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Pine Ridge Trail

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Necret on Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:38 pm

Date Hiked: July 7, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

China Camp to Church Divide, some over grown brush but easy to push through.
Church Divide to Pine Valley, Clear and good tread
Pine Valley to Pine Ridge Camp, brush, difficult to push through and sometimes hard to follow.
Pine Ridge Camp to Redwood Camp, brush with lots of washed out trail.
Redwood camp to Sykes - light brush, good trail
Sykes to Big Sur Station clear and passable.

No water between Pine Valley and Pine Ridge camp. Entrance to Pine Ridge camp in severely overgrown.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail - past Sykes

Postby Bookz on Tue May 31, 2016 1:38 pm

Date Hiked: May 27, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Up to Sykes the trail is clear with only a few areas of high brush and deadfalls. Past Sykes the trail is passable with some brush, however past the Big Sur Trail junction (to Cienega Camp) the trail is heavily covered in brush over 6'. There are very few stretches (no more than ~100') that aren't through the high brush. Some evidence of if being recently traversed though. We turned back around 3000' maybe a half mile of the way towards Pine Ridge Camp and returned to Redwood Camp. Lots of biting flies showed up on 5/27 also and stayed with us through most of the way back to the Pfieffer Big Sur parking lot on 5/28.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby ADonCap on Mon May 30, 2016 9:55 pm

Date Hiked: May 28, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My wife and I and our two children (9 and 11 with packs on weighing about 20 pct of their body weight) hiked from Big Sur Station to Ventana Camp on Friday, May 28. We left around 1 p.m. We encountered a rescue crew helping a hiker with a sprained ankle about 1.25 to 1.5 miles in. There were a few tricky areas that we encountered (see Alamofox's post and some slippery/sandy down hill parts) but, generally, the trail was clear and our family found it to be quite passable. The trail to/from Ventana Camp from the junction was clear.

We beat the crowd and unknowingly set up camp at the entrance of the trail to the swimming hole. We ran into Birdman who was very helpful and nice to our kids and we appreciate everything he has done. Apologies to our fellow hikers for clogging the swimming hole trailhead up, but we are grateful for all of the kinds words, smiles and laughs from the weekend. It was one we will not soon forget.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby CJDiM on Tue May 24, 2016 6:24 pm

Date Hiked: May 22, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Look, everybody knows this is Wilderness Freeway from Big Sur to Sykes. But beyond Sykes, you had better be prepared for some tough slogging. Sykes to Redwood Camp is passable, with lots of slump and encroaching brush. But almost everything east of Redwood is barely passable: lots of encroaching ceanothus almost all the way from Pine Ridge to Church Creek Divide, with little respite. You used to be able to do the whole PRT as a dayhike if you set up a car shuttle, but it's hard to imagine doing the whole PRT in anything less than two long days now.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Steve B on Tue May 24, 2016 7:36 am

Date Hiked: May 23, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)From Big Sur to Sykes

Thank you Alamofox for the great trail report, from your photos we knew what was in store for us before we left home; we knew what tools were needed and the location of the trees.
Yesterday we were able to clear all the trees East of Terrace Creek with a 5 ½ foot crosscut saw however the last tree to the East was a problem tree that slid each time we cut it so there is now a step over tree instead of a duck under tree that we will have to go back and get. We cleared the trees that you noted and a few more, we cleared eight trees. We will try to do another trip to get the trees West of Terrace Creek soon.
Thanks for your report.
Last edited by Steve B on Tue May 24, 2016 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Steve B
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Location: Del Rey Oaks, CA

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Alamofox on Sun May 15, 2016 6:19 pm

Date Hiked: May 12, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Tread is very well-defined, and no brush encroachment to speak of. Deadfallls noted below.

There is a sign at the trailhead advising that the parking fee at Big Sur Station increases from $5 per calendar day to $10 per calendar day (Hope VWA is tracking that money somehow). You need to pay for any part of a day, even if your total time away is less than a multiple of 24 hours. My wife saw one vehicle near the place we parked that had a citation for $71 dollars waiting for the owner to return. Very easy to find parking on a Thursday.

Hiked in on May 12, 2016 as far as Barlow Flat. The next day, day-hiked to Sykes. Hiked out on May 14. In general the trail is in very good ccndition. Saw some apparent brush clear-back work just before Ventana Camp junction. Also made the acquaintance of Fat Popi on the way out, who was coming in to do some trail work with axe in hand. He was accompanied by the best dog on the trail.

Got to the hot springs at Sykes at about 11:00am. The lower "tub" had a few people, however, we got the upper tub to ourselves for quite a while. By the time we had had enough, the Friday arrivals started to come in. We encountered about a dozen or so people arriving at Sykes or on the trail as we went back to Barlow. At Barlow, I don't think anyone went across the river to camp in the old main campsite, although the was easily fordable. I didn't spot a way to hop rocks across. On Saturday morning, we easily encountered 70-80 people heading in the direction of Sykes (I just stopped asking...always got the same answer)

Starting with the return hike from Sykes, I noted the various obstacles along the way. Most are minor. Took photos and GPS readings(decimal degrees) to fully document them. Most of the photos were taken from the east side. Only added comments to the photos where more was needed to be said. Noted that there is a trail work day occurring as I write this, so maybe some of these will be gone by the time I post this.

36.24021 -121.77465
0.66 miles from TH

This is not "family-friendly." We encountered a young family trying to negotiate this as we came out. A permanent bridge needs to be installed

36.24109 -121.77257
0.86 miles from TH

36.24102 -121.77239
0.9 miles from TH

36.2452 -121.7689
1.57 miles from TH

N36.24392; W-121.75509
2.8 miles from TH

The footing is narrow as you get to the washout itself. Some very "handy" roots sticking out from the side help secure yourself. I found the creek bed the best way up and down. The switchback on the east side is very steep on the portion that returns to the trail. Cutting in some reinforced steps in this would make it better. It seems very slippery going down as when travelling back to the TH.

36.24935 -121.73825
5.22 miles from TH

36.24778 -121.73195
5.75 miles from TH

36.24705 -121.72127
6.8 miles from TH

36.24715 -121.71683
7.19 miles from TH

36.24697 -121.71504
7.5 miles from TH; just before the trail going down to Barlow Flat

As you can see, this one is a "two-for"

36.24853 -121.70709
8.16 miles from TH

36.24943 -121.70534
8.4 miles from TH

36.24836 -121.70385
8.53 miles from TH

36.24777 -121.69555
9.61 miles from TH
Somehow I neglected to take a photo of this one. Three parallel limbs cross the trail. Two are fairly low and one is about eye level, but that one doesn't completely cross the trail. All are about 3-6 inch diameter. You can step up on the lower ones and get around the upper one easily enough.

Last, but certainly not least. The seat on the pit toilet at Barlow, south-side camp, needs repair or replacement.

I found that sitting sideways worked out okay for me, but the condition is a bit off-putting and there was lots of evidence at an adjacent tree that many people chose to do not try it once they made the climb up.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby randomtrailuser on Fri May 13, 2016 11:32 am

Date Hiked: May 7, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked down to Pine Valley from China Camp.

There's some pushing through chapparal at the upper reaches of the trail, but for the most part it is in pretty good condition. This trail gets a lot more traffic than some. Still plenty of PO to avoid though.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Fatpopi on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:48 pm

Date Hiked: April 28, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Ran out to ventana camp this morning,swam for 2 hrs and just got back. No more logs blocking pine ridge to ventanatrail turn off. Cheers

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby fat popi on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:30 pm

Date Hiked: April 8, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report is from Terrece creek back towards BSS
I have hiked this about 20-25 times in last month. On way to Ventana camp trail mostly but also to Terrece.
There are 3 Crosscuts needed The first is 100 yrds before the 1st washout (Heading toward Bss) Its overhanging bay. The second is very close to this,rotton oak. and the last is after the second washout,stepover oak...
Myself and other members of Big Sur Rec Crew continue to work on Pine ridge from VentanaBoundry to Pine ridge camp. We just finished Ventana camp trail(Go see it!) and will finish Terrece this week. If anyone would like to join us Email us at Cheers!
fat popi
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby runcyclegirl on Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:40 am

Date Hiked: March 26, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is for the section between China Camp and ~0.65 miles from the Bear Basin Connector.

Note: the section between China Camp and Church Creek Divide is intermittently brushy with ceanothus tunnels, oak, and madrone. We are working to clear these sections in a series of work trips this year. However, the tread is well defined and no trees to obstruct passage.

A VWA/USFS volunteer trail crew spent an extended weekend clearing brush and removing trees from a section of the Pine Ridge Trail between Church Creek Divide and a little over a mile west of Divide Camp. A total of 11 trees were cut or removed from the trail and a ~0.25 mile was brushed out. With the exception of a large tree near the headwaters of the Carmel River, the perennial spring on the Pine Ridge before the Bear Basin Connector, the trail is clear; this tree was too big to cut safely so we widen the tread around the root ball and removed tip hazards for safer passage.

This is the second in a series of work trips to clear the upper section of the Pine Ridge of the heaviest brush. We are working our way west toward the Black Cone/Pine Ridge Junction. If you would like to volunteer for this project or any trail crew, you can sign up with our Meet-up to get the most up to date information on our work trips. ... ce-Meetup/

Special thanks to all the volunteers who have so far worked to clear this section of the Pine Ridge: Lorin Moll, William Akey, Kalani Shen, Bill Vogt, Will Salmon, Liam Headley, Lynn Moncher, Frank Martin, Marc Eldridge, John Radford.

Additional photos from this project can be found here:

March 26-28: ... /26851256/
February 13-15: ... /26746934/

Maria Ferdin

A large pine tree (~2.5 ft) just before Church Creek Divide. Before.


Uprooted tree on trail.

We widen the tread at the base of the root so hikers can get around safely.
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