Tassajara Road report

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Re: Tassajara Road report

by Betsy M » Wed May 01, 2024 12:48 pm

Sorry for the slow response. Monterey County says the road is closed (since 4/28/2023) but the only issue is lots of ruts in the first 3 miles, some rocks that the graders left in the road, and a slip out just before China Camp that has been graded but keeps developing ruts. A high-clearance vehicle should be fine. As near as I can tell, people are just ignoring the Road Closed sign at the Forest boundary.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by teresa » Wed Apr 24, 2024 9:40 pm

Does anyone have a recent road report up to the Pine Ridge trailhead? It looks like the road is no longer closed per the USFS, but Monterey County still lists Tassajara Rd. as "closed" on their website. I see there is a trail crew event scheduled to meet at China Camp, so I'm assuming the road is passable. I haven't been on Tassajara since early 2022, so I have not seen what the last two winters have done to the road. I'd be going up in an Outback. Thank you!

Re: Tassajara Road report

by Basil » Mon Jul 24, 2023 5:41 pm

Greatly appreciate your replies!

We went on Jul 22d in a 4wd old Ford Explorer fully loaded with people and gear.

Good conditions fairly easy road all the way to the Zen Mountain Center, we didn't notice any signs that it was closed. We met a few people at the Pine Ridge Trailhead and at the center.
The weather was very hot (100F when 70 in Big Sur). If you go slow, you should make it even in a Prius. There are some steep grades, so downshift, use engine braking, and don't overheat your brakes.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by Betsy M » Wed Jul 19, 2023 6:38 pm

To echo BP22, the road is in great shape. Watch for random rocks, both sharp and occasionally larger in size. There is a slip out a mile before China Camp, marked by cones. Stay to the inside. Pretty sure you could get there in a Prius or other low clearance vehicle if you wanted to save on gas.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by BP22 » Wed Jul 19, 2023 6:20 pm

I was there up to China Camp a month ago and the road is in good condition. clear and graded. Lots of little sharp rocks though, I got a flat tire, so avoid those. You are good to go.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by Basil » Wed Jul 19, 2023 1:00 pm

Hi! Any recent info on Tassajara road conditions? We want to go towards China camp there this weekend using a fwd ford explorer, but are somewhat concerned by the road being closed due to "Storm Damage" according to Monterey county website (https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/governmen ... nformation). Shall we expect the usual "proceed at your own risk" conditions, or something more severe (like fallen trees) that we actually won't be able to overcome in a fwd?

Re: Tassajara Road report

by K Vandevere » Fri Jun 02, 2023 4:22 pm

I drove a low-clearance car to China Camp a few weeks ago. The road was graded smooth and the only problem was dodging the Coulter pine cones.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by ale22 » Thu May 18, 2023 4:18 pm

Went on a day-hike to Pine Valley on 4/29/2023. There was no official signage (at least that was easily visible). For what Tassajara Road can be, the conditions were not bad. There was the occasional small dirt slide or small rock, but nothing bad. Overall decent condition from what I remember. If you have done it before, then you can most likely do it now unless there have been major changes in the past 2 weeks.

Re: Tassajara Road report

by adagioca » Thu May 18, 2023 3:31 pm

Called LPNF Monterey District about accessing Pine Valley/Pine Ridge trail with a group of boy scouts driving up that road. Answer was yes and no. Forest Service does not deemed the road closed but MOCO Roads does (nothing new there). He said the road was pretty bad in places. Apparently lots of the county resources are tied up further south with Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd, North Coast and South Coast

I have driven this road a couple of times and know what to expect but looking for an update if anyone knows how it is looking like.


Re: Tassajara Road report

by jack_glendening » Fri Apr 15, 2022 10:19 am

That closure notice on the Monterey County Public Works website has been there for months and months. So long I can't remember exactly when it first appeared, but possibly has been there ever since the Dolan Fire - after which barriers with "closed" signs appeared at the start of the dirt section of Tassajara Road (though with gap to allow access for those who wished). Those barriers and signs disappeared awhile back - but the website still has the "closed" notice. FYI the USFS does NOT consider it closed (whereas they did immediately after after the Dolan fire). So currently that notice seems to have nothing to do with the actual status of Tassajara Road, but possibly left there for some bureaucratic reason.

Which is a long way of saying that the notice has nothing to do with any possible scraping.