Forums
Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Arroyo Seco Trail

Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby greg meyer on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:20 am

Date Hiked: March 9, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail between Sportsman's Club and Forks camp has at least 6 - 8 pesky deadfalls on it. Mostly madrone and oak so they are tough to get through with a pack but other than that, the trail is clear with good tread in the previously washed out sections.

Sad to see that the fire killed the Santa Lucia firs in this area, they were a grand addition to the walk.
User avatar
greg meyer
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:50 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:31 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail conditions were pretty much the same as the previous report. I hiked it from the Coast Ridge on down to the Indians. The trail was quite clear of brush for a while, then the brush closed in a bit, but not really that bad all in all. Some blowdowns here and there, but nothing severe.

Indian Warrior was blooming near Forks camp. All the creek crossings were tame rock hops, though it was distressing to see the creeks so low this time of year. Nevertheless I spied a California Newt running around near False Madrone camp.

Love the views of the sandstone formations.
Rob
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby jbl on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:00 pm

Date Hiked: December 16, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Average Rating: Clear (but see comments re specific sections below). This was the finish of a day hike that had started by going up the Carrizo Trail to the Carrizo-Cook Spring Connector to the NCRT. Total number of people seen: zero.

Section: North Coast Ridge Trail to Madrone Camp: The signs at the top of the trail remain, beat up as ever:

AS-sign 1.JPG
Sign at upper trailhead-top

AS-sign 2.JPG
Sign at upper trailhead-bottom

The first half mile is Wilderness Freeway, but a couple of new trees have fallen in the section where we had cleared dozens of trees in February ’13:

AS-new trees down.JPG
Trees @ 1/2 mile down from NCRT

After that, things revert to passable/clear as the brush starts encroaching, sometimes quite heavily, as you work your way along the side of the left canyon wall; the tread is always visible. Make sure to look across the canyon at the lone boulder that’s just sitting at the top of a gully as if getting ready to roll down:

AS-rock.JPG
Boulder deciding when to take the plunge...

As you do the final drop down to Madrone Camp, there’s another small tree down at ground level:

AS-tree down.JPG
Yet another tree on trail

There is also a 30’ long section of trail on a steep, bare sidehill just before Madrone Camp that has slid a bit so this requires extra care to cross (probably not much change since Patrick F’s report earlier).

The creek is flowing strongly at Madrone Camp.

Section: Madrone Camp to False Madrone Camp: Mostly clear, some passable due to brush encroachment, tread is always visible. False Madrone Camp is a large, peaceful, pleasant spot, I definitely prefer it over Madrone Camp. Water was flowing in the creek.

Section: False Madrone Camp to Forks Camp: Clear. This is all pretty clear, but there is some heavy brush (with PO embedded in it, of course) as you approach the creek crossing just before Forks Camp. Water was flowing at camp.

Section: Forks Camp to end of trail: Clear. It is a bit overgrown in the section immediately below Forks Camp but easy to get through. I got a picture of the minimalist sign at the AS/Rodeo Flats junction that Adam mentioned in his May ’12 report:

AS-Minimalist Sign.JPG
Arroyo Seco Trail/Rodeo Flats Junction Minimalist Sign

Esperanza and I stopped for a water break as we made our way through here and we both noticed a quite odd rock formation on the ridge above us to the south that neither of us had ever noticed before:

AS-odd rock far.JPG
Odd Rock-long shot

AS-odd rock close.JPG
Odd Rock-closeup

I was happy to see that the 3 trees in this section that I had been unable to clear off the trail when I worked it in February had been removed by Betsy and others on a later VWA trip:

AS-removed 2.jpg
Removed Tree 1

AS-removed 1.jpg
Removed Tree 2

AS-removed 3.jpg
Removed Tree 3

There now are two other small trees down on the trail, easily negotiated.

It was in this section, during miles 8-10 of our hike, that we had our sole tick encounters-I picked up about 8 or so ticks on my pants leg here.

We arrived at the trailhead at the bottom at sunset, and the fading light (helped by flash) was just enough to allow a final photo at the bottom:

AS-sign at bottom.JPG
Sign at bottom of trail at Sunset
User avatar
jbl
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Jim Ringland on Fri May 10, 2013 9:41 pm

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

My experience matches that of previous posters. Clear at the top: thank you VWA Trail Crew. About 3/4 mile down, the trail narrows and scraping against chaparral is common the rest of the way to Madrone Camp. That short eroded hillside section above Madrone Camp that Patrick F mentions is indeed tricky. Between Madrone Camp and Forks the trail mixes open and modestly brushy spots. There is a fair amount of poison oak. Most is avoidable, but near False Madrone Camp I concluded the best approach was just to step on, not around, the stuff. There are a handful of deadfalls, including one made all the more interesting by adjacent PO. Below Forks, one finds more brush, a few deadfalls, some deer weed all the way across the trail, and ticks.

Camps. Madrone Camp is on pleasant looking, if not real large, bench below the trail next to the river. False Madrone Camp is on a spacious flat above a very pretty river crossing. It's got a big fire ring with cushy rocks around it on which to sit. "False" notwithstanding, there's a handsome old madrone in camp. The camp's arboreal highlight, however, is a really big incense cedar. Forks Camp is just a simple opening next to the trail (near the river) with a fire ring. Forks Usecamp is a rougher affair: grassy, lightly used, on a seasonal creek (dry now) with access to Arroyo Seco through the brush.
User avatar
Jim Ringland
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Patrick F on Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:12 pm

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

Hiked from Memorial Park to the Coast Ridge Trail and beyond, nearly to the base of Cone Peak. Only a few spots where Manzanita and Deerbrush were beginning to enclose the trail. Also one 10 foot section of the trail just above Madrone Camp that has slid down the mountain making a crossing for children or novices a little dangerous. I'm writing, though, to warn of the large numbers of TICKS! In the late afternoon on the way down I easily brushed off two dozen or more. Never in 40 years of hiking the Los Padres have I seen anywhere near these numbers. I do not recommend shorts, of course, and suggest light colored clothes so they are more easily seen. Also, don't miss the Sugar and Coulter Pines on the Coast Ridge Trail - amazing!
Patrick F
 

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:37 pm

Date Hiked: February 24, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail from the top (junction with N Coast Ridge) down to the trailhead today. Very nice ! The upper section was so much better than the last time I hiked it. There was a bit of intermittent brush heading down into the canyon. All the creek crossings were rock-hops, even after the storm last week. There was still some snow in shady north-facing spots (a lot more on the Coast Ridge though). The deadfall noted in jbl's report below was still there, but no real issue for hiking.

Clear day, great views of the sandstone formations. Indian Warrior was blooming at lower elevations.
Rob
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:24 pm

Date Hiked: February 9, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is for the upper mile of trail, from the Coast Ridge Trail down to the first gully in the open sandstone area.

A VWA Trail Crew worked on this trail over two weekends, clearing ALL the approximately 20 fallen trees in the first mile. This is the forested section that burned in 1999 and the standing dead trees continue to fall across the trail, making it quite difficult for hikers.
13000_10151507258775984_848404424_n.jpg
2013-02-03_11-52-25_294.jpg
The brush is also getting thick in this area. After the excellent efforts by an ACE crew in October, 2012, we were able to continue where they stopped, and made good progress.
426001_10151507259460984_1174492472_n.jpg
Thanks to Jean LeBlanc's efforts on both weekend trips, the most difficult trees at the bottom of the trail are also now clear.
User avatar
Betsy M
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:14 am

Date Hiked: February 9, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report covers the section from the trailhead at the bottom to Forks Camp.

Other than (1) the butt of an oak trunk that is on the trail near the beginning and (2) two tree trunks across the trail about 2 miles up (one of which has been cut but is still across the trail) that you can easily go over, the trail is clear to Forks Camp.

The first creek crossing is currently doable on the rocks that are located there if you've got good balance, and if not, it is only knee or less deep so you can do it barefoot. I tried to follow the flagged upstream "workaround" but it appears to be blocked off.

There's also a small slide in one of the gully crossings about 1.5 miles up, so you've got to be a little careful there.

Here's the oak butt to be stepped over/around near the beginning of the trail:

01-h-after cut from downhill.JPG


Here are the two trunks to be stepped/scrambled over (for scale, that's a 4' saw in the first picture):

06.JPG


08-b-after.JPG
User avatar
jbl
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby AdamW on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:32 am

Date Hiked: October 20, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Broken up report into sections. Overall the trail is passable with some clear spots.

North Coast Ridge Trail to Madrone Camp:

The trailwork recently performed on the first 1/2 mile was quite nice- thank you ACE crew. After about a half mile there were about 10 trees down and with a heavy pack they were a bit difficult to get around. Otherwise the trail switches off between brushy and clear in a number of spots. Just before Madrone Camp there was narrow trail at some slide areas.

Madrone Camp to Forks Camp/ Rodeo Flat Trail junction

About 6 trees down, and light brush encroachment except for a few short brushy sections.

Forks Camp/ Rodeo Flat Trail Junction to Santa Lucia Memorial Park

Mostly clear with one or two trees down and some light brush except for a few spots- especially just past the Rodeo Flat Junction. Trailwork from Spring also made a big difference.
AdamW
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 6:04 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:01 pm

Date Hiked: October 14, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A trail crew worked on the uppermost section from the junction with the North Coast Ridge Trail. The signpost has survived several fires, but the signs themselves are showing signs of age.
sign.JPG

The crew brushed the first half mile, which was some of the worst brush.
DSCF0072.JPG
Below this section, you can get through without too much trouble but the brush will be pushing on you from both sides.
DSCF0079.JPG
As the trail drops down into the canyon, before Madrone Camp, there is still some tree canopy and not much brush. There are a couple of trees down but they are easily negotiated. Madrone Camp itself is a small camp, perched on a slope above the creek. There is almost no spot you could pitch a tent, and the lower "False Madrone" is much more inviting.
User avatar
Betsy M
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest