San Rafael Wilderness
A pleasant camp with spots on both sides of Manzana Creek 1.3 miles from Sunset Valley Road. A nice camp for a first kids overnight.
Elevation: Google Earth says the elevation is 1,685'
Distance: 1.1 miles downstream from the trailhead at Sunset Valley Road.
Potrero Camp is just over a mile downstream from the lower Manzana entry point into the San Rafael Wilderness. Some topo maps call this Coldwater Camp but the camp by that name is actually 1.4 miles further downstream.Potrero Camp is a great starter camp for your kids first overnight. The camp is right by the creek an offers plenty of creekside areas to explore and isn't too far from the car when you're on the way back.
The camp is also the starting point for access to Hurricane Deck. The trail leading up to the Deck provides excellent views both up and down the canyon, spectacular scenery and just being up on the Deck is a treat in itself. Along the way up to the Deck you'll find a very pretty meadow area dotted with oak trees and when there is ware flowing in the small creek nearby this is a nice place to spend the night if you're willing to forego a fire.
There are also rock art paintings and pictographs somewhere up in this part of the Deck that you may find if you explore enough. Much of the Deck area from Porero Canyon downstream and the front face of the Deck east towards While Ledge were burned severely during the 2007 Zaca Fire and are just recovering.
Jim Blakley Notes
The Davis family homesteaded on the Manzana at the mouth of Dry Creek and used to keep their horses up in the Potrero and over on Bald Mountain. Henry Neggus, who ran a trap line from the schoolhouse after it closed, used this trail and camped overnight in Negus Cave which is on the south side of the Potrero.
Located on the north bank of Manzana Creek, it is one mile downstream from the mouth of Davy Brown Creek. The Manzana Creek Trail 3DW13 and Potrero Canyon Trail junction at this camp. The Potrero Canyon Trail climbs to junction with the Hurricane Deck Trail.