Highway One Closure: Due to a washout at Rat Creek, Highway 1 is closed from just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north to Big Creek Vista Point in the south. Expect this closure to be in place until Friday, April 23, 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson 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. 

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness trails inland can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) and from Tassajara Road off or Carmel Valley Road). Along the coast, Wilderness trails may be accessed via the Pine Ridge Trail at Big Sur Station, the North Coast Ridge Road, the Boronda Trail, and the De Angulo Trail on Highway One.

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

What's Closed: Click here for a map that shows the current fire closure boundaries

Road Closures: Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Cone Peak, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge Roads remain closed.

Know Before You Go: 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. 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. 

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and stoves are currently permitted in the backcountry. 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), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve


Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Cruikshank Trail

Cruikshank Trail

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:36 pm

Date Hiked: March 14, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Darlene and I hike this trail on Sunday, March 14th, 2010. It was a beautiful day. There are plenty of flowers and great views. No bugs or flies to speak of this trip. We then took the Buckeye Trail the north ridge above Buckeye Camp for a wonderful lunch spot overlooking the ocean and Cruikshank Trails.

Trail Condiitions;

Hwy 1 to Buckeye Trail junction is clear. The two trees that fell over the winter have been removed. There is some encroahing brush. However no ducking or real weaving along this section of trail. Tread is well worn and easy to follow. Some poison oak as always along the trail. The Bee nest appears to be dormant as they have moved on. all creeks are running making a wonderful sound.
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Cruikshank to Lion's Den

Postby PhillyH on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:10 pm

Date Hiked: November 28, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail was easy to follow and for the most part easily passable. There were some spots where the trail gets very narrow and you are hiking along a steep drop-off. You shouldn't have any problems, but just be cautious of where you step.

Water at Silver Camp was low, but enough if you need to fill up. A group of 4 guys had camped there and didn't have any problems accessing water. It's an uphill hike up to Lion's Den and if you have time, take some time to hike out towards Lion's Peak. Some of the views along the trail up to Lion's Peak from Lion's Den were beautiful. It was pretty windy the weekend we were out there, but still worth a short side trip. We camped at Lion's Den. The wind made it hard to camp out on the bluff where there's a spot, but on a less windy day, this campsite would have been perfect. Really nice views.

Small spring with water at Lion's Den. There was plenty to fill our water packs and to boil.

Trail between Upper Cruickshank & Lion's Den

Postby bmiller on Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:27 pm

Date Hiked: August 20, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

For the most part this trail was in decent shape, just a few minor deadfalls that could easily be stepped over. Lots of places with poison oak so be careful and some encroaching brush that cover the trail in a few spots. The elevation gain was roughly 1300 ft but thankfully there is shade until you reach the top near the Lion's Den Garden.

Silver camp was in decent condition with the spring still running which is good since thats your only place to stop and refill your water until you reach Lion's Den Camp. There is no picnic table but the fire pit is still there and plenty of flat places for tents.

The sign at Upper Cruickshank said it was only 2 miles between Silver Camp and Lion's Den Camp, but the sign at Lion's Den said it was 3 miles between there and Silver Camp. Its not the first time that i've noticed the signs contradicting themselves..but oh well..

Lion's Den Camp was in ok shape, the bottom site just had the fire pit and grill. The upper site had another fire pit and some benches made from stone blocks and part of the leftover picnic table. Amazing views from the upper site! The flies were TERRIBLE at this camp, lots of little flies and some large flies that hurt when they bit us! The spring is still in ok shape, its flowing but you have to get your water from a small pool thats overrun by guess what?....FLIES! The flies were so bad that we couldnt go sleep until it cooled down at night and they went away, then in the morning they came out early so we didnt even eat breakfast..we just packed up and moved on.

Cruikshank trail

Postby Monkey boy on Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:42 pm

Date Hiked: July 19, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail for the most part is clear with not a lot of poison oak. However there are several parts above upper cruikshank camp where the trial is unstable and there is a fall risk. Water is available at both silver peak camp and Lions den. The flies and mosquitos are out so I would recommend a bug net.

Happy trials
Monkey boy

Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:39 pm

Date Hiked: June 28, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Seven of us hiked to Alder Camp via the Cruikshank Trail today. It was not as hot as we anticipatd so we had a nice but warm hike after we left Villa Creek.

Trail condidtions are as follows.

HWY 1 to top of Switchback, clear to Wilderness freeway. Tread has been repaired and brushed in many areas.

Top of Switchback to Upper Cruikshank Camp, Clear. Tread is well defined and most of the brush is clear of the trail, easy to follow. Afew spots where tread has broken down on outside of trail due to encroaching brush.

We saw three groups of backpackers on this trail on our way in. Flies were not bad.
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Postby Cassie on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:26 pm

Date Hiked: June 21, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This trail is in great condition up to Cruikshank camp, some encroaching poison oak, but no washouts or other obstacles. Great views!

Postby dknapp1 on Wed May 27, 2009 11:40 am

Date Hiked: May 23, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


We hiked to Silver Camp after parking at the trailhead next to HWY 1. Starts with steep coastal scrub climb. Trail was in good condition, though many patches of poison oak. Water was available at Lower Cruickshank, Villa Creek, and Silver Camp.
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Cruikshank Trail

Postby Site Administrator on Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:02 pm

* USFS trail #5E10
* Parking: Hwy. 1 south of Villa Creek Bridge
* Watersheds: Villa Creek
* Junctions: Buckeye Trail
* Connects: Hwy 1 with South Coast Ridge Jeep Trail
* Camps: Cruikshank Camps, Silver Camp, Lion's Den Camp
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