Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon

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Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon
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By Robert Bernstein

Alejandro Andreatta has been leading some of the most interesting Sierra Club hikes for many years. He is also an excellent photographer who taught me some key strategies that I use often.

This past weekend I joined Alejandro's Fir Canyon hike which starts at the Davy Brown Campground. It is a very steep climb in places, totalling 1700 feet. The hike goes for about three miles and ends at Figueroa Mountain Road. Most of the time it follows the creek.

Here are all my photos!

Campers were making breakfast at Davy Brown Campground when we arrived. We were a bit surprised that we had to pay a ten dollar day use fee just to hike the trail. This was half of the twenty dollar fee paid by the campers.

We had a pretty big group of thirteen hikers. Alejandro was very attentive to our needs. A good thing, because the rains have swollen the creek. There were five rather challenging stream crossings at the start (and a few more easy ones further up.)

Here Alejandro made sure people were able to cross OK. In my case, this involved giving me a hand and/or lending me one of his hiking poles. On the way down I found a stick that served me well at the crossings.

Most of the time we were hiking on one side of the creek or the other

About halfway on the hike we saw this lone glove at the foot of a tree

The rains have brought out plenty of moss to carpet the rocks

Quite a change after so many years of drought. The drought probably also helped cause a lot of fallen trees that we encountered

The first time I did this hike was in June 2003. The highlight of that hike was this swarm of lady bugs along the creek near the junction with the Munch Canyon Trail

I am sorry to say that this time there were just a few straggler lady bugs in that area.

Near that junction we did find this dedication to U.S. Forest Ranger Edgar B. Davison who built the Davy Brown trail in 1898-1899

Here are a few of the fir trees that give Fir Canyon its name

As we climbed out of the canyon toward Figueroa Mountain Road we came to a meadow on a hillside with these oak trees with no leaves

We also saw some of these shooting star flowers in the nearby meadow areas

After all that hiking and climbing it was a bit jarring to come to Figueroa Mountain Road! You mean we could have just driven there?
 
One of the hikers kindly took this photo of me with the spectacular backdrop behind

We took a break there for lunch

Some in the group climbed a bit higher onto a nearby ridge. In the distance we could see a patch of bright orange poppies along Figueroa Mountain Road

We then started back down the way we came. Here Alejandro led us along a somewhat precarious stretch past some beautiful crumbling rock

Down in the creek were some pools with fish. Can you see the fish distorted by the ripples of water?

This teacher from Midland School was helping to lead the students on a week long back packing trip through the area. We first saw them at the top at Figueroa Mountain Road

Here we passed under a fallen tree that seemed arranged for our passage

On the return we saw a beautiful vista that was at our backs on our ascent. That ridge of bare areas in the distance is Hurricane Deck

We posed for this group photo nearby

This baby Blue Belly fence lizard looked up at us as we finished the hike

On our drive out we saw this oddly abandoned vehicle with its airbags deployed. Campers at the campground said it had been there for weeks. By coincidence a ranger was tending to it as we passed by

We were very grateful to those who drove us out there as the road is quite rough and unpaved in places!

At http://www.santabarbarahikes.com/hikes/sierraclub/listing you can see all of the Sierra Club hike listings.

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sbrobert Apr 08, 2019 11:57 AM
Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon

Thank you BIGUGLYSTICK and FLICKA for the kind words. We are fortunate to have so many energetic Sierra Club volunteers. Conservation is not just about protecting what we have. It is also about being proactive on matters like sustainable energy and transportation.

Davy Brown Apr 06, 2019 01:12 PM
Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon

The wrecked and abandoned car in the last photograph has been there at least since March 24th when I passed by (friends and I checked inside since the air bags had been deployed: no people, no blood). When will the USFS get this road hazard off that road?? It's in a tricky spot.

Davy Brown Apr 06, 2019 01:07 PM
Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon

Gosh, Robert and all, you do NOT have to pay the $10 fee outrageously demanded by the Parks Management Co. (concessionaires) — just park OUTSIDE the cattle guard gate along the roadside: absolutely legal. Parks Mgt. fails to empty the dumpster at DB, lies about conditions at DB on their website, and wants to charge $30 for a site if you reserve it onlne; sorry you guys fell for their BS. Further, I've also never been charged for hiking up the Manzana out of nearby NIRA camp, not $10, no Adventure Pass, please catch up to the times.

Flicka Apr 05, 2019 06:37 PM
Sierra Club Hikes Fir Canyon

Beautiful hike, Robert. Thank you for taking us on an "armchair outing."

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