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Lone Pine Camp 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: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:35 pm

Date Hiked: July 23, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail down to the camp was in the best shape I've ever seen it, thanks to its recent use by a VWA trail crew.

During wet seasons water may be found in the gully on the south side of the camp, but in the dry season you will need to follow that gully downhill to the confluence of the gullies on each side of the camp you MUST go 350 feet from the camp to find the water. Too many people report "no water at Lone Pine Camp" when, as in this case, they simply have not gone far enough to reach it. (Please note that this water may be in a pool, not flowing, in the dry seasons)

Note that the trail crew found water in the gully near the camp so did not work on the route to the perennial water location - so getting there can be difficult due to brush and bank steepness,


Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by Rob on Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:50 pm

Date Hiked: April 19, 2014
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The junction with the Double Cone trail was a little obscured by brush, but the cairn and post were still there. There is some brush initially, but the flags were helpful until a particularly ugly section. I spent some time working on it with my handy pruning saw (pretty much had to -- otherwise getting my pack through would have been heinous). There is still some blowdowns/brush, but at least now it's doable. Water was just where the good doctor said it would be, or perhaps a little below -- it was dry until some distance below where the other gully joins. Footing was tricky, but the water was there, and a good flow.

The camp itself was pleasant and just as I remember it. Lots of bush poppies in bloom on the trail down.

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:22 am

Date Hiked: October 26, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Currently the trail to Lone Pine Camp is overgrown in spots and has no tread, making it difficult to follow. I put some flags up to help guide people, but you need to know that the camp is 600 ft from the VDC Trail - people who don't go that far won't find the camp.

Some recent VDC Trail Rports have reported Lone Pine Camp is dry - but that is untrue, since perennial water is available near the camp. While the gully immediately next to the camp may have no water, if one follows it 350 ft downsteam, where a gully from the other side of the camp joins it, there is ample water. [That spot is labelled "Lone Pine Spring" on my Big Sur Trail Map] Here "ample" means I found 4-5" water depth over a 1 ft square area, with even more volume but lesser depth over a larger area, in October of this very dry year. Water flow was evident and the pool was clear, not muddy or algae covered. However, water is found only in a 10 ft long section - further downstream the gully again becomes dry - so you need to know where to look to be assured of finding water there. I did not put any flags on the route to the water, since one just follows the gully down.

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by The_Anchorite on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:36 pm

Date Hiked: February 16, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The connector from the Ventana Double Cone trail to Lone Pine camp is so short I considered marking this 'Passable'. However, there really is no evidence of tread through the middle section of this trail. Junction at the VDC trail is marked with a small cairn and a burned signpost with no sign. I also hung a pink flag at the junction as I departed. Because Lone Pine camp lies above the convergence of two watersheds, you really can't go far wrong; just travel downhill between the creeklets and you can't miss it.

Lone Pine camp itself is in good shape: flat, brushless and shaded with room for 4 or more tents. The fire ring is in decent shape. Water was running clear and cool in the watershed to the South side of the campsite about 100 meters beyond camp. Once you arrive at the campsite the trek for water is an easy one.

See my report from 15 Feb 2013 under Ventana Double Cone Trail for a recent picture.

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by Rob on Sun May 06, 2012 9:47 pm

Date Hiked: May 5, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Used this as an overnight stop on my way to Ventana Double Cone. The post and cairn are both still there. The trail down to the camp is starting to get brushy, and some fallen trees have obscured the way somewhat. There was a trickle of water that I had to hunt for, but the camp itself was still in good condition.

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by Rob on Sun May 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Date Hiked: May 21, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The junction is marked with a cairn and a wooden post marked "H20" --


There had been a pretty good storm earlier in the week, and water was flowing well in creeklets on either side of the camp, which was charming. Spent a pleasant night here before hiking up Ventana Double Cone.


Thanks to all who cleared this trail !

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by Happy Trails on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:27 pm

Date Hiked: November 12, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Those boy scouts did a whopping good job on this trail! The VWA should sign them up for some future clearing. Not only was the Lone Pine camp trail clear, but the Double cone trail was in as good shape as I have seen it!
Found water in the creek drainage 100 yards below the lone pine camp.. Water here in the driest time of year !

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by JoshFrazier on Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:53 pm

Date Hiked: September 6, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I've got to say thanks to the scouts of troop 60. They did a GREAT job reopening the trail to Lone Pine Camp. I was thrilled to see the camp for the first time after hearing about it many times. It's quite a nice camp, although there was no water in the vicinity of the camp in September when I was there. I guess I could have kept heading down the watershed toward hiding canyon and probably found some, but we were going for VDC and back to Pat Springs that day and didn't want to waste energy and time. I'm giving the old Puerto Suello gap trail a try next.

Re: Lone Pine Camp Trail

Post by caress on Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:16 am

Date Hiked: July 3, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Boy Scout Troop 60 (Spreckels) summited Double Cone on a four day trip from Botchers Gap with overnights at Pat Springs, Lone Pine, and Pat Springs.

We had heard (and read on posts regarding the Ventana Double Cone Trail) that the Lone Pine Camp was lost due to overgrowth, and that recent hikers had been dry camping nearby immediately adjacent to the Double Cone trail. We found both statements to be true. However, in need of water, we went scrambling down the dry creek bed in search of an active spring. This involved a fair degree of crawling through and under both live and burned brush. About 100 yards downhill from the trail, we found the original Lone Pine campsite in good condition, and then found good (but limited) water just below the campsite. Apparently the 2008 fire went around Lone Pine, as the trees are untouched and this remains a classic Ventana camp on flatish, leaf litter covered ground beneath ancient oaks. The fire ring is intact, but shows no signs of recent use. Desiring to stay at this camp rather than on the dusty ground along the Ventana Double Cone trail, the boys used pruning saws and a machete to cut a new trail through the brush down to the campsite. This trail probably does not coincide with the old connection into the camp, which we could not discern. We moved the "H2O" trail marker post to the new trailhead, and also constructed a marking cairn.

Summary: Lone Pine Camp is once again easily accessible from the Ventana Double Cone Trail. Good water was available July 3, but I am not confident it will last through the summer.

Markers at Lone Pine Camp trail junction with Ventana Double Cone trail

Lone Pine Camp

Trail Conditions History 2003-2007

Post by Site Administrator on Tue May 26, 2009 9:55 am

Date Hiked: January 6, 2007
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Conditions reported by: NR Schmidt
Survey date: 6-JANUARY-2007
General: CLEAR

Creek is dry at campsite (nice campsite though).
Conditions reported by: Reed Thayer
Survey date: 21-DECEMBER-2005

Look for a railroad tie on side of the Double Cone trail marking the turn off. You descend through a "tunnel" in the forest to a well protected clearing. The meadow is a short bit further. Used the clearing as a refuge from the storm.
Conditions reported by: Rob Yang
Survey date: 30-APR-2003

Trail pretty much the same as the last report. Some flags were in place to guide across a short bit of meadow with the remains of burned pines.

The campsite was nice, and overshadowed by a magnificent oak. Plenty of water nearby, and it seemed to run underground before emerging near the camp. Caveat: a storm had passed through two nights ago - not sure how the supply would hold up in a drier stretch.
Conditions reported by: Paul Danielson
Survey date: 17-JAN-2003

The junction with Double Cone Trail is marked by a standing wooden post that is inscribed with the designation "H2O" and an arrow pointing down the trail spur. The trail makes a moderate descent, appears to have been recently clipped, has a bit of brush encroachment, and a deadfall which is easily negotiated. In about a tenth of a mile there is an open spot with the burned remnant of the old Lone Pine. At that point make a left , following the new pink flagging which takes one directly across the small ravine to the open sloping spacious camp site. There is a fire-ring, icemaker stove, and three or four leveled spots for camping. There is nearby water in early Spring. Follow the old pink flags down the stream-ravine to better water flows, if necessary.