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San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby slosurfer on Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:05 am

I plan on hiking into San Carpoforo and Elk Camp and staying for a few days sometime this summer and was planning on going in through Baldwin Ranch Road. What is the parking situation on Hwy 1 at Baldwin ranch road? Is it okay to park in the parking lot at Ragged Point for a few days? Thanks!
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby LBehrmann on Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:32 am

In June I made it from Ragged Point Inn to Elk Camp. I also did 4 nights total ending up at Los Berros road. So I hope to get my notes into a trail report or 2 soon for any trails that have older reports.
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby Guest on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:03 pm

Thank you so much for the info. ;-) That is exactly what I was thinking would be the right direction, but being that I have only come into that area via Salmon Creek, I just wasn't sure. Now I can't wait to go back and compete the journey. :-)
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby jbl on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:07 am

Hello. To get to San Carpo you needed to turn left and within a mile the continuation of Baldwin Ranch Road down into the Dutra drainage towards San Carpo camp would cut off to the right. Bringing water is key this year because it's been so dry.

Had you turned right at the junction you could have wandered along on the ridge with some great views (especially if you went out onto any of the ocean facing ridges) for maybe 2 miles until you hit the gate/fence at the Hearst property line.
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby Guest on Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:50 pm

Myself, and three other ladies, rode the Ragged Point Fire Road yesterday for the first time. It was a beautiful day with some fabulous views, loved it. We had hopes of riding to either the Turkey Springs Camp or San Carporforo Camp. Years ago I used to do the ride from Salmon Creek to San Carpoforo Camp, and it was a ride I always looked forward to. Since the Salmon Creek Trail is not really maintained for horses anymore, we decided to try and go in from the Ragged Point Fire Road. We made it to the top where we came to a dirt road "T" and had to make a decision to go left or right. The road to the left definitely looked like a better, more used road, and to the right the trail looked rougher, and not as well maintained. Does anyone know which way we should have gone at the top to get to either one of the camps, and how much further down we had to go? We decided to turn back and do some more research, come back when daylight savings time starts, and pack in water for the horses.
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Elk Camp Trail found !

Postby jack_glendening on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:06 pm

A follow-up to the discussion below is in the "Elk Camp Trail Report" posted at http://www.ventanawild.org/forum08/view ... f=37&t=137 - a report made 12 years after the first (and til now only) trail report!

Note that there is now data available for the actual trail route, which differs in some details from the estimated route provided by Boon, at
http://bigsurtrailmap.net

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Big Sur Trailmap: http://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:10 pm

For anyone interested in going to Elk Camp, Boon Hughey has kindly provided the verbal description below and a map with a best-guess trail location in blue (the official USFS trail location is in yellow). I've also attached a GPX file of the best-guess trail which can be loaded into Google Earth or a GPS..

Herb, Paul Danielson, and I hope to hike to Elk Camp sometime in April - if we do, I'll post a follow-up report.

Jack Glendening

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Directions to Elk Camp - Boon Hughey

You leave San Carpoforo camp and walk downstream through a cobblefield, pass an unofficial campsite, then climb over some flood jetsam and arrive at a nice, open sandy flattish place with a nice pool about 200 yards downstream of San C camp. Cross the creek here and climb the root-steps trail on the opposite bank, staying to the left when it forks. Head up through the oaks until it opens up into wide open grasslands, and keep going upward and slightly to the right, following the logical way to climb up through the meadow and eventually getting up onto and following a small grassy ridglet. On your right about 75 yards away from the ridglet will be the edge of the oak forest, and the trail enters that forest at a indistinguishable place marked with a faded orange flag. Once you enter the forest, the first frog pond should be right there on your right. Continue past it through level forest looking for tree blazes, and in short order the second frog pond will show up on your left. Stay well to the right of the second frog pond and the trail will become quite evident as it descends into the gully just beyond the second pond.

The route is easy to follow for a while, uphill out of the gully, around some bushes, then steeply straight up an open grassy hillside. Look for Mariposa lilies along this stretch. Eventually the Hearst Ranch/County Line fence will show up on your right and you'll follow along very near it for a while until you come to a sort of small grassy bowl under a nice bay tree where the trail seems to disappear. Climb up and to the left through this bowl, slowing reversing direction and heading up toward a steeply ascending ridge at a very small but obvious saddle. This saddle will be your first wonderful viewpoint. From there you just follow the ridge straight up through knee-high brush toward the larger more prominent ridge which is the highest point along the route. Toward the top the trail traverses to the right to gain the ridge top. The views from that ridge are wonderful in all directions.

Looking eastward toward the Elk Camp environs from that ridge you will see a large, prominent red rock outcrop about 100' tall in the shape of a pyramid at the base of Jones Mountain. Elk Camp and Elk Camp Creek are just on the other side of this rock. Burn this pyramid rock into your mind as the landmark you need to find Elk Camp.

When you leave the ridge, don't do the obvious and try to follow it out and down in the direction of Elk Camp. The trail actually crosses right over the ridge and drops down the backside into a nice grassy bowl, entering the oak forest at the far end and becoming easier to follow. It makes a gradual descent through forest and eventually pops out at the upper end of a good-sized sloping meadowland with a small gully through the middle of it. While it seems natural to make a level traverse across the meadowland and re-enter the forest at the far side, to follow the trail you'll cross the small gully and head straight down through the grassy meadowland instead. The trail leaves the very bottom of the meadowland as if it were going out the bottom of a funnel. Once back in the trees the route becomes obvious again.

From here you just follow the trail as best you can through forest and a couple of large, open grassy meadows, keeping an eye on that red pyramid to guide you to Elk Camp. When you get close to the pyramid rock, skirt below it then climb up the low grassy ridge on the far side. Elk Camp is down the other side of the grassy ridge in the trees on the creek. There's a table, stove and highline for horses there. The creek is right next to the camp.
Attachments
ElkCampMap-Hughey2.jpg
ElkCampMap
ElkCampTrail-Hughey2.gpx
ElkCampTrailEst2-GPX
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Big Sur Trailmap: http://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby jack_glendening on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:39 pm

That's nice to know - but Herb, on a determined effort to reach Elk Camp, was unable to find the trail there (and there likely have been others). Elk Camp seems rather like a secret treasure mine, for which one needs special directions to reach.

Jack Glendening
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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby C M Heard on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:38 pm

jack_glendening wrote:Regarding Elk Camp, there is of course the official USFS-provided track for the trail to Elk Camp ( http://www.ventanahiking.net ) but I suspect that would only provide rough guidance at best. I notice that where it crosses large grassy areas there is no indication of a trail on satellite images, suggesting that no one goes there anymore. Elk Camp seems to be a "lost" camp.


Actually, Elk Camp is not a lost camp. The trail is indeed rather vague, and it took us two tries, but on July 22,2008 Steve Benoit and I were able to follow Boon Hughey's directions (provided, ironically, by the AFEO at Pacific Valley Station through a long chain of e-mail forwards) to Elk Camp:

IMG_0108.JPG
View of Elk Camp from a distance

IMG_0110.JPG
View of Elk Camp close up


We went there because we were tasked with doing fuel hazard reduction at all the back-country camps in the Silver Peak Wilderness.

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Re: San Carpoforo/Elk Camp/Lottie Potrero Trails

Postby jack_glendening on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:53 pm

Thanks for your interesting report on an alternate route to San Carpoforo Camp.

Regarding Elk Camp, there is of course the official USFS-provided track for the trail to Elk Camp ( http://www.ventanahiking.net ) but I suspect that would only provide rough guidance at best. I notice that where it crosses large grassy areas there is no indication of a trail on satellite images, suggesting that no one goes there anymore. Elk Camp seems to be a "lost" camp.
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