Day Hike – Cold Spring Trailhead to East Camino Cielo
Out and back – 10 miles
The original plan was a backpacking trek to Bear Tap this weekend. Instead, we changed to a Day Hike due to the Forest Service Fire Restrictions. However, Fire Restrictions were lifted last Thursday but it was too late to change plans – no time for equipment and food item preparations.
This was the third time we cancelled Bear Trap Backpacking Trek since 1979 when troop 26 first backpacked into Bear Trap. That was 34 years ago. This trek in December became our tradition for a cold weather campout.
In the morning of Saturday, December 14, 2013, we started with clear sky and crisp air with a temperature in the mid 40°F. There were 13 scouts and 13 adults (including Aaron Dalton, T-26 Eagle Scout, 2012) and 2 dogs who started hiking at the Cold Spring Trailhead.
After about 1/4 mile, there is a bench by the creek, the Cold Spring West Fork Trail starts across the creek. We continued to hike the East Fork Cold Spring Trail.
The trail was mostly shaded by sycamores, live oaks, and chaparral up to the Edison Service Road. From here, the trail winds up among chaparral. Here were mostly open areas and lots of sunshine on the trail.
We stopped at the Eucalyptus Trees for few minutes to have our snacks and hydration. From Eucalyptus Trees to just before the trail cut-off to Montecito Peak, the trail was mostly rocks, boulders, and gravel.
This section of trail is hard to hike up, but not to mention on the way down.
We arrived at East Camino Cielo Road around 10:30 am. A few scouts went up on the water tower to have their lunch.
Most adults scrambled up the hill to find some shade under the pine trees. The views from here toward Santa Barbara and Pacific Ocean were fantastic. There was not one cloud in the sky and air temperature was probably in upper 70°F.
Mark Shaw received a text message from his son, Brian Shaw (T-26 Eagle Scout, 2011). He was ready to fly home from Chicago Airport but there was so much snow and there was a delay on departure. Mark took few pictures of Santa Barbara and ocean views and sent a text message to Brian that we were experiencing this fantastic day hike in Santa Barbara this moment. I have a feeling Brian shared this text message and pictures with the other people in Chicago this morning.
After lunch, we shared “Friendship Bread” courtesy of Mrs. Soga. We started to hike down the trail around 11:00 am. Again, downhill hiking with those rocks and gravel were killers for legs and knees. Hiking staffs were worth their weight in gold at this section of the trail.
The air temperatures were up in the 80°F when hiking down the trail, there was no shade on most of the trail until we reached Edison Service Road cut-offs.
We made it down to the trailhead around 1:30 pm. Great Hike!
Scouts: Josh Acuna, Timmy Hirsch, Jeremiah Swider, Max Johnson, Sam Johnson, Benjamin Zevallos, David Zevallos, Carter Feld, Zane Forte, Jarrison Ball, Ryan Mintzer, Wesley Glenn, and Riley Barrad.
Adults: Mr. Mintzer, Mr. Teng, Mr. Baird, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Zevallos, Mr. Forte, Mr. Swider, Mr. Acuna, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Pinner, Mr. Soga, and Mr. Aaron Dalton.
Wild Dogs: Holly Pinner and Luke Baird. We missed Sierra Shaw for not hiking with us today.