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Tassajara Road Conditions

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Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by Craig on Mon May 24, 2021 3:31 pm

5/16/2021 - I drove to China Camp. Monterey County public works told me that the road is "officially closed" because the road was dangerous at the White Oak Campground. At Jamesburg, there are signs saying that the Zen Center is closed. However, I did meet 3 SUVs coming down the road, which I assume they started at the Zen Center.

The road condition is very good to the Las Padres National Forest sign. It has been graded. But past that point it is ruts and rocks. Just before the White Oaks Campground, the road becomes a one lane road and very bumpy and rocky for about 1 mile until it gets to Chew Ridge. At times it is one lane with the occasional pull over.

There are many rocks on the one lane road with the tallest at about 5" high, enough to damage the undercarriage if you didn't drive around them. If you met another car on the one lane road, one of you would have to backup to a pullout as the one side of the road is a cut out of the rocky side of the hill and the other side is a steep drop off down the hill. Top speed is 15 MPH. A low profile car like a Prius or Tesla MAY make it but you will risk damage to the undercarriage with all the rocks.

Since the road is "officially closed", so is the China Campground but it is still accessible. I did overnight there and left $20 in the payment tube.

To check on status, call the County of Monterey – Public Works, Facilities & Parks –
Maintenance & Operations Division for the current conditions - (831) 755-4900.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by Gail bengard on Sat May 15, 2021 10:41 am

Went up yesterday a four runner...has been graded by county...more than usual sharp rocks. If you have a Prius you can go slow and dodge or get a passenger to clear them in the rocky spots.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by LJeff on Wed May 12, 2021 5:10 pm

Drove to China Camp on 5/7. Road was clear, no slippages or deep ruts. But, there were more rocks on the road than I am used to this late in the year. They might bother a low clearance car. It was very dry and dusty. Take it easy and avoid the loose rocks where you can.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by Betsy M on Wed May 12, 2021 4:39 pm

It should be fine. Haven't heard about any collapse and lots of people have been driving up to China Camp. Maybe not in a Prius. But medium clearance vehicle, taking it slow, should be okay.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by CraigF on Tue May 11, 2021 10:54 am

Has anyone driven Tassajara Road lately? I'd like to drive to China Camp to access Pine Ridge trail. How impassible is the road? Has part of the road collapsed on one side making that section dangerous? Thanks for your response.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by Betsy M on Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:52 pm

I haven't been there in 2 weeks but was on a different dirt road in the forest last week. There were small patches of snow high up but all the trail surfaces were quite dry. Water sources that are normally flowing well all winter were dried up.
The worst parts were from the Wilderness boundary up about 3 miles. Once you get near the top of Chew's Ridge it is better. Even 2 weeks ago when it had rained, the clay section at China Camp was completely dried up.
My guess is Tassajara Road should be fine.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by awm86 on Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:10 pm

I just called the ranger station because I was planning to do the same thing. She said they got another recent snow and it had just melted and the road was most likely muddy and in bad shape. I’ve driven up it when it’s dry in my Subaru, but she made it sound like it wasn’t the best idea. Has anybody been up there in the past few days? I would love to get a sense of how bad it is.

Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by kuroshvp on Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:03 pm

Does anyone know the recent condition of the Tassajara road? We are planning to park at the China Camp on Saturday 3/27 for a night. Is a 4WD SUV necessary to get there?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by jack_glendening on Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:49 pm

I went out there again about 10 days ago, after the snow melted, and although the road is in bad shape and rutted, believe that with care you would have no difficulty reaching China Camp in your vehicle. "With care" means closely watching the road to stay out of some very deep ruts, keeping on the track followed by previous vehicles. But if it snows significantly there, all bets are off.


Re: Tassajara Road Conditions

Post by Jefferson_Burch on Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:45 pm

Does anyone know the current Tassajara road conditions? I’m hoping to park at China Camp on Friday 3/26 for two nights. I’ll be driving a Toyota Highlander. Although it is 4WD, it really is a passenger car/small SUV.

Has the road been graded recently? Do you think my car will make it?

Thanks a million!

- Jeff