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Potrero Camp South Los Padres National Forest

  • Camp Type:
  • Topo Map Link: Bald Mountain
  • Elevation: 1660 feet
  • Wilderness Area: San Rafael
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Lucia Ranger District
  • Longitude: -119.9566917
  • Latitude: 34.77869502
  • Water Sources: Seasonal Manzana Creek is located just a few steps from camp.
  • Length of Stay: 14 Days
  • Activities & Features:
    • Camping
    • Trails
    • Hiking
    • Equestrian

Recent Water Reports:

Date Surveyor Water Report
06-01-2017Forrest Flowing
04-15-2017NateFlowing
03-26-2017Shaddus Maximus Flowing
01-22-2017Josh IsaacFlowing
01-15-2017Coyote DaveFlowing
05-25-2016Anonymous SurveyorFlowing
05-22-2016JamesFlowing
05-11-2016Paul CronshawFlowing
04-17-2016James WapotichFlowing
12-27-2015Anonymous SurveyorDry
04-10-2015Tim MolloyTrickle
11-22-2014Bryan ConantDry
08-31-2014Los Padres Forest AssociationDry

Description:

Potrero Camp is located on the Lower Manzana Trail downstream from NIRA.  The camp is situated at the junction of Manzana and Potrero Trails.  There are two campsites, the first just before the first creek crossing and the second camp is about 100 yards downstream from the Potrero Trail junction.  Both campsites have new tables, fire rings and are close to the creek.  The name Potrero is Spanish for  meadow and the camp and trail are most likely named after the beautiful Negus Meadow, which is located a few miles up the Potrero Trail towards the Hurricane Deck. 

While Potrero Camp is the first camp coming down from NIRA, it is probably the least used as well.  Most people pass through Potrero on their way to preferable camps down-canyon.  That being said, there is nothing wrong with Potrero Camp.  The Manzana does dry up at Potrero Camp, so check recent water reports before starting your hike.  The combination of white pines, manzanitas and sycamores with views of the impressive Deck make Potrero a great destination for either a quick overnighter or a lunch stop.  

Survey Photos:


  • Bryan Conant - 11-22-2014
    Lower campground table and setup

  • Bryan Conant - 11-22-2014
    View looking down at Potrero Camp from the Potrero Trail

  • Bryan Conant - 11-22-2014
    Potrero Camp sign at upper campsite

  • Bryan Conant - 11-22-2014
    Downed sycamore between the two camps, it is passable

  • Paul Cronshaw - 05-11-2016
    Crossing Manzana at Potrero Camp

  • Paul Cronshaw - 05-11-2016
    Upper Potrero Campsite

  • Josh Isaac - 01-22-2017

  • Josh Isaac - 01-22-2017

  • Josh Isaac - 01-22-2017

  • Forrest - 06-01-2017
    Creek at Potrero: first crossing

  • Forrest - 06-01-2017
    Creek at Potrero: first crossing

Submitted Camp Reports

Potrero Camp Survey - 06-01-2017 - by Forrest
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 06-01-2017
Surveyor Name:Forrest
Camp Description:

It was a bit hot (low 90s) but plenty of shade at camp.  We stayed in the first of the two campsites.  We saw about a dozen or so people throughout our trip headed to camps further along like Coldwater or School House.  Some deer and raccoon tracks along the creek bank.  Other campers say they saw cat tracks around the Coldwater camp ground.  We saw only quail, hawks, frogs, lizards and plenty of water/garter snakes. 

Day hiked upstream for while, in the creek. The water was mostly ankle-deep but there were isolated pools here and there that you could dip into. Poison  Oak is everywhere as always.

Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:There were two pools that were knee to waist high at Potrero, neither stagnant although there looked like they were going to be in a few weeks time
Weather Conditions:Thursday was mid 70s down to mid 60s; perfect. Friday and Saturday was noticeably hotter during the day, low 90s.
Images:

Creek at Potrero: first crossing

Creek at Potrero: first crossing
Potrero Camp Survey - 04-15-2017 - by Nate
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 04-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Nate
Camp Description:Passed through the camp heading towards the School House. Camp looked to be in good shape
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Good, clean
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 03-26-2017 - by Shaddus Maximus
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 03-26-2017
Surveyor Name:Shaddus Maximus
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 01-22-2017 - by Josh Isaac
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 01-22-2017
Surveyor Name:Josh Isaac
Camp Description:Visited during a dry spell between storms -- the storm had toppled a tree in camp. It fell on the table and over the campfire ring. Needs removal and table needs repair.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Beast mode! Thigh high, strong current.
Weather Conditions:High 40s, had just stormed
Images:




Potrero Camp Survey - 01-15-2017 - by Coyote Dave
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 01-15-2017
Surveyor Name:Coyote Dave
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Manzana was boot to calf deep at crossing
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 05-25-2016 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 05-25-2016
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:clear and clean if you don't stir up the silt
Weather Conditions:70 and clear
Potrero Camp Survey - 05-22-2016 - by James
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 05-22-2016
Surveyor Name:James
Camp Description:Good water at Potrero camp
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Manzana is flowing nicely
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 05-11-2016 - by Paul Cronshaw
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 05-11-2016
Surveyor Name:Paul Cronshaw
Camp Description:Both campsites are in good condition.  A large tree has fallen across the creek; it makes for a nice bridge for hikers with good balance. A rock hop can also be done below the fallen tree.
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:Ankle deep
Weather Conditions:Rain ; 60s
Images:

Crossing Manzana at Potrero Camp

Upper Potrero Campsite
Potrero Camp Survey - 04-17-2016 - by James Wapotich
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 04-17-2016
Surveyor Name:James Wapotich
Camp Description:Good water, great swimhole
Water Source:Flowing
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 12-27-2015 - by Anonymous Surveyor
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 12-27-2015
Surveyor Name:Anonymous Surveyor
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:
Potrero Camp Survey - 04-10-2015 - by Tim Molloy
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 04-10-2015
Surveyor Name:Tim Molloy
Camp Description:Camp is in good condition.
Water Source:Trickle
Water Source Details:Decent amount of water at camp, but not sure how much longer it'll be there.
Weather Conditions:Fair spring weather
Potrero Camp Survey - 11-22-2014 - by Bryan Conant
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 11-22-2014
Surveyor Name:Bryan Conant
Camp Description:Both camps were clean with new tables. There is one large passable sycamore tree that could be cut out of the trail between the two camps. NO WATER! NONE. Trees were beautiful!
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:No water
Weather Conditions:
Images:

Lower campground table and setup

View looking down at Potrero Camp from the Potrero Trail


Potrero Camp sign at upper campsite

Downed sycamore between the two camps, it is passable
Potrero Camp Survey - 08-31-2014 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Potrero Camp
Date: 08-31-2014
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Camp Description:
Water Source:Dry
Water Source Details:
Weather Conditions:

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Last Updated: Monday, January 4, 2016

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