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Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:42 pm

Date Hiked: January 21, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is for the lower section of the trail, we didn't get all the way to the top. As Leor mentions there are some brushy sections. But several work trips over the past year have cleared all logs up to Madrone Camp, and the brushing work as far as Forks Camp is holding up really well. The three crossings of the Arroyo Seco were easy rock hops, even the first crossing which can be challenging after a rain. Someone cleared all the fallen trees up to 1.5 miles from the top. And made a route across the slide. It is a pleasure to hike this trail.
Slide above Madrone Camp.jpg
Log above Madrone Camp.jpg
log removed.jpg
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Betsy M
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby pantilat on Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:30 am

Date Hiked: January 20, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From JCT with Rodeo Flat Trail to JCT with North Coast Ridge Trail (the top):

It's clear from the junction with the Rodeo Flat Trail to Madrone Camp. Currently a light flow of water in the Arroyo Seco River at Forks Camp and False Madrone Crossings. There's also water flowing at Madrone Camp. Thanks to the trail crew I met removing the blowdowns! There were 4-5 down logs above Madrone Camp that they might have removed after I passed through. The remainder of the trail has some brushy spots but the way is always obvious, hence the passable rating. Toward the top, the trail enters a brush tunnel which is holding up well and it was apparent somebody has done some housekeeping to take care of wayward branches that had drooped into the tunnel. There are also a few snag blowdowns over the trail near the top which have been there for over a year.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby anneirene on Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:35 pm

Date Hiked: October 21, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From Memorial Campground, the trail is nearly wilderness highway all the way to the false madrone camp, where (once it begins the ascent), the brush becomes quite overgrown. Currently I would rate this as "annoying" but over winter, it may slowly become "difficult."

Much appreciation to those who cleared the way up that far! Nothing like some on-trail bush bashing to make you appreciate all the work that goes into clearing these things.

As far as water, there's plenty in the Arroyo (far from) Seco. Low flow all the way up to False Madrone Usecamp. It looks dry at the road crossing. But don't be fooled! I believe it goes underground here and that's how it got its name.

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:26 pm

Date Hiked: May 7, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Trailhead to False Madrone
Thanks to Maria Ferdin and VWA trail crew volunteers, over several work trips on this trail, the fallen trees have been removed between the trailhead and False Madrone Camp. Some of these trees were huge, requiring multiple days and multiple saw crews to clear. Much of the brush has been removed as well. There is more to do, and the trail crews did not get too far beyond False Madrone. The various biting flies, face flies, and mosquitoes made the Memorial Day weekend trip pretty miserable. But these tend to diminish after a few weeks.
Several sections between Forks Camp and False Madrone, and beyond, have some impressive poison oak specimens. Lush meadows of large leafed poison oak, on both sides of the trail and meeting in the middle. Be forewarned, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. But there are beautiful sections of the river where you could take a dip if you need to.
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Betsy M
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby ahamilton on Wed May 10, 2017 5:38 pm

Date Hiked: May 8, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Thick bushes over the trail at times and half dozen downed trees, but nothing too difficult. The real problem is the poison oak which lines the trial heavily in the wetter regions of the canyon below 4000 feet. At times, we needed to hack back the stuff to pass without being covered in it. Be prepared with long pants and shirt, alcohol or Tecnu wipes, and trekking poles or other whacking implements.

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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Location: SJC

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


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