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Mission Pine Springs Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type: Wilderness Trail Camp
  • Topo Map Link: San Rafeal Mountain
  • Elevation: 5863 feet
  • Wilderness Area: San Rafael
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.78998
  • Latitude: 34.70729
  • Water Sources: Very reliable spring is located just outside of camp, there is also reliable water less than 1/4mile east along the trail
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Reservations: Wilderness Trail Camp

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
08-24-2017NateTrickle
04-15-2017Terry JarrettFlowing
10-02-2016SebastianFlowing
07-10-2016JamesFlowing
06-20-2016Curt CraggFlowing
05-29-2016Duane WaiteFlowing
05-21-2016Terry JarrettFlowing
11-21-2015Paul CronshawTrickle
05-25-2015Los Padres Forest AssociationTrickle
05-02-2015Hike Los PadresFlowing
03-28-2015Paul CronshawFlowing
11-25-2014Shaddus Maximus Flowing
09-29-2014bardleyFlowing
09-26-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing
09-26-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationFlowing

Description:

Mission Pine Spring Camp is a beautiful little camp located in a pine/oak grove, next to a small meadow, surrounded by rock outcrops, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands from nearly 6,000 ft.  Nuff said, right?  One of the nicest camps in the forest, MPS (as it it frequently written) is a long hike from the nearest trailhead at Cachuma Saddle but is well worth the effort for those heading out on a multi-day packing trip.  The camp has year-round water at the nearby spring, a table, one fire ring and views that go on for days and days.  Truly one of the best places to watch the sunrise in the forest.

Survey Photos:


  • Shaddus Maximus - 11-25-2014

  • Paul Cronshaw - 03-28-2015
    Spike camp for Mission Pine Trail Project

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-25-2015

  • Paul Cronshaw - 11-21-2015
    Hazard tree leaning over spring

  • Paul Cronshaw - 11-21-2015
    Campsite

  • Paul Cronshaw - 11-21-2015
    Stock trough

  • Paul Cronshaw - 11-21-2015
    Pool located 1/4 mile below camp

  • Paul Cronshaw - 11-21-2015
    Water can be filtered from this small pool near camp

  • Curt Cragg - 06-20-2016
    Large tree--had to re-route the trail at this point.

  • Curt Cragg - 06-20-2016
    Larger tree cut and cleared

  • Curt Cragg - 06-20-2016
    Had to leave this one until next time

Submitted Camp Reports

Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 08-24-2017 - by Nate
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 08-24-2017
Surveyor Name:Nate
Camp Description:This is a beautiful camp only hampered by the amount of flies. I had the camp to myself for a night, but it was obvious that hunters had been there recently by the blood left on the rocks and table. But kudos to everyone for leaving little trash, making it a pretty clean camp. What I did not expect to see in the area was redwood trees that dot the area around the camp. The views were better on the trail coming into camp than at the camp itself, but it was secluded and beautiful. There are also a ton of great rock formations and giant pines that really make this area different than most other parts of the Los Padres. One of a kind. It is a long hike with a place to water at Mckinly Springs if you hike from the Cachuma Saddle, but it is worth it. Just make sure you bring enough water storage per person in the dry months.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:The water was a decent trickle, clean, clear and cool. There was water at camp and about 1/4 mile further up the trail
Weather Conditions:Hot, windy and dry. About 95
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 04-15-2017 - by Terry Jarrett
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 04-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Terry Jarrett
Camp Description:Trail and campsite in good condition. One downed tree across the trail between San Rafael Mountain and the campsite is easily bypassed.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:6 liters per minute from the spring. Good quality. Nearby creeks also are flowing.
Weather Conditions:Clear and temperate.
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 10-02-2016 - by Sebastian
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 10-02-2016
Surveyor Name:Sebastian
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good water flow, basin refilled much faster than we could filter
Weather Conditions:
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 07-10-2016 - by James
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 07-10-2016
Surveyor Name:James
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good water
Weather Conditions:hot & sunny
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 06-20-2016 - by Curt Cragg
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 06-20-2016
Surveyor Name:Curt Cragg
Camp Description:Mission Pine Spring Crosscut Project
Hiked from McKinley Saddle to Mission Pine Spring to clear downed trees as reported in previous surveys.  There were 5 trees down from McKinley saddle to the MP Spring camp.  Four were cleared, two required re-routes including one that was cut to allow for a larger opening for the re-route.  We were unable to cut the large tree that is down about 1/4 mile east of the camp.  We did clean up the trail around it.
Camp was in great condition.  Ferns have re-grown making it a little hard to find the trail out of the camp toward MP Basin, but tread can be found.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Spring is flowing and good water in the basin.
Weather Conditions:Weather was clear and temps in the mid 70's
Images:

Large tree--had to re-route the trail at this point.

Larger tree cut and cleared


Had to leave this one until next time
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 05-29-2016 - by Duane Waite
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 05-29-2016
Surveyor Name:Duane Waite
Camp Description:Rate of flow is 1-2 liters per minute. However the pipe has either fallen out or has been pulled out 

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Flowing Well But Pipe Missing
Weather Conditions:Windy and cool
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 05-21-2016 - by Terry Jarrett
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 05-21-2016
Surveyor Name:Terry Jarrett
Camp Description:Several downed trees across the trail between McKinley Saddle and the San Rafael Mountain ridge are minor impediments. Trail and campsite in good condition.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:2 liters per minute from the spring. Good quality. Creeks are dry except a few pools of standing water.
Weather Conditions:Windy, cloudy & cool.
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 11-21-2015 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 11-21-2015
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:Campsite was in good condition. Water present. Two shovels and loppers are leaning against the tree.  Fire pit in good condition. 
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Original source is dry. There is a small sandy basin with clean water and a stock trough. Best source is creek 1/4 mile below camp.
Weather Conditions:Clear, sunny, 70s', no wind
Images:

Hazard tree leaning over spring

Campsite


Stock trough

Pool located 1/4 mile below camp


Water can be filtered from this small pool near camp
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 05-25-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 05-25-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:The Zaca Fire continues to cause issues within the burn perimeter.  LPFA project to remove a hazard leaner tree at Mission Pine Spring Camp.  The tree was felled safely.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Good water flowing from the spring and through the pipe
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 05-02-2015 - by Hike Los Padres
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 05-02-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike Los Padres
Camp Description:Good water at Mission Pine Spring.  None at Mission Pine Basin.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 03-28-2015 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 03-28-2015
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:Staying in this campsite is a similar experience to being in the Sierras.  There is a table, large fire pit and tools for keeping the camp clean. A primitive toilet is located 25 yards up the hill. Lots of places to explore off trail.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Water is flowing from pipe that collects it from the spring.
Weather Conditions:Sunny; Temps is 70s during the day
Images:

Spike camp for Mission Pine Trail Project
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 11-25-2014 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 11-25-2014
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:Fantastic campsite!
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good water flow in the spring a hundred yards or so below the campsite.
Weather Conditions:Warm but windy overnight.
Images:

Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 09-29-2014 - by bardley
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 09-29-2014
Surveyor Name:bardley
Camp Description:Work party felled a number of hazard trees. Be mindful of existing hazard tree over spring. FIre ring and picnic table present. A great destination spot.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:fills liter bottle in < 15 seconds.
Weather Conditions:70s daytime, low to mid 50s at night.
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 09-26-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 09-26-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:Toejam Report
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:The spring pipe filled a quart bottle in 27 seconds and there was a small pool of water in the grassy area below.
Weather Conditions:
Mission Pine Springs Camp Survey - 09-26-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Mission Pine Springs Camp
Date: 09-26-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Mission Pine Spring is a monster: I filled my two liter Platypus bottle in 45 seconds. I actually dumped it and timed it a second time to make sure I wasn't just imagining things.
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Monday, January 4, 2016

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