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Stone Ridge Trail

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby VWA Admin on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:06 pm

Date Hiked: November 11, 2017
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Reported by: Eric Hightower

Section- Stone Ridge (Twitchell Flat use trail) to Ojito Saddle
Trail is in great shape. Drank unfiltered water from West Fork of Lime Kiln without any issues so far. Intermittent spots where there is debris on the uphill side, and tread could use some bench work between Ojito and Stone Ridge, but it wasn't anything that bothered my ACL deficient knee. There were a few dead falls but nothing overwhelming in the least bit.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:11 pm

Date Hiked: December 18, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report covers the section from the "Knoll" or "Apex" at 2,250 ft to Ojito Gap.

There are a few blowdowns over the trail, one of which is a large diameter tree that require climbing up and over. Another blow down is an oak that is messy and the route through the mess is downhill of the trail bed. I cleaned up the branches to make it a bit easier to get through but the tree should be removed to restore use of the original trail. I also cleared out all the egregious problem spots of brush in this section where it was encroaching on the trail above waist level (the brush had filled in fast in spots). There is still quite a bit of softer lower brush in the meadowy sections that is encroaching and this is facilitating some trail erosion as people skirt the brush on the downhill side of the trail. Stone Ridge Trail was already narrow in spots so some erosion is to be expected with winter storms. The creek near Goat Camp was flowing strong. See report for continuation on Gamboa Trail.

Note on the Twitchell Flat Usetrail:

The brushy section above the west fork Limekiln was not cleared out by State Park contractors, but yours truly and my intrepid trail partners. Certified scratch free.
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Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:41 am

Date Hiked: December 17, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

THIS REPORT COVERS THE SECTION FROM VICENTE FLAT CAMP TO THE "APEX", WITH A SEPARATE REPORT FOR DISCRETE SECTIONS BELOW

General Comment: given the extended non-use of this trail since the fire closure as well as the intensity of the recent storm, I expected the worst (in particular in the approach to Hare Ridge and the departure from Middle Fork, which are areas very prone to slides).

But my concerns were unfounded, Mike Heard's yoeman's labors here in making sure that the repairs were of a long-term nature proved successful.

SECTION: VICENTE FLAT TO HARE RIDGE: Clear. There's some encroaching brush, a couple of small stepovers, and one or two very minor washouts in the gullies directly below Hare Ridge but overally this trail held up very well.

SECTION: HARE RIDGE TO WEST FORK CROSSING: Clear to Passable. The tread here is still in great shape, there are a couple of large trees down, one requires a 20' uphill diversion (it can be crawled under and a few people did but it's a tight fit) and another is easier to crawl under or over. I was able to remove everything that could be cut with my Samurai saw (there were maybe 8 small trees or fallen branches of this nature) but a 6' saw will need to be brought in for the 2 bigger trees.

The Middle Fork crossing had the highest water I'd ever seen, there is a pair of logs in an L-shape that you can walk across on.

SECTION: WEST FORK CROSSING TO APEX: Generally clear, there's been some minor erosion in a few spots in the climb up from the creek to the grassland under Stone Ridge but the tread has held up well, no slides or washouts, a few small trees or branches.

ADDITIONAL NOTE RE TWITCHELL ELEVATOR/TWITCHELL ROAD ROUTE TO HIGHWAY 1: No issues here but note:

-the good news is that someone (State Parks or their contractors, I assume) has cleared to about 10'-15' wide the major (and annoying) encroaching brush from Twitchell Flat down the the West Fork Crossing and in the last 1/4 mile before the Alvin Trail junction

-the West Fork crossing was the highest I'd ever seen it, there was a smaller log that some walked across on (this was about 1-2' above the water) and a larger log that you could shimmy along or hold with your hands while you walked on a log wedged under it

-in first ~1/4 mile after the West Fork crossing a number of new trees have come down and shattered, they are easy enough to climb over but their branches have been strewn all about so you need to some picking of your way.
Last edited by jbl on Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby tjn on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:53 pm

Date Hiked: July 16, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Hwy 1 North of Limekiln SP in to Goat Camp and Gamboa Saddle. Trail was easy to follow and in good condition with a few deadfalls that are relatively easy to negotiate. Portions of the climb up to meet the ridge trail are tricky due to the grade and the loose footing. Goat Camp was in good condition, with plenty of cool and tasty water nearby; had the place to myself on a Saturday night in July! I'm grateful to this forum for helping me find a clear trail without crowds.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Jeff Cannon on Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:02 am

Date Hiked: June 18, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We did the full hike from Kirk Creek to Cone Peak and back around through Trail Springs and Goat Camp on June 18th. The trail has freeway status until the Lime Kiln Creek crossing. There was plenty of water, by the way. The climb from the creek to the divide that drops you back into Hare Canyon had two large downed trees that were a bit of a challenge, even with a day pack. On the larger of the two, the best way was on hands and knees, going under! Great hike on a warm day!
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby sjgauowqeryh on Tue May 24, 2016 4:23 pm

Date Hiked: May 21, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail on May 21/22 while making a lollipop loop starting at Highway 1 to Vicente, then to Stone Ridge, Gamboa, Cone Peak, then back down to Vincente Flat trail from Cone Peak Road and back to Highway 1.

Goat camp was in good condition with lots of water flowing nearby. Trail Spring camp (where we actually camped) was also in decent condition with water flowing right by the campsite. Trail Spring camp is a little small though, so if many groups arrive at the same time, it can get cramped. Vincente Flat camp is also in good condition, with water flowing nearby.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Mon May 02, 2016 12:15 pm

Date Hiked: April 30, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From Twitchell Flat Usetrail to Ojito Gap/Saddle (Jct with Gamboa Trail): A few new blowdowns that are fairly easy to step over or get around. Poison oak that grows alongside the trail is encroaching in sections. As prior reports have mentioned, there are ticks, particularly in the grass and deer weed. Otherwise, the trail is clear and in good shape.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby charleston63 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:42 pm

Date Hiked: February 13, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail on February 13 while making a loop beginning from Highway 1 to Vicente, then to Stone Ridge, Gamboa, Cone Peak, then back down to Vincente Flat trail from Cone Peak Road.

I want to rate this trail as "clear," but there were several downed trees just after middlefork usecamp (couldn't actually find the camp, but using it as a point of reference for those using GPS and the map on bigsurtrailmap.net) that were difficult to climb over. I tried my best to clear some of the smaller branches away and at one point was able to move part of the tree trunk from the trail, but with without any tools there was nothing more I could have done without possibly damaging other parts of the trail more. There was great water flow where middlefork is.

However, after about .5 miles of fallen trees after middelfork, the trail is very clear as you approach and pass the intersection of the Twin Peak use trail. There was some erosion halfway between the intersection of the use trail and Goat Camp, but otherwise it was very clear.

Goat Camp was in great shape and there was good water flow just before the camp.

Good amount of ticks here. Had to remove plenty from my dog while taking a break at Goat Camp.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:09 pm

Date Hiked: February 7, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: from Ojito Saddle to Vicente Flat camp.

Trail was in great shape, minimal brush encroachment accept a few small sections, but nothing major. People are cutting switchbacks though in some places on the steep descent to Goat camp, please don't do this as it contributes to erosion! Goat camp was in good shape and the nearby stream is flowing well. Nothing major to report, great hiking though ;)

Upon making the descent to middlefork of LimeKiln creek I saw two patches of pampas grass with just a few feathery stalks in each. Perhaps they should be removed before they spread?? They are certainly doing well along highway 1 and perhaps its only a matter of time that they work they're way deeper in the mountains.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortaderia_selloana
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby cehauser on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:23 am

Date Hiked: December 31, 2015
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

I hiked this trail from the Vicente Flat Camp up to the Gamboa Trail. There is water in the creek in Vicente Flat Camp, flowing, only 50 feet below the redwood log where the trail crosses the creek. As mentioned before, the Stone Ridge Trail junction is not obvious... it is west (above) the creek bottom, and there is a sign there. There are no obstacles, and the tread has been nicely restored. Lots of water in Middle Fork Creek and the creek south of Goat Camp.
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