Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - National Forest closure reduction

National Forest closure reduction

This is the place for general discussion, not specifically related to trails

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Scar Face on Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:58 am

Maybe we will see a trail report from the lost hiker, that would be interesting.

From "Betsy", likely the most knowledgable person on the subject of forest closure we are getting some valuable information:

"When they get to the washout at Barlow? In my opinion this trail needs to remain closed or heavily signed"

Betsy seems to have detailed knowledge of the Pine Ridge trail, and likely all other trails in the Ventana. The above statement indicates to me that the one and only trail which should remain closed is the Pine Ridge trail from Big-Sur-Station to Sykes. Betsy doesn't refute the assertion by Organ Grinder that the Ventana wilderness trails outside of the Pine Ridge trail would all be better served by opening them to the public.
I have seen elsewhere on the Web that the "Peak Trail" in Garrapata park is now gone, unfollowable after the Soberanes fire because of regrowth. We should expect the same for all seldom-moderately traveled trails in the Ventana after months of closure.
Scar Face

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby emperor norton on Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:41 pm

I wonder do the authorities try to recover funds from these lazy hikers who probably could walked out on her own, I know they sell insurance for recovery efforts
emperor norton

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Betsy M on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:07 am

Responding to Organ Grinder. You are correct that trail crews cleared part of the Pine Ridge Trail from China Camp. Beyond that, the trail is a mess, to start. And beyond the messy, non-burned sections, it is extremely dangerous and someone could get killed trying to cross the washouts. Agree with you some areas could safely be opened up. But you make it sound like it is just some pesky bureaucratic compunction that keeps the entire forest from being open. Anyone who has ever hiked to Sykes knows that hundreds of people hike there, the majority of them don't bother to check trail reports before they go; some of them barely have the supplies they need in a normal year and they sure aren't equipped to cross dangerous washouts. If you think it's fine for people to get dropped off at China Camp and hike down the Pine Ridge Trail, where do you think they will go after they get through the newly-cleared section? When they get to the washout at Barlow? In my opinion this trail needs to remain closed or heavily signed, or there will be a lot worse than lazy hikers getting picked up by the CHP helicopter. There will be search and rescue for hikers who have fallen off of cliffs.
User avatar
Betsy M
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Blancowilly on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:11 pm

Here here

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Organ Grinder on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:16 am

I respectfully don't agree with this reference to the Pine Ridge trail:

"the trail is overgrown, trees are down, and tons of dry ravel has covered the trail in burned areas"

It is my understanding that the fire never reached the area between Church Creek Divide and Big Sur River. (confirmed from the air, the fire stopped burning south at Ventana Cone it did not make it to the Pine Ridge trail between Church and Sykes). It is true that the backfire from Chews ridge, and maybe the actual fire, did burn portions of the area between Church divide and China camp.

There is not one single tree down between China Camp and the Bear - Basin Connector. The Pine Ridge trail has been substantially reworked by trail crews between Church Creek Divide and the Pine Ridge Camp since the fire burned.

There is abundant water along the trail, west of Church creek divide.

OK, west of Sykes is likely a lot of crappy trail, but is it worth shutting down the Ventana wilderness north of the Pine Ridge because of one section of trail? The majority of trails in the Ventana in this area are suffering from disuse. If the Carmel River trail were in-use now it would be self-clearing to some extent and would not need as much care from VWA crews in the future. Other trails may be lost altogether because of the lack of use, what will the Puerto trail, or the VDC, or the Manual trail be like after 2 years of disuse?

Organ Grinder

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Betsy M on Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Last week the CHP responded to a personal locator beacon activation on the Pine Ridge Trail. They picked up a woman solo hiker who claimed to have been without food and water for days. The details are scanty but it appears she was hiking from China Camp. She may have discovered first hand that the trail is overgrown, trees are down, and tons of dry ravel has covered the trail in burned areas.

Personally I find it difficult to believe that you could be without food and water when you are a day's hike from the trailhead at China Camp. You could just hike back to the trailhead. But the entire hike was in a closed area and most of that has not been surveyed after the fire. Areas in the burned area that have been surveyed are really, really bad. It isn't just the impact of the fire - dry ravel and fallen trees. It is the impact of the rains this spring. Some parts of the trails have washed away completely and there is no safe way to get across these places, with a hundred feet drop if you loose your footing.
While I sympathize with everyone who is clamoring for the forest to be open, I can say for a fact that lots of the closed area is in really bad shape. Plus the area is closed. There are plenty of places that are open and the trails are in good shape - Arroyo Seco, The Indians, Cone Peak, the Silver Peak. If you absolutely must hike on trails that are brushy and in disrepair, you should be able to find some of those in the open areas.
User avatar
Betsy M
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby mikesplain on Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:31 pm

While we too eagerly await the re-opening of the northern Ventana Wilderness, it remains closed (regardless of the presence/absence of signage). Entry of the closure area may invoke legal action & significant fines. See- ... 527101.pdf
User avatar
Posts: 620
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:15 pm

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby All Star on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:47 am

Excellent ! Hopefully I didn't inadvertantly enter the forest when I travelled to Hiding Camp. I saw no signage related to where the national forest may have started.
All Star

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby Daniel S on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:06 pm

Los Padres dam to Bluff camp is not within the Los Padres National Forest, the forest starts in-between bluff and Miller Fork of the Carmel River. So LP dam to Bluff legal even if the forest is closed.
Daniel S
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:57 pm

Re: National Forest closure reduction

Postby All-Star on Mon May 15, 2017 1:02 pm

I also noted the lack of signs at Los Padres Dam. No indication of any closure from LP dam to Bluff camp, and well past Carmel River Camp. From the signage it is unclear where the closure is (or that it is closed at all) in this area.
Seems like better signage related to the closure is needed, though I believe I did note a closure sign along the Tassajara Rd, and at Brazzil Ranch. It seems like the extensive rain, and wind (strongest winds every recorded at some locations in California) would have removed lose rock and weak trees.


Return to Ventana Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests