Ventana Wilderness Forums • Post a reply

Gamboa Trail

Post a reply

Enter the code exactly as it appears. All letters are case insensitive.

BBCode is ON
[img] is OFF
[flash] is OFF
[url] is ON
Smilies are OFF
Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Gamboa Trail

Gamboa Trail

Post by jbl on Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:30 pm

Date Hiked: December 23, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Having worked this trail many times when it was being reopened, and hiked it many times since then, I was very saddened to see how bad it's gotten.

Section: NCRT to Trail Spring Camp: Passable to difficult; there are dozens of trees down now, all negotiable but at varying heights (stepovers, climbovers and squat/crawl unders) and the brush is really starting to encroach in many places.


Section: Trail Spring Camp to Ojito Saddle: Passable to Clear. There is only nominal brush encroachment until you almost reach Ojito Saddle and the last hundred feet or so have more brush encroachment; there are a few trees down which are all negotiable, but one ~4' sugar pine is now down about midway along the trail and it is kind of a bitch to get over.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by VWA Admin on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:05 pm

Date Hiked: November 11, 2017
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Reported by: Eric Hightower

Section- Cone Peak Trail Junction to Ojito Saddle
Trail is in great shape. Drank unfiltered water from Trail Springs without any issues so far. Trail Springs is nearly dry.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by jdoelman on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:37 am

Date Hiked: October 29, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This trail and the stone ridge trail are in really good condition, though I did note two trees over the trail between the Ojito cutoff and the Trail Spring camp, one was a 3' diameter tree which could be difficult to cross with a backpack. As noted in the previous post there is water at trail spring and the two minor creeks on each side of Goat Camp.
The twitchell route is now very obvious, almost as heavily used as the Stone Ridge trail.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by anneirene on Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:38 pm

Date Hiked: October 21, 2017
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

I just want to note that as of October 2017, Trail Spring has a steady trickle and a small pool which was able to fill up my liter bottle to 3/4 by dipping. Later on, a scoop may be preferred.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by pantilat on Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:12 am

Date Hiked: October 1, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

While several months have passed since the last report, there's not much new. Between Ojito Saddle and Trail Spring a couple large blowdowns remain, one an old growth Sugar Pine. The PO is bright red along the trail but is not encroaching. Between Trail Spring and the North Coast Ridge Trail there's at least a dozen blowdowns (old snags), concentrated on the switchbacks just before the North Coast Ridge Trail junction. Trail Spring is still flowing decently for so late in the season; I was able to fill up a bottle in about 20 seconds. However, the flies are very much aware of this water source too.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by hydrologic on Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:44 pm

Date Hiked: April 15, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Gamboa from Trail Spring to Ojito is in great shape. One or two blow downs to hops over. PO starts growing below 4,000 feet and you can see it coming in. It's blood red right now with small oily, angry leaves. The lower you get the more the PO starts to creep into the trail.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by Rob on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:27 am

Date Hiked: March 31, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Between the Coast Ridge and Trail Spring the trail tread was fine, but there were numerous mid-sized blowdowns requiring some under and over moves. One of these required an awkward climb-through. People with large packs may find this a problem.

Trail Spring was flowing strongly, and there were a lot of downed branches near the crossing. It's been one of those winters :)

From Trail Spring to the Ojito junction there were a handful of down trees, mostly larger and with easy detours. One was a little rough to get over. The trail tread was in fine shape, though a bit narrow and sloping in short stretches.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by hydrologic on Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:36 pm

Date Hiked: March 12, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Trail Spring to top. Lots of deadfalls. Most were easy to get over/under/around. Tread in great shape. Very little encroaching brush.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by pantilat on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:25 pm

Date Hiked: December 18, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report covers the entire length of the Gamboa Trail. See Stone Ridge Trail for continuation from Ojito Gap down to Goat Camp and beyond.

There's a small brushy section immediately above Ojito Gap that had interlocking brush but that's now improved. Between Ojito Gap and Trail Spring the trail is mainly clear but there are a few blowdowns, one of which is a large Sugar Pine that requires climbing up and over. From Trail Spring to the Junction with the North Coast Ridge Trail there are also several new blowdowns, virtually all are old snags that have finally toppled over. None of the new blowdowns are difficult to get around. Lack of use throughout the Gamboa Trail has allowed significant accumulation of leaves in sections which can be a bit slippery.

Trail Spring is flowing vigorously (more like a cascading stream) after recent rains.

A few Sugar Pines have succumbed to the drought in the upper Devils Canyon drainage, but I could tell that the forest much appreciated all the early season rain we've received and hopefully these rains will stem the tide of tree mortality. It appears that the Coulter Pine, which is more accustomed to a warmer and drier regime, is flourishing in this area with lots of young trees springing up.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Post by Salvatore on Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:01 pm

Date Hiked: July 24, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We camped at Goat Camp there after hiking the Stone Ridge Trail and Vicente Flat Trail from Cone peak road (Our objective was the whole 16 miles cone peak loop).

The creek at Goat camp (few seconds away) had an abundant stream of cool water! The heat was intense and the creek was a wonderful gift. Overall the contrast between the intense heat and the relief from cold creeks water will be the most pleasant memories of this hike.

We left Goat Camp ---> Cone Peak Summit, early morning (around 7:10 am).
At this time of the day, the whole portion of the Stone Ridge Trail connecting the Goat Camp with Gamboa Trail is shaded (very relieving as we hiked with 103 F temperature the previous day). Few brushy sections going up.

The trailhead of Gamboa Trail is marked with a clear sign at the junction with Stone Ridge trail and Ojito Camp Trail. The Gamboa Trail section connecting to Trail Spring Camp it is a very easy trail...with very marginal elevation change and it is generally a fast hike. The tread was always visible and clear (the volunteers and the VW team again had done a wonderful job!).
We encountered a couple of deadfalls that were easy to deal with.

We got to Trail Spring Camp (from Goat Camp) in approximately 2 hours. A group of people camped there the night before (5-6 tents, approximately10 people). Water was just enough to slowly refill our bottles (water was flowing but not at all abundant). We then left the Gamboa Trail and went up to the Cone Peak Trail toward the Cone Peak summit.

Again no major obstacles and obvious direction.

Currently the Stone Ridge Trail is listed as "Wilderness Freeway". Although I am not an expert in your classification standards, Gamboa Trail falls in a similar category to me.