Cone Peak Trail

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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:50 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by rt1 »

Date Hiked: July 14, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report covers the section from Cone Peak Road to the summit of Cone Peak. Trail is in great condition with a little bit of mostly avoidable knee high poison oak. The trail has been getting solid use, it appears, and there were a number of parties climbing the peak today. No deadfalls, heavily brushy areas, or other obstructions.
Sophie H

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by Sophie H »

Date Hiked: May 31, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We did the Sea to Summit loop from Kirk Creek campground to Cone Peak. Just want to start by saying this is an absolutely gorgeous trail the entire way and is so worth it. Started at Kirk Creek campground and hiked to Vicente Flat where we spent the night. Trail was clear the whole way, no problems. Lots of poison oak though. One smaller stream is flowing on the trail about 2.5-3 miles in, and the next water is at Vicente. Large river, seems very reliable. Amazing campground, room for 10+ tents, each has a fire ring and privacy.
Day 2 hiked from Vicente Flat to Cone Peak on the Cone peak trail. Trail was clear the whole way, plenty of water for the first ~0.7 miles and then none after that. Long, steep uphill for the rest of the ~5 miles.
We took the Gamboa trail down from Cone Peak towards Goat Camp. There is more than enough water flowing about 1.5 miles down from Cone Peak at Trail Spring Camp. Trail was clear until a little after Goat Camp. Goat Camp has a large amount of flowing water about 0.2 miles before it, and another large, beautiful waterfall about 0.2 miles past it. After this there was no water until Middle Fork Camp, which has another beautiful and heavily flowing waterfall. We continued on to the Stone Ridge Trail to loop back to Vicente Flat, and this part of the trail had some issues. There were about 5 large deadfalls over the trail beginning about 2 miles past Goat Camp and continued for approx 6 miles. 2 you can go around on a footpath, 1 we had to crawl under because it was too large to get over, and the rest we could climb over. It's pretty overgrown for about 5 miles but the trail is obvious the whole way.
About 0.5 miles past Middle Fork Camp on the Stone Ridge trail is a breeding ground for ticks. We each must have gotten 50 on our pants. This continued for about a mile.

Overall this loop hike is incredible and I highly recommend it. We did it in 3 nights, 4 days and averaged 6 miles a day, and it wasn't too tough. There are a lot of exposed sections where it's very hot so prepare for that. Also prepare for poison oak and ticks.
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Betsy M
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: May 19, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A VWA trail crew cleared a large sugar pine that was blocking this trail just up from Trail Springs Camp. Leor noted this tree over a year ago, and I guess everyone has been just climbing up and over, using the broken branches as handholds and footholds.

There is a ton of poison oak lining both sides of the trail. I guess you can kind of avoid it if you're careful. But otherwise the trail is heavily used, easy to follow, and free of major obstacles. In the photo below we are clearing all the branches. The white hardhat visible on the far side of the tree is on the head of a trail crew worker who is standing on the trail. That's how big this tree is.
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by cel »

Date Hiked: April 22, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We hiked the entirety of the trail from Trail Spring to Cone Peak Road. Water is abundant at the trail spring, and cascading down past the campsite. From Trail Spring to the Cone Peak summit junction, the trail was in excellent condition. I don't recall any downed trees posing problems for us and our packs. Brush, poison oak, and ticks were also non-issues.

Trail conditions were also excellent from the summit junction down to Cone Peak road. Brush and ticks were also not an issue on this section. The afternoon sun is intense given the near-total lack of shade following the 2008 fire, but at least the going is easy. Towards the Cone Peak Road trailhead, the wide swath recently cut through the tall chaparral is holding up very well. Regrowth into this tunnel through the brush is minimal, and large downed shrubs were absent.
VWA Admin
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by VWA Admin »

Date Hiked: November 11, 2017
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Reported by: Eric Hightower

Section- Cone Peak summit to Trail Spring
Cone Peak Trail's backside is in great shape.

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by Pismorich »

Date Hiked: June 23, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The cone peak trail has several areas a long the trail where the Chapparal has made hiking difficult as the growth is covering the trail.. The result required us to do " Tick checks" and we were wearing Deet, we found Ticks thru each brush crawl on our clothes and skin..

We plan to volunteer if called upon and time allows. The views are worth keeping this trail groomed, It was well over 90 degrees during the day so we waited to hike until 5 P.M. and it didn't cool off until 7:30 or so. Cannot wait to return .. Views are Killa...

Happy Trails " Pismo Rich "..
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: March 19, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Cone Peak Trail is generally in good shape and clear with the exception of (i) a large pine blowdown above Trail Spring Camp, (ii) a couple additional downed trees that are easy to get around/through and (iii) some ceanothus brush starting to interlock in a short section near the start of the trail at Cone Peak Road.

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by salvatore »

Date Hiked: July 24, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Together with a friend I hiked the cone peak loop (Vicente Flat Trail from Cone Peak rd ----> Stone Ridge Trail---> Gamboa Trail ---> Cone Peak Summit Trail ---> Cone Peak Trail to Cone Peak road). We began our loop at 2pm from Cone Peak rd (Vicente Flat Trail trailhead) on Saturday, we camped at Goat Camp and arrived at our car on Sunday at 12:00 pm.

Generally speaking the loop is very easy to follow (all parts). The heat is the only real challenge in this summer period (intense!).
The VW team and volunteers clearly do a wonderful job and we were very much grateful (I found impressive the amount of large trunks that were removed from the trail, especially in Gamboa Trail).

Cone Peak Trail, we found no major obstacle and the path was clear.

Half way from cone peak summit junction to cone peak road, the trail appeared to separate in two to what it seemed a tread of a smaller trail. However this was "fenced off" by a small trunk to indicate the main trail to follow (a mistake was very unlikely).


Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by crewmaya7 »

Date Hiked: May 21, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is obvious but at times it's hard to dodge the poison oak as it encroaches on both sides of the trail (I hiked Vincente to Cone Peak and back). Long pants and poles to keep it out of the way are suggested! Cone Peak was passable though some places were very overgrown, but it's easy to push through. Happy hiking!
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:40 pm

Re: Cone Peak Trail

Post by charleston63 »

Date Hiked: February 13, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked up from Trail Spring Camp, to Cone Peak, then down to Cone Peak Road.

The trail was clear and well defined. No chance of getting lost. excellent views of the surrounding area from the top. Someone left a little plastic tupperware box with a small notebook and pen as a trail registry. The notebook was almost full when my group and I signed it, so someone may want to bring a new notebook next time they are up there.

I could not find the trail from the summit that was supposed to lead directly to Cone Peak Campground that was on my map from, so I ended up having to stay the night at the junction of Cone Peak Road and Cone Peak Trail. That trail was not on the map, so for those planning a trip around here its safer to rely solely on this map.

[Editor's note: no such trail has existed for decades (if it ever did)]

For those who plan on staying at Otijo Camp, I did not stay there but there is a sign and trail that clearly directs you to that campsite's location.
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