Colsun Canyon Open?

California

Is Colsun Canyon open? It looks like you can ride there with a red sticker? Are there any open areas for little kids to ride? Thanks.

If you mean Colson Canyon in Santa Barbara county, no it is not open. I have been checking in with the forest service for the last 2 years and keep getting a similar response of "2 more months" or "the road is washed out." They keep posting new notices on the sign at Tepesquet rd with new "scheduled to be opened" dates and then nothing happens. Instead of cutting the "washed out" road, they spent their budget on yet another new gate that is closer to the paved road and more signage saying "closed." The current sign says May 1st, but it is still not open. Even if it were open, you must be street legal until you reach the bottom of Rattlesnake canyon, and the area does have red sticker closures. Rockfront Ranch on hwy 166 reopened this past Saturday and is right around the corner and IS open to red sticker.

Cool. Thank you. We may check it this weekend. Are there open areas kids can ride, or just trails? Can you get in with 2 wheel drive okay? See you out there!

Like was said it's best to call and ask before heading there. The Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) are here http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72DTUE8TAwjQL8h2VAQAMtzFUw!!/?ss=110507&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSM9_034094&navid=360000000000000&position=Feature*&ttype=detailfull&pname=Los%20Padres%20National%20Forest-%20Maps%20&%20Publications

There are no open areas at all there. It's just the trials and the few dirt roads that are open to OHV. With the travel management plans the zones for play riding are pretty muck confined to a few open areas in the desert and a very small number of forest spots. It's almost all trails only now.

yes it is easily accessed in a car up to at least the third staging area, I have done EVERY 4wd trail there in 2wd (mind you in a truck with a locking differential and 37" tires) so with a bit of luck you can go everywhere there in 2wd. The only open spots for the chillins' to putt around are going to be at campsites or staging area's, but they can ride the main road which is maintained and has recently been cut. If you stay on the main road and then turn right towards the Buck spring camp, you will find the best (IMO) flat/open area for the kids with the least worry of getting run over. Here is a map: http://www.image-hosting.net/images/messageboard/NAXC/Rock-Font-OHV-Area.jpg trail 22 (Shaw ridge) is the only one that may prove difficult for an intermediate rider and even then, it would only be the very last descent into cable corral (the legal route also requires you to ride back UP the same way.)

Happy riding!

I spoke to the Santa Lucia Ranger District regarding Colson Canyon a few days ago actually (I've been holding my breath for this place to open up since the La Brea fire) and it doesn't look good long term.

It was initially closed after the fire with minimal damage to the landscape. I contacted Lloyd McWilliams who oversees Colson Canyon and got a copy of the official BAER trail assesment from him complete with photos. Almost all of the lush greenery that was there is completely gone (photos were dated 10/20/2009) but the trails didn't look too bad.

Now the ranger district is claiming the road into Colson Cyn has completely washed out. I'm not sure where they're talking about but I assume it's the ridge part of the road right before you drop down into the canyon. The unofficial ETA for it re-opening is now "Geez, with the amount of work required to fix the road we'll most likely have to apply for a grant. It will probably be a while." In ranger district language that usually means NEVER.

I too have been waiting and inquiring about the opening date. :thumbsup:

As for the Rattlesnake Canyon washout, there is another way in to Colson. It is from Miranda Pine Rd. It is a longer drive/ride to get into the OHV section of Colson, but it should be open.

Wonder what the problem is from this end?:confused:

I too have been waiting and inquiring about the opening date. :thumbsup:

As for the Rattlesnake Canyon washout, there is another way in to Colson. It is from Miranda Pine Rd. It is a longer drive/ride to get into the OHV section of Colson, but it should be open.

Wonder what the problem is from this end?:confused:

Negative batman. You can drive from 166 up to Miranda Pines and all the way to Mcpherson Peak, but the fork across from the Miranda Pines campground that leads back towards La Brea canyon (what most people are referring to when they talk about "Colson") has been and still remains locked. The 4 rangers that I spoke with 2 weeks ago while at Pozo all continued insisting that the road through the canyon was completely non existant and they kept beating around the bush (like they did with SBMX) as to when or how they planned on making it passable. A little birdie confirmed that the road is completely passable by 4wd and motorcycles from the Miranda Pines side at least up to the Buckhorn ridge trail (trail heads for Bear canyon and horseshoe spring switchbacks along with the upper portion of Kerry) yet the gate remains locked.

The shelf road leading down to the bottom of Rattlesnake canyon is also intact which leaves the section between there and Wagon Flats in question. This section of road was nearly 50% in the creek bed on a good year so I'm sure it is all but washed away making it IMPASSABLE FOR A CAR but I see no reason to restrict 4wd's and motorcycle's from passing through? Anyone care to volunteer to mountain bike/ hike/ horseback through and post up? Those are our only legal options for passing through, but it sure would be nice to know what we are up against and possibly gain some inside knowledge that could help our argument for reopening.

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