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Marble Peak Trail

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby iivvgg on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:26 pm

Date Hiked: September 5, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is clear from Indians Road to Tassajara Creek. From Tassajara Creek to Willow Springs, we found some encroaching brush and forking use trails, plus swarms of gnats with admixtures of mosquitoes and biting flies. Poison oak was pretty bad around the shins; I unzipped my pantlegs and washed them with soap when we got to camp. Stock parties will find some nigh (neigh?) impassable deadfalls. Both the poison oak and gnats mostly disappeared once the trail pulled away from the creek. (Just below this point there is a nice campsite, not marked on the map, in a cathedral grove of oaks). We counted 18 crossings of Willow Creek. None were particularly difficult, thanks to our helpful trail crews.

Our destination had been Zigzag Camp, but we went all the way into the canyon of Camp Creek and never found the spur trail down the hill. At one point, we found some orange ribbons tied to the burned remains of manzanitas, appearing to be trail markers, but they led us to what was clearly just more brush and not a trail.

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby js_radford on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:53 am

Date Hiked: July 10, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Beyond the South Fork Trail Jct. in Strawberry Valley, Marble Peak Trail tread is traceable once one is across the seasonal stream near there, to Tan Oak Camp and a few hundred yards beyond, which is as far as I went.

Between Strawberry Valley and the Tony Trail, tread is good to excellent with some slip-outs. I removed some brush and obstacles causing off-tread walking, which is extremely destructive of tread, which I repaired in critical sections. But there remain other problems needing repair soon. I also cut all the deadfalls between Willow Springs and the Tony Trail junction, except one small one 4" log (any backpacking saw can handle that last one).

There is some serious brush in the cove just before one rounds the corner going uphill to Camp Creek cove. That lasts a very short time and is but a very tiny hint at extensive problems to come on the South Fork Trail past the Black Cone Trail junction and on the BCT about .6 miles beyond Strawberry.

Otherwise, there is very little tall brush but a substantial amount of shin-brushing vegetation such as the gloriously blooming (now faded) Deer Weed.

Water this year (into mid-July!) between Willow Springs and Strawberry has been delightfully abundant, with fill-up sources every hour at most.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:10 pm

Date Hiked: May 31, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Thank you to the previous poster, for working on the poison oak! We hiked from Strawberry to the Tony Trail, before you were through here, and it was starting to get bad. Loppers do a good job in the short term, although grubbing PO out by the roots is the best long term solution.

There are tons of flowers on the contour sections of the Marble Peak Trail: creeping sage, penstemon, yerba santa, poppies, even a few wooly blue curls.
Plus there is lots of encroaching brush, starting to push hikers off of the tread.
Mostly this is a problem between Camp Creek and Willow Springs Camp. Camp Creek itself is pretty much ruined for camping. The trees which shaded the camp burned, and have fallen down. The creek crossing is tricky because the trail has collapsed where it crosses the creek.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby fulmar2 on Tue May 31, 2011 9:06 am

Date Hiked: May 28, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A friend and I hiked from the Arroyo Seco end out to Rainbow camp on this trail. The section from Arroyo Seco out to Strawberry is fine; Some slightly challenging stream crossings, and a few fallen trees to climb over. Tread is decent, sometimes sloping. Pretty easy to find in almost all places. My friend spent significant energy brushing this trail with some loppers - removing almost all of the poison oak extending into the trail between Arroyo Seco and Strawberry.


Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:01 pm

Date Hiked: February 12, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from the junction with the South Fork trail (Strawberry Camp) to Willow Springs Camp and then on to the Tony trail the next morning. Pretty smooth sailing in most places. Tread was sloping in some areas. There was a washout at the last big creek crossing before Willow Springs and some large blowdown, necessitating a short detour. Brush encroaches for short stretches and there was some of the usual winter blowdown before and after Willow Springs. Spent a chilly night in the canyon.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Farley on Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:34 pm

Date Hiked: October 28, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail was clear from Horsebridge to the Zig Zag saddle as of 28 October 2010.
All of the trees pictured below in Betsy's last report were removed 28 October 2010 by members of the Rancho Cielo fire crew working with VWA trail crew leader Steve Benoit, his handy under-bucker and trusty crosscut saw. Earlier, this crew removed 12 tree/shrub jumbles, overhanging dead limbs and hung up trees, as well as encroaching brush between Willow Springs Camp and Zig Zag saddle (the watershed divide between Willow Cr and Zog Zag Cr).
As we walked out at least four trees toppled in the wind between Willow Springs Camp and Tassajara Camp. One or two of these may have crossed the trail, but they fell behind us, and we didn't turn around to check. Care should be taken in canyon bottoms burned by the Basin fire - seems the weaker hardwoods - especially riparian trees such as sycamore and alder - are coming down really fast this season. Ladybugs were massing on blackberry and dead sycamores between Tony Trail junction (clearly marked with signs and flagging) and Willow Springs Camp.
Huge thanks and respect to the fire crew from Rancho Cielo and to all who work to keep these ways into Wilderness open for all to enjoy.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:57 pm

Date Hiked: August 8, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Just an update on the Marble Peak Trail conditions between the Arroyo Seco - Indians Road and the Tony Trail. The bees seemed to vanish about the same time that the deerweed stopped blooming. Now that they are gone, I got a nice photo of their holes. Won't be too surprised if they reappear next year. Also, a note for horsemen and women: the perennial slide just past the wilderness boundary, before you arrive at the Horsepasture Trail junction, is really tricky for stock. An alternate route is to take the detour just BEFORE the wilderness boundary, go up and around, and you will come back to the trail after about a quarter mile.
Bee holes in the ground.
Another issue for stock, there are several trees down between Tassajara Creek Camp and Willow Springs Camp. One of these looks like it would be quite difficult for stock to get around.
big tree.JPG
The largest tree on a steep slope above the creek.
tree near stream.JPG
This tree is over the trail, and easy for hikers to duck under; maybe not too bad for stock.
A pretty good-sized rattlesnake near where you start one of the climbs on the south side of Willow Creek. Not sure if this is the same snake others have seen.
trees at tony trail.JPG
A sycamore and a maple both fell onto the trail just below the junction with the Tony Trail. Not difficult to negotiate.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby skyeloomis on Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:27 pm

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

There was 5 of us for the weekend. We hit the Marble peak trail head pretty quick Friday evening and shot down to the suspension bridge....way cool. We made camp that night a few yards down stream where the fire pit is. Woke up Saturday morning and we made it to Willow Springs camp where the Little Giant lives. What a beautiful spot....we pushed a mile or two beyond to the first saddle nut turned around. The hike to Willow camp after Tassajara camp is really over grown in parts and a plethera of poison oak. And yes the RATTLER still lives in this area and loves to sun on the trail SO BEWARE. We cleared as much as we could on the way out Sunday. Wonderful trip. Thank you Mother Earth.
Loomis Skye

Marble Peak Trail to Tony's Trail

Postby AJ Fortune on Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:01 pm

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

HIked Marble Peak Trail to WIllow Creek Camp at the intersection with Tony's Trail and back out from July 9 - July 11. The trail was plenty clear, with lots of fun stream crossings. There is a lot of poison oak, so be prepared. Also, ticks and mosquitoes abound. After Willow Creek Camp, we continued on for a hundred yards or so, but the trail was pretty overgrown and required periodic clearing of the overgrown weeds and brush to get through the trail. We don't know if it clears up after that or gets worse, since we were tired and wanted to get in the river, but I would rate the small section that we did explore past the intersection of Tony's Trail as "Passable-Difficult." (But, again, we only went for maybe a hundred yards). We almost stepped on a rattlesnake on the trail near Willow Creek Camp, so beware of the spots under rocks and log that snakes like to chill. Between Arroyo Seco Camp and Tony's Trail, the Marble Peak Trail is mostly wilderness freeway, with a few slightly tricky stream crossings and a few spots of encroaching flora. Lots of opportunities for watering up and dunking your hat in some cool water. Fun trip with a good amount of shade and water given the time of year in Ventana. Note that the first 2.4 miles of this trip from the parking lot at Arroyo Seco are on an exposed fire road until you turn off onto the Marble Peak trailhead. Hooble on!
AJ Fortune

Marble Peak Trail Horsebridge to the Tony Trail BEES!

Postby Betsy M on Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:31 pm

Date hiked: June 27, 2010

The section of the Marble Peak Trail that starts at the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road and continues to the Tony Trail is in great condition. In fact it is mostly wilderness freeway, with the exception of minor encroaching poison oak, blackberry bushes, and a couple of underground bee inhabitations.

The largest bee abode is right past the horsebridge, at the top of the hill after you leave the Arroyo Seco River, and just before the wilderness boundary. A second one is just before the Horse Pasture trailhead. Someone had mentioned these bees last summer, but during the winter the bees must be dormant because there were no visible bees, only a bunch of small (1/4 inch) holes in the ground. Am assuming these are sweat bees or more likely digger bees, based on the descriptions. They are supposed to be very docile and not likely to sting. During the spring, these bees became active and increased in number, to the point that it is now downright scary to walk through these areas. Especially the place right before the wilderness boundary. Until this past weekend, it seemed like they were mostly in the meadow on either side of the trail, and I just ignored them when I walked through. But now there are literally thousands of them in the air and I finally got scared enough to walk around the main hive, on the Tassajara Creek side of the trail. Anyone with bee allergies might want to take precautions.
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