** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: Santa Barbara County, about 20 miles north of Goleta in the San Rafael Mountain Range, 135 miles from Los Angeles
|Auto Club||Santa Barbara County|
|Forest Service||Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts|
|USGS Topos||San Rafael Mtn 7½, Figueroa Mtn 7½|
|Official HPS Maps
||TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!|
| ||Viewable JPG file - Approximately 420K|
| ||GPX file or Google Earth KML file to
download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)|
| ||Routes as shown on
CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)|
Nearby Peaks: Santa Cruz Peak, San Rafael Mountain
Printable version of this route
(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
- Distance: 18 miles round trip on road and firebreak
- Gain: 3100'
- Time: 10 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Original: Howland Bailey, January 1968
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Take US 101 to just west of Santa Barbara. Turn north on SR 154.
- Continue north and then west about 22 miles past Lake Cachuma, to
Armour Ranch Road on the right. Turn right, note your odometer and go as
- At 1.3 miles, fork with Happy Canyon Road on the right. Turn right.
- At 12.9 miles, Cachuma Campground.
- At 15.3 miles, Cachuma Saddle and a ranger station on the left. Park
in the large parking lot south of the ranger station.
Sometimes Happy Canyon Road is closed by a slide. In this case, continue
farther west on SR 154 to the town of Los Olivos and then go north on
Figueroa Mountain Road, which joins Happy Canyon Road at Cachuma
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (3100'), cross the highway and hike in on
28W01, a dirt road to the east, 7 1/2 miles to McKinley Spring at 5600'.
The spring is below the road on the left. This is a good camping spot.
- Hike 1/2 mile farther east on 28W01 to the saddle between McKinley and
San Rafael. This is also the turnoff for
Cruz Peak and San Rafael Mountain.
- Turn right
(west) and go up a firebreak 1/2 mile to the summit.
McKinley Mountain, Santa Cruz Peak, and
San Rafael Mountain are together known as "The
Big Three". They are normally done as a two day backpack. Water is
usually available at McKinley Spring though it should be treated.
experienced a major fire in 1994. The routes to McKinley and
were not affected. The fire dramatically changed the vegetation on
Santa Cruz Peak.
The last portion of the climbing route to this peak has been
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.