Horse Pasture Trail

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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2024 9:27 am

Re: Horse Pasture Trail

Post by borisaronshtam »

Date Hiked: June 10, 2024
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from Tassajara Zen Center to Horse Pasture camp on Tassajara creek in order to get to Arroyo Seco Horse Bridge.

Make sure you are recording your trail, so you can trace your path back.
    The section from Tassajara to Cutoff is perfect.
      After cutoff it is OK for ~1 mile.
        Then it gets tough. Huge fallen trees. Brush. Easy to loose the trail. But if you are patient, not afraid of poison oak, consulting the map (I am using Gaia GPS) and know when you loose the trail, you probably will be able to make it.
          Plenty of drinking water in Blackberry Creek. There are some pools to cool down on a hot days.

          Note that the Gaia GPS map, though pretty accurate, is not precise.

          I am planning to be back there in couple of weeks. This time I will bring machete and marking tape.

          From the crossing of Tassajara Creek to Arroyo Seco, at the fallen Horse Bridge, the trail is nearly perfect.

          [JG: here the Gaia-incorrect name "Horse Pasture Camp" refers to (False) Adobe Usecamp, not the USFS Horse Pasture Camp]
          [Betsy: Additionally it is not advised to use a machete in the kinds of woody brush found in the Ventana. Great way to slice up your arms and legs. Use loppers and a hand saw! Then maybe you won't need to add a bunch of flagging. Also, you can just head over to and download a map file for your Gaia app. That way you will have a precise map on your phone.]
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          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by scottmiller »

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

          Horse Pasture Trail from Horse Bridge to Horse Pasture Camp (sort of). We had planned to hike the Horse Pasture Trail from north to south, at the end of a five-day loop going west on the Marble Peak Trail, then north to Divide Camp, and then east and south. We were going to stay at Horse Pasture Camp, and if there was no water we would just keep going to Horse Bridge. However, the Marble Peak Trail turned out to be impassible, or at any rate we just totally lost the trail, so we decided to go back and do part of the loop backwards. That meant hiking up Horse Pasture Trail, and because the water seemed iffy, we filled every water bottle we had in case we had to dry camp. Dang, that was a heavy pack.
          The trail itself is very steep, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were a lot of shady parts. There was a lot of low growth, we were wading waist-high through poison oak, some tall brush, a few downed trees, and an occasional place where the grass had taken over completely. The good news is that the tread is 95% visible, so even though it feels like a deer trail now and then, we never doubted we were off the trail. The cliff-side parts are slumping a bit, but even though I am scared of heights, it was OK. You want to keep your wits about you, though.
          The spring before Horse Pasture Camp was a tiny trickle. I guess if we were incredibly patient and had a few hours to burn we could have filled up our bottles. That was the only water, except for a small pool farther down the trail. So, not completely dry, but not all that great.
          As for the camp, we never found it, so we camped in the meadow. There are enough level spots here and there. The view was great, the stars were great. The next day, being spooked about the unknown water status, and having only a liter each left after the hike up and making dinner and breakfast, we turned around. Going down the steep parts was difficult.
          The camp on Tassajara Creek was terrific, and we had a nice swim at Horse Bridge, and the next day a massive breakfast at the Wild Horse Cafe in King City, so, even though it was a truncated trip, it was a good trip.
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          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by jack_glendening »

          Date Hiked: April 2, 2022
          General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

          From northern trailhead to Tassajara Cutoff junction, trail in good shape with some slumping, overhanging branches and PO, plus one walk-around fallen branch. Thin running water at Horse Pasture Spring but NO water at Quail Spring, illustrating current drought conditions.
          Big Sur Trailmap:

          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by stefan »

          Date Hiked: February 22, 2021
          General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

          Good condition. A few branches across the trail you need to step around. Typical poison oak around stream crossings. Ticks spotted in the grassy sections. A small landslide about 1.5 miles north of the Marble Peak trail junction that is fine to cross. No real fire danger was apparent. No bugs. Water was available at Quail Springs and junction of Tassajara Road and Church Creek trail at the north end. Standing water at the Horse Pasture Camp. Could not locate a good spot to camp at Horse Pasture Camp and proceeded north to Wildcat Camp on the Church Creek trail section, which had ample water.

          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by Sarah »

          Date Hiked: June 18, 2020
          General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

          From Tassajara Rd to Tassajara Cutoff: much encroaching brush, including poison oak, and lots of ticks; many sections of trail thickly covered with unavoidable thorny dried weeds, which penetrate even thick pants up to mid thigh - ouch.

          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by jpurat »

          Date Hiked: June 7, 2020
          General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

          Oak startin to come back pretty hard from Tassajara Cutoff to Marble peak...if it's not cleared in the next month or so it'll need to be cut back. You can get by it but without loppers it will inevitably touch you.
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          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by pantilat »

          Date Hiked: May 22, 2020
          General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

          From Marble Peak Trail to Tassajara Cutoff - Mostly clear: Some encroaching Poison Oak and riparian plants growing in the trail in spots due to lack of use the past couple months.

          From Tassajara Cutoff to Tassajara Road - Passable: Grass is growing profusely in the trail in the meadow sections and spring riparian growth is encroaching in spots due to lack of use the past couple months. Most of this growth will die back later in summer but for now expect to pick up a lot of foxtails until the grasses in the tread get stomped down. A couple brush skeletons have fallen into the trail that are easy to get around.
          Posts: 5
          Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 11:30 am
          Location: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by zenko »

          Date Hiked: May 22, 2020
          General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

          My first time hiking the trail from Marble Peak to the Tassajara cutoff since the trail crew did their work. Really beautiful, and no where near the bush-bashing crucible it once was. The poison oak has started to re-assert itself, but is currently avoidable. Still plenty of water at the small springs along the way.
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          Location: San Francisco, CA

          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by trolleypup »

          Date Hiked: February 17, 2020
          General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

          This covers the HP Trail from the Marble Peak Trail junction to the Tassajara Cutoff.

          Marble Peak Trail to the ridge crossing south of Quail Springs - The trail is near wilderness freeway. At the current low water levels (50 cfs @ Arroyo Seco), Tassajara Creek is a knee deep ford (rock hopping not possible). All the other creek crossings have water.

          Ridge crossing to Tassajara Cutoff - Passable, mostly due to encroaching brush. There are a number of minor slides but the tread is easily walkable. Quail Spring is flowing lightly, but sufficient to collect water.
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          Re: Horse Pasture Trail

          Post by AaronP »

          Date Hiked: January 15, 2020
          General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

          Hiked from Arroyo Seco to Church Creek Divide via this trail last week. Between 4-6 fallen trees between the camp and Tassajara Rd mostly on the switchbacks there.
          New Report