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Finding Fire Crags
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ralimar


Aug 22, 2005, 3:23 PM
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Registered: Jul 28, 2005
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Finding Fire Crags  (North_America: United_States: California: Santa_Barbara_County: Fire_Crags)
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I went and found these crags this weekend, after quite a bit of effort. The "Trail" and "5 minute hike" in the directions are very deceiving. The "Trail" is actually a runoff ditch that goes down the side of the mountain, is very steep, and filled with loose rocks. When you reach the bottom, there is no more trail, and you have to fight your way uphill through brush and more loose rocks to make it to the crags. If intend to go climbing here, bring a machete with you, or else it'll take you 30 minutes+ to make it from the road to the crags.


thinksinpictures


Aug 22, 2005, 3:31 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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I'll grant that the approach is a little rougher than the guidebooks suggest, but that's to be expected given that they were written prior to the horrendous rainy season that we've been through. Every downhill trail in the area has turned into a runoff ditch, and the vegetation (poison oak included) has been out of control.

That being said, there is no way that it ought to take you "30 minutes+" to get to the crag. I got lost the first time was there (in spring, when the veg was even thicker), and it took maybe 15. I can do it now in 10 or less, even if I bring a crash pad to lay on.

I've never taken a machete, but for almost any local crag I'd recommend dropping by Osh and picking up a $10 pair of snippers.


deadpointman


Aug 22, 2005, 4:17 PM
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Registered: Apr 20, 2003
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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The hike to the Fire Crags may be more like ten minutes, but once you figure it out, it's not that bad. I haven't been there in a while but it doesn't surprise me that the trail is overgrown and hard to find. Indeed, after the heavy winter rains, plant growth has been rapid, so clippers are a must on any trail that hasn't yet been pruned back. Hopefully your next trip is a little less aggravating. :lol:


sbwyliedog


Aug 22, 2005, 4:19 PM
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Registered: May 17, 2002
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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I think you went down the run off ditch/gully, not the trail to Fire Crags. It really is ~5min approach and the trail is just fine. As you step off from the side of the road into the top of the gully, look to the right for the trail. It's within the first few feet from the top of the gully.


cloudbreak


Aug 22, 2005, 4:50 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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You can see the tops of the two outcrops from the parking area. The trail basically side hills to the upper one.

Did you drive all the way from Orange County just to go to this place?


ralimar


Aug 22, 2005, 6:51 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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I'm doing a show in Santa Barbara, so I'm there on weekends and that was the closest place that I could find. Someone who lives on Painted Cave Road showed me the trail. And when I made it to the boulders, I climbed up top and tried to spot an easier path, but couldn't spot a trail anywhere. I'd love to know that there really is a 5 minute trail and somehow I just couldn't find it. I was planning on going again Sunday morning with a few friends. Would anyone be interested in going with us?


vincent


Aug 22, 2005, 7:18 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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Do yourself a favor and check out some other climbing areas in santa barbara . for those who are curious fire crag is a 30 foot high boulder with bolts every 4 feet or so . check out Gibraltar rock which has about a 2 minute walkng approach or maybe cold springs dome . or if you wanna drive a few more miles check out San Ysidro Canyon . Great climbing next to a stream . please... do your climbing friends a favor and don't take them to fire crags........


ryrock


Aug 22, 2005, 8:02 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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Fire Crags is a bit like a highball boulder with a bad landing, but it is a REALLY short drive from SB if you're looking to toprope/sport. It can be fun. Gibralter is, as mentioned, super rad and totally aesthetic (bring sunscreen)

The approach is probably 10 minutes but I've heard of a lot of people going the wrong way and wandering around for an hour.

Fyi, a buddy got snapped at by a baby rattler the other day that he awoke from a peaceful slumber. Keep an eye out. Usually quite a few rattlers around the hills but very few incidents. This baby was just agro.


ralimar


Aug 23, 2005, 8:28 PM
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Thanks for the help, guys! I'll drive out to Gibraltar this weekend and hopefully will also get to visit SY the following weekend.


zionvier


Feb 13, 2006, 3:08 PM
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Saddly, I did the same thing trying to find this place. The book says "Hike West", which is straight down the run off ditch. I wish someone would take a picture of the entrance of the trail and/or a picture from the road below, then just use Paintbrush to draw where to go. I spent over an hour hiking around down there, managed to find only two top rope bolts and more cuts on my arms and legs than that guy in the movie Saw.


mdlb21


Feb 13, 2006, 3:18 PM
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Re: Finding Fire Crags [In reply to]
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If you hike down the ditch and look to your right about 30 ft down you will see a trail that splits to your right. Follow that and it will take you right to the higher to the two rocks.


zionvier


Feb 13, 2006, 3:31 PM
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Registered: Mar 17, 2003
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Yeah, I went more like 300 feet down and then to the right. It's seems like one of the closest sport routes near me so I'll keep trying to find it. The pull off will barely hold two cars though.


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