Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

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

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: March 23, 2024
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From the Hike Los Padres Website:

The trail is beautiful and in mostly good condition. Up to Espinoza camp, the trail is well marked, graded, easy to follow. After Espinoza, there are a number of down trees. The water source along the trail after Espinoza is difficult to access because of one. Most are passable, but there is one, about a quarter mile before Vicente Flat, that was very difficult to cross. It required some climbing and creativity, but it was possible. Bushwhacking might be necessary for some on that section.
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Marmot

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

Post by Marmot »

Date Hiked: March 12, 2024
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Half a dozen trees down between Espinosa and Vicente Flat. The last tree before Vicente, about 1/4 south, is hard to get over- a large (3 1/2' diameter), steeply slanted redwood.
driggsy
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

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

Post by driggsy »

Date Hiked: January 13, 2024
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Generally very good conditions to Vicente Flat. I think there were 3 trees down in the Hare Canyon section, all very branchy but not big around the trunk. A tad brushy, but really not bad at all.
Eric_Hightower
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:26 pm

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

Post by Eric_Hightower »

Date Hiked: June 10, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I went up Cone Peak from the Kirk Creek Trailhead on 6/10/2023.

The trail has a bit of overgrown chamise in the first few miles that is about shin to knee high that wasn't too problematic but obscured the trail tread slightly and prevented easy running on the downhill. The trail tread was washed out beyond Vicente Flat until the climb out of the canyon. There was some flagging that was somewhat helpful. On the climb out of the canyon: there were a few branches of poison oak that I had to avoid and one tree that I had to crawl under with some poison oak that was uncomfortably close. The trail is getting overgrown once it reaches the summit before meeting Cone Peak Road. There's a chainlink fence that screams 'Wilderness' there to prevent anyone from easily cutting through the brush to the road. Brush is growing over the first quarter mile of the trail once it departs from Cone Peak road on the final few miles to the summit. There was some Ceanothus overgrowth that required crawling under just a bit before the junction with Gamboa/Stone Ridge Trail.

I started at 11:30 AM and returning to my car at 7:30 PM. I spent about 45 minutes on the summit. I stopped briefly to fill my 3 liter water reservoir about .5 miles beyond Vicente Flat. That was probably more than I needed, but YMMV.

I had a great time despite some of the brush. Definitely not as pristine as the trail was before the fire. A group I met at the top had a terrible time and hated it and said they would never come back unless the trail was maintained. I met another group that tried going down Stone Ridge Trail. They met a solo hiker who was now with their group who had pushed on beyond Trail Springs to try to get to Goat Camp and said it was so overgrown that it was dangerous. I do think it's funny that trails like that are open but PRT gets closed over a single slide.
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klucas

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

Post by klucas »

Date Hiked: May 18, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Clear to passable, trail work from March has held up! There was another treefall right at the beginning of the trail. Lotus/deerweed has encroached a lot. Lovely blooms, but a bit cumbersome. Hikers will help.

I got back to Espinoza. It gets pretty lush once you turn into Hare canyon. More poison oak out there than last year. It can be avoided, but someone should lop them. Espinoza Camp looks in good shape. The spring 1 mile in is flowing a bit below the trail. I did not make it to the creek around the corner past Espinoza, but it is presumably flowing happily with the lavish rain.

Encountered one frightened rattlesnake beside the trail on the coast side, so be aware!

Just tagging a reminder in case it got forgotten from the trail crew trip. The Ventana Wilderness wooden sign about 2/3 mile in decayed from the winter storms, and now there is simply a vertical post.
driggsy
Posts: 28
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: 117
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.
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