formation west across the creek from camp looking for quicksilver ore but had no luck.
There are couple of small pools above camp which provide a spot to take a dip. At one time there were 2 tables and ice can stoves. Water is from the creek.
Bob Burtness Notes
Administration: Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara District
Access: 15 miles beyond the locked gate at Upper Oso Camp via the Camuesa Road (5N 15) and the Santa Cruz Trail (27WO9). This trail takes the hiker over the Alexander Saddle (elev. 3,512 feet) and down to Santa Cruz Camp via a long sloping ridge called the "forty mile stretch." Flores Flat is 3 miles beyond Santa Cruz Camp over a lesser climb and descent than the first one.
U.S. Forest Service map coordinates: J-17 Topographical map: San Rafael Mountain Elevation: 2,300 feet (700 meters)
Vegetation: oak woodland, chaparral Tables: 2
Stoves: I (double ice can)
Water: Santa Cruz Creek (good swimming holes)
Special Features: There is a good pasture for grazing animals here.
Historical Highlights: This camp was named after Jose Flores, an early settler, who built a cabin and raised cattle, corn, and watermelons here. According to his son, Leo, irrigation was accomplished by a series of ditches, of which there are still traces, leading into Coche Creek. He told this writer about catching trout that were trapped in these canals.