Manzana Creek to Manzana Schoolhouse West (Lower)

Near Santa Ynez, California

Manzana Creek to Manzana Schoolhouse West (Lower) does not offer reservations through Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Manzana Schoolhouse is an old schoolhouse last used around 1901 when there was a small community living in the area. They once farmed along the Sisquoc River but several years of drought caused them to sell their land to the US Forest Service. The schoolhouse has been abandoned since then and ruins of their old homesteads can be found along the Sisquoc River. Dabney Cabin is an old hunting lodge from near the turn of the century and is a county historical landmark. The Manzana Schoolhouse makes a nice backpacking destination. There is a primitive campground there with picnic tables and a privy.

The Lower Manzana Trailhead is located on Sunset Valley Road, approximately 1.5 miles past Davy Brown Campground. This trailhead is very popular for a number of reasons, primarily because it is a portal to the San Rafael Wilderness. The Lower Manzana Trailhead leads to a historical schoolhouse, last used in 1901. In close proximity to the schoolhouse, one will also find a historical hunting lodge known as the Dabney Cabin. This trail is also very popular for backpackers and horseback riders, as there are many primitive campsites throughout the connecting trails. The parking area is in a wide turnout within 50 feet of the trailhead and accommodates between 12 to 15 vehicles. During heavy rainfalls, the trailhead may be inaccessible.

The Lower Manzana Trail intersects with the Sisquoc Trail and reaches the Sisquoc River near the Schoolhouse.

The trail is strenuous only because it is long and involves many river crossings druing the winter and spring that will get your feet wet. But the trail itself is quite level.

The terrain is remote and wild and the vegetation is sparse, but in the creekbed it is riparian and relatively lush and cool. In spring there are many wildflowers.

It is 14 miles round trip to Dabney Cabin.

It is 17 miles round trip to the schoolhouse.

Check for trail and water conditions