ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 


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Santa Lucia Connector

Trail Report

In the form below, select the date you used the trail and a rating of its general passability. Follow up with a detailed narrative of specific conditions, needed repairs, etc. To keep reports accurate, please indicate which section of the trail you used, and please post separate reports for separate trails. For example, if you hiked from China Camp to Pine Valley, report on Pine Ridge Trail from China Camp to Church Creek Divide, then post a separate report on Carmel River Trail from Church Creek Divide to Pine Valley. “Trip reports” involving numerous trails belong on the Ventana Discussion forum, not here! If you are unsure about the name of a trail, don’t guess, simply consult this map. To protect opportunities for discovery and solitude, the moderators may edit or delete reports that reference sensitive features like unofficial trails, cross-country routes, hot springs or cultural sites. Thank you for contributing to this valuable community resource and keeping Wilderness wild!

Enter the code exactly as it appears. All letters are case insensitive.
Wilderness Freeway: Heavily used and well maintained.
Clear: No obstacles and tread well defined.
Passable: Some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident.
Difficult: Brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread.
Impassable: Completely overgrown or tread obliterated.

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Santa Lucia Connector

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by seagoat1724 on Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:49 pm

Date Hiked: June 7, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is passable. Brush growing heavy in some spots, have to stoop. Some small, several inch thick, dead trees suspended in brush.

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by c9h13no3 on Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:51 am

Date Hiked: February 24, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked down from Indians road to Last Chance Falls. You're in a Ventana brush tunnel for most of distance to the junction with the Santa Lucia trail. Had to crawl under brush on hands & knees twice. Lots of poison oak, we'll see how well Technu works in the next few days.

This is sorta par for the course for Ventana hiking to me, but my wife had a mini-meltdown after being scratched by brush for the 800th time. Water sources everywhere, but it's February.

Trail picture below.

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by jack_glendening on Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:18 pm

Date Hiked: April 22, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Close to clear, but a few small trees have fallen across trail so rating "passable". Lots of Poison Oak. Tread in good shape. Nice views of Santa Lucia Creek and gorge.

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by Betsy M on Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:36 pm

Date Hiked: January 2, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Like the main Santa Lucia Trail, the connector is in better shape than it has been in years. An AmeriCorps crew working with the VWA cleared several hundred feet of the worst part of this trail, at the top. They did a fantastic job of clearing all the fallen dead brush, and worked the tread beautifully.
Other groups also cleared the trail on the end near the Santa Lucia Trail, though not as carefully as the AmeriCorps crew.
20170102_144349 (1).jpg
There are minor tread issues down below, and some encroaching brush, but this trail is easily passable and there is no difficulty following it. It makes possible a nice loop hike from Arroyo Seco Campground. Hiking upstream from the Adobe, doing the 8 creek crossings, then taking this connector trail back to the road, and hiking all the way back on the road.

Oddly enough, even though the road is open according to the Forest Order, a huge sign at the Marble Peak Trailhead seems to indicate that it is closed.
20170102_164901 (1).jpg
A couple of miles up above, the sign marking the Connector trailhead is now lying on the ground.
20170102_151808 (1).jpg

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by jack_glendening on Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:56 pm

Date Hiked: March 12, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Tread generally in good shape. One very brushy bay tree blocks the tread near top of trail, requiring a crawl, and some other branches impede progress - but all are hand-saw clearable. Much poison oak.


Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by jack_glendening on Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:19 am

Date Hiked: July 11, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Tread evident but slumping in places. Overgrowing Poison Oak can be avoided with dilligence - fortunately, most is on downslope side. Many overhanging branches from above slope.

Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by runcyclegirl on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:11 pm

Date Hiked: February 15, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked the spur trail from Santa Lucia Trail. Views are expansive and impressive especially as one approaches the road. Overall trail is in very good condition and the tread is well defined. There is some encroachment and low overhangs but not too bad. Also, there are two small rock slides, but are easy to negotiate (photos below).





Re: Santa Lucia Connector

Post by Betsy M on Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:58 pm

Date Hiked: March 24, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A VWA Trail Crew worked on the Spur Trail on the way down to the main Santa Lucia Trail and Last Chance Camp.
There is a fair amount of poison oak - we tried to remove it by clipping or grubbing it out, but there is plenty left to brush against your legs. There are also quite a few brushy spots, but nothing that would cause a hiker to get lost. Even though the elevation change is 800 feet, this trail is so well-graded that you don't feel like you have done a lot of climbing when you hike out of the canyon. There are nice views down the Santa Lucia Creek drainage, and also of the Santa Lucia North Fork drainage.
Lots of hikers use this Spur Trail to do a loop hike, starting on the Santa Lucia Trail at the Arroyo Seco Parking Lot, or starting at the Adobe, hiking up to this Spur Trail, then returning on the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road.

Santa Lucia Connector

Post by mikesplain on Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:54 am

* USFS Trail # 5E03
* Parking: Arroyo Seco Campground
* Watershed: Arroyo Seco River, Santa Lucia Creek
* Junctions: Santa Lucia Trail, Arroyo Seco-Indians Road
* Connects: Arroyo Seco-Indians Road with Santa Lucia Trail
* Camps: none