Redwood Spring Camp

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Re: Redwood Spring Camp

by jack_glendening » Sat Jan 01, 2022 12:18 pm

FYI here is a better photo of the current state of the Redwood Spring redwoods, taken from Cone Peak Road on Dec. 31, 2021

Re: Redwood Spring Camp

by roger_beaudoin » Tue Dec 14, 2021 9:55 pm

Yeah, I am an eternal optomist, but after seeing their rapid regeneration after the Basin Complex, I think it will be an ok spot to spend a Spring night in 5 years or so....especially if they keep getting 10" of rain or so every atmospheric river!!

Here is a good article on their adaptations and probably the reason they exist this far south.... ... fter-fire/

Re: Redwood Spring Camp

by jack_glendening » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:30 am

Roger - while I did not get a good look since was in cloud and rain, the redwoods looked like a few scattered burnt poles (sprouting green) with sparse branches giving little shade. So do not think you would find it an attractive camping spot. Will take quite awhile to recover, I think. Of course, you can visit it yourself and tell me I was wrong. :-) FWIW, am attaching photo from hike

Re: Redwood Spring Camp

by gfelsman » Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:37 am

Thanks for clearing the camp. It does make it easier for others to find and shows that someone has been there. It is also nice to see the camp marked even though technically from what I have been told there are no official USFS Camps in the Los Padres.

Re: Redwood Spring Camp

by roger_beaudoin » Sat Dec 11, 2021 12:09 pm

Nice Jack,

This (lost & found) camp has been on the top of my list to visit for years yet I have never been, any camp in a grove of redwoods can't be beat. This camp has a great fire grate, some of the nicest rocks I have seen in a fire ring also...I have been looking a hitting up Gerard Camp, although not as burned open as Redwood, it looks like it is easier than it has been in the past...

Redwood Spring Camp

by jack_glendening » Thu Dec 09, 2021 4:49 pm

Redwood Spring, east of Cone Peak Road, has the claim-to-fame of having the highest elevation redwoods located on an inland canyon. And Redwood Spring Camp still seems to be an official USFS Camp - it is on the most recent used by the USFS (e.g. the map used to show Dolan Fire closures).

But no one goes there, largely because the trail has been overgrown for over a decade. And the sign at its trailhead is now gone. When I first visited the spring in 2013 with Paul Danielson, we first checked out the old trailhead but finding the trail impassable instead chose to bushwhack down from a less vegetated slope to its west.

But the 2020 Dolan fire burned hot in that area and now the first half of the trail is clearly visible in Google Earth. So I went out to see if I could create a record of where that trail lay by following cuts-on-the-ground beyond the GE limit. And indeed did find more cuts, ending just before the camp.

Also of interest was the state of the redwoods. Being non-coastal, redwoods have a difficult time and the trees have never been prolific or overly tall. I found all badly damaged by fire, with most having the furry sprout-from-everywhere response characteristic of badly damaged trees. On my hike strong onshore wind was blowing clouds over the ridge causing much mist and spitting rain (why such redwoods can exist) so have only cloudy photos. Below is a post-Dolan-Fire photo taken from the road by Mike Heard, showing the damage to the redwoods from a more distant vantage - also to be see is the old trail coming down from Cone Peak Road in its upper center.
The actual camp spot is marked by a fire grate so I cleared branches to make it easier for someone to find. I find this grate highly interesting because it shows how the long-legged grates were meant to be used - with a mound of dirt built below, contained by stones, to hold the fire. The first time I had seen such.
I also wondered about the fate of the metal "Redwood Spring Camp" marker posted on a nearby redwood by Gilbert Anderson. I found the trunk burnt hot enough to melt the metal, leaving just 4 nails in the tree and two melted metal pieces lying on the ground. I put the one which had a large hole back atop one of the nails, to keep it visible for awhile.
Dead redwood branches now litter the area and would need clearing to make a decent camp site - the existing flat area is small and could only hold one tent. Currently the area is not very attractive.

Finally, I have now added the re-discovered Redwood Spring "lost trail" to my trailmap for future reference.