Carrizo Trail

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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by rachelmetoo »

Date Hiked: June 21, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

In agreement with the previous post 90% of this trail was well marked with ribbons and cairns, thanks so much!! :P many opportunities for water and so deer flies as well :| ...the last section of the trail before meeting up with Coast Ridge becomes very confusing though, light tread, fallen brush and there seem to be un-marked trails, I think I took the North leading trail that the previous poster had avoided, went across to Cook springs, where there appeared to be an unmarked trail leading East back towards Carizzo and met the Coast Ridge where I believe it shows the junction on the trail map!!

[Editor's note: on the Carrizo Trail, at the last saddle before you reach the North Coast Ridge Trail, the original route contours south, towards Cone Peak (visible in the distance) and meets the NCRT about in about 0.8 miles. A dozer cut continues straight up the ridge, meeting the NCRT in about 0.1 miles. A third route (similar to one shown the on the USGS maps) contours north to Cook Spring Camp. From Cook Spring Camp there are two dozer cuts, joining together near the top, that lead up to the NCRT.]

Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by MikeZ »

Date Hiked: April 12, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked Carrizo from the bridge to Coast Ridge Trail as part of a four day backpack trip. Trailhead (after crossing the San Antonio) is clearly marked/signed and lower section of trail up to Carrizo Springs is well defined (ribbons and cairns), clear, and easy to follow. Recent trailwork was evident (we are eternally grateful) with several opportunities to obtain water along this section. Overnighted at Carrizo Springs (ample water). Would rate this section clear. Minimal poison oak but picked up some ticks.

Trail above Carrizo Springs was initially clear (again, thanks to recent trailwork) but became increasingly difficult after the last creek crossing (about a mile below the Coast Ridge Trail Junction). This is also the last opportunity for water resupply (unless you want to melt snow). The last mile entailed faint tread, some deadfall/overgrown brush, and intermittent snow (up to 12 inches). The worst upper sections deserve a difficult rating but the trail is passable (we were a party of three all carrying backpacks). At an unmarked junction (stake with no sign @ 1/2 mile below the ridge), the trail seemed to split - one section going north, the other west/south. Trail going north was mostly covered with snow and difficult to follow. Opted for the west/south trail. This section has portions of overgrown brush that required some crawling. Joined the Coast Ridge Trail a short distance north of the Gamboa Trail Junction (unmarked).

Thanks to the crews who did the recent trailwork. I doubt the trail would have been passable if it had not been for their efforts.
timothy bottoms
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by timothy bottoms »

Hello folks. I am the owner of the bridge and the Salsipuedes Ranch. I keep the road open from pavement to bridge and on into my home.I have been doing this for 36 years. I also hold water right to Carrizo Spring. During the wet winter months the road suffers a lot of damage due to vehicle traffic. Also there are those in the public who drive off road leaving tracks for years across meadows and hills. My bridge has been vandalized many times and shooters have left not only their spent cartridges but all sorts of garbage on my road and general area. I constantly pick it up but could always use help. The increase of interest in the Carrizo has brought other public activity besides trail blazers. Please encourage those you meet to not park on the road or in front of gates. Please consider picking up trash you may see from pavement to trailhead and if you camp @ or near my bridge break up your fire rings.Also since my Carrizo spring is my clean source of drinking water please keep it clean.I have met some of you and you seem a good bunch. But I live here and you just visit so please leave only footprints and take out all you take in and spread the word.Happy trails. Timothy Bottoms, Salsipuedes
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Betsy M
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: March 12, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The VWA trail crew worked on the Carrizo on two weekends in March, and was able to clear out most of the "brush bowl" between the first and second saddles at the top of the Carrizo. As is often the case in winter months, the Cone Peak Road was closed and impassable due to snow, so we started at the lower end of the trail and hiked up to Carrizo Springs Camp, working both on the intermittent brush along the way and the very dense brush at the top. As always, the sandstone outcrops are fascinating, the views are phenomenal, and Carrizo Springs offers a strong supply of great water.
JS in snow from Carrizo.jpg
more clear trail in brush bowl section.jpg
VWA trailworker Jake takes a water break near Agua Dulce, in the brushy section.
Jake Break.jpg
A youth group from the Jefferson Union School District was spending a week on the trail, and they contributed clipping and brushing along the length of the trail.
Wilderness School Team+.jpg
On the March 12-13 weekend, Esperanza Hernandez and Mark Maslow led an experienced trailwork crew including Dave Nelson, Eric Brazil, and Sandra Aspacio-Flores. They continued brushing, getting very close to the saddle at the top. Sandra's fine photos show how much improved this section is getting.
bad tread before.JPG
pera and sandra.JPG
mark and eric at camp.JPG
As noted in the previous condition report, there are some places particularly in the lower sections of the Carrizo where you need to pay attention to the route. The trail sometimes drops down the edge of a cliff when you expect it to go straight. It was not uncommon for us to have to stop and look around to see where it had gone. If you don't have a lot of recent footprints to guide you this could be more difficult.
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by Rob »

Date Hiked: January 22, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I hiked the length of the Carrizo Trail yesterday, and found it quite enjoyable, but if I hadn't done it several times before I might have found it impassable.

From the trailhead at the San Antonio River to Carrizo Springs: Clear to Passable.
It starts getting a little brushy about where you overlook the Salsipuedes Ranch, but there are lots of cairns and old flags. At the camp proper there were several good tent sites, an old stove and lots of water nearby. Some blowdowns, but nothing huge.

Carrizo Springs to the first Saddle: Passable to Difficult (may be Impassable)
Above Carrizo Springs the trail starts to get seriously brushy and there is a lot of blowdown. There were some flags, but if I hadn't hiked this part before I may well have given up.

First saddle to second saddle: Passable to Difficult
Lots of brush, comparable to the more difficult parts of the Ventana Double Cone trail. I did some sawing in a couple places. Tread is not very good in places. There are a lot of old flags, so it was mainly a matter of pushing through the brush tunnel.

Second saddle to Coast Ridge: Clear to Passable
Wow, very nice compared to the last time I was here. Recent treadwork evident, not much in the way of blowdowns. Tread is slumping in a few places but all in all a much improved experience, particularly near the Coast Ridge trail. The older route directly up is still flagged and can be followed if you prefer a quicker route to Cook Spring camp (as I did).
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by trolleypup »

Date Hiked: October 5, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report only applies to the section of the (historic routing of the) Carrizo Trail from the North Coast Ridge Trail (from just northeast of the Gamboa Trail) to the Dozer Cut Saddle (where in recent years, all usage on the Carrizo has cut up to the NCRT on the ridge there.

Trail is clear of brush for this length. Tread varies from obscured by debris slides (a few places, near the NCRT), to generally good, if covered in leaves and light debris with a couple degraded spots. There are a few step over logs, but no major obstacles.

Being mostly in a brush cut, the views are poorer than the NCRT slightly higher on the hill.

No major issues for hikers or backpackers.
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by jack_glendening »

Coming up there is a "Y", the right fork leading immediately to that "fire camp" (possible helicopter landing pad) and the left fork continuing on the trail to Carrizo Springs Camp. No marking so its easy to take the wrong one going up (the clue is that there is a lot of cut & dried brush at the Y, presumably from cutting the spur trail to the fire camp). I'd be interested to hear about the status of the stiff, spiney invasive plant which is growing below the springs - I worked on that one day last fall but have not been back since to check it out.

Jack Glendening
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Re: Carrizo Trail

Post by milkman2k12 »

Date Hiked: February 25, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

trail was pretty brutal, and burned out in a few places. once I reached carrizo springs, it looked completely different. We ran into a fire camp with lots of stumps and brush. cut left through a "hole" in the brush, toward the spring and headed to the huge oak trees that mark the camp. many trees over the actual spring. found 2 old cowboy stoves about 80 feet from the spring. it was thick but passable all the way up to the first saddle. that was as far as we went.....
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Carrizo Trail Camps

Post by jack_glendening »

Date Hiked: December 14, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

In my last "Trail Report" I included a GPS file indicating a "Carrizo
Springs Camp" location. I must correct that, as a later hike with
someone more familiar with the Carrizo Trail than I (Esperanza
Hernandez) finds there are now _two_ neighboring camp locations, about
350 apart. The traditional "Carrizo Springs Camp" is located near a
spring (duh), and what I call the "Carrizo View Camp" (which I had
erroneously thought was "the" Carrizo Springs Camp on my first hike,
since it was obviously "a" camp) is a cleared 80-foot diameter circle
at a slightly lower elevation boasting a terrific view of Junipero Serra.
This camp obviously took a lot of work as there are many many cut stumps
and much brush piled around its perimeter, with a short stub trail of cut stumps
leading to it, so I speculate it was a fire crew campsite. So I've uploaded a
corrected GPS file and also a 24k topo view of the Carrizo Trail indicating
the location of these two camps. I should note that these camps are
around 0.3 mile further up the trail than a "Carrizo Springs Camp" marked
on a GPS topo I have.
GPS track with camp locations
(23.09 KiB) Downloaded 383 times
24k topo with camp locations
24k topo with camp locations
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Carrizo Trail to N Coast Ridge

Post by jack_glendening »

Date Hiked: November 14, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Day hike from Milpitas Rd trailhead to North Coast Ridge trail. Trail
reasonably well marked by pink ribbons, cairns, and cut trunks for
most of climb up to first saddle and first part of other side, but did
have to hunt in 2-3 places (where I added some ribbons). To there
relatively open and brush-free, but then enter brush tunnel extending
to second saddle - somewhat overgrown but passable for hiker with
small pack. Beyond second saddle, trail has been cleared but tread
often ashy and sloped and so treacherous. Trail location often differs
from that on my old quad and Wilderness Press maps, generally being
south of it up to the first saddle and north of it beyond second
saddle - location is better on latest quad but up to first saddle
actual trail often more to south. Carrizo Springs location was about
0.25 mile above position on my old map - plenty of water there in
mid-Nov, despite little rain. Nice views of Junipero Serra Peak and
interesting rock formations on first saddle. Better views of Cone Peak
could be had by short off-trail hike from second saddle to overlooking
ridge - I plan to do that next time. Edited GPS file is attached.
Carrizo Trail edited GPS track (gpx format)
(35.06 KiB) Downloaded 411 times
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