Forums
Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby trolleypup on Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:42 am

Date Hiked: March 29, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from the Coast Highway up to about 1 mile above Vicente Flat Camp (uppermost stream crossing) shortly after the big storms. Intermittent tread slippage (caused by vegetation) in the lower section (on the coastal front), recent treadwork has much improved the section in the canyon to Vicente Flat. Deadfall obstacles all removed. Other tread obstacles are in the process of being removed.

At the time of hiking, the major issue was the 4 stream crossings above Vicente Flat (the crossing in camp still has the log, and the uppermost crossing is not too inundated)...until the water recedes (days not weeks), water shoes are probably the appropriate gear, Hare Creek was definitely not suitable for hopping over especially with a pack.
Come join the VWA Trail Crew
User avatar
trolleypup
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:06 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby dayhiker on Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:01 pm

Date Hiked: December 31, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

About a mile before Vincent Flat there is a washout/small slide that leaves about a boot-width tread to walk on and a steep slide to the downhill. Several other areas look like they might be fairly new slides but this is the only one that looks a little dicey and has the potential to easily slide more. This one looks like it might have been from the rains of late last week.
dayhiker
 

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby Snowmonkey on Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:49 pm

Date Hiked: December 13, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail from Hwy 1 to Espinosa Camp was passable with a handful of small washouts that were easy to cross, the tread was in good shape for the most part. From Espinosa camp to Vincente Flats was in great shape. Thanks for all the great work who ever did it. Vincente Flats to Cone Peak Road was also very clear with nice tread. The Cone Peak Trail to the summit was also in great shape. Thanks again for all the hard work that has been put into the trail.
Snowmonkey
 

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby mxharris on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:34 pm

Date Hiked: October 9, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The VWA's Youth In Wilderness Program, with students from the CSUMB Outdoor Adventure Club, performed trailwork on the Vicente Flat Trail. Brushing and deadfall removal uncovered a switchback that had been previously obscured. Several large deadfalls were removed, including a 52" diameter log near VF camp.

The section from the Cone Peak Road trailhead to Vicente Flat camp is very clear, thanks to the efforts of volunteers on National Public Lands Day and the ongoing efforts of Mike Heard and Brian Williams.

A wonderful time was had by all-thanks to Mike and Brian for all of your hard work!

-Morgan Harris

Some pictures:
P1010045.JPG
Mike putting in work on a deadfall.

P1010080.JPG
Sizing up!(52")

P1010077.JPG
Volunteers from the CSUMB Outdoor Adventure Club and Morgan from the VWA.
User avatar
mxharris
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby C M Heard on Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:01 pm

Date Hiked: September 29, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Cone Peak Road to Vicente Flat Camp (4E13 - Vicente Flat / Stone Ridge Trail). A VWA Trail Crew work party brushed out the topmost half mile of this trail on National Pubic Lands Day and two VWA Trail Crew volunteers finished removing the downed oak tree approximately one mile below the trailhead two days later. The trail is once again stock passable from down to Vicente Flat Camp. There is still some encroaching brush on the lower two miles (though the worst part is now gone), and the post-holing caused by the stock in areas where burrowing mammals have been active still needs to be repaired.

Section: Vicente Flat Camp to Espinosa Camp (4E17 – Kirk Creek Trail). No change since the report submitted on 1 Aug 2010.

Regarding this:
paulgarett wrote:No fires are allowed this time of year; however, I noticed a group of campers at the Vicente Flat Trail having a large campfire, underneath a low hanging branch no less. There response was it keeps the bugs away. Long pants and shirt usually solve that problem. There should be more postings of No Fires at the trailheads at the ranger station. I have never enjoyed campfires while backpacking because it makes you smell like smoke, it makes you dirty, and it requires constant attention. Big Sur is a one of a kind area, so we need to protect it and keep ourselves safe. Thank you.

We found that four of the five maintained fire rings in Vicente Flat Camp, plus three other "guerilla" rings, had been used since 27 Jul 2010. At Espinosa Camp we found that one of the maintained rings had been used since 26 Jul 2010. We broke up and scattered the "guerilla" rings, and we cleaned out and fuel-hazard reduced the others. Mr. Garett is correct that these illegal fires are highly irresponsible. I might add that the Forest Service agrees: they take violations of seasonal fire restrictions very seriously, and any FPO or LEO will issue an immediate citation for a violation (too bad they don't patrol the back country very often). Even legal campfires have a very high resource impact -- once a well-used fire ring site dries out, the ash is everywhere. Folks should consider this before having that nice roaring fire.
C M Heard
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Vicente Flat Trail (from Cone Peak Rd) to Vicente Flat Camp

Postby paulgarett on Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:25 pm

Date Hiked: September 7, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hot. Bring two quarts of water per person. Hare Creek about 1.5 miles or so down the trail where you can re-fill (use water filter). Trail is "single-track" with some poison oak. Lots of knats (bugs) in the air. Hiking with lightweight long pants and shirt is recommended. May want to bring Tech-nu to wash up once you reach the creek. The poison oak is not too bad though. Downed tree about 3/4 mile down the trail. Needed to take off backpacking backpack in order to get under the trunk. Recommend trail crew to remove this downed tree. Should be a good job. (Would not mind volunteering myself). The trail is a little steep downhill with loose dirt. If you are not an experienced hiker or are carrying a heavy load, it will slow going. It was fine for me; my partner had a little trouble, but all good. Once you reach the creek, the beauty of the trail becomes amazingly beautiful. Old-growth redwoods with new sprouts from the fire in 1999, are amazing. The creek itself is absolutely beautiful. Heard owls in the valley in the late afternoon. An owl visited our camp about 4 p.m. and perched on a branch about 10 feet above. It may have been a spotted owl, but I am not sure. Took pictures. The owl seemed tame. It let us take pictures and turned its head completely around to follow our movements around the camp. The night sounds were amazing. Heard animal sounds that I have never heard before. A friend of mine told me it may have been deer calls, which forage during the cool nights. I could here other small animals hunting for food and of course the owls were hooting. I spoke with a pair of hikers I met near our camp about the Cone Peak Loop. They said they saw a RATTLESNAKE at the next valley over; part of the Cone Peak Loop trail, where the trail becomes difficult to make-out. We hiked out the next day the same way we came. Uphill, go slow and easy, and only a couple miles. My partner in front of me almost stepped on a RATTLESNAKE! It was a baby rattlesnake with a little rattle. We watched it cross the trail and slither into the bushes. That was scary. My worst fear is getting bitten and being way out. The 2 miles to the top is stiff and hot. Then Cone Peak Road is a windy, small road. The nearest hospital is a long ways off. Hiking polls may be a good means of defense against snakes. Leather hiking boots. Possibly gaiters to cover the lower portion of your legs, for safety. I am a little disappointed that RATTLESNAKE warnings were not posted or verbally noted at the Big Sur Station. Water availability should also be noted at the ranger station since it is hot. The backcountry of Big Sur is way out there. And if an emergency did happen it could be life threatening. Vicente Flat Camp is very beautiful and I look forward to going there again. I will be more prepared next time with long hiking pants and some sort of snake protection for the lower leg area. Trail signs would also be nice indicating proper camp sites and the turn off for the Cone Peak Loop trail. I did not see any trail signs except at the trailhead on Cone Peak Road. Also, at the Big Sur Station, I had to ask for a camp stove permit. No fires are allowed this time of year; however, I noticed a group of campers at the Vicente Flat Trail having a large campfire, underneath a low hanging branch no less. There response was it keeps the bugs away. Long pants and shirt usually solve that problem. There should be more postings of No Fires at the trailheads at the ranger station. I have never enjoyed campfires while backpacking because it makes you smell like smoke, it makes you dirty, and it requires constant attention. Big Sur is a one of a kind area, so we need to protect it and keep ourselves safe. Thank you.
paulgarett
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:33 pm

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby C M Heard on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:45 pm

Date Hiked: July 27, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Cone Peak Road to Vicente Flat Camp (4E13 - Vicente Flat / Stone Ridge Trail). An unbelievable amount of light brush has grown since the ACE crew was packed in on 24 March 2010, but this section remains pack-stock passable, with two mounted packers and three mules making the trip in and out on 22 July 2010 to bring in gear for a smoke jumper crew and again on 27 July 2010 to pack out said gear. Besides the encroaching brush there is some post-holing caused by the stock in areas where burrowing mammals have been active. If you want to help fix these problems you may want to consider joining the volunteer work trip scheduled for National Public Lands Day, 25 Sept 2010 (see http://www.ventanawild.org/aboutus/about-events.html for more information). [Last hiked on 27 July 2010]

Section: Vicente Flat Camp to Espinosa Camp (4E17 – Kirk Creek Trail). Just beyond Vicente Flat Camp there is a downed tree dating back to the October 2009 storm that is easily stepped over. There are the old problems of sagging tread in the open areas and some uncleared slides dating back to the 2008 fire, then another downed tree further on. The good news is that the smoke jumper crew mentioned above cleared the jackstraw pile of redwood trees about 200 yards before the perennial stream 1/4 mile above Espinosa Camp, and trail crew repaired the trail damage in that area sufficiently well to make the trail reasonably safe to hike. [Last hiked on 26 July 2010]

Section: Espinosa Camp to Highway 1 (4E17 – Kirk Creek Trail). Approximately 300 yards below Espinosa Camp there is a burnt redwood tree about 18" in diameter. There is a slide on the way to Hwy 1 that is a bit tricky to negotiate. Deer weed and other encroaching are causing severe trail degradation on the sections that were so laboriously repaired in late spring of 2008. [Last hiked on 4 July 2010]
C M Heard
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby mhumphries on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:26 pm

Date Hiked: June 4, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Two day visit-Kirk Creek to Vicente Flat, one night stay and out again on 6/5.

Conditions were as noted on the mid May report. Mid day temps were 75-80, nights 60-65. Bugs (biting flies mostly plus gnats in several places) were uniformly bad most of the way, REI Jungle Juice did the trick but needed to be renewed every couple of hours due to sweat.

There is enough water in the stream past Espinosa that I could dip my filter hose in a pool formed by rocks just above the trail.

Bugs mostly went away at night at Vicente, but mosquitoes remained as expected.

All along the full length of the trail the several small washouts were passable but require attention to keep from stepping on the edge and slipping out.

There is a lot more poison oak past Espinosa on the way to Vicente than I remember ever before-perched right on the edges of the trail making it important to watch out at all times. Also a lot of purple and yellow thistles encroaching so you really need to watch hands and legs if wearing shorts.

Vicente was very clean. As I left a troop of about 20 Scouts descended from Cone Peak to camp. Based on their leaders I think they will leave it clean, but perhaps a bit less firewood to find on the ground!
mhumphries
 

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby Rick Bravo on Sun May 23, 2010 8:33 am

Date Hiked: May 22, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A clear,beautiful day. Trail is clear, the usual encroaching brush. Poison Oak overgrowth was less prominent than I expected. Espinosa Camp's creek (water source) was flowing well. Trail beyond encountered the Redwood downfall across the trail. Easily accessed by crawling underneath. Would not recommend going downward then up as the felled branches were becoming brittle and one could easily twist an ankle or worse. In this area, it would be best to de-pack, carefully pass the packs through and crawl slowly ( i really whacked a kneecap on a sharp jutting piece of granite my first time through). Vicente Flats was simply great. The fire thinned the foillage a tad bit, but the campsites on the west side were all doing well. Found one table survived in the meadow area. All of the steel fire grates were gone and the fire pits on the east end of the Flats were gone.

Word of extreme caution, look up when setting up your campsite. There seem to be a LOT of potential "widow-maker" dead branches and such on the east end after the fire. Could come crashing down in the wind. Fewer on the west end. The stream is flowing well and MUCH deadfall wood.

This area is a wonderful example of returning foilage after a fire. The redwood sprouts are extremely bountiful.
Rick Bravo
 

Re: Vicente Flat Trail (Girard Trail, Kirk Creek Trail)

Postby sdormanen on Tue May 11, 2010 5:41 pm

Date Hiked: May 10, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked down the Vicente Flat trail from the Coast RIdge to the Kirk Creek trailhead and spent one night at Vicente Flat camp. The trail was in good, passable shape with plenty of wildflowers and plenty of poison oak. It is now easy to crawl under the large deadfall of four big burned redwoods about a mile south of Vicente camp, even with an overnight pack.
User avatar
sdormanen
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:49 am

PreviousNext

Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron