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Horse Pasture Trail

Trail Report

In the form below, enter a Subject line or title (optional), the date you hiked the trail, and a a rating as to the general passability of that trail then follow up with a more detailed narrative of the specific conditions or problems encountered. For the longer trails some folks like to segment the specific conditions part of their reports, reporting conditions in a serial fashion between landmarks such as camps or junctions. This is fine so long as the entire report is specific to a particular named trail.

Enter the code exactly as it appears. All letters are case insensitive.
Wilderness Freeway: Heavily used and well maintained.
Clear: No obstacles and tread well defined.
Passable: Some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident.
Difficult: Brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread.
Impassable: Completely overgrown or tread obliterated.

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Horse Pasture Trail

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by hydrologic on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:05 pm

Date Hiked: November 25, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Horse Pasture Trail is 4.6 miles long. The first 2~ miles of Horse Pasture Trail are some of the nicest, most amazingly perfect miles in Big Sur period! The work that was done recently is immaculate. The tread is level and like a highway. There are ZERO branches encroaching. Pure pleasure. Then things change quickly. The tread starts slumping and the branches get very pokey. Once you reach Tassajara Cutoff there is a sign that says Horse Pasture Trail is closed southbound. The trail stays about in the same crappy condition until you reach the saddle at the Flag Rock trail turnoff. From there to Tassajara road the trail is pretty great. We plan on hitting that really bad one mile section and doing some major clearing in the coming few weeks.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by Hillary on Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:57 am

Date Hiked: July 2, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Did a trail run from Arroyo Seco to Tassajara Cutoff. Horse Pasture Trail has lots of encroachment and overgrowth to duck under, but easy to keep the trail. Initial creek crossing is a piece of cake and plenty of water flowing. Blackberry was dry. There was water flowing at mile 1.3 that isn't on the map. I could hear it first so I stopped and sought it out. The trail is about 30 feet above a pool of water that has water running into it and trickling out of it. I didn't take the time to figure out how to get down to it (I was packing plenty of water). With enough motivation it would probably be something you could get down to. Not a drop at Quail Spring. Several areas of the trail have eroded and footing is lose.

Weather started foggy ~60' and heated up to about 85' by mid-day, unusual for July, but still had the flies out by 11:00. Breeze picked up around 1:00 which helped with the flies. Lots and lots and lots of poison oak, glad for a place to take a dip and wash it off before climbing back in the car. Arroyo Seco river was a zoo with the busy weekend, but didn't see a single person all day past the footbridge.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by brienzo on Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:59 am

Date Hiked: April 21, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From the ridge south to the Tassajara Creek crossing, the trail is overgrown both in brushy and in grassy areas. It is, however, quite passable and easy enough to follow, with not many deadfalls, if you don't mind pushing through some brush. Poison oak is abundant and I picked up three ticks, although only one bit.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:06 am

Date Hiked: December 30, 2015
General Condition: Passable (Some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This is for the section from the Tassajara Cutoff Trail to the southern trailhead at Marble Peak Trail.

This section is notably rougher than the section north of it. Tread was apparent (except for a switchback which I missed, following the tread of others who had missed it - I moved a large branch over to block it) but slumped in places. Most notable was the excellent tread along the exposed slope south of Tassajara Cutoff, which often gets eroded. In a few places ceanothus branches extended into the trail. I did not find any water in "Blackberry Creek".


Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:00 am

Date Hiked: December 30, 2015
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

This is for the section from the north trailhead at Tassajara Road to the intersection with the Tassajara Cutoff Trail.

Someone has been working on this trail! I found a pool and trickle of water at "Horse Pasture Spring" but no water at "Quail Spring" (despite looking both above and below the trail - all I found was one damp rock)


Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by js_radford on Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:54 pm

Date Hiked: June 2, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From Tassajara Cutoff to Willow Creek: it is quite easy to follow. There are a few deadfalls but none to cause more than a gentle duck under or step over. One needs to push through a little brush but nothing serious; most of section is comfortably clear. However, Deerweed and such are pushing hikers and thus tread downslope and there is a fair bit of work needed doing to stop that. Trail section is dry until near Willow Creek at which point water is not needed.

[Editor's note: presumably the writer means to say "Tassajara Creek," since the Horsepasture Trail does not go to Willow Creek. The Horsepasture Trail starts on Tassajara Road, and crosses Tassajara Creek just before ending at the Marble Peak Trail.]

To Editor: I really did mean, correctly, Willow Creek. I've added "From" above. That should make it more obvious that I was talking about Horse Pasture Trail, which never comes close to Tassajara Creek.

[Editor's response: please review any map of the area which will clearly show the confluence of Tassajara Creek and Willow Creek. Downstream from that confluence the name of the creek is Tassajara Creek. A mile to the east, the Horsepasture Trail crosses Tassajara Creek. For more on naming conventions, where a stream below a confluence retains the name of the larger of the two streams:

To Editor: OK. OK You are right, the by far longer creek is Tassajara. But it has confused not just me but many others ( and to name two) that a nice straight canyon should be named by what "feels" like a side stream. Every one of the 15 or so times I have hiked towards Strawberry Camp, I have had the strongest feeling that Tassajara Creek, which just appears out of a side canyon, was just a side stream/tributary. The mapping does not help much because one sees a straight stream named "Willow Creek Creek". The topo map should have continued the name "Tassajara" after the junction and/or "Willow Creek" should have been named "Willow Cr.". The problem for me is that the Tassajara Creek CANYON is a tributary CANYON, in relative size at the junction, to the main CANYON which starts with Willow Creek. At least the Tassajara side canyon seems obviously smaller to me when I am walking it.
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Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by Betsy M on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:46 pm

Date Hiked: September 8, 2013
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Section: Tassajara Road to Tassajara Cutoff Trail

This section is a true wilderness freeway, with two small exceptions. There is a small tree to duck under near the top of the first ridge; and there is an oak that requires scrambling under, out near the Cutoff Trail. But other than that, the brush is clipped back, and tread is a pleasure to hike on. There is a tiny flow of water in the drainage past the Horsepasture, bees were crawling around, getting minerals. But it would be difficult to fill a water bottle here.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by RSIBryce on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:42 pm

Date Hiked: April 9, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: from Marble Peak Trail to the Tassajara Cutoff Trail

The first 2.9 miles to the Cutoff from Arroyo Seco via Marble Peak has some brush, uneven tread, and abundant poison oak and deadfall to maneuver. The trail is evident, however, and there is flagging, making it a very passable trail in the rugged Ventana. Little water along the trail at this time, we had to go down a ways from the dry creeks to find water that was running near Horse Pasture. Beautiful area and the beginning of some magnificent rock formations.

Section: Tassajara Cutoff to the Tassajara Road and the Church Creek Trailhead.

Folks at Tassajara (or maybe a VWA volunteer?) have been maintaining their trail and its in great shape once you hit the cutoff and the 2.1 miles to the road. Saw tons of flowers throughout, yerba santa, tons of hummingbird sage, sticky monkey flower and many more.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by bigsurnut on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:27 pm

Date Hiked: March 24, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My buddy and I took this trail from Wildcat camp to Arroyo Seco. The trail is completely clear the whole way and easy to follow. However, there are a lot of ticks and poison oak! Thankfully, there are also a good amount of streams to splash off the oils in, and a good amount of spots to pull over and check for ticks.

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by trolleypup on Mon May 07, 2012 12:31 am

Date Hiked: May 5, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

From Tassajara Road to the Horse Pasture, the trail is in excellent shape, very minimal encroaching brush and poison oak. Horse Pasture Creek is flowing, but probably will run dry fairly soon.

Horse Pasture Camp is overgrown, but still quite pleasant.

From Horse Pasture to the Cutoff, grassy growth makes the tread obscure in places, no logs on the trail. East Fork Horse Pasture Creek was flowing in mid-April.