Marble Peak Trail


Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by zenko »

Date Hiked: April 3, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from South Fork Trailhead to Tony Trailhead. Had not difficulty finding the tread throughout the hike. There were just a few minor deadfalls and some bushiness to dodge. From Willow Creek camp on, the trail was clear and free. Plenty of water this time of year, and I remember even getting some from Shovel Handle in September. Poison oak encroaching, especially around Willow Creek camp and up the riparian corridor.
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:57 am

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by georged »

Date Hiked: February 8, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From Zig Zag Camp-Marble Peak. Well defined tread almost all the way. A small number of downfalls but manageable. This summit feels great. Recommend the excursion to Upper Higgins for the waterfall which this time of year is deep enough for a dip if you are hot enough from your hike.
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:50 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by rt1 »

Date Hiked: February 3, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Horsebridge to saddle between Willow Creek and Camp Creek

With the exception of a few step-over logs, the trail is generally clear. There is some knee-high poison oak in places that can be mostly avoided if you are careful. Due to the lack of recent rain, the stream crossings between Tassajara Creek and Willow Spring are very manageable; if you have waterproof boots, your feet should stay dry. There is a metal toilet at Willow Spring Camp but it's in easy view of the campsite and the trail.
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:25 am

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by ponderouswanderers »

Date Hiked: December 14, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Arroyo Seco through Horse Bridge to Willow and Tassajara Creek confluence was a breeze. One or two deadfalls but easy enough to climb over. Once we started up Willow Creek it was slower going as the trail makes many creek crossings and since the Thanksgiving rains there was a nice flow going. There were some very mushy spots past Willow Spring and we looked forward to getting some elevation out of the Creek.

Past Willow Spring, trail conditions deteriorated with a significant deadfall taking down a large clump of manzanita blocking the view of the trail. We crashed over it a bit and then used garden clippers to clear some of the smaller stuff so you can see through the blockage and locate the trail to make a move.

Once up and in the more dry vegetation heading towards Camp Creek the trail was being closed in on by brush and shrubs. Multiple times we had to dip our heads and plow through to continue. Tread remains but the overgrowth is rampant. There most perilous spots were steep angled slopes with the loose rock and dirt that were significantly eroded by the rains, leaving less than 6" of tread. These spots may have larger landslides and wash out if we have more rains like the past few weeks.

We descended into Strawberry Valley to make camp for the night. There was quite a bit of prickers and poison oak who still had there leaves but it was manageable.

The valley was beautiful and an amazing spot to stay for the night. Plenty of water during the entire hike. Small scat sightings, no bugs, some beautiful birds and squirrels. Great hike and the conditions were fine for us looking for an adventure!

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by LunarLuck »

Date Hiked: October 27, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We set out from the trail head at Arroyo Seco Campground with the intent of taking Arroyo Seco Road to Marble Peak Trail and staying at Tassajara Campground along the Tassajara Creek. Once on Marble Peak Trail and after we crossed the footbridge over Arroyo Seco, the trail got bushier with poison oak on both sides in some places. Since it's late in the season most leaves had fallen off but it's still something to watch out for. One notable deadfall but it was easy enough to scramble over. We didn't actually make it to Tassajara as it was hot and we found an awesome unmarked campsite with great creek access about a mile short of Tassajara Campground. The creek had plenty of water flowing but the water was very cold, even on a hot day. Lost of small animal scat but no evidence of larger animals in the area. All in all, the trail is in great condition and the area is lovely this time of year.
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: October 20, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From South Fork Trail JCT to about a mile up Tan Oak Creek: Passable. Ceanothus, vines and young tan oaks are encroaching in spots, but the way is always obvious. Tan Oak Creek is NOT dry. There is water flowing and easily capturable at a spot where the trail comes right next to the creek. Zigzag Creek is also flowing just prior to crossing over into the Tan Oak Creek drainage.

From a mile up Tan Oak Creek to Marble Peak: Clear. After exiting the riparian area next to Tan Oak Creek the trail is largely clear, brushed and recently maintained all the way to Marble Peak. There is no water in Indian Valley - one would have to take the Lost Valley Trail down to where Higgins Creek emerges. This section of the Marble Peak Trail is a delight and thanks to the crews for the excellent work.

Copious bear scat was observed from Strawberry Valley through Indian Valley. I've noticed a substantial uptick in bear scat observations in recent years. Judging by the volume of scat it seems the bear population in this part of the Ventana is growing.
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:53 am

Re: Marble Peak Trail (South Fork to Marble)

Post by mkellman »

Date Hiked: October 6, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Epic trail with top out on Marble Peak!
Heavy brush on first mile of trail. Fill up water at south fork trail/strawberry camp this is last running water. Tan Oak was dry.

Great ridge line views on intermediate peaks!

Our legs were shot at fire trail junction, but the last quarter mile to the apex of Marble peak is worth the view. We are forever grateful to the two very kind souls we met on the way for their generosity and for the bed of their pickup truck. :D

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by fishheaddz »

Date Hiked: September 28, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We hiked from Arroyo Seco to Willow Creek Campsite as a weekend overnight. This trail is in pretty good shape and water abounds in Willow Creek. I was prepared for low flow and we were carrying a lot of water in, but there was plenty of water in the valleys below 2000 feet.

After the turn up willow creek canyon at Tassajara Creek Campsite (when all the creek crossing start), there is a little more brush and more poison oak close to the trail that is harder to avoid. Looks like I escaped with only a minor case of poison oak though, which is a miracle for Ventana! Great weekend.
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Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 5:07 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Firefly »

Date Hiked: September 23, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked Marble Peak trail from the junction with South Fork trail to Marble Peak ridge as part of a longer hike. It was really amazing to see how much had changed since I hiked here in early May of this year, only 4.5 months ago. The trail from South Fork junction to Tan Oak camp had a couple of insignificant water sources (small trickles and standing water) but very little. I camped at Tan Oak, a camp I'd mentally marked in May as "return here, very beautiful grassy knoll at the nexus of two babbling streams", but found it completely dry. Water was accessible from the scant stream a 5 minute walk down the trail in the direction of Marble Peak. The grassy knoll had turned into spiky dead grasses that that entirely covered my pants with burrs. There was no comfortable place to sit or to string a hammock. It was a good lesson to pay attention to the season when reading trail reports and a helpful experience to notice how drastically trails and camps can change in a very short time.

The section from South Fork junction to about 1/2 mile past Tan Oak camp was overgrown, with 8 foot high brush to move out of the way. I tapped my stick ahead of me to scare away any critters as I could not see where my feet stepped in this section. Slow going. So I was very pleased when after this short section, the trail became clear as it gained elevation and I could continue with ease. This overgrown section happened in less than 5 months! In May it was clear. Plants grow quickly!

There was no water at Indian use camp at the junction of Lost Valley. If you were really desperate, I found some standing water farther along, toward Marble Peak before the ascent, but it didn't look appealing. In May, there was a beautiful stream here. In Ventana, don't assume that is always the case.

I found bear scat on the this trail, and bear tracks in the sand in the middle of the North Coast ridge road.

I hiked 6 days & nights this week and never saw single other person. That is one of the reasons I love it here. But also why these trails get overgrown so quickly. Wish there was more federal funding for making wilderness areas accessible. This access to nature and solitude is one of the treasures of our country.

Thanks for all the work volunteers have done on the trails! You made my week!
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:50 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Dmitry »

Date Hiked: August 23, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked from Arroyo Seco to Big Sur on Aug 23-24, 2019. The Marble Peak trail takes about 8 hours of brisk walking. It has three parts.

The first part, up the stream from Arroyo Seco is clear and mostly flat. There is a few downed trees here and there, but I agree with the interactive map, it's a wilderness freeway. I didn't meet any other hikers, but bugs kept me good company.

Then the trail starts to climb and when it reaches the top, at the fork to the Zigzag camp, it flattens out again, staying on top of the mountains. It's really pretty up there, but the trail itself becomes overgrown. There is quite a bit of pushing through vegetation so I had to deploy my secret weapon, knee high socks, otherwise the brush scratches the ankles raw. There is water every half an hour or so.

Then the trail drops into the Strawberry camp area, and instantly becomes a jungle, complete with monkey cries and Viet Cong. I could only find water at the Tan Oak camp area, and that's where I wanted to stay for the night, until suddenly I saw a pile of scat which judging by its girth came from a bear, or a dinosaur. So, yeah, I changed my mind, and hiked all the way to the bottom of the Marble peak. I had enough momentum to climb the peak too, but it got dark, so I camped at the junction of Lost Valley Trail. It's a great spot, but Higgins Creek was dry.

The next morning, I climbed up the peak, and hiked north on the Coast Ridge Road. Until finally, Betsy M, who was on her way to a trail clearing event, was kind enough to share her water with me. And just when I started to smile, she showed me a game cam photo of the BEAR. Beware, the bear is real.

I hiked north along the Coast Ridge Road and met a few cars, which I deduced were headed to the meet too. I went downhill at Timber Top, and refilled my water bottles at the stream just off Boronda Trail. And then it was back to civilization, along Hwy 1 to the bus stop at Nepenthe.

Overall, it's a great weekend hike, if you can figure out the logistics.

[Ed: post edited to comply with our standards.]
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