The Sisquoc River is a 33-mile segment of the main river extending from its headwaters below the Buckhorn Road on the east to the forest boundary on the west. All but 1.5 miles of the west end lie within the San Rafael Wilderness. The entire length of the river is natural and free flowing without past or present diversions. Cutting through a variety of environments, the Sisquoc curves through flat low floodplains filled with vegetation to the rocky peak of San Rafael mountain.
In the upper portion of the river, there are rocky areas that include falls and deep pools in the river supporting steelhead trout. The extensive riparian corridor along the Sisquoc River remains relatively natural and surrounded by a large wilderness area. This contiguous, intact, and large protected ecosystem is rare in southern California. The river exists deep in a true wilderness. In the center sections of the river, one is far from outside help and communication. A person is able to experience the pioneer spirit as you are truly on your own.
June 19, 1992. From its origin downstream to the Los Padres National Forest boundary.
The region is full of archaeological sites. A historic Forest Service Cabin hosts ancient rock art that was created by artists from the original indigenous population.
In the upper portion of the river, the falls and deep pools support an abundant population of steelhead trout.
The Sisquoc River watershed is within the southernmost extension of this region that extends northward to Oregon. Northwest trending structure and bands of lithologies are characteristic of this area, as well.
The Manzana Schoolhouse and the standing ruins of homesteads along the Sisquoc River are the last remains of the farming communities that settled around the turn of the past century. The Sisquoc River corridor also has abundant prehistoric and historic sites.
The year-long water flows and undisturbed natural environment provide outstanding opportunities for hiking, primitive camping, horseback riding, and other wilderness-oriented activities.
The Sisquoc River is free flowing without out past or present diversions. The river includes diverse landforms and vegetation, ranging from wide floodplains in the lower segments to narrow rocky areas in the upper segments. The entire length of the river is natural, undisturbed, and part of a larger area known as the Santa Rafael Wilderness.
The extensive riparian corridor along the Sisquoc River remains relatively natural and surrounded by a large wilderness area. This contiguous, intact, and large protected ecosystem is rare in southern California.