Big Sur Trail

driggsy
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by driggsy »

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

Attempted a trail run on this trail from Cold Springs to Rainbow Camp. It is pretty brushy in parts but easy to follow. Very hard to consistently run, but relatively easy to hike. Got 7 ticks. Little to no poison oak on Logwood Ridge and Devil's Staircase, however starting on the descent into Mocho and then also to Rainbow there was some PO, but not as bad as I feared thanks to the trail workers. Overall an absolutely gorgeous trail with big views, redwoods, Santa Lucia Firs, and nice creek crossings; definitely well worth your time. Just be smarter than me and bring some pants. Big thank you to all of the trail workers for keeping these trails passable! Next step is runnable and I would love to help the trail get there :)
BP22
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by BP22 »

Date Hiked: February 6, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Big Sur Trail from Coast Ridge to Rainbow Camp. Trail is in good condition. A few minor blowdowns and some encroaching brush on Logwood Ridge and the Devil's staircase, but I was pretty impressed. Big thank you to Betsy and the VWA crews and the VWA volunteer rangers for keeping this important trail clear.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

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

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

Forest/Trail Status: OPEN per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires allowed. Stoves are permitted in the backcountry with a valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers have been preparing for its reopening and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer trail crew workers scouted from Cold Springs Camp to Rainbow Camp. They cleared three trees and did some minor brushing. The faucet at Cold Spring Camp is not functional.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Cold Spring Camp to Rainbow Camp. - Passable with encroaching brush and approx. 10 trees down in the first 1.5 miles.

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DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: January 15, 2021
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway

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

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Trail Crew workers have worked on the Big Sur Trail from the Pine Ridge Trail, clearing to just before Cienega Camp. We installed a new sign at the junction of the Pine Ridge Trail and the Big Sur Trail. From the Pine Ridge Trail to Cienega Camp is a wilderness freeway. Cienega Camp itself has virtually disappeared in riparian growth but there might be room for a couple of tents, and there is a fire ring on a bench up above the creek before you get to the original camp. The section between Cienega and the North Fork of the Big Sur River remains brushy but passable, with some slumping tread and small trees. We flagged a couple of spots. There was no obvious place to camp at the North Fork crossing, and it is difficult to locate the trail on the far side. Look for flagging upstream. The section between the North Fork and the top of the ridge heading to Rainbow is super brushy - we didn't even try this. From the ridgetop to Rainbow is passable. We hope to continue work on this section from the Cold Spring side. Unfortunately the one mile of very brushy trail probably means this section of the trail is truly impassable.

We installed a new sign at the junction of the Pine Ridge Trail and the Big Sur Trail.
New PRT and Big Sur Trail Sign.
New PRT and Big Sur Trail Sign.
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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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taylor
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 7:50 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by taylor »

Date Hiked: June 14, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked the five miles from Cold Spring to Rainbow. Tread was evident throughout, with the exception of the descent into Mocho Camp, where a deadfall and encroaching brush in two separate areas obscure the trail, but only briefly. There was also some trail erosion in this section.

There is no water flowing at Cold Spring, and tank is empty; however, if you hike about a quarter of a mile down the Big Sur Trail, there is a small stream with a very light flow, though it may not last long. Plenty of moving water at Mocho and Rainbow.

Biting flies were constant companions on the trail, but ticks were minimal. I made the rookie mistake of wearing trail runners, I'll don the dreaded hiking boots next time to keep the sharp hitchhikers from the grass out of shoes and socks.
georged
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:57 am

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by georged »

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

Reporting on the southern section of Big Sur Trail to Rainbow Camp only, I continued onto South Fork trail and onwards. No real issues getting from Cold Spring Camp to Rainbow Camp, perhaps a couple deadfalls, some ticks, bugs, and some encroaching brush. Definitely not a fast trail, just a good amount of brush to push through. I am tall and I did not have to take my pack off or do any serious bushwhacking, tread was pretty much always evident if not there were helpful pieces of tape. Lovely piece of trail. Also, no update on the water situation at Cold Spring Camp, I waited for Rainbow Camp.
pantilat
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: October 20, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

From Cold Spring to Rainbow Camp Only: Clear

As noted in the prior report, there is one relatively new (and large) sycamore over the trail just before Mocho Creek. There are a few other easy step overs.

In the Devils Staircase section the trail is pretty narrow switchbacking on a steep slope so there is plenty of sloping and eroding tread. There is also a little bit of brush encroachment on the ridge traverse.

Rainbow and Mocho Camps both look good with ample water by the camps. Cisco Creek is also flowing.

Relative to what the Big Sur Trail used to be, and subject to the notes above, I'm willing to give this section of the Big Sur trail a clear rating, but don't expect a freeway by any measure!
mkellman
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:53 am

Re: Big Sur Trail (cold spring to rainbow)

Post by mkellman »

Date Hiked: October 5, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Clear except for a single dead fall right before Mocho river crossing coming from cold spring camp side.

Logwood creek is dry. Mocho and creek feeding into south fork Big Sur river are running.
Firefly
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 5:07 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by Firefly »

Date Hiked: September 19, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked Big Sur trail from Cold Spring to Rainbow camp as part of a longer trek, following it easily as it winds around and down into the river valley. There is a large downed tree right before Mocho camp next to the stream, obscuring the trail and forcing a walk around in the brush, but overall, the trail is in good condition. Rainbow is a beautiful camp, stay more than just 1 night if you can.

Out of curiosity, I decided to day hike the Big Sur Trail as far as I could toward Cienega Camp, knowing it was defined on this forum as "impassable" and wanted a sense of what that feels like. That section of Big Sur Trail is passable for about the first 3/4 mile, to about halfway between Rainbow camp and the north fork of Big Sur River. Then it quickly devolves into impenetrable thickets and poison oak. Impassable it truly is. Unless you have a chainsaw and full body armor.

There is a pretty overlook stoop a short walk up the hill (5 mins) toward Cienega camp from Rainbow Camp, which is a good place to sit and watch the afternoon light.
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Betsy M
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Big Sur Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: August 19, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Big Sur Trail, between Cold Springs and Rainbow Camp
VWA Trail Crew volunteers cleared fallen trees between the trailhead at Cold Spring and Rainbow Camp. We also cleared a number of annoying pieces of ceanothus and poison oak that were hitting people in the face, and removed some of the pea vine on the uphill side of the trail. We left one tree on the Devil's Staircase because it is too dangerous to clear. Hikers can get by just fine. But stock would have trouble. All other trees have now been cleared.

The trail is getting brushy in places, and where the brush is growing on the uphill side, this results in the trail tread crumbling. However, overall this section of the trail is clear and very hikeable. Beyond Rainbow Camp the Big Sur Trail remains impassable.
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