Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

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Here give the SPECIFIC CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED such as tread washouts, encroaching brush, downed trees, slides, or other difficulties following the trail.  Water reports or dangerous conditions particularly requested !

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Expand view Topic review: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by jpdoelman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:16 pm

Date Hiked: March 30, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail is eroded but easy to follow and wildflowers are emerging.
Maintaining social distancing is a chore in places as it is not easy(though I did do so) to get far enough off the trail and there are groups of people going by. I won't do this trail again while the social-distancing is required.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by keycake » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:42 pm

Date Hiked: April 25, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

*Soberantes Canyon Trail Open. The rest is closed.*
The Soberantes Fire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soberanes_Fire burned the area on Friday 22 July 2016. Evidence of the fire is present in the canyon, as is recovery.
I walked the canyon in a restored trail with a good tread and hacked-back poison oak. I saw burned but standing redwoods, bay laurel, and one oak, as well as a many fallen trees below the trail in and across the creek, which was flowing well. Overall, the canyon looks the same with some charred spots.
The restored trail, according to the signs, is 1.25 miles to the point where it vaguely closes. When first starting near the barn and portable toilets, the Rocky Ridge trailhead (for me the end of the loop) was marked as closed, as was the spur to Highway 1 a bit further north. The short section of trail I could see at the junction was overgrown. It was passible, but I'm sure there was poison oak in the mix of head-high chaparral.
The open section of the Soberantes Canyon Trail seemed to end just before the transition point from the canyon to the open hillside. The trail looked passable from the closure point, but not maintained. Looking up the hill toward the open area was amazing. It was low and green with very little burned chaparral evident. I know this landscape is supposed to burn, so I was happy to see the renewal.
There were few, maybe 15, other hikers I saw on my in and out hike. I spoke with a ranger in the parking area who had just heard the Rocky Ridge closure was indefinite. :-(
Sobrantes Canyon is lovely as always. On my spring hike, I saw abundant blooming ceanothus, lovely Douglas iris, other flowers, and prime, healthy poison oak.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by K Vandevere » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:19 pm

Date Hiked: April 7, 2015
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

State Park employees and a CCC crew showed up this morning and fenced off the access to this trail. The signs say it will be closed for maintenance for 3 days, through 4/9. Plan accordingly.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by K Vandevere » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:39 pm

Date Hiked: January 20, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail more popular than ever. On some of the steep sections the trail is now wider than a two-lane highway (due to people walking the edges to gain traction). We encountered 127 other walkers and 3 dogs, which is a lot for less than 5 miles of trail.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by K Vandevere » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:05 am

Date Hiked: January 1, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

In spite of the fact that a portion of this route remains officially "closed," it may well be the most heavily used trail in Monterey County. No one seems to care about having to scramble up the steep slope where the steps have slid out. It's a great walk with great views, but - due to steep grades and poor footing - remarkably punishing for such a short loop. Don't go here looking for solitude. Although we started our walk at 3:30 in the afternoon, we still counted over 80 other people on the trail.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by K Vandevere » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:08 pm

Date Hiked: May 29, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I believe State Parks still considers this trail to be closed, but it is nonetheless heavily used by the public (a nearly continuous stream of people was passing over it when we were there on Memorial Day weekend). The reason for the closure is steps being washed out and other erosion, but people are obviously not deterred by having to scramble up the steep, crumbling slopes. And it's easy to see why it's so popular. Fantastic views, lots of wildflowers (still), and only a short drive from town. I suspect the "closure" of this trail is a preview of what a "closure" of the entire Garrapata State Park will look like, should that actually come to pass.

Re: Garrapata State Park: Soberanes Canyon/Rocky Ridge Loop

by Hufferduffer » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:01 pm

Date Hiked: December 9, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

[There were] trail closed signs. We hiked in none the less no issues. Have no idea what this is about.

by Chardero » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:42 pm

Date Hiked: September 7, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is good until you go up. Just thought I'd share a couple of photos. On the way to the top the hillside has major trail migration (if that's the correct term). I'm amazed by the people who hike up there in tennis shoes. :P

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y200/c ... MG0066.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y200/c ... MG0064.jpg

Used direct link, I'm feeling too lazy to re-size.

The 3mile round trip Soberanes Canyon Trail

by brad » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:44 pm

Date Hiked: June 26, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This is one of the easiest trails on Hwy 1 I have encountered so far. I just hiked this trail with my wife, 3 yr old daughter and our 3 month pregnant Sister with almost no trouble at all.
The trailhead is quick to miss for first timers so just look for the old tin barn on the west side of the road with parking on both sides of the road. The small creek that runs along this trail still has a decent flow of water and the creek itself is beautiful. You have to cross the creek 7-8 times with some kind of bridges at most crossings except for 2 that u can rock hop over.
The trail starts with coastal vegetation and slowly turns in to redwoods and ferns with plenty of shade for most of the hike. The only thing to watch out for is poison oak, the stuff is everywhere along the sides of the trail. In several spots the trail has wide steps for the steeper inclines (trail is not that steep at all).

Overall the trail is in great condition with nothing blocking the trail. It does seem to be a very popular trail so be ready for people at all points of the trail.

Trail Conditions History 2001

by Site Administrator » Tue May 26, 2009 2:42 pm

Date Hiked: April 9, 2003
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Submitted 4/09/2001 by Sarah Timmons

I hiked the Rocky Ridge - Soberanes loop this past weekend. The trail from the trail head up to Rocky Ridge and around the peak to the vernal pool was in good condition. From the vernal pool down to the canyon, some of the wooden steps are loose due to erosion.

The relatively new side loop trail through the redwoods is beautiful, but you have to keep a look out for poision oak encroaching on the sides of the trail.

Given all the rain in the past few months, the area is beautifully green with many colorful wildflowers. Now is a perfect time to go!

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Submitted 8/01/2001 by David Jacobs

I hiked the Rocky Ridge - Soberanes loop 3 weekends ago. State Parks, or some auxiliary group, has "improved" the trail. For my money they've done too much. From the trail head up to Rocky Ridge and around the peak to the vernal pool is unchanged. However from the vernal pool down to the canyon the steepest areas now have wood stairs built in. I rather liked the steep and slippery stretches.

From the intersection of the steep downhill with the dead end trail heading back to the highway has changed dramatically. First of all, the storms of 98 (El Nino) dramatically altered the stream bed, especially the last 1/4 mile before Hwy 1. Of particular interest to me was the downed 1st growth redwood that had about 7 new redwoods growing out of it. Pre El Nino one could walk underneath this tree in the stream bed. I'm guessing there was 5 feet of vertical clearance for about 20 feet laterally. Now it looks like the 7 young redwoods are growing out of the ground. Only upon close inspection can you see the downed giant. Over the next few years I suspect the silt will wash out, re-exposing the downed giant.

In addition to the silt issues, those crazy State Park trailophiles have installed little wooden footbridges over any little gully that might have water in it. The next step will be to make the entire route wheel chair accessible. This bodes well for me as old age nips at my heels.

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