Diamond in the Rough: Juncal

Juncal Road Signage

Another shuttered campground of the southern Los Padres, Juncal was at the junction of the Romero-Camuesa and Juncal roads, on the banks of the Santa Ynez. Blakley and Burtness both relate how it was once known as Bear Camp, and how this old spot — now little more than a pleasant oak-lined flat suitable for picnicking — was a CCC camp in 1935–36. In subsequent decades it was something of a mecca for amateur (and professional) geologists studying the nearby formations.

Juncal & Co., c. 1967

Juncal Campground Remains

Juncal camp once featured six sites, a pair of barbecue pits, and tables for its campers. Now, however, footings of the double latrine and an incongruous western juniper near the eastern edge of the flat are really all that is left to bear testament to its former use. It was closed in 2000 due to vandalism and as part of larger efforts to protect the habitat of the red-legged frog [or arroyo toad .. or both? — ed.].

Another diamond in the rough.

Cedar at Juncal


6 responses to “Diamond in the Rough: Juncal”

  1. I love the weathering on that trail sign! Reminds me of some of the old cabins up in the sierra.

    Not that it really matters too much, but I thought Juncal was closed because of the adjacent Arroyo Toad habitat rather than the red-legged frog. Anyway… Another great write-up; hope to team up on another hike with you soon.

    1. To be fair, it might be the toad. I’ve read reports that state both. Maybe I should just change it to “amphibians” …

      After the wood-routered (and wood-dowel) Haddock Mtn sign, I think the Juncal sign is my next fav, no doubt.

  2. It’s fitting that it was once named Bear Camp. The largest bear print I have ever seen in the LP was in (relatively) nearby Alder Creek just down from the camp. I was walking up the trail and happened to notice fresh lacerations carved deeply into the old wooden flume coming out of Alder Creek Cyn. It looked like Freddy Kruger attacked it. You could see the claw marks. I could clearly see teeth marks, as well, and I even brought home a sliver of the wood that had been ripped off to show my wife where the bear had chomped it. I then ventured on up the trail and in the middle of the path in a muddy section there was a massive print. That was about two years ago.

    1. Yes! In fact there seems to be some very recent damage by the resident Ursus shreddicflumicus in Alder Creek. See here.

  3. “shreddicflumicus”

    Ha. That’s funny. I love playing with words. Yeah, that photo you linked to is exactly what I was referring to. Apparently the bear(s) use it repeatedly like a cat uses a scratching post. Interesting.

  4. It’s beat up and you can’t quite read what road you’re on. But if you don’t know by then you’re in trouble!

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