Church Creek Trail

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Betsy M
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: May 12, 2024
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

Section: Tassajara Road to the wind caves: Wilderness Freeway

Section: Wind Caves to Church Ranch Driveway: Passable

Section: Church Ranch to Church Creek Divide: Wilderness Freeway

Section: Wildcat Camp: we dug up the grill and moved it away from Wildcat Creek. Constructed a fire ring in front of it. We cleared out enough space for two tents: one right beside the grill, a second just uphill on a flat area (not shown in the photos)

VWA volunteer trail crews worked from Tassajara Road up to the wind caves in April, 2024. This is now a wilderness freeway. Beyond the wind caves there are several brushy sections until you get past the meadow. But we cleared all but a few trees that are easy to get past. From the meadow section to the Ranch driveway, the trail is clear though the tread needs work.

From the Ranch heading up towards Church Creek Divide, the trail starts out in open meadows and is not too difficult to follow. Beyond the open meadow areas, the encroaching ceanothus, yerba santa, and poison oak bushes have been cleared back. In several locations we reworked the tread so you won't be dipping down and climbing back up as you make your way to the Divide. We cleared all the trees that have fallen, some years ago, and some in the February windstorms.
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bp_k32

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by bp_k32 »

Date Hiked: September 30, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked from the southern intersection where the trail meets with Tassajara road, to the Mesa. A bit overgrown, but nothing too bad. LOTS of poison oak, definitely recommend long pants. Saw a few tarantulas on the trail, pretty cool!

Wildcat camp isn't really much of a camp, just a log and a small rock fire ring and an old/broken Forest Service stove; there's not even enough room to pitch a 1 person tent. I supposes one or two people could "cowboy camp" there, but you would be butted up to the rock fire ring. Just posting this info for anyone planning on backpacking on this trail who has not been here before... I wouldn't plan on camping at Wildcat unless it was absolutely necessary.

There was still plenty water flowing in the stream beside it, thanks to the wet winter.
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Betsy M
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: May 22, 2023
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Tassajara Road to the wind caves: Wilderness Freeway

Section: Wind Caves to Church Ranch Driveway: Passable

Section: Church Ranch to Church Creek Divide: Difficult for about a mile, until the last 0.2 miles before the Divide

VWA volunteer trail crews worked from Tassajara Road up to the wind caves. Plenty of ceanothus branches were leaning into the trail making progress difficult. Beyond the wind caves there are several fallen trees and more brushy sections.

From the Ranch heading up towards Church Creek Divide, the trail starts out in open meadows and is not too difficult to follow. Once you start getting into the brushy sections, where numerous trees have fallen in the brush, progress is difficult. VWA volunteer trail crew workers cleared brush and trees in the last 0.2 mile section leading up to the Divide.
thonrath

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by thonrath »

Thanks for the heads up on trail conditions. Did you access Church Creek by way of China Camp? If so, how is Tassajara Rd looking?

[ED: Tasssajara Road is in great shape. Watch for a slip out just before China Camp.]
dickg
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:02 am

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by dickg »

Date Hiked: April 21, 2023
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Awful. The first half mile down from Church Creek Divide is as much as I did. It was badly overgrown with ceanothus and had a few difficult deadfalls. If you make it to that perennial side stream in the little gully, I think you can make it to Cave Ranch without much more bushwhacking. We made it a little easier with some clipping. Pine Ridge Trail is perfect.
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Jim Ringland
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Jim Ringland »

Date Hiked: April 13, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Pine Ridge Trail to the Church Creek Use Camp – Passable

This is a mighty short trail segment – about a half mile – so there’s not much to say. Some open trail, some easy brush and deadfall maneuvering.

I went down to seek out the Church Creek Use Camp shown on https://bigsurtrailmap.net/. The camp is not on the trail, but rather 100-150 feet to the side (down the hill). Jack’s GPS location matches my GPS location within a few 10’s of feet. His trail position almost exactly matches what I logged. However, the underlying topo is off. The river is closer to the camp than the map suggests. As for the camp itself, there’s not much there: a long-unused fire ring, a not-very-big and not-very-useful log to sit on, and, no obvious good bedsite. There was water in the creek when I came though, although not that much. I wouldn’t count on it being there long as we move into the dry season. Probably all for the best that nature is reclaiming this spot.
Hiking Metal Maniac
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:32 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by Hiking Metal Maniac »

Date Hiked: March 26, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From the ranch to Church Creek Divide, trail is clear with no major obstacles. A little faded in places, but not too hard to follow.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: February 15, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Wind Caves to Ranch Driveway - Clear with no obstacles
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To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Cleared tree at Wildcat Camp.
Cleared tree at Wildcat Camp.
User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: January 21, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Today volunteer Rangers replaced the old wooden sign at the Ranch Road with a new metal sign designating the start of the trail leaving the Ranch driveway.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Road to trail jct. - Clear with no obstacles

Church Creek Trail to Church Creek Use Camp - Clear with encroaching brush. A few step overs and one duck under.

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To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
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Attachments
Tree across the trail
Tree across the trail
Installing the sign.
Installing the sign.
The finished sign.
The finished sign.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: November 21, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS trail crew volunteers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today trail crew volunteers patrolled ~ 2 miles between Church Creek Ranch and the Church Creek Divide. They cleared 690 yards of trail and removed two logs across the trail

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Ranch to Church Creek Divide. - Passable with with intermittent tree obstructions and encroaching brush.
Attachments
Trail Crew Member at work.
Trail Crew Member at work.
Sample of cleared Trail.
Sample of cleared Trail.
New Report