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Church Creek Trail

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: Church Creek Trail

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Jim Ringland on Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:05 pm

Date Hiked: April 13, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Pine Ridge Trail to the Church Creek Use Camp – Passable

This is a mighty short trail segment – about a half mile – so there’s not much to say. Some open trail, some easy brush and deadfall maneuvering.

I went down to seek out the Church Creek Use Camp shown on https://bigsurtrailmap.net/. The camp is not on the trail, but rather 100-150 feet to the side (down the hill). Jack’s GPS location matches my GPS location within a few 10’s of feet. His trail position almost exactly matches what I logged. However, the underlying topo is off. The river is closer to the camp than the map suggests. As for the camp itself, there’s not much there: a long-unused fire ring, a not-very-big and not-very-useful log to sit on, and, no obvious good bedsite. There was water in the creek when I came though, although not that much. I wouldn’t count on it being there long as we move into the dry season. Probably all for the best that nature is reclaiming this spot.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Hiking Metal Maniac on Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:16 pm

Date Hiked: March 26, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From the ranch to Church Creek Divide, trail is clear with no major obstacles. A little faded in places, but not too hard to follow.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger on Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:39 am

Date Hiked: February 15, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Forest/Trail Status: OPEN

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer trail crews cleared 528 yards of trail between the Wind Caves and Ranch driveway. They removed one tree at Wildcat Camp. They removed one fire ring that was too close to vegetation and rebuilt it at the iron grill.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Wind Caves to Ranch Driveway - Clear with no obstacles
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To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
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Attachments
Sycamore at Wildcat Camp.jpg
Cleared tree at Wildcat Camp.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger on Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:32 pm

Date Hiked: January 21, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Forest/Trail Status: PARTIALLY OPEN, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is partially open per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires allowed. Stoves are permitted in the backcountry with a valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers have been preparing for its reopening and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled the trail from the road 2.7 miles up the trail. They replaced the old wooden sign with a new metal sign designating the actual start of the trail

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Road to trail jct. - Clear with no obstacles

Church Creek Trail to Church Creek Use Camp - Clear with encroaching brush. A few step overs and one duck under.

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DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-7.jpg
Tree across the trail
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-3.jpg
Installing the sign.
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-4.jpg
The finished sign.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger on Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:59 am

Date Hiked: November 21, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Forest/Trail Status: CLOSED, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is closed per Forest Order 05-07-51-20-22
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires, No Stoves in backcountry. Cold Camping Only.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers and trail crew members patrolled the trail between Church Creek Ranch and ~ 2 miles to the top of Church Creek Divide. They cleared 690 yards of trail and removed to logs across the trail

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Ranch to Church Creek Divide. - Passable with with intermittent tree obstructions an encroaching brush.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Church Creek 1.jpg
Trail Crew Member at work.
Church Creek 2.jpg
Sample of cleared Trail.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by gfelsman on Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:18 am

Date Hiked: October 4, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

With the MRD Forest still closed. Volunteer VWA/USFS Rangers and trail crew worked on the Church Creek Trail near the Ranch driveway. They cleared 150 yards of trail and removed oak tree across the trail.

The forest will remain closed until the Dolan Fire is declared out.

Remember to do your part to help keep things nice. Pack out all your belongings and trash.

Leave your place nicer than when you found it. No Campfires of any kind.

Enjoy your travels

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by zenko on Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:36 pm

Date Hiked: April 2, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Tassajara Road up the Great Divide. No difficulty with the trail from the road to the Wind Caves, even the poison oak is keeping its distance. Sometime in the past week, a massive mushroomy oak (probably from 2008) fell over the trail just beneath the Wind Caves. It was so large that it obliterated the trail, one switch back, then another. The brush was too thick to try to try to mosey along the tread. I went up the grassy pasture and did some bushwhacking down to a little stream crossing the trail. From there to the end of Church Ranch Road, things were bright and clear. Some poison oak is reemerging after it was cleared by the trail crew, but it is still little.

I didn't manage to find the tread at the end of Church Ranch Road. There were two treads, neither looking very distinct. I went to the right, and ended up bushwhacking until I found a nice oak savanna to trek up. I aimed for the gap and hoped for the best. Ran into another hiker taking a breather and she brought me back to the trail. From there to the divide, there was flagging and some clear brush removal (thanks!) No more troubles.

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by coyote on Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:16 pm

Date Hiked: March 28, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked from Tassajara down the Church Ranch fireroad to The Caves. From here we took Church Creek Trail up to The Great Divide. We did some trail work with clippers and opened up a few sections. There are a few spots close to the great divide where it could be possible to get off trail, but hopefully our brush clearing made it more obvious which direction is correct!

Plenty of water in Church Creek!

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Sillyman56 on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:20 pm

Date Hiked: February 8, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Tassajara Rd to the divide.

There were occasional brushy patches between Wildcat camp and Church ranch road, but not bad. I got turned around and missed a switchback just after Wildcat camp, but I backtracked and found it.

As the previous post says, the most difficult section was between the caves and the divide. It was very brushy at times, but not too difficult to push through. Tread became faint in brief sections and there were moments with use or animal trails that made it slightly confusing which way to go. I relied on my gps. Without it, I may have taken a wrong turn here or there and had to backtrack, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

Water was flowing in many small streams throughout the trail. Beautiful hike!

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by AaronP on Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:47 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Most of the trail is well maintained except for the few miles between the caves and the divide junction. As we passed the property by the caves it started to snow and the trail there was difficult to follow, probably easier in normal conditions.

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