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Grapevine Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 5.39 Miles

The Grapevine Trail is located in the southern San Rafael Wilderness and connects the Santa Cruz Trail to the Buckhorn Road at Bluff Cabin.  There are a few stories as to how the Grapevine Trail got its name.  One legend states that it was named after a grapevine plant which once grew at the Murietta Spring along the trail. Another story says it got its name based on how the trail meanders and rolls from drainage to drainage, sort of like a grapevine clings to support, dangles and clings to support.

The Grapevine Trail is commonly used as part of a 3-4 day loop involving the Santa Cruz Trail and Poplar Trail (upper Indian Creek) but can also be linked into loops coming down from Mission Pine and Big Pine Mountain.  The highlight of the trail are the tremendous views of West Big Pine which towers along the northern horizon of the trail.  There is reliable water in Grapevine Creek.

Grapevine Trail Condition
The Grapevine Trail is in relatively great shape at the moment.  The trail was worked in 2011 and 2012 as part of an extended LPFA working vacation trail project.  It has also seen some CCC activity and a few tree clearing projects over the past few years.  While the trail is not frequently backpacked, due to its close proximity to Bluff Cabin it does see a good amount of Volunteer Wilderness Ranger projects.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 27W10
  • Wilderness Area: San Rafael
  • County: Santa Barbara County
  • Ranger District: Santa Barbara Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 34.67448
  • Trail-head Longitude: -119.66868
  • Trail Condition: Good - Trail is easy to follow and is in good shape
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness Camping

Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 2666 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 2175 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 12 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 11 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

Pelch (3311 feet)

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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-10-2015

  • Los Padres Forest Association - 05-10-2015

Submitted Trail Reports

Grapevine Trail Survey - 05-10-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Grapevine Trail
Date: 05-10-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:LPFA led a quick project to clear the first mile of the Grapevine Trail from the Buckhorn Rd down to the first creek crossing.  Looking good!
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow

Leave A Trail Report

Survey / Report Form - Please click this box to open the form.

Comments (2)

    Hiked through here as part of three day backpack trip.  Trail was great.  Saw a bear.
    Author's website: www.LPForest.org
    The trail is in really good shape with very few issues. The only problems are that the trail is getting overgrown again at the Murietta Grapevine Spring, which will need to be reworked just about every year. There is one 14" downed tree between Pelch and Lower Grapevine and 4 downed trees (16-24") in the canyon flats at the bottom of the first hill after you leave Bluff Camp heading west. Otherwise the trail is holding up nicely after all the work that was done last year during an LPFA Working Vacation.
    Author's website: lpforest.org

Questions or Comments

Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2016

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    Phone: (805) 968-6640
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    Phone: (661) 245-3731
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    Phone: (805) 967-3481
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    Phone: (805) 925-9538
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    Phone: (831) 385-5434
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