Highway One is Open. The washout at Rat Creek has been repaired and the highway is open throughout Big Sur. 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 of 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 - Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:14 am

Date Hiked: February 21, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This trail is clear and obvious with very little encroaching vegetation and no deadfalls or washouts. The first couple of miles are clearly getting a lot of use. The final stretch to Post Summit involves pushing through knee to waist high deerweed, so should probably be considered only "passable." The only real challenge is the steepness of the grade. If that doesn't bother you, this very soft, very easily passed through vegetation certainly won't.
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K Vandevere
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Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby waynez on Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:18 am

Date Hiked: August 10, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined) Really worried. Part of the trail has eroded in places on the first mile. A rain storm may cause the trail to erode away in places where the trail then would have to be closed.

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby AaronP on Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:31 pm

Date Hiked: June 3, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked into LPNF to post summit and camped on the hill just below. The first few switchbacks in the beginning are loaded with ticks and closer to the saddle we witnessed a 4 foot rattlesnake cross the trail and get into striking position. No on-trail water along this stretch. Bushes are encroaching there are a few spots with PO in the trail.
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Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby Erik on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:24 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail was clear single track up to the redwood grove. Once past there it was a single track wilderness freeway until the dozer line to the Post summit. The trail condition deteriorated to difficult at that point. The trail was evident but the tread became very loose and difficult to gain a steady foothold in some of the steeper sections. Once up to the Post summit the trail was overgrown but followable. Vegetation was encroaching on the trail but seldom reached more than two feet in height. Long pants are definitely recommended for this section.

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby jpratt on Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:47 pm

Date Hiked: September 3, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Molera up to Post Summit.

Parked and started from a spur trail about 200 yards south of Molera. The first 1/2 mile was wide open fire road. After that the trail begins to ascend up some longer switch backs. It was at that point the trail turned into a single track. The trail was easy to follow although it was over grown with brush touching or scraping you along the way.

Once you reach the redwood grove about 1.5- 2 miles up it is wide open grass for the next 2 miles. The trail remains a single track and is still easy to follow but is over grown by light grass.

The final ascent up to Post Summit follows an old dozer trail from what I would assume to be from the Basin Fire. The trail is easy to follow at time. It begins to become more of a pick your route through the scattered brush. The final .25 miles up to the Post Summit was the most overgrown section. I was still able to follow the trail but it required more attention and some bushwhacking.

Overall the trails was in good condition for Big Sur standards. Meaning it was easy to follow but was overgrown in sections. Very enjoyable trail and beautiful views

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby frubit on Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:06 am

Date Hiked: April 21, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I was up on this trail on Sunday. It was very overgrown in spots and potentially dangerous with rattlesnakes. Does this trail get any maintenance?
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Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby pantilat on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:46 am

Date Hiked: April 12, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Posting this update to reiterate the prior post regarding ticks on this trail. East Molera is notorious for tick "blooms" and this year is no different. The area to be most vigilant is between 600 feet and 1400 feet elevation along the broad switchback where copious deer weed, chamise and other soft chaparral encroaching onto the trail provide an ideal environment for the arachnids to proliferate and wait for a ride. Above the switchback on the ridge proper where the vegetation transitions to grass the tick issue is mostly over until reaching more chaparral vegetation along the use trail/fire break up to Post Summit and on to Cabezo Prieto and Mount Manuel. The ticks are particularly numerous now on the East Molera Trail and will continue to be through Spring.

Things you can do to avoid a tick bite:
1. Where pants and long sleeve shirt with socks pulled over the pants and shirt tucked into the pants.
2. Spray clothing and shoes with permethrin
3. If you chose to wear shorts or t-shirt, spray exposed skin with insect repellent
4. Practice vigilance and check for ticks regularly during the hike and after

I agree with the prior post that some simple upkeep by the State Park to cut back the brush through the one mile switchback would go a long way to eliminating the problem, and in my opinion it is a problem (public health hazard) as this is a fairly popular trail with tourists that are totally unaware. In my opinion this at least merits a sign at the bottom of the trail and/or bottom of the switchback warning visitors.
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Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby Rpisland on Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:39 am

Date Hiked: January 25, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Quiet, only saw one couple on the way down. Small tree across end of trail connecting white barn to quad trail. Knee high brush to push through until reaching ridge. Many ticks. I pulled off 16 and my wife 7. Recommend light coloured hiking pants with socks over pant cuffs. A pass over with a gas powered hedge trimmer both ways would help with the tick accumulation nuisance. Nice workout and great views.

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby Ron Bannon on Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Date Hiked: June 12, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Not well traveled and in many regions, you're walking through tall brush that covered with ticks. Although I did not make it to Post Summit, it looks like it is doable, but I am not sure if getting to Mt. Manuel is possible anymore. In the past (before the 2016 fire) the passage from Post Summit to Mt. Manuel was difficult, but indeed, there was a well-marked trail connecting them. I do wonder if it is legal to hike to Mt. Manuel and then down to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. I've always camped on Mt. Manuel, but this hike is a day hike if you start early.
Ron Bannon

Re: Andrew Molera State Park: East Molera Trail

Postby Todd Perkins on Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:36 am

Date Hiked: April 22, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Cabezo Preito Ridge showing bulldozed trail and ankle to waist high brush, easily passable.
Date Hiked: April 22, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Described route: Up East Molera -> Post Summit -> Cabezon Preto Ridge -> Manuel Peak -> Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Trail to Post Summit is wilderness freeway up past the Redwoods and the Golden Staircase. The left turn cutoff to the saddle to Post Summit is indistinct. The trail up Post Summit is similar to prior years. It was previously bulldozed and has many gravel sections easy to slip on coming back down.

The trail to Cabezo Prieto Ridge and across to Manuel Peak has been bulldozed and has ankle to waist high brush in patches, easy to get past for now. It likely will fill in and become difficult.

From Manuel Peak false summit down the west side of the ridge the trail passes 50 yards of brush tunnel followed by open trail. Hikers are cutting the switchbacks and creating erosion by descending directly down the steep face of false summit. There are a few more areas of brush, one detour around a tree, and some sections of narrow trail with steep drop-offs descending the east, then south side of the ridge. Two miles down from Manuel down to Pfeiffer State Park the trail widens to freeway width with passing lanes thanks to recent VWA trail work.

Enjoy this trail before the brush fills in the ridges at the top!
Todd Perkins
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:58 am


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