Ventana Wilderness Trails

IMPORTANT ROAD CLOSURE AND FIRE CLOSURE INFORMATION

Winter storm damage to Highway One has made it difficult to access the few open trailheads in the Ventana region. Replacement of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just south of Big Sur Station means that Highway One wil be closed to traffic at that point until at least September, 2017. Elsewhere, CALTRANS is implementing hard closures on an almost daily basisi to complete repair work on slides and unstable roadways. The Big Sur Information facebook page, updated by the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, is your best source for up-to-the-minute road conditions in the Big Sur area.

As a result of the 2016 Soberanes Fire, the US Forest Service closed the entire Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest. On December 5, 2016, the Closure Order was amended to allow for a partial re-opening of parts of the Monterey Ranger District. See the links below for the Forest Closure Order and a map which indicates the closure boundaries.

Most of the Ventana Wilderness remains CLOSED. This includes backcountry camps like Sykes, Terrace Creek, Barlow Flat, Pat Spring, Carmel River, Pico Blanco Public Camp, and many others. Unauthorized entry is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and imprisonment up to six months.

Please review these links and call the Monterey Ranger District at (831) 385-5434 before visiting the Ventana Wilderness.

05-07-51-16-22_Order_and_Memo.pdf

Soberanes Fire Closure Order 05-07-51-16-22 Map

Areas that are currently OPEN (though they can be difficult to get to) include the Cone Peak Trail Network and the Silver Peak Wilderness.

Effective January 17, 2017, Fire Restrictions are reduced for the areas of the Monterey Ranger District outside of the closure boundaries. Campfires are now permitted with a valid permit which can be obtained here. Campfires are never permitted along roadways in Big Sur.  

With visitation to the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest now concentrated in far fewer trails and camps, it is up to all of us to tread lightly on the land. Now more than ever, it is critical that all visitors practice Leave No Trace principles.

Many State Park trails in the Big Sur area are also CLOSED. Call the State Park that you wish to explore to determine if trails are open. A handy list of State Park phone numbers can be found at the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce Camping Guide.

pine-ridge-trailLupines enhance the view towards the Church Creek drainage

 

Note: The western end of the Pine Ridge Trail is by far the most heavily used trail on the Monterey Ranger District.

  • USFS Trail: #3E06
  • Parking: Big Sur Station, Tassajara Road
  • Cost: Parking Fee
  • Watershed: Arroyo Seco River, Big Sur River, Carmel River
  • Junctions: Church Creek Trail, Carmel River Trail, Bear Basin Connector, Bear Basin Trail, Black Cone Trail, Big Sur Trail, Terrace Creek Trail, Ventana Camp Trail
  • Connects: China Camp with Big Sur Station
  • Camps: Divide Camp, Pine Ridge Camp, Redwood Camp, Sykes Camp, Barlow Flat Camp, Terrace Creek Camp
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