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Zaca Peak Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 7.00 Miles

Located in the Figueroa Mountain area. The trail follows a ridge top west from the Zaca Peak Road. The west end of the trail drops down to the privately-owned Zaca Lake Resort. Unobstructed views of the Santa Ynez Valley and Zaca Lake basin are found along this route. This trail may be hard to locate since the 1995 Marre Fire.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 30W18
  • Wilderness Area: Non Wilderness Area
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Lucia Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 34.77907
  • Trail-head Longitude: -120.03683
  • Trail Condition: Kind of Good - Little to no bushwacking and easily followable
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Day Hiking
    • Horseback Riding
    • Mountain Biking
    • Panoramic Views
    • Wildlife Viewing

Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 2021 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 2405 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 20 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 16 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)
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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:

  • M. Jones - 10-07-2017

  • M. Jones - 10-07-2017

  • M. Jones - 10-07-2017

  • FP - 11-02-2017

  • FP - 11-02-2017

  • FP - 11-02-2017

  • FP - 11-02-2017

  • Erin C. - 02-01-2018

  • Erin C. - 02-01-2018

  • Erin C. - 02-01-2018

  • Erin C. - 02-01-2018

Submitted Trail Reports

Zaca Peak Trail Survey - 02-01-2018 - by Erin C.
Link: Zaca Peak Trail
Date: 02-01-2018
Surveyor Name:Erin C.
Trail description:We tried to hike this trail from the top down from the Catway fire road, but only first half mile or so is doable. After that, there is a sign saying "Zaca Ridge Trail. Trail maintained by SBCOF.org  I tried a google search for them, but I could not find who SBCOF.org actually is?  Anyways, the trail gets really overgrown after that sign, so we turned around and go to the top of a  no name peak that is the peak right west of Zaca Peak (a trail up to that peak was visible and passable).  

This trail could be a very beautiful hike, but it looks like a forgotten trail for sure.  
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow

Beginning of trail from the top is "ok".

This is where we turned around.

Trail marker where trail meets the Catway road.

Zaca Ridge Trail sign
Zaca Peak Trail Survey - 11-02-2017 - by FP
Link: Zaca Peak Trail
Date: 11-02-2017
Surveyor Name:FP
Trail description:I hiked from the end of the road at Zaca Peak down to Zaca Lake.  The dirt road leading to the parking spot next to Zaca Peak from the Figueroa Mtn, turnoff is long and bumpy.  I parked my car in the parking area next to Zaca Peak, where the road ends.  There is a great view from there. The trails starts off clear enough.  About 1-2 miles from where you leave your 
car, there is a fork where I put a sign I found in the overgrown area of the trail, lying on the ground.  It has an arrow pointing towards Zaca Ridge trail..  The trail is quite overgrown  through this area until it starts descending towards Zaca Lake.  From here on, the trail becomes very hard to follow.  It is clearly abandoned, much like many of the buildings in Zaca Lake, although I think they still rent their cabins to groups. (Online reviews of those cabins and management leave much to be desired -- too bad; someone should buy this place and return it to its original charm.)

Because the trail is so overgrown, contact with poison oak is just about inevitable. It's all over the place.

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Hard to follow
Condition details:Overgrown, hard to follow

View of Zaca Lake from Zaca Ridge trail

What's left of the Zaca Lodge after 2016 fire

Lucho taking a break

Zaca Peak Trail Survey - 10-07-2017 - by M. Jones
Link: Zaca Peak Trail
Date: 10-07-2017
Surveyor Name:M. Jones
Trail description:

Hiked down the Zaca Peak trail from the north side off the Old Catway Jeep Road across from the Sulphur Spring trial head. Trail needs some work, there is a down tree crossing trail about  a 1/4 mile down the trial (@ N  34.779959°, W 120.019119°) that needs to be cut and another tree just past that location which fell over with its root ball blocking the trail at the junction where the trail heads west (@ N  34.779959°, W 120.019119°). Trails need a re-route around the fallen tree or saw cut and reconstruction.  Trail down from ridge is narrow and overgrown in places, lopper work and water bars are needed.

No water flowing at “Zaca Spring”, this spring is unnamed on topo-map and is impounded with spring box. 

Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work

View west from trail

Tree blocking trail

"Zaca Spring" box. No flowing water

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Questions or Comments

Last Updated: Monday, February 29, 2016

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L.P.N.F. Contacts »

  • Forest Headquarters
    Phone: (805) 968-6640
  • Mt. Pinos District
    Phone: (661) 245-3731
  • Ojai Ranger District
    Phone: (805) 646-4348
  • Santa Barbara District
    Phone: (805) 967-3481
  • Santa Lucia District
    Phone: (805) 925-9538
  • Monterey District
    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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