No Campfires!  Until further notice, CAMPFIRES are NOT permitted at backcountry camps in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas. 

Highway One is Open. 

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is Closed -- This road -- which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge -- is significantly damaged and will be closed indefinitely. 

What's Open: NEW: The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp IS OPEN effective April 13, 2021. Please remember: No campfires!

Virtualy all trails and backcountry camps in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest are open. One exception is the Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp. It will be closed until late July.  

Roads closed to vehicular traffic: Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road to Prewitt Ridge, Cone Peak Road, Arroyo Seco - Indians Road from Memorial Park to Escondido Camp

Know Before You Go: Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Call the U. S. Forest Service, Monterey Ranger District office if you need more information: 831-385-5434.  

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires are not permited. A permit is required for stove use. Click here for a permit and take it with you

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and for additional information. 
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), Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Closed: John Little State Natural Reserve

Ventana Wilderness Forums • Post a reply

San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

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: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by driggsy on Sun May 09, 2021 7:35 pm

Date Hiked: May 9, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Surprisingly clear pretty much the whole way. Dutra to the saddle was grassy and good. Did a trail run, and from the saddle down to the slide was very flowy and fun. The slide was easy to pass without backpacks. The slide to salmon creek was the brushiest but still not bad.

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by VWA_Ranger on Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:55 pm

Date Hiked: March 24, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare opening other parts of the closed forest and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled from Spruce Creek Jct to the Spruce Creek Slide to check for additional damage after the winter storms. They cleared minor debris along the trail and rebuilt a 10 yard section of trail leading into the slide. The slide is passable. People appear to be lowering themselves into the gully at the far end of the slide to traverse it.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Jct. to Spruce Creek Slide - Passable, narrow tread and encroaching brush. No trees down. Far end of slide needs repair.
Spruce Creek Slide to Saddle - Passable, lots of encroaching bushes and brush.
Saddle to Dutra Flat - Clear, grass along both sides of trail.

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:

Spruce Creek Slide Far End.jpg
Far end of Spruce Creek Slide. The Plan is to remove the vegetation on the high side and recut the trail.

San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by jbl on Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:07 pm

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

Section Covered:
Salmon Creek trail junction to Dutra Flat

Section: Salmon Creek trail junction to Spruce-Dutra Saddle: Passable
This section is in generally good shape, there is encroaching brush (including the ever-present PO) in places and a few small stepover logs. However as reported by others, the slide area that's about 1 mile up from the Salmon Creek trail junction (see reporting from December '17-January '18 and pictures of the major work that was done to clear that slide and the big trees that were there) has suffered dramatically, with the creek that crossed the trail there having gotten backed up and then taking out about 20' of trail and leaving a deep trench (actually about 10' deep at its deepest) over those 20' (a ~2' diameter log ended up going across on top of that trench).
Here are some pics:
looking from SC side.jpg
View of trail damage (from Salmon Creek side)

pit from log.jpg
View from on top of log crossing trench

looking from DF side.jpg
View of trail damage (from Dutra Flat side)

Pit from DF side.jpg
Closeup view from Dutra Flat side

This is not the easiest to negotiate but not impossible; from the Salmon Creek side you either lower yourself into the trench and walk through there or if you have confidence in your balance you can walk across the log; from the Dutra Flat side do the same.

Section: Spruce/Dutra Saddle to Dutra Flat Camp:
I would rate this at about Wilderness Freeway, the grass is getting higher and browner but the track is easy to follow.

Dutra Flat Camp report:
Water is flowing nicely at the spring and the camp is pretty clean.
DF Water.jpg
Dutra Flat-Water Flow at Spring

DF Table.jpg
Dutra Flat Camp

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by lehrski on Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:58 pm

Date Hiked: June 26, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Did a quick overnight from Salmon Creek to Dutra Flat Campground. There was a washed out section about a mile from the Salmon Creek junction. The washout was about 3-4 feet deep and fairly easy to cross. It wasn't necessary to take the packs off. There's a good log on one side of the washout, one slightly insecure step and a good log on the other side. The rest of the way was clear and easy. Lots of water flowing in the spring at Dutra. The campsite at Dutra was pretty clean, we picked up a small amount of trash.

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman on Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:22 pm

Date Hiked: June 24, 2020
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We went to check out the Spruce Creek Slide Area about a mile up from the junction with the Salmon Creek Trail. We can say that most of the trail is intact. But a 20 to 30 foot section washed out near the end of the slide. It is 8 to 10 feet deep and does not have secure footing. People have crossed this section by scrambling down the slope and by taking their packs off. Others have turned around. It all depends on your skill and comfort levels.
Spruce Creek Slide 1.jpg
Spruce Creek Slide 3.jpg

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman on Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:00 am

Date Hiked: June 20, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

There has been a report that the Spruce Creek Slide heading towards Dutra may have slipped again. If anyone is headed that way please take photos and share them here or e-mail me directly.

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by seagoat1724 on Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:40 pm

Date Hiked: December 8, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is passable, could be considered good as the walking is not so hard, but the tread vanishes frequently and would make this quite challenging without knowing the way or having a GPS trace. Much of the trails is through meadow and one must cross them while finding the right entrances and exits to follow trail into more overgrown or forested sections.

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by seagoat1724 on Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:31 pm

Date Hiked: December 7, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

From Salmon Creek Trail Junction to Dutra Flat:
Trail is good, mostly wilderness freeway except for one big landslide. One big trail leaves the trail off to the right is actually an old road for herding cattle back. Cattle road is less than a quarter mile back from Dutra Camp and marked by a cairn. Actual trail keeps going past this.

From Dutra Flat to San Carporforo Camp
Trail is good, can be hard to follow in meadow areas where many cow trails diverge. The signage on and off of road crossing could be better. Old fruit trees in meadow near trail.

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman on Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:16 pm

Date Hiked: April 29, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

To elaborate on the post below. This weekend 8 hardy volunteers sponsored by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance/USFS backpacked up to Dutra Flat to work on the Spruce Creek and Dutra Trails. I am happy to report that all the downed trees from just before the slide to Dutra Flat have been cleared by these volunteers.

In addition, they brushed the northern 1/2 mile of the Dutra Trail and the lower 1/2 mile near the camp. They also they removed several downed trees along the Dutra Trail.

Thank You VWA Volunteers.
Log Before the Slide.jpg
Log After the Slide.jpg

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by toejam on Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:57 am

Date Hiked: April 27, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Volunteers worked on the slide and removed all the logs from the vicinity. The slide is still narrow and a bit sketchy, but holding.