A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam title=
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam
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By SB Pat

We went for a long run on Sunday, from the Red Rock day-use area, and thought readers might enjoy a few pictures of Gibraltar Dam and the surrounding area, so, with that in mind, here they are.  The reservoir seems fairly full, the creeks and river are running and the hills are turning green.  It is about 3 miles from the parking area to the dam, and another couple of miles to the Sunbird mine.  Beautiful day in the backcountry.

First good look at the backcountry, after leaving the Red Rock parking area on Gibraltar Road (above photo).

Gibraltar Dam and reservoir:


Closer to the dam:

Looking back, from near where Gibraltar Trail diverges from Gibraltar Road:


This way to the abandoned Sunbird mercury mine:


Looking over the abandoned mine machinery and debris:


The mine entrance, secured with steel bars (and a bat warning sign):

The upper reaches of the reservoir, where the water gives way to vegetation:

A look back along the reservoir, from the shallow end:


Minor bouldering on the trail:

So nice to see water in the Santa Ynez River, complete with deep pools:


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EastBeach Jan 22, 2022 08:52 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

We went out there today. Fantastic weather for MTB riding and hiking. The lake level is definitely higher than last spring (obvious when you cross the mouth of Gidney Creek). But there's still a substantial bathtub ring and the Santa Ynez wasn't running above ground. The only crossing with much water was the one at Live Oak (as usual). Only saw one group of hikers on the high road. Most folks were down on the low road along the river/pools. There was a city truck at the dam keeper's house which then headed up the switchbacks to Angostura pass (gate is up at Camino Cielo). Enjoy your public lands and pack out what you pack in.

biguglystick Jan 18, 2022 10:34 AM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

LOVE it! I haven't been up there in years! Gotta get back out there. Thanks.

Lucky 777 Jan 18, 2022 09:49 AM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

What fun that now there is ANOTHER PAT reporting on trail adventures! Feet and hooves, we share the wilds! I have never heard of this trail, but I will take TobeMule there soon and report back what it looks like from our viewpoint through the long ears! And I hope even more EdHatters will start posting their adventures exploring our wonderful "world class tourist destination" that has so much to offer locals.

Sail380 Jan 18, 2022 02:58 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

Enjoy the ride, be carful with the equines. Its a super highway for speeding mountain bikes, hikers and runners.

EastBeach Jan 17, 2022 09:45 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

Thanks for sharing your photos. I haven't ridden to the mine since last spring. Are all the river crossings open? Also curious how much water there was in Gidney Creek?

ginger1 Jan 17, 2022 01:10 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

Thanks for the memories! Great pics. It's been a while since I've hiked (or more recently, mountain biked ) to the mine. Once got to bike across what was the lake. That was weird. So nice to see water in there again. I can't wait for the spring wildflowers to bloom! Actually, I wont wait ;-)

a-1642510133 Jan 18, 2022 04:48 AM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

(1:14 here, whispering: Ginger, I know. No discussion! Just wanted you to see it)

ginger1 Jan 17, 2022 06:22 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

Thanks. Great piece by Arnold S. But wrong place for that discussion. I will try to start one that addresses this important issue.

a-1642454095 Jan 17, 2022 01:14 PM
A Trip to the Gibraltar Dam

Ginger, I thought of you when I read this:

I sure hope I don't pay more than I ever did pre-solar!

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