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Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby zukemeister on Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:05 am

Date Hiked: April 7, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Made it into the canyon and to the Bear Trap. I would rate the route "impassable," but we made it, so it's not impassable. It is very difficult, do to the same conditions cited throughout this thread--deadfalls and dense brush. The canyon bottom is pretty clear. The trail/jeep road that leads to the Bear Trap is hard to find in the lower regions, and when it gets easier to find (upper part), it gets a lot harder to navigate, due to the many deadfalls. Expect to be crawling in several places. On the route back we elected to skip trying to find what we knew to be the extremely difficult-to-navigate trail from the canyon bottom to Tassajara Road by hiking straight up one of the ridges. The apex of the ridge was generally more navigable than the canyon wall on which the official trail is cut.

Aside from the hard work, the salient feature of this trek was all the garbage left by hunters in all corners of this canyon, both on trail and off. The place is rife with shotgun shells, water bottles, wrappers, bags and cans. The hunters are disrespecting and marring the beautiful national forest, and it is quite dismaying.
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Date Hiked: October 28, 2015
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Paul Danielson and I went to see what the Anastasia Canyon Trail is currently like. I've hiked that trail at least 4 times, and Paul more, so was familiar with the trail. Plus we had a GPS track of previously-followed routes.

It took us 2 hours to travel the 0.9 mile from Tassajara Road down to the stream bed (currently dry). I have to consider that section now "impassable". The 2008 fire has produced patches of nearly impenetrable ceanothus and many tree downfalls (and many dead trees waiting to fall). We tried to stay as close to the original trail tread as possible, but in many places were forced to divert to a greater or lesser degree. There are now multiple "routes", where people have tried to find their way around brush and downed trees, so determining where the original "trail" lies is difficult (we had our GPS to tell us) - several of these "routes" appear to leave the trail and simply head directly downslope. We put in some additional flagging to mark the original trail, but any future hiker would still need to do much searching to stay on that trail.

Sadly, I believe this trail is now "lost" since extensive trail work would be required to make it once again passable and I can't see that happening for this little used trail. I expect this will be a hunters' preserve, since they use the nearby White Oaks Campground and typically travel cross-country. RIP In the fall, the color of the changing leaves had made Bear Trap Canyon a nice place to visit.

Jack
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby ToroDoge on Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:26 am

Date Hiked: June 13, 2015
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

A friend and I attempted to follow this trail into Bear Trap Canyon but found it overgrown to the point of being impassable about 3/4 mile in. We attempted to follow the pink trail markers but at one point that would have meant crawling on hands and knees to get under sturdy brush that had moved in on the trail. We had thought perhaps someone used the trail markers to find their way back out since the trail is not clear but seeing the previous reports we think it probably just got overgrown this spring. There are numerous tree falls to scurry over and the trail is about as evident as deer trails so we got off trail more times than I can count and had to backtrack. There is a lot of poison oak at chest level that must be pushed through so beware if you attempt.
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby pkontheway on Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:24 am

Date Hiked: March 21, 2015
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

From Tassajara, it was a difficult trip down to the creek and Cahoon Spring. Numerous dead trees, encrouching brush, and an overgrown trail. The trail is marked with pink plastic ribbon every few hundred feet, but it is often difficult to find the next ribbon marker due to trail conditions.
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby wilderwil on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:04 pm

Date Hiked: November 9, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Joe Sortais and myself, William Salmon hiked the Anastasia Cyn Trail on a clear Saturday morning. There were 2 cars and a pickup with a camper shell with central valley license plate frames. We talked to a hunter at the trailhead he was "hunting squirrels" with a 12 ga. shotgun. The trail was well used, presumably by hunters, and there was many shotgun shell cases, empty plastic water bottles, cans and general debris scattered all along the trail. (It would be hard to get lost, you could follow all the litter). We also heard a small caliber rifle being fired to the north of us. (Fall may not be a good time to hike this trail !)

But the trail was quite beautiful near the Cahoon Ranch property in Bear Trap Canyon. Large oaks, pines and meadows of dried grass. Some evidence of fire damage. The trail, which turns into a jeep trail was easy to follow in the dry grass.

Cahoon springs had a little trickle of muddy water, and an attempt by someone to dam the outlet with a few wooden boards. We didn't go all the way to Carmel Valley Rd. but stopped at the ridge above it.
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby pauldan on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:35 pm

Date Hiked: February 18, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)


Trail conditions today were as Jack Glendening described in his report on January 13th, a month ago. However, it is now possible to follow a pink-flagged route from the trailhead on Tassajara Rd. to the point where the trail reaches the canyon bottom and stream. Additional clipping has made much of the route quite passable, although steep and sloped in places. There is one section where you must push through unclipped, face-high brush, but the tread is easily felt and followed with the help of the flagging. About 60% is on the original trail. The other 40% is detours around impassable sections. The main (upper) detour has been created by hunters with machetes. The other one is an additional (lower) detour with lopper cuts. Everything is heavily flagged, in order to make this trip as foolproof as possible. Nevertheless, it is still a workout; but worth the effort to reach the beautiful canyon itself.
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:08 pm

Date Hiked: January 11, 2013
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Initially Paul Danielson and I were encouraged by the apparently new sign (neither of us recall seeing it) and evidence of brush cutting along the trail. But 0.4 miles in we found a sea of ceanothus which obscured the trail for the next 0.35 miles. After emerging from it the route became "passable", but in our view the ceanothus growth obscures the trail to the point where we would call this a "lost trail".

While I've done other trails where having the actual trail track in my GPS has been very "helpful" as a guide, allowing a quick recovery from taking a false route (e.g. the south end of the Ventana Double Cone Trail), this is the first trail for which I feel having a GPS is "required" if wanting to hike the trail. Both of us consider the trail "impassable" without a GPS. Even with a GPS we consider it "difficult". There were many places where we had no obvious way to go inside a ceanothus jungle. One can't simply go in any direction since the ceanothus is impenetrable in many directions, so we used the GPS to determine which "not impenetrable" route through the brush best fit the direction of the trail at that location, for example deciding whether we should be trying to follow a contour or be trying to descend/ascend at a given spot, using that to guide us to a place where trail tread was again apparent. Even using the GPS there were numerous places where we had retrace our steps and try a different direction because the "not impenetrable" route we had chosen ended up at a dead end, where the brush became impenetrable in the direction we wanted to go. So traversing the 0.35 mile "jungle" took 1.5 hours. Without a GPS having the actual trail track, or previous knowledge of the trail route, it would be very difficult to again find the tread after the ceanothus jungle - the hike would instead turn into a bushwhack.

Of course, someone may wish to challenge this judgment by themselves tackling the Anastasia Canyon Trail without a GPS! We would be eager to hear a report from such a venture.

A caveat is that the hike was done in snow, making finding the tread a bit more difficult than it would otherwise be.

We had brought a saw and loppers and used them at places where the ceanothus had grown over what was obviously trail tread. However when in the ceanothus without being on an obvious tread we did no clearing, we simply pushed through the brush. We found some off-trail routes which depart from the correct trail (e.g. cut branches apparently due to hunters using machetes, seemingly attempts to get around the worst of the ceanothus) - we did not do any clearing along those.

We also continued beyond the Anastasia Canyon Trail along the use trail which connects to Chews Ridge firebreak, a route along an old road which we had previously helped flag and clear (for route see http://bigsurtrailmap.net). That route was less brushy than the Anastasia Canyon Trail ceanothus jungle and made a nice loop hike. But we again occasionally needed to use the GPS to guide us, since the route was often not apparent and any tread was covered with snow.

It made for a nice picturesque hike over a snow-covered landscape, taking a bit over 6 hours to reach the Chews Ridge lookout tower and 1 hour to return via Tassajara Road.

Jack
Attachments
AnastasiaTrailSign-crop.jpeg
Anastasia Canyon Trail Sign
AnastasiaTrailSign-crop.jpeg (25.4 KiB) Viewed 7423 times
SnowyChewsRidgeLookout.thirdsize.jpg
Chews Ridge Lookout Tower in snow
SnowyChewsRidgeLookout.thirdsize.jpg (17.33 KiB) Viewed 7423 times
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Re: Anastasia Canyon Trail (aka Cahoon Spring Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:49 pm

Date Hiked: September 11, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail condition essentially per my last report (10 months ago) except the upper portion of the extension to Chews Ridge has been minimally cleared, sufficient to form a "brush tunnel", and flagged by Paul Danielson and myself. Tread is least distinct on lowest section of trail, as it descends to the creek, as the trail is easily confused with multiple hunter/animal use trails.

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Anastasia Cyn to Chews Ridge

Postby jack_glendening on Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:09 pm

Date Hiked: November 10, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Day hike from Tassahara Rd to Cahoon Springs, continuing on to Tassajara Rd at Chews Ridge lookout. The post-fire tread was not well defined at the beginning of the trail, where it descends down to canyon, but thereafter became more identifiable. From there my map has the trail continuing up along the streambed but it actually follows a well-defined old roadbed to the side, up to Cahoon Springs and then to the meadow.

To create a loop, but not officially part of the Anastasia trail and hence not included in the "passable" rating, we continued up to Chews Ridge via the path described in the previous post (my companion being the previous poster!). Some bush-whacking between open spaces was required up to the fence but was not too bad. Beyond, however, much brush had grown since the last report of 7 years ago, requiring much crawling and some sawing - it took 1 hr to move 0.3 mi! Quite a relief to finally get to the firebreak, a clear path leading to the Chews Ridge Observatory and Tassajara Road.

An edited GPS trace of the Anastasia Canyon portion of the trail is attached.
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AnastasiaCanyonTrail.gpx
Anastasia Cyn Trail GPS track (gpx format)
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Tassajara Road to Cahoon Springs area

Postby Site Administrator on Tue May 12, 2009 4:11 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2003
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Conditions reported by: Paul Danielson
Survey date: 15-JAN-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:Tassajara Road to Cahoon Springs area

The access from Tassajara Road is the only one now. (The lower access from Carmel Valley Road is now denied and does indeed cross private property.) The 800 foot drop into the canyon is clear with just a little bit of poison oak intrusion. Once in the canyon, one encounters one serious deadfall which is easily skirted to the left crossing the small stream and resuming right along the path. The trail continues upstream and crosses it, veering sharply to the left and winds steeply uphill through open canopy to Cahoon Springs (now a pig wallow). Then one heads right and up to an open meadow which makes a good rest spot.

There are old ranch roads which head east, southwest, and northwest. The last is along a ridge with views but should be followed with caution as it enters private grazing property and eventually dead ends far below.

An interesting adventure is to take the southwest option and in about a quarter of a mile one notes the open, sloping meadow and heads straight up it instead of making the left-hand curving bend in the road. As you climb out of the meadow you will clearly see the old ranch road heading up the ridge. In due time you come to a wooden fence where the road appears to end and a single tread path begins. This is brush-covered and requires attentive pushing and ducking until you break out into the open, on the(most recent 1999 debris-strewn) firebreak swath that leads up to the Chews Ridge lookout. One easily exits to the saddle on Tassajara Road and can follow it back down the 2-3 miles back to your car. If you do this, chances are you will have made a loop that will put you in the dirty dozen's hikers hall of fame.
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