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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated April 19, 2021

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 Nic Stover on Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:48 pm

Date Hiked: June 21, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Hiked from the intersection with Buckeye. Amazingly clear along this section. Lots of trail love was put into this trail. Thank you volunteers. Most of the creeks had water in them still. Silver Camp and Lion Den Campgrounds were both in great shape.

Saw a Kangaroo Rat on the trail (First for me) and some really interesting White Snapdragons. Only saw 2 people but it was early on a Friday.
Nic Stover
 

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:25 am

Date Hiked: June 1, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Today, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers on National Trail Day, patrolled from Hwy. 1 to Upper Cruickshank and beyond. The trail is clear for the first mile, then the trail has encroaching brushing the next 0.4 miles but easily followed. From here to the ridge the trail is clear based on reports of hiker/backpackers we ran across.

As always do your part to keep things nice. Leave No Trace, pack out your trash and have a valid fire/backpacker stove permit. Happy trails.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Thu May 09, 2019 4:27 pm

Date Hiked: May 9, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Today, Darlene and I as VWA/USFS Rangers worked the lower portion of the Cruickshank Trail today. We cleared the lowest section before the switchback, and the first tree covered section just past the Wilderness Sign.

With this work the trail is now clear or a Wilderness Freeway for the first 0.9 miles. Then the brush gets thicker for 1/3 mile then opens up again.

Lots of flowers and great weather today.
Attachments
Cleared Trail looking at Highway 1.jpg
Cleared Trail looking just above Highway 1.jpg
Cleared Trail just before bottom switchbacks.jpg
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby ammodramus on Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:07 pm

Date Hiked: March 17, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked the Cruickshank Trail from Lion Den down to the trailhead to as part of the Buckeye-Salmon-Creek-Cruickshank loop this weekend. The trail was entirely clear except for the slide just above Silver Camp (uphill, toward Lion Den Camp, see others' posts), which was passable with trekking poles.

Water was abundant and streams were passable.
ammodramus
 

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:52 pm

Date Hiked: March 16, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A great day hiking the Big Sur Coast today. Darlene and I were on one of our volunteer Patrols as VWA/USFS Rangers checking out the trails, talking to people, cleaning camps and enjoying the beautiful day. The ACE Crews hired by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance did a great job on the Cruickshank Trail with the help of many volunteers. The trail is now clear from bottom to top with only a couple difficult sections.

The creek past Silver Camp is running high at this time. You may get a wet foot or two.

The Slide just past the Creek is much more easily traversed. Hiking poles really help.

Lots of flowers today.

Happy hiking!
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby toejam on Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:59 pm

Date Hiked: February 23, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail has been worked through the sketchy slide above Silver Camp. It's much improved but there is still about a 30' section where you lean against the cliff face walking on tread a little wider than your foot with a steep, long drop on the other side (gfelsman's middle picture). The whole trail is clear besides that short stretch.

An ACE crew is working the trail again. They were doing tread work above the slide and traversing through the sketchy part twice a day. I've crossed it several times and my buddy and some backpackers we saw had no problem with it. Be careful and use trekking poles if you are concerned.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail Silver Creek Slide

Postby gfelsman on Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:09 pm

Date Hiked: January 26, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Here are some pictures of the Silver Creek Slide Area. As you can see the tread is very narrow with lots of loose gravel. Similar conditions exist after the slide as well until the rocky outcropping. Hopes this helps those that might adventure across this slide.
Attachments
Slide 1.jpg
Slide 2.jpg
slide 3.jpg
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:26 pm

Date Hiked: May 26, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Darlene and I hiked this trail today from Hwy 1 to Upper Cruickshank Camp. It was a beautiful day. We saw our first Star Lilies. The trail is clear all the way to Upper Cruickshank Camp to the Buckeye/Lion Den Junction. Water is flowing everywhere. The creek crossing just before Lower Cruickshank Camp is now covered in water. about 6 inches deep.

A great day to be on the trail.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Postby pantilat on Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:40 pm

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

This covers the section of trail from Hwy 1 to the Silver Peak Usetrail (saddle between Villa and Salmon Creek watersheds). The trail is mostly clear save for a few new small blowdowns from the storm a couple weeks ago. Water is currently flowing in all streams. From Buckeye Camp to Silver Camp the trail is covered in a lot of small debris as this is the only stretch that has not seen recent trail work and it seems very little use.

The slide area just after Silver Camp (~mile 3.3 from Hwy 1) looked essentially as it did prior to the Mud Creek slide closure and heavy storms of 2016-2017, which is to say I thought it was "passable." Perhaps some tread work has recently been completed after the "Impassable" reports below? The tread through this section has always been thin and there has always been accumulation of small rocks over the tread as the slope above and below is virtually all steep scree. The road closure simply allowed more to accumulate. This is not to say that it was a wilderness freeway before - care and attention was always needed through this section - but I didn't see a deterioration in conditions. Unfortunately the nature of the loose and steep slope will continue to make this a problem area, but I was glad to see that it was basically the same as before and no major new slide had occurred. While this may be beyond some folks comfort level I found the slide area to be passable.

After the slide area there is continuous evidence of the trail crews widening the trail corridor through the brush. This section is wonderfully clear save for a couple new blow downs from recent storms. There are several sections where the alignment of the trail will be straightened but isn't quite finished yet. Unfortunately the drought, which was most severe along the south coast, resulted in high mortality of the Santa Lucia Fir grove in upper Villa Creek. There are lots of young healthy firs along the trail so hopefully they are given a chance to flourish, but it seems the southern groves of the Santa Lucia Fir are under threat in a changing climate regime :(

Near the saddle that separates the Villa and Salmon Creek watersheds the rare Sargent's Cypress grove has filled in substantially over the past few years. Turning off on the Silver Peak usetrail there are some wonderful older cypress trees. After the cypress grove is an expansive forest of maturing Coulter Pine along the north ridge of Silver Peak. The Silver Peak usetrail is in good shape with some sections of light brush to Silver Peak. After Silver Peak moving south the usetrail becomes brushy in spots as the brush reclamation of the old fire road is almost complete. At Silver Peak usecamp there was water. The "Secret Trail" section of the Soda Wildtrail probably needs a trim soon, but still passable.

I counted 7 different conifers along the Cruikshank Trail: Gray Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Coulter Pine, Redwood, Douglas Fir, Santa Lucia Fir, Sargent's Cypress. I didn't see knobcone pine along this stretch of trail although I know of some nearby.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail t Villa Creek Camp

Postby gfelsman on Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:22 pm

Date Hiked: November 10, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Today VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers patrolled from Highway 1 to Villa Creek Camp. For the most part the trail is clear all the way to the camp. We cleared a few overhanging snags and removed one large tree branch that fell at Upper Cruickshank Camp.

Water is flowing at all the camps.

Remember to be fire safe as Fires and Stoves are currently not allowed to be used in the backcountry.

Happy Trails
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