Kirk Creek Trail (Highway One to Vicente Flat Camp)


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

Post by Rachel9 »

Date Hiked: July 4, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked to Vicente Flat Camp from Hwy1 July 3 and returned July 6. Trail was clear easy to see. There was significant poison oak along the way but easy to get around (not so on the way to/from Goat Camp July 4-5). The creek was flowing at Vicente Flat (and also at Goat Camp) and the only pests were mostly non-biting gnats. There were some mosquitos as well, but they weren't overwhelming and we didn't see any ticks on our journey. We were the only campers at the beautiful Vicente Flat Camp on the 5th and only two other couples there on the 3rd.

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

Post by Maya7 »

Date Hiked: June 24, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked from Hwy 1 to Espinosa, then Vincente Flat almost to the Cone Peak fire road, and returned the same route. The trail was obscured to Espinosa with overgrowth a few times but was easy to push through. Stream just past Espinosa (on the trail maybe 0.2 mi inland from Espinosa) was flowing well and provided a reliable water source for that camp. In the wooden areas to Vincente the trail was clear but poison oak was encroaching - good to have long pants and hiking poles to push it away.
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Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: April 9, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

CLEAR with a few exceptions.

After many more winter storms subsequent to the last report, the Vicente Flat/Kirk Creek Trail remains in generally great shape with only a few exceptions for its entire length from Highway 1 up to the Cone Peak Road. From the highway to Vicente Flat there are a few small blowdowns over the trail and one larger tree requiring a couple steps up and over at around mile 1.5 from Kirk Creek campground. After Vicente Flat most of the problem spots are near the creek crossings where some erosion has taken place and trees have fallen into the creek over where you would normally cross. However, the lack of brush (including lack of encroaching poison oak) and absence of significant erosion/slipouts means that this trail is mostly Clear and I didn't feel the few issues necessitated a downgrade to Passable. Spring wildflowers are out in force along the first 2.6 miles with a great variety of flowers.

Note regarding Vicente Falls: Winter storms have rearranged the stream bed and log jams in the canyon with many new blow downs over adjacent slopes. The high water volume also cleared out the base of the falls from debris and vegetation that had accumulated over the years leaving a cleaner base area and (shallow) plunge pool which, in my opinion, makes the falls prettier. At least for now while stream volume is high (and the falls most impressive), wet feet are necessary. Bits and pieces of use path are still evident, but one should consider this entirely off-trail with some creek walking, poison oak and maneuvering through blow downs.
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Kirk Creek Trail

Post by VWA Admin »

Submit Trail Reports for Kirk Creek Trail here. Please note- Kirk Creek Trail connects Highway 1 with Vicente Flat Camp; it should not be confused with Vicente Flat Trail, which connects Vicente Flat Camp with Cone Peak Road.
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Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: December 17, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


Given the extended non-use of this trail since the fire closure as well as the intensity of the recent storm, I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised to find this trail in quite excellent condition.

There were a few small trees down, nothing problematic or requiring a diversion and I was able to cut a few obstructions with my Samurai saw. There was very little erosion anywhere, no washouts or slides, and surprisingly little brush encroachment.

The Hare Creek crossing had water higher than I'd ever seen it, with some water going over the top of the log crossing in one spot, which I'd never seen before. There was not alternative crossing anywhere within a few hundred feet upstream (I investigated this in case anyone in my group didn't want to walk across the log). The water will I'm sure recede as more time passes after the storm.

Mike Heard deserves major kudos for all of his work to make this trail not just hikeable but in particular to make it a trail that can survive these kinds of big storms.

Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by crewmaya7 »

Date Hiked: May 22, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is well maintained but at times it's hard to dodge the poison oak as it encroaches on both sides of the trail from the Kirk Ck trailhead. Long pants and poles to keep it out of the way are suggested! A few deadfalls but very easy to go over/under. I camped at Vincente Fri and Sat night - was busy but not totally full both nights. I hiked to Cone Peak and that was the same - passable though some places were very overgrown, about the same oak situation as Kirk Creek-Vincente too. Happy hiking!

Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by jnvollmer »

Date Hiked: February 14, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked this trail on Feb 15-16-17. Beautiful warm 3 day week-end.
First day from Kirk Creek Campground on Highway 1 to Vicente flat
Second day from Vicente flat to Cone Peak road, then Cone Peak summit and back down to Vicente flat
Third day from Vicente flat back to Kirk Creek campground.

The trail is excellent, much better than I expected. Tread is well defined and clear. The few downed trees are easy to avoid.

There was a large wasp or yellow jacket nest, buzzing loudly, right next to the trail on the 17th, about half a mile after passing Espinoza on the way down.
I only saw one tick on my pants, so it was not not a major concern, we actually hiked 2 days out of 3 wearing shorts.

On the second night at Vicente flat, we were awakened 3 times by the sound of trees, creaking, falling and hitting the ground, even though it was not windy or raining...
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Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by charleston63 »

Date Hiked: February 12, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked this trail on February 12 and 14 while making a loop to Stone Ridge, Gamboa, Cone Peak, then back down to Vincente Flat trail from Cone Peak Road. On both occasions the trail was generally very evident and clear, though there were several downed trees beginning approximately .75 miles onto the trail. All of the trees could be circumnavigated, though there were one or two I believe just before Espinoza that were a bit difficult to climb over/under. There was a trickle of water coming from the water source just after Espinoza, but you are better off just getting water as Vincente Flat if you can manage. There were also one or two areas along the trail where some of the hillside had been washed out, but it was still not difficult to traverse. From Vicente Camp and onward towards Cone Peak Road, there is plenty of water and the trail was easy to follow.

There was some poison oak along the trail in the first mile or so starting from Highway 1, but it was very easy to avoid.

Also, there were plenty of ticks! If you are bringing a dog, be prepared to remove a lot once you get to camp. I needed to remove over 30 ticks on February 12 from my dog, though hardly any on my way out. I had a similar experience as my dog: flicked off about 4-5 from my clothes on the 12th but none at all on the 14th. I'm not sure if this might have been because his flea collar had finally kicked in or because of the time of day we were on the trail (early afternoon on the 12th and morning on the 14th), but be prepared either way.
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Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by RSIBryce »

Date Hiked: February 6, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Sections: Hwy 1 trailhead to Cone Peak Road

Hiked to Vicente Flat Saturday morning with a group of students and instructors. Amazing spring-like weather with wildflowers starting to really go, saw some poppies along the trail and some flowering wild lilac, as well as some Fritillaria biflora, the chocolate lilly. The trail has seen some wear and tear from some of these winter storms, there were several slides leading up to Espinosa Camp along the trail the first couple miles. Most of them have been tread across and passage is safe though. I also counted 6 downed trees before Espinosa in the last mile and half, with diameters approx. 8 inches to 30 in. We cleared out several smaller trees with hand saws. The spring near Espinosa hasn't quite started running full yet. It was trickling down the rocks under the large fallen redwood, I had to channel the water off the rock and into my bottle using a leaf.

The rest of the hike into Vicente Flat is looking good. I was glad to see the stream running strong through camp.

On Sunday morning we made our way up the Vicente Flat trail beyond the camp and up to Cone Peak Road. This section of trail was also clear, a group of students from UC Santa Cruz Recreation were out brushing that section this past fall on a Youth in Wilderness Service-Learning outing. Its in great shape, though ever the climb! Saw several ticks hanging out on the tips of grass, though never saw any on my body

Re: Kirk Creek Trail

Post by cehauser »

Date Hiked: December 31, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this section of trail from Kirk Creek Campground up to Vicente Flat Camp. There were several newly-fallen trees and limbs in the redwood forest before and after Espinosa Camp. I did not see if there was water at Espinosa Camp, but there is water in the creek in Vicente Flat campground, flowing, only 50 feet below the redwood log where the trail crosses the creek. As mentioned before, the Stone Ridge Trail junction is not obvious... it is west (above) the creek bottom, and there is a sign there.
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