Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

driggsy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by driggsy »

Date Hiked: May 22, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Starting to get pretty brushy, especially after the turn into Hare Canyon. Very manageable, and some fallen trees have been cleared, but the poison oak has definitely been growing. Still one of the most beautiful places on earth though :)
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: April 30, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

Last weekend Volunteer USFS/VWA Rangers patrolled the Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp and beyond. They removed 6 downed trees, took out 30 lbs. of trash, talked to over 100 visitors and put out three unattended campfires still smoldering. On Sunday morning there were 42 tents at Vicente Flat Camp.

Note: As always, do your part to help keep things nice. Have a valid Campfire/Stove Permit, pack out all your gear, trash and TP. Leave a place nicer than when you found it.

Trail Conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Espinosa Camp – Clear with encroaching brush.
There is one downed oak tree in camp and the water in the spring just past the camp is running well. Many flowers still out. Lots of deerweed along the trail. Check yourself for ticks regularly.

Espinosa Camp to Vincente Flat Camp – Passable.
From Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat there are several spots in need of repair. Several large fallen trees still remain across the trail which can be difficult to negotiate. A few places where the tread is significantly eroded. The trail is passable. but keep your eyes on the trail from Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat Camp to make sure you have stable footing.

Vicente Flat Camp - Clear
Vicente Flat Camp is mainly clear. However, the trail beyond has been washed out. People have put cairns along the route to make it easier to follow. There is a redwood jumble to navigate just past the camp.
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Attachments
Spring flowing just past Espinosa Camp.
Spring flowing just past Espinosa Camp.
Sawed Tan Oak near Vicente Flat Camp.
Sawed Tan Oak near Vicente Flat Camp.
Cleared Tan Oak before Vicente Flat Camp.
Cleared Tan Oak before Vicente Flat Camp.
Sawed Redwood near Vicente Flat Camp.
Sawed Redwood near Vicente Flat Camp.
Clearing a tree just before entering Vicente Flat Camp.
Clearing a tree just before entering Vicente Flat Camp.
Log jam above Vicente Flat Camp.
Log jam above Vicente Flat Camp.
Washed out Creek above Vicente Flat Camp.
Washed out Creek above Vicente Flat Camp.
TracksbyAimee
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2022 8:54 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by TracksbyAimee »

Date Hiked: February 18, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Pleasant trail. About a mile in the spring below the trail is still running (its a scramble to get to it, and its off trail but wanted to note it.) About 4 miles in is the only other source of water on the trail. Its a beautiful and generoud water flow. It isn't until the last mile that you come across most of the deadfalls and washedout parts of trail.
Vicente Flat has water running through it. Enough for "a little bit above the ankle" pools to form and a good steady flow (nothing stagnate). I was at VF back in 2019 and the water flow was more heavy, cali definitely could use one last Spring down pour to keep this river running longer.
No mosquitoes at all :D at camp. And we camped one night close to the river.
Very chilly early since camp is under a shaded canopy, fire was very much enjoyed. Oddly the morning (I was up at 5:30) was quite warm.
Left camp at about 8:30am and there must have been at least 25-30 backpackers hiking in to camp VF. Very popular for a Saturday. We planned to stay two nights but only stayed one.
Lots of wildflowers and ferns are still lush and green. The fairy ferns are starting to wilt.
Beautiful views, at about 10am the thin haze started fizzling out.
TracksbyAimee
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2022 8:54 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by TracksbyAimee »

Thank you so much for this update. My husband and I hope to backpack to VF for a couple nights this coming weekend, when you went was there water in the creek to filter? Or should we pack in enough water for the trip?
Thanks so much for any reply :)
tbliss wrote:Date Hiked: February 4, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail was in very good shape to Espinosa Camp. From Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat there were half a dozen spots badly in need of repair. Several large fallen trees were a challenge to negotiate, a few places where the tread was all but washed out. The trail is passable but you really need to keep your eyes on the trail from Espinosa on. Other than that, it's a spectacular hike.
tbliss

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by tbliss »

Date Hiked: February 4, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail was in very good shape to Espinosa Camp. From Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat there were half a dozen spots badly in need of repair. Several large fallen trees were a challenge to negotiate, a few places where the tread was all but washed out. The trail is passable but you really need to keep your eyes on the trail from Espinosa on. Other than that, it's a spectacular hike.
darren

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by darren »

Date Hiked: December 10, 2021
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Hiked in and out on Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp. Absolutely spectacular ocean and canyon views. I found the tread very well defined. A slight bit of encroaching brush/ poison oak but not a major hindrance (Hiking poles helped keep the brush away from me). Water is flowing well part way in as previously noted. Not sure on current trail conditions after heavy rains on December 13.
crockettonearth
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:24 am

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by crockettonearth »

Date Hiked: November 11, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

11/11/2021 Trail Conditions - trip report

We started at 6:30 AM right at the ocean at where Kirk Creek enters the sea. Accessed by Kirk Creek Campground. This gave us a true sea to sky route.

Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp) - Vicente Flat Camp 5 miles. Overall this trail is in great condition. The first water is at mile 4. Where a small stream crosses the trail. I was surprised by the lack of surface water in all the other creeks in the first four miles as this area has received ~5 in of rain in the last 30 days. The soil must be very dry and is soaking this water up.

There is a bit of deadfall that needs to be cut out of the trail. Maybe three trees or so.

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Link to the film of my talk through of the route: https://youtu.be/rZGdPfKtZhw

Link to photos of the trail from the trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xRJ9bpGmFdaZwZmd8

Link to map from GPS tracking of hike: https://www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=15.3/- ... opo,natgeo
driggsy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by driggsy »

Date Hiked: October 17, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail looking pretty good post Dolan Fire. Smooth and easy to pass all the way through Espinosa (some brushy grass but not bad at all). From Espinosa to Vicente Flat there is some eroded tread in the gullies and a couple of small blowdowns and some slightly brushy sections, but again all very manageable. No big deals here thanks to some amazing trail work by the trail crews!
geoffvirtue
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by geoffvirtue »

Date Hiked: September 25, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Kirk Creek to Espinosa is wilderness freeway and clear.

Espinosa to Vicente Flat is passable with 2 or 3 washouts inside of drainages/gullies. Tread needs to be reinforced here.

Most of the deadfall is cleared on the way.

Water is flowing 1/2 mile down stream and 1/4 mile upstream. If going upstream hug the left fork.
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jack_glendening
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by jack_glendening »

Date Hiked: August 10, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Kirk Creek Trail is good for first 4 miles that has been recently worked on by trail crews. Then much rougher, navigating washed-out gullies and downed trees. Someone has kindly cut off limbs ("swamped") so downed trees are very navigable, but gully up+down is wearisome. There is one especially deep gully I would call "difficult" - took a few minutes to figure out how to traverse safely and without kicking up too much dust. Hopefully will become easier as more use the trail. I met several people coming out - none expressed major problems with trail, just a lot of up+down.

Note that burnt soil is very powdery, rising up when disturbed - breathing it can include unhealthy post-burn compounds so should be avoided.

BTW many I met said camp was "dry" - but water is available (as always, so far) at upper end, where a stream joins the creekbed - but is 0.3 mile from lower end and a bit difficult to get to since downed redwoods have covered upper end of trail (I returned via dry creekbed for easier travel). Water was also abundant at the usual place 0.2 mile past Espinosa Camp (not the gully just after, where an old twisted pipe can be misleading).

Jack
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