Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Gamboa Trail

Gamboa Trail

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:38 pm

Date Hiked: May 31, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Sadly, the section from Trail Spring Camp to the junction with the North Coast RIdge Trail is once again a mess of downed trees and encroaching ceanothus. It appears that snow accumulation during the late winter storms crushed many of the tall ceanothus pants into the trail corridor, and they failed to spring back. In addition at least 22 dead trees have fallen -- I am not sure of the exact count, since it was drizzling and I got tired of taking pictures -- thereby compounding the difficulties. It's hard to believe that the trail had an 8' overhead clearance as late as 2010-10-30 (see, in particular the last picture). Here is a photo of one of the many bad spots:

Downed tree and crushed brush on the Gamboa Trail

It's dismaying to see the trail in this state after all the hard work done by the VWA Trail Crew volunteers since 2009, but it would only be worse if nothing had been done.

Mike Heard
C M Heard
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby ACC on Tue May 03, 2011 6:58 pm

Date Hiked: May 2, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Took this trail starting from Trail Spring camp down to Ojito Camp and Continuing on to Goat Camp. Trail condition is very easy until you reach the ojito saddle where the trail splits. At this junction there is a meadow to your left and a trail to your right leading to Ojito Camp this trail leads into shrubery and trees so it is difficult to see but the trail itself is in passable condition. The Trail to Ojito Camp is littered with fallen trees all of which are passable. The Trail to the left leading down to Goat Camp is overgrown but passable. When you are at Ojito Saddle it is nearly impossible to see this trail which leads into the overgrown grass lands. Have no fear if you follow the very faint trail down the meadow there is a Hollowed out shrub which is very obvious this is the trail continued. This is also heavily overgrown and faint when going through the grass meadows but the trail is there and not extremely difficult to follow once past Ojito Saddle. I recommend going to Goat Camp which is a great group camp with lots of tent area and sitting between 2 streams. Have Fun! Be Safe!

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Date Hiked: April 24, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I would rate the section from Ojito Saddle to Trail Spring as 'Clear' except for a couple of easy blowdowns. The trail was wide, brush has been trimmed back and it was a pleasure to hike. Plenty of water at Trail Spring. I always enjoy the Santa Lucia firs along this trail.
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby MikeZ on Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:53 am

Date Hiked: April 11, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked Gamboa Trail from Trail Springs Camp up to the Coast Ridge Trail on a four day backpacking trip. Trail was overgrown with brush and difficult to travel for a party of three backpackers. Crawled a significant portion of the trail. Also lots of ticks. Would not recommend this trail in its current state.

Looking south down the Gamboa Trail (towards Ojito) from Trail Springs Camp the trail looked heavily overgrown and faint (but did not hike this section). Stream at Trail Springs Camp was flowing strong.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 pm

Date Hiked: October 30, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

As usual, dead trees keep coming down on this trail at the slightest excuse -- the latest being the wet weather. More specifically, there is one tree down between the Ojito Saddle and Trail Spring Camp, and I had to go on hands and knees to clear it when I was packing out the exercise bicycle. And between Trail Spring Camp and the North Coast Ridge Trail, there are two step-over trees (these were large enough to require a crosscut saw) and two that I had to crawl under (these, fortunately, can be gotten with a large pruning saw).
C M Heard
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:38 pm

Date Hiked: September 10, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The downed trees and thick brush at the western end of this trail were recently cleared by a joint VWA/Forest Service effort, as noted in these reports:

The trail is definitely not pack stock passable, but it is easily hiked, even with a large pack.
C M Heard
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:07 am

Date Hiked: July 7, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

In July Paul Danielson and I took the Gamboa Trail from the Ojito saddle to Trail Springs Camp and had no difficulty following the tread. We did need to walk somewhat stooped at its western-most end. In any case, additional trail work has now been done on this section.

Jack Glendening
Big Sur Trailmap:
User avatar
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby slohiker on Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:23 pm

Date Hiked: June 28, 2010
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The trail to Trail Spring Camp is clear, as was the trail to Cone Peak. We saw one other hiker atop Cone Peak. The sign for Trail Springs Camp is partially burned and no sign is left to Ojito Camp or Goat Camp. From Trail Spring Camp to Ojito Camp and Goat Camp the trail gradually disappears underneath an explosion of "scotch broom" (Ed. note:Ceanothus integerrimus, a native species) and fallen trees. A tunnel of brush also made for stooped hiking and frequent snags on the clothing and packs. The sign for Goat Camp is burned and laying down next to the fire ring at the campsite. Occasionally there is a pink ribbon tied in the brush to mark the way, but this has become intermittent. Past Goat Camp the trail becomes impassible because of the brush and many deadfalls. Where previous signs of the trail can be found, there is scotch broom growing over the trail and ground squirrel burrows have undermined the stability of the slope. Because there is no longer a defined trail, alternative low spots in the vegetation which look like game trails go in different directions and create confusion. We set out to do the Gamboa / Stone Ridge trail and make the loop around Cone Peak. After bushwacking for ten hours, we came across Limekiln Creek and followed it out to Hwy 1. We were out of water by the time we reached the creek. The hard going caused us to go through our water faster than planned. We walked south on Hwy 1 and made it to Limekiln State Park at 10:00 p.m. where the campground host gave us a place to sleep. She was an angel. We got a ride back to our car the next afternoon. I don't recommend Gamboa Trail past Trail Springs Camp to anyone but the hardiest hikers until work is done to restore it. If you do go, plan on taking twice as long as you'd expect to cope with the conditions. I also recommend a handheld GPS to find your way because there are no trail signs past Trail Springs Camp. Watch out for ticks, we picked up several during the day. Poison oak was also present.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby Carl Mounteer on Sun May 23, 2010 9:30 am

Date Hiked: May 16, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report comprehends the entire Gamboa Trail from the Coast Ridge Trail.

It is easy to miss the trail head where the Gamboa Trail intersects the Coast Ridge Trail. After you emerge from the base of Cone Peak on the Coast Ridge Trail and you can see the ocean to your left, be alert for the Gamboa Trail trail head that will appear on your left. You will pass a huge stand of granite on your right. Near the end of this there will be a several burned, standing dead pines. This is where the Gamboa trail begins. If you pass a yellow ribbon tied to a bush on your right you have just missed the Gamboa Trail trail head.

This trail is wilderness freeway until about 1/4 mile before the Ojito saddle. There you enter a tunnel of brush. There are four things to be alert for in this interval:

1. There are ticks here. I picked up two of them, one imbedded on my chest and one imbedded on my shoulder because I only checked myself for them very cursorily. So check yourself frequently as you tunnel through.

2. There is poison oak here. It was at my eye level and I am 5 foot, 7 inches tall.

3. There was a rattlesnake rattling at me but he was no danger because he was about 15 feet away from me off the trail on my left as I was heading towards Ojito saddle.

4. There are two downed trees that require crawling under. I could do this with my backpack on but it required me to crawl on my stomach on the ground. This may have been where I picked up the ticks. So check yourself throughly right after you do this.

If you are headed this way to go to Ojito Camp, forget it. If you want to know why, see my trail report posted today at: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=260
Carl Mounteer
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:51 am

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby sugg on Tue May 18, 2010 8:12 pm

Date Hiked: May 15, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I think I traveled this trail right after the trailwork! Everything was smooth and clear - but it did look like some major clearing had recently taken place. I traveled from Trail Spring Camp up to Coast Ridge Trail. From the camp, it's all uphill. Nice enjoyable grind though - twisty, singletrack, short trees, a little brush - great views. There might have been a couple of deadfalls. View south to Cone Peak almost constantly. Once again, thanks trail crews. Here's some photos out of Trail Spring Camp moving up to Coast Ridge Trail....
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:11 am


Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest