Forums
Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Willow Creek Trail

Willow Creek Trail

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:02 pm

Date Hiked: July 12, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

A quick report on the Willow Creek Trail.

Road Advisory: The section of "Willow Creek Road" from the redwood camping area to the turnaround at the start of the hiking trail continues to be in very poor condition. 4 wheel drive and high clearance are strongly recommended. Otherwise park and walk.

Trail Conditions: The trail itself is is passable condition to the camp. There are a few trees down and some poison oak is encroaching along the trail. The campsite on the south side of Willow Creek and the picnic table are intact.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Attachments
4X4 & Hi Clearance Needed.JPG
Uneven road very rutted to the end of the road.
Trailhead at turnaround.JPG
The end of the road.
View From Trail.JPG
View from the trail.
User avatar
VWA_Ranger
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby seagoat1724 on Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:40 pm

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

Trail is mostly good. 1 particularly nasty blow-down but otherwise the trail is nice and well walked.

[Ed: note this report only covers the Willow Creek Trail south of Willow Creek Camp.]
seagoat1724
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:39 pm

Re: Willow Creek Trail S-N Upstream

Postby mmaki on Sat May 05, 2018 10:28 pm

Date Hiked: April 30, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Trail is not bad from Willow Creek Spur Road end (abandoned homeless encampment) to Willow Creek Camp. I would rate that section as Clear. Spent the night at the camp with the picnic table. Beautiful camp. Great water in the creek. It all changes when you cross the creek a hundred or so yards past the camp and start climbing the opposite bank. Short section of the trail is maintained by boards supported by white PVC pipe. Once you climb this and start contouring upcreek things get moderately to heavily brushy and frequent unavoidable poison oak. But it is a beautiful section of trail! The old "Living Bridge", now collapsed but still living is impressive crossing the south flowing large tributary. It's great to see how well the Kinder Mine Dwelling has survived at the end of the trail. Challenging hike but worth it. Kinder Mine Road out of Willow Creek is a bit over grown as well but not as bad as the trail. Condor Trail section hike.
mmaki
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:43 pm

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby jdoelman on Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:45 am

Date Hiked: June 17, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Myself and 3 friends came down from the coast ridge along the seldom travelled (former) Kinder-Mine road / (present-day) Willow Creek trail. This had to have been one heck of a tough drive even when the road was in its heyday. There are Yucca growing in the old road-bed and lots of various brush. The Kinder mine seems to be have been seldom visited, but was left in good shape. It was unfortunate that we didn't have time to investigate (or find) the mine shaft. From the Kinder Mine site, we did not have the benefit of a print-out of the bigsurtrailmap.net map. We lost the Willow Creek Trail at that point and followed what were in retrospect local Kinder Mine use-trails. The one we followed dead-ended in a ravine, then we found another trail about 200ft below us, so went down there and followed an obvious, but overgrown trail past a porcelain toilet and an abandoned propane fridge. This trail again dead-ended. We were now well below the mine and elected to follow the creek, we followed the creek about 1/2 mile to the next tributary coming into willow creek, ascended above and west of this tributary to find the trail about 150 ft above Willow Creek, followed that to Willow creek camp. This trail is a fine adventure for those who are Poison-Oak tolerant and adventure minded.
User avatar
jdoelman
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:47 am

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby Jon on Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:55 pm

Date Hiked: September 19, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I found the conditions to the camp by the creek good and easy to follow. I tried to venture beyond the camp and did not find the trail, perhaps to the ridge if I had time but was not successful. I had referenced a map that showed the trail continuing along the creek to the junction with the North Fork of Willow Creek (scroogled). So beyond camp I had an easy rock hop to the confluence of the two creeks. At that point the trail was shown as a fall line trail going up the nose of the ridge. I found a few "Hobbit Mine" markers, and including one on a short segment of old tread that was definitely cut in, but old and overgrown just over the confluence of the creeks. Where the trail would have headed up the ridge, there was evidence of an old slide or debris flow that obliterated the trail and perhaps lead to the demise of this section of trail. At that point I turned back. Explored the forks of the creek a bit. I ventured up the "new steep trail" referenced below, I think it was game trail. It intersected a better section of trail that I followed back to the creek, but it was cutoff by a fallen tree and the trail was not easy to follow back after that. Reading now, it appears the trail crosses to the north side of the creek and I found that on my return. But the crossings are not marked and are generally difficult to follow beyond the camp. There are also well used intersecting game trails that confuse the path. I relied on gps quite a bit.

There was water in the creek, except right at the camp. But was live again just above the camp, and I found a pool deep enough for a quick plunge to cool off in.
Jon
 

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:09 pm

Date Hiked: August 12, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The current Willow Creek Trail situcation is that a thin use trail has been constructed to connect the "upper" and "lower" sections.

Originally (and as shown in the USFS database) the trail followed an old mining-era road, crossing Willow Creek and ascending along a relatively steep slope. Later the section along that slope was lost, I assume due to tread erosion and vegetation growth as has happened so many other places in the Ventana, leaving no apparent connection between upper and lower sections. What had been the stub trail to Willow Creek Camp remained in reasonable shape, continuing beyond the camp to old mining artifacts. Access to the upper trail has more recently been made by bushwhacking up from the camp trail, though not consistently so no connection was apparent. The upper tread had been maintained to some degree by the caretaker of the Kinder Mine, who liked to visit Willow Creek - but he is no longer there, so the tread had became increasingly overgrown.

Currently some tread has been cut into that steep slope from the unofficial camp use trail to intersect the upper tread - so a connection between the upper and lower sections is now apparent to hikers (FYI this is supposed to be a section of the "Condor Trail"). The bad news is that it is not very trail-like and how last it will last along that very steep slope is known. But while not as nice as the original tread, IMHO it is better than nothing, which had been the previous case (and maintenance of the original track would be difficult given its length over a steep vegetated slope and relatively light useage).

The map below shows how I have modified my trailmap to indicate the current situation.

Jack
Attachments
WillowCreekTrail-connection.png
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
User avatar
jack_glendening
 
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby trail_guy on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:49 am

Date Hiked: August 21, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail to creekside campsites is clear of poison oak . Vegetation on the trail up the canyon on the north side of Willow Creek past the second campsite area has been cut back. Work on the Kinder mine trail continues. The section from the stream crossing to the “living bridge” has been widened and reconfigured where needed and poison oak has been cut back. The stream crossing at the “living bridge” is dry, but water is nearby. Ticks may be present on the sunny sections of the trail. Water just below the turnaround at the end of the jeep trail and at Willow Creek.
Road Advisory. The section of "Willow Creak Road" that goes down to the turnaround from the redwood camping area continues to be in very poor condition. 4 wheel drive and high clearance are strongly recommended.
trail_guy
 

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby trail_guy on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:19 am

Date Hiked: July 23, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail to creek side campsites is clear of poison oak . Vegetation on the trail up the canyon on the north side of Willow Creek past the second campsite area has been cut back as far as the narrow rocky gorge. A simple access trail up the slope on the north side of Willow Creek now connects to Willow Creek Trail up to Kinder Mine Road. Work will continue here over the summer to make use of the hiking trail to the Kinder mine easier and safer.
Road Advisory. The section of "Willow Creak Road" that goes down to the turnaround from the redwood camping area is in very poor condition. In the last couple of months a number of cars have had to be towed out. 4 wheel drive and high clearance are strongly recommended.

Editor (Jack Glendening) note: I trust that as a "TRAIL guy" any trail work will keep the original route, i.e. along the old road (and hence with relatively gradual slope) to cross Willow Creek west of Willow Creek Camp - as it originally extended to the Kinder Mine. Somebody seems to be trying to instead make a rough trail up the steep hillside, which would have erosion and maintainability issues. Willow Creek Camp (with grate and picnic table) is meant to lie along a spur off the Willow Creek Trail, not lie along it (as attested to by Sierra Club Los Padres National Forest Trail Guide, which dates back to 1969). Someone cannot expect praise (or be considered a "trail guy") if they simply hack out an arbitrary route instead of following the actual trail. Original route noted on map (road location on quadrangle map was only approximate, to indicate the presence of a road in that area)
Attachments
WillowCreekTrail-sansStubs-topo.png
Willow Creek Trail - original route
trail_guy
 

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:27 pm

Date Hiked: July 15, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Paul Danielson and I hiked the Willow Creek Trail up to Kinder Mine Road. The section south of Willow Creek is in excellent shape - a "wilderness freeway". However, that tread now goes directly to Willow Creek Camp and beyond to eventually dead end at the creek - the original route following the old road to the "upper" section, north of Willow Creek has been lost. One must now "know" that the trail continues atop the bluff north of Willow Creek and ascend the slope north to find it. That upper section has been recently worked on and though rough in places is "clear" to Kinder Mine Road - but that tread work does not extend down to the connection between the upper and lower sections.

Jack
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
User avatar
jack_glendening
 
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Willow Creek Trail

Postby trail_guy on Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:19 pm

Date Hiked: April 24, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail to creekside campsites is clear of poison oak . Trail just past jeep track turnaround at site of minor landslide is now passable. Cross with care. Trail on the north side of Willow Creek past the second campsite area has been opened up the canyon as far as the narrow rocky gorge. The unmaintained trail up the slope on the north side of Willow Creek has been partially cleared and reconfigured. Ticks are present on the sunny sections of the trail. Water just below the turnaround at the end of the jeep trail and at Willow Creek.
trail_guy
 

Next

Return to Silver Peak Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron