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Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby anadem on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:02 pm

Date Hiked: April 4, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked a loop of Arroyo Seco trail from Santa Lucia Memorial campground up to Coast Ridge, spending the night at Cook Springs, returning down Carrizo trail. As in other reports after Madrone camp Arroyo Seco is getting quite grown-in and hard work to push through with a pack. Wear long pants or get scratched legs, and I'd recommend arranging packs slim and tall instead of short and wide! The lower half of Carrizo trail was wonderfully open freeway but the top is tough.

We'd taken two cars so left one at each end, avoiding the road walk from Carrizo trailhead back to Santa Lucia camp
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:05 am

Date Hiked: April 1, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked down from the Coast Ridge to the trailhead on my way out, and things were a bit rough. The upper part was actually not that bad -- some encroaching brush, and some midsized blowdowns, not really too difficult.

The middle sun-drenched part where you get expansive views of Junipero Serra Peak and the surrounding sandstone formations was pretty brushy though. Long sleeves and long pants recommended for sure. There were some larger blowdowns to get around too.

There was a short section of narrow and potentially loose tread above an exposed slope as you descend towards the creek, probably from an old slide.

The lower part had some even bigger areas of downed trees between false Madrone and Forks. The two crossings before Forks were rock-hops at the time, though there was a lot of water flowing.

From Forks to the last crossing a lot of brush was encroaching the trail and there were several more blowdowns. Lots of water flowing and wildflowers blooming. On a warm Saturday afternoon this section was getting a fair amount of traffic -- a boy scout troop, a family of four and their dog, various folks sunning themselves in the creek, etc.

I decided to use my water shoes for the last crossing -- about mid-shin and cold. Kind of refreshing on a warm spring afternoon.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Samuel on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:25 pm

Date Hiked: March 18, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Lucia campground to Mining Ridge and back again this past Saturday. Hard to say, sometimes rating seems like it can be subjective - I'm rating as passable as the upper sections, while overgrown, were fairly easy and I never lost sight of the trail. The lower section (first mile or so) is as described above - lots of brush and dead-fall to maneuver around, and I lost the trail somewhere here on the way back as it was getting close to dark. Was able to reconnect where trail meets the river thanks to my GPS, but would have had a rough time of it without.

Aside from that, its a glorious climb out of the canyon onto the ridge.

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby hydrologic on Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:30 pm

Date Hiked: March 12, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked from the top down. The top 2 miles were pretty brushy. Live oak is very scratchy. The bottom 2.5 miles had many downed trees you had to navigate over, under or around. The river crossing weren't bad. I didn't find any ticks but I did hear others that had some. This trail needs major work to be passable. I would NOT attempt with overnight back paks.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Jesse Schmidt on Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:51 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Because of the recent storm some of the "river" crossings were difficult. It involved some traveling along the river banks to fine a place to cross. Some of the more difficult crossings took a balancing act across a couple downed trees. This made the trip quite difficult because it made the trails more of a guessing game. MANY TICKS on this trail, they are small, and a bit after the last creek crossing they seem to stop collecting. The last bit is a huge climb up a hill with a lot of brush to maze through, just keep trekking I swear it will end. Definitely have the offered printable maps or this will be a difficult trip. If you aren't up for a challenge wait for the creeks to die down.
Jesse Schmidt

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Brian M McCutcheon on Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:45 pm

Date Hiked: December 26, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My dog Dash and I hiked the section of Arroyo Seco Trail up to Rodeo Flats, and found it passable without any major difficulties. I also brushed hundreds of ticks off of us. The creek crossing half a mile up the trail had a good flow and was fairly easy for me to rock hop, but not so easy for Dash. I had to straddle two rocks in the middle of the creek and lift Dash across that part by the handle of the harness that holds his backpack. It worked well with fresh legs at the start of the day, but not so well with tired legs on the return at the end of the afternoon. The brush is grown in tight at spots on this narrow trial, but never an obstacle. There are numerous deadfall trees. At one point, three trees (each 6-8 inch diameter) were across the path at heights of 2 ft, 3 ft and 4 ft. While Dash simply ducked under them, I had to take off my backpack and crawl under. All other trees were easy for both of us to either go over or under. There was a short stretch with poison oak protruding into the path for 50-100 yards, roughly a mile up the trail, but not too tough to maneuver through. A very passable trail, and entry way to some very nice backcountry (at least on a cool winter day).
Brian M McCutcheon
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Wilderwill on Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:46 am

Date Hiked: June 17, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Alan I hiked the Arroyo Seco Trail, from Cook Springs to FHL, Indians Rd. (I had to promise Alan that we were not doing the Rodeo Flat Cutoff again ! What a grade, tough going, even hiking down that one). We climbed up from Cook Springs to the NCRT finding two "new signs" ! We hiked downhill, moderate grade, on Arroyo Seco trail. Conditions were mixed: passable with some brush, and some open areas, tread is good. Much of the trail is brush tunnels and a large PO area we had to wade through, above Forks Camp. Some easy rock hops over the Arroyo Seco River, any downed trees were easy to step over or slide under. Much of the trail is pleasant and wooded, with numerous camp spots.

We heard a rattle warning by a Diamondback off the trail, and we saw a horned lizard along the trail. Weather was warming up but we had enough access to water.

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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby KChris on Wed May 04, 2016 1:52 pm

Date Hiked: May 3, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

poison oak, ticks and rattlesnakes oh my!

beautiful day, hooked into a small native rainbow by Forks camp, access to the river is very limited, face flies were not too bad, pulled off multiple ticks but nothing out of the ordinary for the backcountry

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby GaryS on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:40 am

Date Hiked: November 17, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Sign post at intersection of Arroyo Seco Trail with PCRT
Date Hiked: November 17, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Started a three-day trip on the afternoon of Nov. 15 from the trailhead near Santa Lucia Memorial Park. That afternoon hiked to the Forks campground where set up camp for two nights. Trail was clear, and water at the second river crossing at the Forks backpack camp was good considering prior drought. Also, we noticed water flowing at Madrone Camp. On Monday, we did a day hike from the Forks without backpacks to the intersection of the Pacific Coast Ridge Trail and hiked south along the PCRT to where there's a view of Cone Peak which is about a half-mile past the intersection of the Carrizo Trail with the PCRT. Both the Arroyo Seco Trail beyond the Forks past Madrone Camp and up to and past the intersection with the PCRT are passable. There are at least two false splinter trails that go off of the Arroyo Seco trail at about 4000 feet elevation or about a half-mile before reaching the intersection with the PCRT. On the way up the trail, we placed one colored trail ribbon and we noticed the remnant of a trail ribbon which we left in the areas to avoid going off the Arroyo Seco trail on our way back downhill, which turned out to be helpful and save energy and time. I did this trail the same time of year in Nov two years ago, and learned then that the section at around 4000 feet along the Arroyo Seco trail before reaching the PCRT can be tricky in a couple of spots without trail tape placed going up the trail in order to avoid the false splinters going down the trail particularly in that area. Also, for some reason there's a twin metal wire (each about six gauge uninsulated metal wire), seems to be from an old fence, that is draped across the Arroyo Seco trail in that area as well. Beware, as the two old fence wires are only about five feet above the trail which without noticing would be a rude awakening to a person or a horse.
We didn't see any evidence of horse travel on the Arroyo Seco trail past the second river crossing at the Forks, and figured that the equestrian parties must take the fork toward Big Sur rather than toward Cone Peak at the Forks, or they turn around at the Forks and return to Memorial Park campground trailhead. We thought of the risks of horses taking the Arroyo Seco trail particularly in the higher elevation sections past the third stream crossing due to narrow trail in some sections with risk of washout of trail in some sections where trail is exposed to soil erosion and along steep embankments in at least a few areas.
Even with the light rain on the day we went in, there were no trees fallen across the trail; only a few small ones that we could move out of the way by hand. Thank you to the volunteer trail crews who have cut and cleared the trail of large fallen trees earlier this year and prior to that to make this trail passable. Clear view of the Pacific Ocean when you reach the PCRT going up the Arroyo Seco trail.
Fall color on trees between the Forks and Madrone Camp
Along the PCRT just south of intersection with Carrizo Trail
Sign post at the intersection of Carrizo Trail with PCRT
View looking west from PCRT at Arroyo Seco Trail
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Guest on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:17 am

Date Hiked: November 7, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from The Indians to Coast Ridge Trail. Trail was in great shape. Some brush crowding the trail in some places, but trail was so well defined that it didn't create any difficulty. Not much poison oak along the trail.


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