A California Campfire Permit is required if wanting to have a campfire or use a stove. Campfires are generally banned in the summer months and into the fall due to fire danger. No permit is required to enter or camp in the wilderness, so it is a good idea to sign the register.
Starting from the east end at White Ledge Camp on Manzana East Trail
, gather water if there is any because it is the last you'll see before coming off the Deck once more. The chaparral is thick as the trail winds upward, but not quite so dense as it is when the trail wraps around to the north side of the Deck. Except for a little low down, views are hard to come by until the trail takes to the spine and starts the rolling climb toward the high point.
About 5 miles along, the trail intersects with Lost Valley Trail
. This may be done with Manzana East Trail
and this eastern portion of Hurricane Deck to make a loop of about 20 miles. There is a spring that usually dribbles very slowly about 2 miles down Lost Valley Trail
, which is the closest the trail comes to water other than at the ends.
After another 4 miles or so, the trail passes around the north side of the peaks that are the high points of Hurricane Deck. The eastern one is probably higher, but they are very close. It is easy to take the off trail hike to the top of either one and make a game of trying to decide which is really the tallest.
The trail continues with less rolling as it drops away from the high points. In another 3 miles, give or take, the trail intersects Potrero Canyon Trail
. With this and Lost Valley Trail
, the middle section can be done as a loop of about 21 miles. This trail also represents the shortest on trail route to the high point.
It gets to dropping fairly quickly in the final 4 or so miles and it can be easy to miss the few switchbacks cut into the north side of the Deck that make the descent a little easier on the knees. Most important is to catch where the trail turns away from the ridge line to switchback down the north side through chaparral and oak savanna. If this turn is missed, the route deteriorates rapidly and becomes a rock scramble.
It ends at Sisquoc Trail about 0.25 mile from the Manzana Schoolhouse and Manzana Creek Trail
. These may be done with Potrero Canyon Trail
and the western section for a loop of about 22 miles. Some focus on the loops for day hikes or overnight backpacking trips, but for some there is nothing so pure as the challenge to take Hurricane Deck end to end.
For reports on the condition of trail, water sources, or camps, check on Hike Los Padres