Ventana Wilderness Forums • Post a reply

Tassajara Cut-Off 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.

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

Expand view Topic review: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:20 am

Date Hiked: December 30, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Creek dry above the falls, no visible water flowing over the falls - a few visible pools lower down.


Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by Betsy M on Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:28 pm

Date Hiked: September 8, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Cutoff Trail is in fine shape, the best it has been in many years. There is some brush near the top, as you start down the canyon. But this brush is just closing in, and isn't actually touching you, yet. At the section where the trail crosses a cliff, and you have a view of a waterfall (dry at this time), there was a rockslide that took out about 15 feet of tread. This has been repaired, kind of. The tread isn't quite right, and hopefully the whole section won't end up in the bottom of the canyon after winter rains. There are patches of poison oak here and there, but mostly you can avoid touching it if you're careful.

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by wavejumper on Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:00 pm

Date Hiked: December 15, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I've been living at Tassajara and just wanted to note that (especially in regard to the previous post) the "Tassajara cut-off trail" from Tassajara Creek up to the Horse Pasture trail is in superfine shape, the best -I've- ever seen it in my ~10 years of hiking in the area, as is the Horse Pasture Trail itself at least from Tassajara Rd. to the cut-off (more work to do heading on HP over to Arroyo Seco, but that's a different matter). Muchos Kudos to Robert, I believe is his name, who's been doing mad work all around the Tassajara area - Hi Robert, you're probably on this forum, just wanted to say thanks from everybody at Tassajara!

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by Kris on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:17 am

(Ed. Note- judging from previous reports, this hiker was lost / never located the Tassajara Cut-off Trailheaed)

Date Hiked: January 8, 2012
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

There is no trail and barely any trail markers. I had to wade through the river blindly, hoping I would eventually come across another trail marker/trail in general. The trail head is not visible anywhere and the part of this trail that goes over the mountain is extremely treacherous. I was backpacking over this mountain and thought I was going to fall off a 150 cliff. I definitely do not recommend this trail to anyone, yet alone any trail in the Ventana Wilderness. I have gone 2 times now and have gotten a severe case of poison oak both times. Clearly, there needs to be a lot of work done to make these trails clear, visible, and safe to pass. Almost every trail I encountered in the Ventana so far has been absolutely terrible. Awful place in general.

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:53 pm

Date Hiked: June 13, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Previous report still valid, though Tassajara Creek now lower, to just above the knee. Trail from Horse Pasture Trail to narrows T-junction is in best shape I've ever seen it, people having worked on tread, brush, etc., so my thanks to them.

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by trolleypup on Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:18 am

Date Hiked: April 25, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

From Tassajara to the Narrows, trail is in good condition, brush, logs, poison oak (partially) removed. Tassajara Creek is flowing well, so wading is required for the stream crossings, water shoes are a good idea.

From the turnoff to the Narrows to the top of the waterfall the trail is in pretty good shape. Poison oak and encroaching vegetation removed, deadfalls removed, tread has been cleaned up for hiking comfort. Above the waterfall, the trail is clear up to the Horse Pasture Trail.

Re: Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:17 pm

Conditions still per the previous report of some years ago. However at one place the trail location becomes uncertain, indicated only by a helpful ribbon. Falls and stream very scenic. Considerable use as one nears the Zen Center, with nudist distractions.

Jack Glendening

Trail Conditions History 1999-2007

Post by Site Administrator on Tue May 26, 2009 2:10 pm

Date Hiked: April 29, 2007
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Conditions reported by: Lisel
Survey date: 29-APRIL-2007
General: CLEAR

We hiked from the Tassajara Zen Center to the junction with the Horse Pasture Trail. The path along the stream is just beautiful and very clear with little poison oak. Numerous deep pools, lovely trees and bunch grass abound. You do have to boulder hop several times--but as this trail is much used by Zen Center guests, it is well maintained. The "Narrows" was a great place for swimming and lunch, and very refreshing before the hike upwards to the junction with Horse Pasture. As noted below, the uphill section was steep, but clear and well maintained with great views into the valley and of the very long waterfall. Also, look for dippers or water ouzels (birds) along Tassajara Creek--we saw them diving into the rapids and popping out to feed some little babies in a hanging nest in the rock. Very cool.

This is a lovely trail. Clear and passable. We found the tread good, and encountered very little poison oak. It appears that someone has done some trimming of brush. The views are great, and the very long waterfall still had water running in it this weekend. It is steep, but did not seem particularly challenging in terms of difficulty or dangerous dropoffs.
Conditions reported by: Eric Schrader
Survey date: 27-MAY-2006

Like the Horse Pasture trail which connects, this trail is overgrown by poison oak to the point that anyone who is allergic should think twice about taking it. The tread is good in many places, but is consistently narrow and sometimes sloped. The section along a steep rocky cliff is spectacular with a view of a waterfall (dry all summer I would imagine) but seemed so dangerous that I didn't care to spend much time there. If you do plan to take this trail carry a stick for bush whacking and also a pair of scissors or loppers to cut overhanging poison oak and brush.
Conditions reported by: NWendy C.
Survey date: 20-AUGUST-2005

We started this hike from the Tassajara Zen Center heading down trail over Tassajara Creek, which is very passable at this time of year. We took the time to hike up to the Narrows swimming holes and they looked lovely! A rope helps swimmers get out of one of the largest of the swimming holes.

We then headed up the Cut-off Trail towards Horse Pasture Trail. Came across one small and unthreatened rattlesnake in the middle of the trail. This trail does not appear to get a lot of use, but there wasn't much brush covering the trail and it was well worn from years of use( and very little rainfall). Because of the hot and dry conditions this trail has some areas where the tread has slide away and is loose under foot. It has some great views of the surrounding steep mountains, but it is also in the hot sun most of the time.

The Horse Pasture Trail is also not overgrown and in good condition, but in some places where the trail is steep the tread has worn away. A real ankle twister if you are not cautious! Trail signs are well marked along this entire trail. The last 2 miles which meets up with the main road are a breeze with excellent views.

As a footnote I highly recommend hikers book reservations at the Zen Center. Not only is the food a hikers dream, but the hot springs bath facilities are wonderful! I wouldn't make this a destination hike without going to the Zen Center too!
Conditions reported by: Jon Libby
Survey date: 28-MAY-99
General: CLEAR

Trail is clear from Horse Pasture Trail to Tassajara Creek. Four of us worked it last week and it is open and clear.

Please remember that Tassajara itself is private and reservations are required during the summer guest season. During the fall, winter and spring it is a cloistered monastery and is closed to the public.

Tassajara Cut-Off Trail

Post by Site Administrator on Tue May 26, 2009 2:08 pm

* USFS Trail #
* Parking: See Horse Pasture Trail
* Watershed: Tassajara Creek
* Junctions: Horse Pasture Trail
* Connects: Horse Pasture Trail with Tassajara Zen Center
* Camps: None