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Madulce Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: Malduce Peak
  • Elevation: 5100 feet
  • Wilderness Area: Dick Smith
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.579302
  • Latitude: 34.70340214
  • Water Sources: Water is available seasonally at Malduce Spring, to find the spring box, look for a small fork in the trail in the fern patch. Depending on the time of year the small creek can also be used. This camp can go dry in the late summer and fall.
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness-Camping

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
06-04-2017DirgeFlowing
05-20-2017MSchlessFlowing
03-19-2017Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
07-23-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
05-30-2016Steve CypherFlowing
05-21-2016James WapotichTrickle
05-21-2016James WapotichTrickle
05-21-2016James WapotichTrickle
05-14-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
04-02-2016Paul CronshawFlowing
02-20-2016Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
10-04-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationStagnant
06-20-2015CondorStagnant
05-22-2015Condor TrailTrickle
04-25-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
10-25-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationDry
06-27-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing

Description:

The Malduce Camp was once an old forest service outpost or guard station, the historical structure was first constructed by a squatter in the 1880's and was used by the Forest Service from 1890 to 1929, then was rebuilt in 1930 and was used until it was burnt by an act of arson in late 1990's. The camp is positioned under a group of tall pines and next to a small seasonal creek. The Zaca Fire burnt this area in 2007, please take caution when choosing a location to camp due to multitude of hazard or dead trees, which can be a major issue in a light wind, so please choose a safe location to set up camp. The meadow or clearing below the camp at the old cabin site is both a wonderful and safe place to camp.

Access: 6 miles beyond the locked gate at the head of the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail (25W02), an old jeep road that gradually increases in elevation until near the end of the canyon at which point it steeply escalates up a ridge, this portion is called heartbreak hill. The camp can also be accessed from the Malduce Trail (28W09) via the Puerto Suelo Trail (3E08) or Buckhorn Rd (9N11)

History: This camp takes its name from Malduce Peak, called strawberry peak on the 1905 Forest Service Map, While the term has never existed as written word in Spanish, it (or a term close in appearance and sound) is Catalonian Spanish for "strawberry," and was used as such in this part of the state. The small wild California strawberry plant grows in this area and in the San Rafael Mountains.

 

~ Robert A. Burtness - A Camper's Guide to the Tri-County Area

Survey Photos:


  • Los Padres Forest Association - 06-27-2014
    Spring box fixed and working nicely.

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 10-25-2014

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 10-25-2014

  • Condor - 06-20-2015
    spring is wet but no flow. Recommend cleaner pools downstream

  • Condor - 06-20-2015
    possibly killed by bear as there was a lot of sign nearby

  • Condor - 06-20-2015
    3 rattlesnakes were spotted on our overnight trip

  • Condor - 06-20-2015
    bear tracks in the mud. looks like a mother and cub

  • Paul Cronshaw - 04-02-2016
    Campsite from ridge trail

  • Paul Cronshaw - 04-02-2016
    Old Cabin site

  • Paul Cronshaw - 04-02-2016
    Madulce Creek

  • Paul Cronshaw - 04-02-2016
    Upper Campsite

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 03-19-2017
    First view of Madulce from the top of Heart Break Hill on the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail.

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 03-19-2017
    The Station Campsite.

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 03-19-2017
    Spring box is working great, but there is so much water everywhere.

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 03-19-2017
    The huge hazard pine at the Backpacker Campstie. Again, suggest camping at the Station Site.

Submitted Camp Reports

Madulce Camp Survey - 06-04-2017 - by Dirge
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 06-04-2017
Surveyor Name:Dirge
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Plenty of water at camp
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-20-2017 - by MSchless
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-20-2017
Surveyor Name:MSchless
Camp Description:Stopped by Madulce on the way up to Big Pine. 250 ish lb bear in the meadow just after cresting heartbreak hill. Lots of good water in the creek. Didn't check the spring box.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Clear steady flow through creek
Weather Conditions:Mid 70s around 11:30 am
Madulce Camp Survey - 03-19-2017 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 03-19-2017
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Madulce is in great shape.  Showing a little bit of use but no overuse.  Signs of recent equestrian use at the main Station Campsite.  The Backpacker Campsite still has that one huge dead hazard pine tree lingering over camp which makes it sketchy to camp at.  Suggest staying at the Station Camp.  Tons of water in the creek, green grass in the fields and flowers on the plants.  
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:Sunny, mid-60's, perfect.
Images:

First view of Madulce from the top of Heart Break Hill on the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail.

The Station Campsite.


Spring box is working great, but there is so much water everywhere.

The huge hazard pine at the Backpacker Campstie. Again, suggest camping at the Station Site.
Madulce Camp Survey - 07-23-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 07-23-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Great article by James Wapotich on the history of the Madulce Camp site, enjoy:

https://songsofthewilderness.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/trail-quest-madulce-guard-station/
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-30-2016 - by Steve Cypher
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-30-2016
Surveyor Name:Steve Cypher
Camp Description:LPFA conducted a trail maintenance project based at Madulce Station site May 20-30. The station site is being taken over by cherry & roses, but still room for several tents. The corral was repaired and is safe for holding livestock. Water in the creek was slightly more than a trickle and adequate for filling buckets and watering stock.

Backpacker's camp is in good shape, but has some hazardous dead trees that will fall at some point.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Ankle deep, sweet, clear water at cabin site.
Weather Conditions:Mostly clear. Heavy frost May 20, chilly nights.
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-21-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-21-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:The water at the camp is starting to dry up. There is still water upstream along the trail, as well as the spring box.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-21-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-21-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:The water at the camp is starting to dry up. There is still water upstream along the trail, as well as the spring box.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-21-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-21-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:The water at the camp is starting to dry up. There is still water upstream along the trail, as well as the spring box.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-14-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-14-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:Ankle deep water flowing in creek and plenty in the spring box.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 04-02-2016 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 04-02-2016
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:Stayed at main campsite where the original cabin once stood.  There is a nice rock firing with grate, shovel, ax and post hole digger.  Stock pen is functional. 
Upper campsite is unsafe due to two standing hazard trees.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Nice pools of clean water
Weather Conditions:Sunny, temps in high 70's, frost in AM
Images:

Campsite from ridge trail

Old Cabin site


Madulce Creek

Upper Campsite
Madulce Camp Survey - 02-20-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 02-20-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Light flow in the creek behind the old Madulce Cabin.  Enough for camping but not nearly enough for late February during an El Niño year.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 10-04-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 10-04-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Very little water at Madulce but there was some.
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 06-20-2015 - by Condor
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 06-20-2015
Surveyor Name:Condor
Camp Description:The camp is in good condition.  SB canyon trall into camp is overgrown and very difficult approahing the camp. The the members of my group are strong and expllerienced hikers and took about 3 hours to locate and travel the last 2-3 miles. We left some cairns on the way out so godly that will help.  Also saw lots of bear sign on the way in so be prepared!
Water Source:Stagnant
Water Source Details:Spring is not flowing. Found 1 pool clear enough to treat and filtered 10 liters
Weather Conditions:
Images:

spring is wet but no flow. Recommend cleaner pools downstream

possibly killed by bear as there was a lot of sign nearby


3 rattlesnakes were spotted on our overnight trip


bear tracks in the mud. looks like a mother and cub
Madulce Camp Survey - 05-22-2015 - by Condor Trail
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 05-22-2015
Surveyor Name:Condor Trail
Camp Description:Not very much water and the water that was there was not too appealing.  Things are starting to dry up.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 04-25-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 04-25-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:• Water in Pine Creek at Madulce Station.
• Snow on top of Madulce Peak from recent storm.
• Most of the crossings along SB Canyon had water.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Madulce Camp Survey - 10-25-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 10-25-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:A scouting mission to Madulce Camp revealed that it is BONE DRY down there.  Even the spring box that was installed about 4 months ago was dry.  All plumbing appears to be in place, just no water.
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:


Madulce Camp Survey - 06-27-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Madulce Camp
Date: 06-27-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:The LPFA lead a work project down to Madulce Camp in the middle of summer.  We fixed the old spring box, see photos below:

https://www.facebook.com/LosPadresForestAssociation/posts/341381952653402

When we left the spring was flowing at about 1 gallon per minute.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Spring box fixed and working nicely.

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Last Updated: Friday, March 27, 2015

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