Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: July 30, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

For two weeks in July VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers, Trail Crews and the California Conservation Corps (CCC) worked on the Kirk Creek Trail brushing many sections of trail, repairing the main washouts and cleared trees along the Kirk Creek Trail. They did not make it all the way to Vicente Flat Camp, but put a good dent in the problems caused by the Dolan Fire and heavy winter rains. The trail was reopened to the public on July 30th, 2021.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Redwood/Trouble Gulch - Passable - The first 0.8 miles of trail are a wilderness freeway reaching the Wilderness Boundary Sign and a bit beyond. The trail past this point has been cleared of major obstacles, heavy brush, small rocks. The deerweed and grasses are still present giving the rating of passable to this section of trail. The 4 foot diameter tree has been removed and the washout at Redwood Gulch has been repaired. There may still be a couple of overhanging trees that have not been removed at Redwood/Trouble Gulch.

Redwood/Trouble Gulch to the turn into Hare Canyon - Passable - The three washouts reaching Hare Canyon have been repaired. There is lots of encroaching brush, small rocks and other debris lining this section of trail.

Turn into Hare Canyon to Espinosa Camp - Passable - Just after you turn into the canyon, the trees reaching Espinosa Camp have been removed. There is still encroaching brush and off camber tread to reach the camp.

Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat Camp - Difficult - This section of trail has taken a severe beating. There are still many downed trees across the trail The trail crews did manage to remove many of the trees to about the 4 mile mark along the trail. There is also lots of fallen debris and loose rocks covering the trail making travel difficult. The spring just past Espinosa Camp was still running at this time.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attachments
Trail Crew clearing trees along the trail.
Trail Crew clearing trees along the trail.
More tree clearing.
More tree clearing.
User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: May 21, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

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

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers and Trail Crew continue to work on the Kirk Creek Trail with the permission of the USFS from Highway 1. Today Volunteer Rangers surveyed the trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp. Other Rangers worked on the trail about 2 miles in repairing a major gully washout and other minor washouts. Portions of the trail burned heavily during the the Dolan Fire. The wind event and heavy winter rains brought down many trees, dropped lots of debris, rocks and eroded many sections of trail.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Redwood/Trouble Gulch - Passable - Though the trail has been cleared of major obstacles, heavy brush, small rocks, deerweed and grasses have along the trail making travel difficult. The 4 foot diameter tree has been removed and the washout at Redwood Gulch has been repaired. There are a couple of overhanging trees that have not been removed at Redwood/Trouble Gulch.

Redwood/Trouble Gulch. to turn into Hare Canyon - Passable - This section of trail has been repaired to the gully just past the Redwood Gulch. Another washout in the next canyon has not been repaired. There is lots of encroaching brush, small rocks and other debris lining this section of trail.

Turn into Hare Canyon to Espinosa Camp - Difficult - Just after you turn into the canyon, one encounters multiple downed trees of all sizes across the trail. There is lots of fallen debris and loose rock covering the trail making travel difficult.

Espinosa Camp to Vicente Flat Camp - Difficult - This section of trail has taken a severe beating. There are over 40 downed trees along this route and a washout just past the spring near Espinosa Camp. There is also lots of fallen debris and loose rocks covering the trail making travel difficult.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attachments
Current Status of what has been repaired by VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers. More repairs will be made in the near future by the CCC Trail Crew.
Current Status of what has been repaired by VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers. More repairs will be made in the near future by the CCC Trail Crew.
4 Foot Redwwod Tree cleared two weeks ago by VWA/USFS Rangers.
4 Foot Redwwod Tree cleared two weeks ago by VWA/USFS Rangers.
The repaired washed out gully at Redwood/Trouble Gulch by VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers.
The repaired washed out gully at Redwood/Trouble Gulch by VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers.
The repaired section of trail 2 miles in. Additional improvements will be made by a CCC Crew in the near future.
The repaired section of trail 2 miles in. Additional improvements will be made by a CCC Crew in the near future.
User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: February 27, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

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

Forest/Trail Status: PARTIALLY OPEN, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is partially open per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and 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 continue to prepare opening other parts of the closed forest and are continuing their regular patrols. Over the past two weekends volunteer Rangers patrolled and worked on the Kirk Creek Trail to help repair and assess damage from winter rains and the Dolan Fire. Two Rangers went as far as they could but never reached Espinosa Camp. There are many places where the tread has completely washed away. There are several downed tree complexes, lots of boulders and small to medium slides on several sections of trail as well. Over the past two weekends VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers have repaired over a mile of the trail at this time.

The trail could be also rated impassable due to damage.

Trail conditions are as follows:


The trail remains closed to the general public. Only authorized personnel by the USFS are allowed to access the trail at this time.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
Attachments
Trail washout after entering Hare Canyon.
Trail washout after entering Hare Canyon.
Canyon crossing before.
Canyon crossing before.
First canyon crossing repaired.
First canyon crossing repaired.
Trail before being reworked.
Trail before being reworked.
Sample of reworked trail.
Sample of reworked trail.
rcmd8418
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:19 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by rcmd8418 »

Date Hiked: July 11, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Hwy 1 to Vicente Flat Camp. Trail was clear and easy to follow, but there was a lot of encroaching poison oak that was somewhat avoidable with careful footwork. It was a Saturday, so there were a decent number of dayhikers and Vicente Flat Camp was mostly full (though there were still nice spots available, particularly north of the main camp both in the meadow and along the creek). Water was flowing great in the creek around Vicente Flat Camp. The stream shortly after Espinosa Camp was also flowing pretty well.
Ken L

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by Ken L »

Date Hiked: April 12, 2020
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

trail in excellent condition. some poison oak sprouts encroaching into trail but are still avoidable.

Creek just past Espinosa Camp was flowing strong and clear.

Went to nearby Vincente Falls as well and while there is an obvious use trail at the start, it quickly disappears and is full cross-country log hopping and poison oak covered scrambles. Found the route very difficult but made it without incident and the Falls were very impressive after the recent rain. Not for the faint of heart
User avatar
jbl
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: December 21, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We hiked from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat, I was shocked at what good shape this trail is in, there is exactly only 1 tree down (~3' stepover after you've turned in to Hare Canyon), there is little to no slumping anywhere and virtually no brush encroachment.
User avatar
gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: August 14, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Kirk Creek Trail has reopened as of August 14th, 2019. Check LPNF Website for additional information.
Hikinggal

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by Hikinggal »

Date Hiked: July 10, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Backpacked to Vicente Flat Campground. The trail is very well maintained. Lots of poison oak low and mid lying. Wear pants or long sleeve recommended. Hot in the afternoon. Small trickle of water at Vicente Flat Campground & some annoy flies. Absolutely no camp fires allowed.
DougSC

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by DougSC »

Date Hiked: July 5, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Hiked up to Vicente Flat on the morning of the 5th and back down on the late afternoon of the 6th after camping over night and running some hikes above camp. Trail is heavily used but due to the wet year, there is poison oak and other encroaching brush. Surprisingly low ticks but flies and mosquitoes are definitely there so cover up or spray. Some trail washouts too but generally very impressed by the condition of the trail given the winter we had. Still reliable water at stream just above Espinosa Camp and creek bed at Vicente Flat Camp.

Ventana Wilderness is now on fire restrictions though and in addition to putting out a smoldering fire left unattended on the afternoon of the 6th - we counted well over a dozen illegal fires at Vincente Flat Camp on the night of the 5th. Really scary and hope people will follow the restrictions in the future as it would be a shame to see this beautiful place go up in flames again. Echoing other reports - numerous TP and trash issues as well as food left improperly stored for rodents and birds. We hiked out an extra 5 gallon bag of trash and there was still more. So bring an extra trash bag and let's all do our part of keep this place beautiful and wild.
wbatl1

Re: Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)

Post by wbatl1 »

Date Hiked: May 26, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We had an excellent hike on Kirk Creek trail to Vicente Flat over Memorial Day weekend.
Unsurprisingly, the trail was crowded but was in good shape.

There was a large amount of poison oak and some light intrusion on the trail from recent brush growth, but the trail is very clear.

Many campers at Vicente Flat were not practicing Leave No Trace, especially around campfires and food management. Sadly, though, that's not uncommon at the camp.
New Report