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Tony Trail (Hot Springs 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: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by cehauser on Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:51 am

Date Hiked: January 2, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I hiked the Tony Trail from the Marble Peak Trail north into Tassajara Hot Spring. After hiking a lot of well-designed and well-maintained trails in the Ventana Wilderness, I was surprised to find that the Tony Trail is extremely steep and treacherous, somewhat on the south portion (the Marble Peak Trail side), but especially on the north side (the Tassajara side). There are at least 2 fallen trees on the south portion, and one difficult fallen tree on the north section, and the tread on the north portion (above Tassajara) is falling away in places, making it a difficult trail.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by stephenjcollier on Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:39 pm

Date Hiked: April 12, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Since no one has posted a report on Tony Trail for a while, here is a brief update from our recent trip. We hiked this trail from Marble Peak to Tassajara. We did not have trouble finding the junction from the Willow Creek trail, which we recall being a problem the last time we hiked Tony Trail many years back. At the beginning of the trail on the Marble Peak side the trail is very nicely cleared; and we did not find the slide mentioned by Betsy M two years ago. The wilderness freeway only lasts about a quarter mile as things get brushier on the steep climb up, but there is no difficulty following the trail, and the brush doesn't slow you down (the grade does!). On the steep (really, really steep!) descent down to Tassajara you are mostly passing through grassy hillsides. Again the trail is easy to follow, though the tread is narrow and sloping at many points. Our great surprise was finding a bridge at the Zen Center, which was not there when we last passed this way.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by Betsy M on Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:33 pm

Date Hiked: September 22, 2013
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

The Tony Trail is a wilderness freeway on the Tassajara side, and clear on the Willow Creek side. There is a slide down near Willow Creek, that extends across two legs of a switchback, but there is a serviceable route across it. There is minor tread slumping in a few places on the switchbacks down near Willow Creek, but hikers should not have any trouble on this trail. Brush remains clipped back, and while of course you always wear long pants in the Ventana, there is little need to do so on the Tony Trail.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by pyrachi on Sat May 25, 2013 1:51 pm

Date Hiked: May 23, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I hiked the Tony Trail from the Tassajara Center to the Marble Peak Trail...or at least I tried to. By the time I was approaching the Marble Peak Trail it was very dark and I encountered a portion of the trail that was completely washed out. Even with my powerful headlamp I was unable to locate where the trail continued so I turned back towards the Zen center - I never did reach the Marble Peak Trail.

There are several sections of the trail where it is eroding away and very narrow - I had to hug the rock face on the upwards side of the trail on several occasions as I carefully made my way across. Brush is encroaching upon most parts of the trail - long pants, long-sleeve shirt, and a hat are a must when hiking this trail as you will literally be wading through brush for significant parts of it. Other than the washout mentioned above, the tread was clear.

While most of this trail is doable, though quite arduous, from the Zen center, you won't be able to reach the Marble Peak Trail. Due to the general conditions I anticipate this trail will be impassable by 2014.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by rendodge2 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:00 am

Date Hiked: April 29, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

There are fallen trees and faint tread near the creek where Tony Trail meets Marble Peak Trail. Otherwise the trail is in good condition.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by Rob on Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:08 pm

Date Hiked: November 25, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Mostly found this trail to be in fine shape. Encountered a couple of blowdowns on the uphill from Willow Creek, and one near the bottom of the downhill which forces hikers to cut the switchback. On a stretch with particularly bad exposure a handline had been rigged.

I noted a relatively new-looking suspension bridge over Tassajara Creek.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by trolleypup on Mon May 07, 2012 12:23 am

Date Hiked: May 6, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Tony Trail is clear (absent the issues right at Willow Creek) from end to end. The trail is also generally free of encroaching poison oak.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by Jim Ringland on Sun May 06, 2012 8:07 pm

Date Hiked: May 4, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked this northbound from Willow Creek to the Zen Center. There were a few logs to maneuver right at the Willow Creek crossing, but once on the switchbacks heading up, all was fine, if steep. Much here looked freshly worked. Are the Zen Center folks working the trail or arranging to have it worked for their guests? There were just a few unworked spots where I had to duck a deadfall, push aside some brush, or deal with some trail slumping. I enjoyed both the view and the prayer flags at the top. Same fine trail with minor, localized issues on the way down. This steep trail with its precipitous drops to the side certainly required plenty of attention, though. My knees got quite a workout on the descent.

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by Betsy M on Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:04 pm

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

The Tony Trail is currently in great shape. As noted by others, the south side (Willow Creek side) is in great shape at the bottom with minor brushy sections approaching the top. The north side (Tassajara Creek side) is also in great shape at the bottom, and very minor encroaching brush near the top.
clear of brush at top.JPG
There are fine views on both sides. Someone has recently put up some prayer flags at the top.
tony trail summit.JPG

Re: Tony Trail (Hot Springs Trail)

Post by Jasonic on Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:43 pm

Date Hiked: July 26, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Thanks to everyone who worked on this trail recently, there were well appreciated stretches of clear trail. those brushy areas only got brushier. glad we brought hand pruners. the machete was better for raising blisters than clearing most of the sort of growth up high there. Nice Clearing up top. some very challenging stretches of overgrowth. tread was very uncertain in a few places with long steep drop consequences. fairly advanced hiking.

Editors note:
Most of us have thought at one time or another that a machete would be the ideal tool to clear trail. Instead we have found that not only are machetes not the right tool, but in addition to their ineffectiveness, they are dangerous and in fact are not allowed on any VWA trips.

The best way to clear trail (or do anything) is the hard way - cut ceanothus just below ground level, that way it will not re-sprout. Cut back branches all the way to the main stem, even if that means you have to go 5 feet up the hillside to get there. Anything else pretty much either leaves hardened stobs of dead wood for people to get stabbed on, or the multiple sprouts leaving an even worse situation the next year. If trees are growing away from the trail, just prune back the side branches growing towards the trail.