Rattlesnake Canyon Watershed

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Where does the water in Rattlesnake Canyon come from? The creek seems to have more water, and flow year round, compared to other hiking canyons in the area. Is there a tunnel like Coldspring? Or is there just more run off area that feeds the creek? 

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PitMix Sep 21, 2020 01:00 PM
Rattlesnake Canyon Watershed

Water infiltrates that falls on the mountains and migrates vertically until it hits a fracture system in the bedrock, then follows the fractures to come out lower down as a spring. There used to be be more springs along the foothills but the tunnels they drilled for transporting the water from Cachuma and Gibraltar intercepted a bunch of them and dried them up. The editor of the News Press owned ranch land up there and was a big supporter of Cachuma even though he knew the project would affect his water supply. This is back in the day when when public figures actually did things beneficial to the public. So the rattlesnake canyon water is spring water coming out of the fractured system in the mountains above SB.

qmc Sep 21, 2020 11:03 AM
Rattlesnake Canyon Watershed

The main water channel goes nearby the old Sunburst Farms complex. You can hike up the stream bed, but there's a dicey area that's pretty vertical. A car wreck was still in the creek just below Gibraltar Rd when I last went up there, probably 20 years ago. During the dry season, water flow is from springs.

Davy Brown Sep 21, 2020 10:17 AM
Rattlesnake Canyon Watershed

Rattlesnake Cyn creek does not always run year-round above ground, in the recent drought it was dry months-long. However, it has more water than some of the other frontcountry intermittent streams. Great link SBLife, thanks! There is a significant spring not far from Tin Shack Meadow that has always trickled in my 40 years hiking "the Snake", but it can go back beneath the surface long before reading the road at Skofield Park. Check out the amazing grape vine up by the meadow, too.

SBLIFE Sep 20, 2020 12:44 PM
Rattlesnake Canyon Watershed

This tool is REALLY cool once you figure it out. Basically you click a point, and it will show you that point's watershed. Have fun! https://streamstats.usgs.gov/ss/

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