Rocky Creek Trail

VWA Admin
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by VWA Admin »

Date Hiked: March 10, 2023
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Please note that the entirety of the Rocky Creek Trail is NOT impassable. It remains closed by order of the US Forest Service due to January 2023 storm damage. This order is effective through May 9, 2023. See this link for updates on closure orders.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf
Brian M McCutcheon
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:20 pm

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by Brian M McCutcheon »

Date Hiked: November 5, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My dog Cooper and I hiked the full length of the Rocky Creek trail, out and back. The trail hugs the steep hillside throughout its length with the exception of roughly a third of a mile on each end. The trail was in great condition until we turned the corner and began the gentle climb into the Rocky Creek gorge.

There were several sides on the trail along the step hillside as it ascended up the Rocky Creek gorge. While they were all manageable, some were unnerving for me and my mild fear of heights. But they weren’t going to stop me; I just kept my eyes on the dicey bit of loose, sloped trail and ensured I didn’t look down. All slides were crossed without incident by both Cooper and myself, in both directions. We encountered an interesting rock formation maybe 1/2 mile from the end of the trail, that I can only describe as a naturally occurring hallway between rock walls of maybe 10-12 feet. Unusually well formed for a natural phenomenon, although I am convinced that it is completely natural.

While resting a few minutes at Rocky Creek camp, I couldn’t help but notice a trail (probably made by local wildlife) that continues upstream. I remembered tracing the creek bed on the map and seeing earlier that the topology looked manageable, leaving vegetational interference as the anticipated challenge to exploring further. So we continued upstream. The vegetation became more and more of a hindrance and within half a mile we were making our way up the side on (I would estimate) ~70% slope in soft soil that had a firm base under it. Perfect for planting your foot and creating a good foothold if there was a bit of give. However, I began to wonder when someone would come this way again and find us, were we to have a debilitating fall. While this didn’t seem likely, the consequences were more than I thought we should risk, so we turned back. Studying our route on the Garmin app the next day, I discovered we had been going up a tributary rather than Rocky Creek … so we will have to go back again another day.

As a last point, poison oak was prevalent on this trail. While I didn’t know myself to have had contact, I cleaned up with technu when we got back to the car. … but not well enough.

A challenging hike, that was more than worth every bit of downside.

PS: would be happy to flip the iPhone photos, but they show up upside down even when I do. I’ve seen this problem before. If anyone can remind me how to fix it, I will be happy to do so. [Ed: not sure how to fix the display of the photos, but if you click on each one, it opens up a larger version that will be right side up.]
Attachments
Hallway on Rocky Creek trail
Hallway on Rocky Creek trail
Our furthest point
Our furthest point
Dicey Slide on Rocky Creek trail
Dicey Slide on Rocky Creek trail
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: September 1, 2022
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

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

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers were out patrolling the Rocky Creek Trail in the Ventana Wilderness. They did some spot brushing and cleaned the fire Ring at Rock Creek Public Camp. They found that there had been a recent fire at the camp violating the current "Fire Restrictions", by having campfires that are not permitted at this time. It only takes a small spark from a campfire to ruin and destroy the forest for everyone.

Please do your part to protect this wonderful and valuable resource. Help keep things nice, have a valid campfire/Stove permit, pack out all your gear, trash and TP. Leave a place nicer than you found it. Rocky Creek is dry.

Trail conditions are as follows:

There are 15 smallish trees (less than 1 foot across) and one larger tree down in the bottom of the canyon. Lots of rockslides on the high trail heading into Rocky Creek drainage.
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Attachments
One of many rockslides along the trail to Rocky Creek Public Camp
One of many rockslides along the trail to Rocky Creek Public Camp
Trees and brush along the trail.
Trees and brush along the trail.
Guest

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by Guest »

Date Hiked: January 21, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Further along the trail once hiking near rocky creek there is a large rock slide across the trail that is passable but should be crossed with precaution, there are also several fallen branches and a few fallen trees that must either be lifted or jumped over to proceed.
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jack_glendening
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by jack_glendening »

Date Hiked: October 19, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail still clear to Rocky Creek Camp. Water found at third and fourth crossings of Rocky Creek, but nowhere else, including tributary near camp.
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
Cmorgan26

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by Cmorgan26 »

Date Hiked: April 10, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trails good all the way to the second campground past the fifth Creek crossing. I put new trail flags and shoveled out parts of the trail in the mountainsides to make it passable. Will be doing more sawing and clipping vines soon. Going to keep touching up this trail from time to time so it stays passable.
seagoat1724
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:39 pm

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by seagoat1724 »

Date Hiked: June 6, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is good. Some tread starting to fall away, particularly near start and end of Rocky Creek Canyon. A healthy amount of poison oak in trail.
Greg Mensik

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by Greg Mensik »

Date Hiked: February 11, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

In reading the most recent review (Dec. 2014) many of the same conditions continue to exist, but there has been improvement. As stated, the first half of the trail is in good shape and ususally it is just a matter of how much the brush has encroached on the trail, or how recently it has been trimmed back. There are a couple of slide areas, one in particular, which pose a threat, but appear to have been worked on recently and are stable for the moment (though rains have occured since then.)

The interior half on into the "camp" is a bit more of a challenge, mostly due to vegetation growth and down trees, though it was obvious that someone had been in and working on improving it, as good sized down trees had been cut up and removed, vegetation trimmed, etc. There is one creek crossing in particular (I believe the 5th as you are going in, or next to last before you start along the creek and then up the hill) that is in bad shape.... it takes a certain amount of negotiation and in my opinion needs to be cleared and re-established in order to be easily navigable. Poison oak continues to be an issue to those sensitive to such plants, but we trimmed/clipped what we could, along with some of the manzanita and chamise along the hill portion of the trail before dropping back into the canyon near "camp". The campsite is not much, with only a ring of rocks and fire grate present, as the table disappeared in the fire (2008) and has not been replaced. Further, the campsite is in an "unfriendly" location considering shade during the middle of the day, comfort (place to sit, set out things for a meal, etc.)

On the way back out we met Dario, a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger, loaded with tools and headed back in to do more work. Was great to meet him, had a nice visit... and it is wonderful to see such a program in place and qualified people willing to do such work, especially considering what USFS budget and personnel challenges exist these days.

Now, to pursue improvement to the location of the campsite (original site was all but wiped out and location severely altered after the Marble Cone fire of 1977) location and facilities..... we shall see!
Terry Spitz

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by Terry Spitz »

Date Hiked: December 29, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The first half of this 2.5 mile trail is in very good condition. There are a couple of small washouts which may become more troublesome as the winter rains continue. The second half, starting just before the trail first crosses Rocky Creek, is passable but more difficult. The trail is hard to see in a few spots. There are several medium to small size trees across the trail in three places. With some effort, you can go over or around these obstacles. Rocky Creek has a good flow, but the six crossings are easy.
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RSIBryce
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Rocky Creek Trail

Post by RSIBryce »

Date Hiked: March 4, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From Arroyo Seco Campground

This trail is passable, some brush in sections and poison oak but easy enough to follow, well flagged. Doesn't appear to get much use for a trail that is so close to a major campground. We saw no one else while hiking.
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