San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

jjj

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by jjj »

Date Hiked: March 30, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

On the last day of a four day trip, we hiked from Dutra Flat to the Salmon Creek trail head on PCH. The fields surrounding Dutra Flat were green and there were many small purple flowers. There were very small amounts of encroaching poison oak on the final wooded descent to the Salmon Creek trail, otherwise this entire section was very clear.

The spring near the Dutra Flat camp was only a trickle when we arrived in the afternoon of the previous day, but it was flowing by evening.
User avatar
Jim Ringland
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by Jim Ringland »

Date Hiked: March 18, 2015
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Section: San Carpoforo Camp to Dutra Camp

On the 17th I hiked from the Baldwin Ranch Road to San Carpoforo Camp (after having come down from Lottie Potrero) and spent the night there. On the 18th I hiked from San Carpoforo to Turkey Springs (after a dayhike to Elk Camp) and spent the night at that camp. On the 19th I headed up to Dutra (and then up the Three Peaks Trail). I’ve flagged this as difficult, in the same spirit as Jack Glendening’s June 19, 2013 post, because of route finding and faint tread issues, mainly between the Baldwin Ranch Road and Turkey Spring Camp. Except for those – manageable via a GPS – this would rate on the high side of passable.

Baldwin Ranch Road to San Carpoforo Camp. Since jbl just wrote up this, let me add my own comments on this section first. This very short section has its challenges. As jbl noted, this section has two river crossings. The first I could do on rocks. The second was a wet-foot crossing. That last fraction of a mile north of the second crossing is through a mix of ferns, poison oak, stinging nettle, milk thistle, and poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). Great combination. How bad it gets depends on the details of where you walk. When I came in on the 17th, I followed a path that cut down to the river at its first opportunity, crossed, and then followed the river bank downstream about 200’. There I found a well-trod trail that led up the bank to a big grassy meadow on a bench above and well back from the river. I followed that clear trail almost to the far (south) end the meadow, overshooting San Carpoforo camp by several hundred feet, and turned left (east) where I saw a break in the brush lining the meadow. That short path (with a bit of poison oak to dodge) led to a lower open-woodland bench, still well back from the river. I then walked through that bench’s open woods north to camp. That’s not quite Dr. Jack’s track, but it offered few problems. On the way out I tried to follow the GPS route more precisely. I had more poison oak going north from San Carpoforo Camp. The route eventually did pop back up to the bench and its grassy meadow before dropping down to the crossing. Rather than walk the 200’ north along the creek, I took a path that went right up the east bank into the verdancy. This too matches Dr. Jack’s track. I hit the stinging nettles. Nice potent ones too. I eventually got back to the route by which I came. But all told, I did better on the route the first day than I did on the second. So, at least this time of year, it seems best to use the GPS mapping as a guide to the area but to poke around for alternatives so as to avoid the nasties.

San Carpoforo Camp is spacious with a stove (but no table) under three huge trees: a bay, a maple, and a sycamore. Rocks and roots provide nice places sit. The 100 feet or so between the camp and the river is a field of rocks. A very noisy woodpecker is available to guarantee you don’t oversleep.

Baldwin Ranch Road to Turkey Springs Camp. This mixes open woodland and grassy areas. The route is mostly easy to follow in the woodland but can be very sketchy in the grasslands. Some poison oak and brush incursion in the woodlands. There's one short but rather precipitous climb, with poison oak all around, coming out of a little creek basin about 3/4 north the Baldwin Ranch Road.

Turkey Springs Camp was very nice. It’s a small camp under bays and oaks next to a small stream. The remnants of an old picnic table have been cannibalized into a few handy benches to sit on. Many iris. Just beyond is an open field that offers excellent star gazing.

Turkey Spring Camp to Dutra Flat. This must get a little more use than the stretch down to the Baldwin Ranch Road. Even through the grassy fields, there was generally enough faint tread to follow without having to ask the GPS. Once again, occasional poison oak and brush incursions in the wooded sections. One spectacular field of lupines.

Jim Ringland

(Added note 3/21: After reviewing my GPS tracks, it appears that at the second San Carpoforo Creek crossing on the 17th, I did not walk 200 feet downstream, but rather climbed to the higher grassy bench right away. So it looks like there are at least two different paths from the river up the 25 or so vertical feet from river level to the grassy bench.)
User avatar
jbl
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: March 14, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

THIS REPORT ONLY COVERS THE SHORT SECTION OF TRAIL BETWEEN THE TURNOFF FROM THE BALDWIN RANCH ROAD TO SAN CARPOFORO CAMP ITSELF--I WANTED ANYONE HEADED DOWN THERE TO KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

From the signed turnoff from the Baldwin Ranch Road to San Carpoforo Camp it is approximately .5 miles.

In that distance, first you go maybe .15 miles across open grass or a wide grassy path through brush (and a crossing of San Carpoforo Creek); but then there's a ~.15 mile push through some heavy verdant vines/brush/poison oak where the "tread" is somewhat visible but for the most part from thigh level down you are in brush until you come to a second crossing of San Carpoforo Creek); from there you come out into a small narrow and the track continues for about .10 miles before you encounter some more brush that needs pushing through and from there you can follow along a dry creekbed to the camp itself (this is the route that Jack Glendening shows in his maps) or exit into a meadow to your right that parallels the creekbed where the trail is shown until you are about parallel to the camp and then turn left and go over to the camp from there; I STRONGLY ADVISE ANYONE GOING DOWN THERE TO REFER TO JACK GLENDENING'S ONLINE TRAIL MAPS AND TO TAKE WITH THEM A SCREENSHOT OF THE SAN CARPOFORO CAMP AREA TO ASSIST IN ORIENTATION DOWN THERE.
pantilat
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: January 3, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Dutra Flats spring is flowing and the meadows are turning green. Some cows were brought into the area and they have done a good job tearing up the trail near Dutra Flats Camp and south. We accessed Dutra Flats via County Line Ridge/Mount Mars taking the Baldwin Ranch Shortcut part way down and then a different use path that crosses Baldwin Ranch Road and goes directly down to Dutra Creek, the site of a Lost Ventana Camp. There is an old shed/cabin structure near where we left the Baldwin Ranch Shortcut located in some Monterey Cypress with some not-so-old trash strewn about. The Baldwin Ranch Shortcut spring is flowing well. The use path down to Dutra Creek is easy to follow but also torn up by the cows. On the opposite side of Dutra Creek (east side) the use path heads uphill through pine and oak forest but then peters when it reaches the grassy hillside. Travel is easy enough up the grassy slopes and the old use path reappears as it curves around the east side of Point 1890 to the Dutra Flats Trail at the southeast end of the flats near a large Ponderosa Pine. The trail is in good condition heading down the Spruce Creek drainage to the Salmon Creek Trail with only a couple minor step-overs. I noticed some Santa Lucia Firs growing high in the upper Spruce Creek drainage, likely one of the southernmost groves of Abies bracteata.
Green hilllsides near Dutra Flats
Green hilllsides near Dutra Flats
Approaching the saddle between Dutra Creek and Spruce Creek; Silver Peak beyond
Approaching the saddle between Dutra Creek and Spruce Creek; Silver Peak beyond
Climbing grassy slopes above Dutra Creek
Climbing grassy slopes above Dutra Creek
Excellent views down the Dutra Creek drainage
Excellent views down the Dutra Creek drainage
Heading up Mount Mars in the morning
Heading up Mount Mars in the morning
mgdigger
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:07 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by mgdigger »

Date Hiked: October 18, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Did a two night trip to Turkey springs camp over the weekend. As reported earlier the spring at Durta Flats is dry. There is a good flow of water a half mile past there right on the trail. I camped above Turkey springs camp just as it starts down hill to camp and found some non moving pools of water that were ok to filter. Walked down to Turkey springs camp and found water running in Dutra Creek and a nice flow at the camp site. Over all the trails and camps were in good shape. The toilet paper gardens are getting a little out of hand tho. I cleaned up some behind Dutra Flats camp YUCK.
Attachments
water on trail 1/2 mile past Durta Flats camp
water on trail 1/2 mile past Durta Flats camp
Dutra Flats spring
Dutra Flats spring
User avatar
gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: September 27, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Ten of us hiked this trail today. As reported before the weather was perfect, with on a few bugs.

The trail is generally clear to the saddle with plenty encroaching brush along the way. Some work has been done on this trail knocking down a lot of the Poison Oak, and made the Spruce Creek slide area easier to pass. A few trees are across the trail. Easily stepped over. Once at the saddle we found a bunch of trash left from a previous camper. Looks like they also used the fire ring despite restrictions being in place. Dutra Flat Camp was clean. Found only a few cigarette butts. The fire ring had also been used recently.

We packed out all the trash at the Dutra Saddle.

Note: There is no water at Dutra Flat. The pipe was not running and the trough was completely empty.
User avatar
gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: April 18, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

14 of us Hiked from Salmon Creek Trailhead on Hwy 1 to Dutra Flat. The weather was perfect. Lots of flowers, including Iris, Hounds Tongue, California Buttercups, Shooting Stars and more.

The trail from Spruce Creek Junction is passable. As the trail is easy to follow but lots of poison oak encroaching on the trail for the first mile up this trail. Once at the switchback poison oak decreases, But still lots of encroaching brush. From the saddle to Dutra Flat the green hills were a delight to traverse.

There were a total of four trees across the trail. Two before the Spruce Creek slide area. All were easy to step over. Two after the Spruce Creek Slide and before the switchbacks. these you had to duck under. Again relatively easy on this day.

We had a pleasant lunch at Dutra Flat under the shade of many trees.
User avatar
jbl
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: March 8, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

SECTION HIKED: FROM JUNCTION OF SALMON CREEK TRAIL TO DUTRA FLAT CAMP [with continuation on Murray Mine Road and beyond to Mount Mars]

Section: Salmon Creek Trail to Spruce/Dutra Saddle: Clear. Spruce Creek is flowing nicely now (compared to October when it was bone dry); increased moisture has translated into increased, aggressive PO; there's an 8" or so madrone down about 1/2 mile from the top, we cut the branches that were blocking the way so it's now an easy stepover of the trunk:
New Downed Madrone
New Downed Madrone
The grass in the Dutra drainage is finally turning green as shown in this picture taken at the saddle:
At the Spruce/Dutra Saddle
At the Spruce/Dutra Saddle
Section: Saddle to Dutra Flat Camp: Wilderness Freeway

Water was flowing from the pipe at Dutra Flat:
Water Flowing at Dutra Flat
Water Flowing at Dutra Flat
I spotted some PO growing in a holly bush in the middle of camp:
PO growing in the middle of Dutra Flat Camp
PO growing in the middle of Dutra Flat Camp
The Group at Dutra Flat Camp
The Group at Dutra Flat Camp
We headed out on the Murray Mine Road and found that Dutra Creek was flowing at the crossing:
Dutra Creek Flowing
Dutra Creek Flowing
The old outhouse along the Murray Mine Road has deteriorated further and will not be of much use:
Outhouse on Murray Mine Road
Outhouse on Murray Mine Road
Once we got up onto the coastal ridge, the view was spectacular:
At Coastal Ridge
At Coastal Ridge
We got to the summit of Mount Mars and enjoyed the inland views towards the South Coast Ridge:
On Summit of Mount Mars
On Summit of Mount Mars
As always, the view to the ocean from the face of Mount Mars was unbeatable:
On the Face of Mount Mars
On the Face of Mount Mars
We reluctantly headed down the face of Mount Mars to the end of a great dayhike. The face was very green, making for much easier walking on the very steep incline:
On the way down
On the way down
body942
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by body942 »

gfelsman wrote:Date Hiked: September 28, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked this trail on Saturday, the weather was great, very few bugs on our trip to Dutra Flat and back.

The trail is fair shape and easy to follow, with encroaching brush and a couple of downed trees near Spruce Creek. The one tree that used to hang over the trail about 1/10th mile past the Salmon Creek Junction has been cleared. Thanks to the folks that removed this tree. Still a few trees left, but a much nicer hike.
Check out the link in my post below, it has video of me clearing those trees. Fun physical challenge. Glad somebody noticed. :)
User avatar
gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: San Carpóforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra Flats)

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: September 28, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked this trail on Saturday, the weather was great, very few bugs on our trip to Dutra Flat and back.

The trail is fair shape and easy to follow, with encroaching brush and a couple of downed trees near Spruce Creek. The one tree that used to hang over the trail about 1/10th mile past the Salmon Creek Junction has been cleared. Thanks to the folks that removed this tree. Still a few trees left, but a much nicer hike.

Dutra Flat Camp itself was relatively clean except for the trash piled in the fire pit and two full fuel canisters we found at the camp. We packed all the trash and fuel canisters out.

Water at Dutra Flat is now questionable. The cattle trough was full when we were there, but the pipe filing the tank was barely dripping. maybe one drip every 3-5 seconds.

Hope it rains soon.
New Report