Stone Ridge vs Double Cone for 2 day, 1 night backpack trip?

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Re: Stone Ridge vs Double Cone for 2 day, 1 night backpack t

Post by MichelleH »

A short one-nighter that my husband and I have enjoyed is the Boronda trail up to Timber Top. It's only 3 miles one way and the trail is steep but the views are hard to beat and the sunsets can be spectacular. You have to collect your water about 2/3 the way up and carry it to camp. Once there you can make camp and then hike the Coast Ridge Road where you can enjoy the views of Ventana Double Cone. The quick exit also means that we have enjoyed breakfast/brunch at the Big Sur Bakery!

We also just recently hiked to Pat Spring via Long Ridge Road/Turner Creek/Skinner Ridge trails. Long Ridge Road is steep but very doable and the trails are in fairly decent shape. Pat Spring camp is in good condition also, not too badly scorched by the Soberanes Fire. We found a lovely camp on the ridge with a great view of Pico Blanco and around to Ventana Double Cone.
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Re: Stone Ridge vs Double Cone for 2 day, 1 night backpack t

Post by mikesplain »

Agree, VDC is simply too remote to be reasonable as a 2 day, 1 night outing, especially with the addition of many road miles before you can even get to the trailhead. Kirk Creek>Stone Ridge>CP Rd>Vicente Flat>Kirk Creek could work, but that's substantial mileage & major elevation gain/loss. Also, I would never plan a weekend outing that depended on finding a spot at tiny (& almost guaranteed to be occupied) Goat Camp. For most folks, an out & back to Vicente Flat Camp is the optimal 1-night choice. It will be occupied too, but is much larger with many campsite options.

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Re: Stone Ridge vs Double Cone for 2 day, 1 night backpack t

Post by Rob »

Sure, I've done the Stone Ridge / Vicente Loop that way a number of times: first day head to Goat Camp from Highway 1, then second day up and over Cone Peak, down Vicente and back to the car. It does make for quite a bit of elevation gain and loss, which is something to bear in mind (refer to for the specifics).

The Double Cone is another story. I used to do it as an overnight from Bottcher's Gap, spending the night at Lone Pine, and in the morning up to VDC summit and back out the same day. But (a) you can't drive all the way to Bottcher's Gap right now [someone correct me if I'm wrong], so you have a longer hike in, (b) trail conditions sound pretty rough after the fire, and (c) Lone Pine might be difficult to find with the trails being what they are these days. I also usually liked to do that one in the springtime, when you have more daylight (you will probably need it).

I've done VDC a bunch of times over the years, but would not recommend it to someone who has never been there as an overnight : maybe as a 2-night trip camping at Pat Spring and bearing in mind that summit day is going to be long and very brushy. That said, I think someone day-hiked it recently. Yikes, talk about a suffer fest. I must be getting old :)
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Stone Ridge vs Double Cone for 2 day, 1 night backpack trip?

Post by atm327 »

Hi everyone! I am planning a backpacking trip at the end of March.

Both Stone Ridge trail and Ventana Double Cone sound wonderful. We will only have one night and need to drive in and out a few hours on the days. I am wondering if the stone ridge trail loop can be done in that short of a timespan?

Alternatively, does anyone have other suggestions for a one night, two day backpacking trip?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom!
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