Classic Maps
Santa Barbara National Forest, Monterey Division, 1924

By Boon Hughey

Following decades of silent retreat on the dusty bookshelf of some intrepid Ventana explorer of yore, a fine specimen of an early map has made its way into the hands of the DCR editorial crew. You'll notice of course the unfamiliar name of what we now know as the Los Padres National Forest: prior to 1936 it was known as the Santa Barbara National Forest, and interested readers can find further information by way of David Rogers excellent historical piece in the Fall 2002 issue of the DCQ. Over the years other artifacts from the SBNF era have occasionally surfaced and also made their way into the online archives of the DCR, such as the signs for the Lost Valley Trail and the Gamboas Trail.

It is our pleasure to make available here in the DCR the entire 1924 Santa Barbara National Forest, Monterey Division recreation map for the Ventana aficionados and the general public to peruse and enjoy. The map itself is a large file in JPEG format (approximately 1.7 megabytes) which may take a few minutes to download but will allow users to scroll around the district at will. In addition, we have provided in HTML format below all of the interpretive text, directives, admonishments and photographs that appear on the flip side, which makes for some interesting reading.

FULL MAP IMAGE Filesize = 1,717K / 1.68MB
Image size = 3207px x 2760px
Print size = 44.5" x 38.3"


Free public use of the national forests is invited. Visitors are required to observe the following rules:

  1. Be sure you have a camp-fire permit before building a fire on national forest land. The nearest forest officer will issue one to you without charge.
  2. Build small fires. Build them only where permitted.
  3. Before leaving a fire extinguish it with water and cover the ashes with earth.
  4. Be careful with lighted matches, cigar and cigarette stubs, and pipe heels.
  5. Keep your camp clean. Where garbage pits and incinerators are not provided, burn or bury all garbage and refuse.
  6. Do not pollute the springs, streams, or lakes by insanitary acts.
  7. Do not mutilate the trees or the signs and improvements around camps.
  8. Observe the State fish and game laws.
  9. Do not hunt in the vicinity of forest camps.
  10. Drive carefully on mountain roads.



The Monterey Division of the Santa Barbara National Forest, administered as a separate ranger district, is situated in the Coast Range between the Salinas Valley and the Pacific Ocean, about 150 miles south of San Francisco, and lies wholly in Monterey County. This division parallels the coast for approximately 65 miles and contains 322,273 acres.

The greater part of the area drains to the east through the Arroyo Seco and San Antonio Rivers and Nacimiento Creek, all tributaries of the Salinas River. The Carmel River drains a large portion of the northern end of the division. Little Sur and Big Sur Rivers, and Big Creek and

Beach at Pfeiffer Point
The Monterey Division contains the only national forest land in California that touches the Pacific Ocean.

Willow Creek are the principal streams on the western slope and flow directly into the Pacific Ocean.

The Santa Lucia Range, a part of the Coast Range, extends in a southeasterly direction throughout the entire length of the division. The seaward slope of this range, which averages about 5 miles in width from crest of ridge to ocean, is exceedingly precipitous and scored by deep, rugged canyons, down which flow small torrential streams. The Monterey Division touches the Pacific Ocean at three points and is the only national forest district in California with a coast line., The highest peaks in the Santa Lucia Range are Santa Lucia Peak, 5,844 feet; Cone Peak, 5,148 feet; and Chews Ridge, 4,881. feet. The average altitude of the crest of the Coast Range is about 3,500 feet.



Good roads from Monterey, Salinas, Soledad, and King City intersect the forest boundary in many places and connect with a trail system that makes most of the region accessible to pack outfits and hikers.

The northern portion of the district is accessible from Monterey, originally the capital of California, by a wonderful 50-mile drive along the coast. Starting from Monterey, one can take the 17-mile coast drive or the highway over Carmel Hill, both of which pass through Carmel-by-the-Sea and continue on down the coast to Little and Big Sur. Jamesburg, Chews Ridge, and Tassajara Springs are reached by auto road from Salinas or by highway from Monterey

Cattle grazing on the foothill ranges

through Carmel. Roads from Soledad, King City, and Jolon lead into the eastern portion of the district.

The Forest Service has built 350 miles of trails in this district for the administration and protection of the forest, and also maintains many miles of existing trails, all of which are open to the public.



The Monterey Division, like the other five districts of the Santa Barbara National Forest, is primarily a watershed protection area, and water is its most important resource. The protection of the forest and brush cover, which has a direct influence upon the supply of water in streams and the


regularity of their flow, is the principal object in the maintenance and administration of this area as a part of a national forest.

An adequate and perpetual supply of water for both domestic and agricultural purposes is the greatest and most important factor in the continuous development and prosperity of any region. The summer water supply of California is limited to that part of the winter rainfall which is so retarded from run-off by watershed forest cover that it is held in the mountain.; or discharged from the canyons at such a rate that it can be absorbed by the soil. The amount so conserved for future use is dependent not: only upon the acreage of the watershed but also upon its cover. On denuded or burned-off mountain slopes experts have estimated that 92 1/2 per cent of the rainfall is lost by immediate runoff. On areas with a full growth of brush it has been


Deer and cattle grazing together in the Santa Lucia Mountains

determined that 84 per cent of the rainfall is retained and returned to underground gravel and streams.

The national forest lands in Monterey County cover the major portion of the watershed which conserves and regulates the water supply for domestic, municipal, and agricultural use in the near-by rich agricultural valleys. The continued prosperity and development of this county, including the 75,000 acres of irrigated land in Salinas Valley, depend upon the maintenance and increase of the present water supply and upon flood control. The first step necessary to accomplish these ends is the preservation of the watershed

Green forests insure an unfailing water supply


cover by prevention of forest fires. Failure to do this would result in a disastrous depreciation of the high values involved in the upbuilding of this region.


Approximately 1,500 head of cattle and horses are grazed annually by some 50 permittees on the Monterey Division. Grazing on the forest ranges is so regulated as to protect and conserve the forage resources and perpetuate the livestock industry, through proper care and improvement of grazing lands. Local settlers and stockmen enjoy the first right to the use of the range. The number of animals, the season of grazing, the class of stock, the allotment to be grazed, and detailed rules for salting, bedding, and the like are determined and enforced by the Forest Service. The judicious management of the forest range must continue in harmony with the desired protection and development of all other resources of the forest. Grazing allotments are also regulated so that there may be sufficient feed for deer within the forest.


The Monterey Division contains an estimated stand of 191,000,000 feet of saw timber and 510,000 cords of fuel wood. The principal species of timber trees are western yellow pine, sugar pine, Coulter pine, bristlecone fir, and redwood.

At the present time, there are no commercial timber sales in operation. The major portion of the forested areas has a much greater value for water-shed protection and recreation than for lumber production. Therefore, only improvement cuttings for the purpose of removing mature and defective trees are allowed. All green timber cut on the national forest is first marked by an experienced forest officer, who also supervises the removal of the timber and the disposal of slash so that standing trees and young growth are damaged as little as possible. In marking timber, a sufficient number of selected seed trees are left on each logging unit to assure abundant seed for natural reproduction and to form the basis of a future crop.

The largest stand of redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Federal ownership is located in the Monterey Division. These redwoods are found, almost without exception, in narrow strips on flats and benches in the creek bottoms and lower slopes of the canyons draining directly into the Pacific Ocean. The heaviest stands are on Rig and Little Sur Rivers and Willow Creek.

Forest fires spell death to bird and beast


The total stand of redwood on the Monterey Division is estimated at 145,800,000 board feet. In view of the esthetic and recreational value of these forests and the fact that they mark the southernmost limits of this species, the commercial exploitations of these redwoods will never be allowed by the Forest Service.


Twenty-five per cent of the annual revenue received by the Government from timber sales, grazing fees, special uses, and other uses of the national forests is returned to the county in which the forest is located, to be used for schools and roads. An additional 10 per cent is expended by the Forest Service on road and trail construction within the county.


The Monterey Division of the Santa Barbara National Forest has long been a favorite region for tourists, campers, hunters, fishermen, and mountain hikers. No trails in California possess more charm for the traveler than those along the Monterey Coast; and in the region of the Big and Little Sur Rivers virgin groves of redwoods afford camping places of unusual attractiveness.

Few national forests in California offer a wider range of scenery or topography than is to be found from the wild headlands of the Pacific Ocean coastline to the rough, broken ridges of the Santa Lucia Range. The mountains extend the length of the district, and while badly broken by many short, precipitous streams, have one prominent ridge, known locally as the Coast Ridge, which stands as a barrier against the winds and storms of the Pacific.

The climate of the region varies with the elevation and proximity to the sea coast. From sea level the hills rise abruptly to an elevation of from 3,000 to more than 5,000 feet. Along the coast slopes the vegetation is usually dense and luxuriant, largely because of moisture supplied by the sea fog. Though summer temperatures back from the coast are frequently high during the daytime, the nights are always cool.

There are no roads along the coast in the Monterey Division except for a few miles south of Big Sur. But a trip over the Coast Ridge trail, built by the Forest Service along the summit for 65 miles; is one long to be remembered. Thousands of feet below and only a few miles distant are the rolling waters of the Pacific. Along the trail are groves

Spread the gospel of fire prevention by example


of pine, canyons shaded by redwoods, and open parks where the grass stays green much of the year. Saddle and pack stock may be obtained at Big Sur by those who want to make this trip.

Fishing in the Big Sur

From the Coast Ridge trips by trail may be made to Chews Ridge, Tassajara Springs, and to Jolon and other points in the Salinas Valley.

From San Antonio Mission one may ride into Lost Valley by way of The Indians Camp, or take the Santa Lucia trail


to Tassajara Hot Springs, from which point the trip may be continued over the Pine Ridge trail through the Big Sur River country back to Big Sur.

Jamesburg may be reached from Salinas by automobile and parties can be outfitted there for pack trips into the hunting and fishing country in the Big Pine, Pine Valley, and Carmel River region.

Public Camp Grounds

Nine areas in the Monterey Division have been designated by the Forest Service for use as free public camps. The best known of these are Little Sur, Big Sur, China Camp, Arroyo Seco Lakes, Nacimiento, and Santa Lucia Memorial Camp, the last named being the only one that has been improved.

A brush fire in the Coast Range

Summer-home Sites

Throughout the entire Monterey Division are many fine locations for summer homes. Although most of these sites must be reached by trail, a few are located on the road to Tassajara Hot Springs, along Nacimiento Creek, and at the end of The Indians Road. No tracts for summer-home sites have as yet been laid out and subdivided into lots, but infor-

Be a real sportsman. There is more honor in giving
the game a square deal than in getting the limit


mation regarding possible future sites may be obtained from the Forest Ranger at Kings City or the Forest Supervisor at Santa Barbara.


Wild life is a very important resource of the Monterey Division. Deer and valley quail in abundance are found over the entire region, and here also are some of the finest fishing streams in the State. The Big and Little Sur on the coast side, and Nacimiento Creek and San Antonio and Arroyo Seco Rivers on the valley side, are a few of the well known trout streams. Trout fry are planted every year in all important fishing waters of the district.

Two fish and game associations, one in the northern and one in the southern part of Monterey County, have been

A vista of the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains

organized to help protect the fish and wild life. All hunters and fishermen going into the national forest should provide themselves with a copy of the State fish and game laws and with the necessary licenses.


Forest fires, so common throughout the mountain region of California during the long dry summer, are particularly severe and disastrous in such forests as those in the Monterey Division because of the density and inflammable nature of the brush cover which clothes the mountain slopes. Many people, accustomed to the dense timber growth of more humid regions, do not realize the tremendous importance of these "brush forests" as a protective cover for the watersheds of streams which furnish water for domestic purposes and irrigation.


Many serious fires, most of them caused by human carelessness, have occurred in the Monterey Division of the Santa Barbara National Forest. Because of the unusual fire hazard, all visitors to the forest are required to exercise the greatest care with fire in any form. A camp-fire permit must be obtained before any kind of outdoor fire can be lighted, including fire in stoves burning gasoline, kerosene, or wood.

During the dangerous fire season smoking is prohibited on national forest land, except in camps and at places of habitation, and each automobile and pack-train .party camping in the Santa Barbara Forest must carry a shovel and ax suitable for fire-fighting purposes.


The Santa Barbara National Forest is in charge of a forest supervisor who has his headquarters in the Federal Building at Santa Barbara, Calif. The forest is divided into six ranger districts, each in charge of a district ranger stationed, respectively, at King City, which is the headquarters of the Monterey Division; San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez Ranger Station, 24 miles from Santa Barbara; Ojai; Ozena River Station, at head of Cuyama Valley; and Tejon Ranger Station, near Gorman on the ridge route between Bakersfield and Los Angeles.

Forest officers are always glad to give information and be of such assistance to travelers as their regular duties will permit.

Under State and Federal laws, a fine not to exceed $500, or a jail sentence, may result from willful or negligent setting of fires in a national forest.

Throwing away lighted matches or tobacco, or other burning material from an automobile or other moving vehicle is prohibited by State law.



  1. Matches.—Be sure your match is out. Break it in two before you throw it away.
  2. Tobacco.—Be sure that pipe ashes and cigar or cigarette stubs are dead before throwing them away. Never throw them into brush, leaves, or needles.
  3. Making Camp.—Before building a fire scrape away all inflammable material from a spot 5 feet in diameter. Dig a hole in the center and in it build your camp fire. Keep your fire small. Never build it against trees or logs or near brush.
  4. Breaking Camp.—Never break camp until your fire is out dead out.
  5. Brush Burning.—Never burn slash or brush in windy weather or while there is the slightest danger that the fire will get away.
  6. How to Put Out a Camp Fire.—Stir the coals while soaking them with water. Turn small sticks and drench both sides. Wet the ground around the fire. If you can't get water, stir in earth and tread it down until packed tight over and around the fire. Be sure the last spark is dead.