Marble Peak Trail

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Betsy M
Posts: 408
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: May 31, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Thank you to the previous poster, for working on the poison oak! We hiked from Strawberry to the Tony Trail, before you were through here, and it was starting to get bad. Loppers do a good job in the short term, although grubbing PO out by the roots is the best long term solution.

There are tons of flowers on the contour sections of the Marble Peak Trail: creeping sage, penstemon, yerba santa, poppies, even a few wooly blue curls.
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Plus there is lots of encroaching brush, starting to push hikers off of the tread.
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Mostly this is a problem between Camp Creek and Willow Springs Camp. Camp Creek itself is pretty much ruined for camping. The trees which shaded the camp burned, and have fallen down. The creek crossing is tricky because the trail has collapsed where it crosses the creek.
fulmar2

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by fulmar2 »

Date Hiked: May 28, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A friend and I hiked from the Arroyo Seco end out to Rainbow camp on this trail. The section from Arroyo Seco out to Strawberry is fine; Some slightly challenging stream crossings, and a few fallen trees to climb over. Tread is decent, sometimes sloping. Pretty easy to find in almost all places. My friend spent significant energy brushing this trail with some loppers - removing almost all of the poison oak extending into the trail between Arroyo Seco and Strawberry.

fulmar2
Rob
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Rob »

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

Hiked from the junction with the South Fork trail (Strawberry Camp) to Willow Springs Camp and then on to the Tony trail the next morning. Pretty smooth sailing in most places. Tread was sloping in some areas. There was a washout at the last big creek crossing before Willow Springs and some large blowdown, necessitating a short detour. Brush encroaches for short stretches and there was some of the usual winter blowdown before and after Willow Springs. Spent a chilly night in the canyon.
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Farley
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:54 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Farley »

Date Hiked: October 28, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail was clear from Horsebridge to the Zig Zag saddle as of 28 October 2010.
All of the trees pictured below in Betsy's last report were removed 28 October 2010 by members of the Rancho Cielo fire crew working with VWA trail crew leader Steve Benoit, his handy under-bucker and trusty crosscut saw. Earlier, this crew removed 12 tree/shrub jumbles, overhanging dead limbs and hung up trees, as well as encroaching brush between Willow Springs Camp and Zig Zag saddle (the watershed divide between Willow Cr and Zog Zag Cr).
As we walked out at least four trees toppled in the wind between Willow Springs Camp and Tassajara Camp. One or two of these may have crossed the trail, but they fell behind us, and we didn't turn around to check. Care should be taken in canyon bottoms burned by the Basin fire - seems the weaker hardwoods - especially riparian trees such as sycamore and alder - are coming down really fast this season. Ladybugs were massing on blackberry and dead sycamores between Tony Trail junction (clearly marked with signs and flagging) and Willow Springs Camp.
Huge thanks and respect to the fire crew from Rancho Cielo and to all who work to keep these ways into Wilderness open for all to enjoy.
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Betsy M
Posts: 408
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Betsy M »

Date Hiked: August 8, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Just an update on the Marble Peak Trail conditions between the Arroyo Seco - Indians Road and the Tony Trail. The bees seemed to vanish about the same time that the deerweed stopped blooming. Now that they are gone, I got a nice photo of their holes. Won't be too surprised if they reappear next year. Also, a note for horsemen and women: the perennial slide just past the wilderness boundary, before you arrive at the Horsepasture Trail junction, is really tricky for stock. An alternate route is to take the detour just BEFORE the wilderness boundary, go up and around, and you will come back to the trail after about a quarter mile.
Bee holes in the ground.
Bee holes in the ground.
Another issue for stock, there are several trees down between Tassajara Creek Camp and Willow Springs Camp. One of these looks like it would be quite difficult for stock to get around.
The largest tree on a steep slope above the creek.
The largest tree on a steep slope above the creek.
This tree is over the trail, and easy for hikers to duck under; maybe not too bad for stock.
This tree is over the trail, and easy for hikers to duck under; maybe not too bad for stock.
A pretty good-sized rattlesnake near where you start one of the climbs on the south side of Willow Creek. Not sure if this is the same snake others have seen.
A pretty good-sized rattlesnake near where you start one of the climbs on the south side of Willow Creek. Not sure if this is the same snake others have seen.
A sycamore and a maple both fell onto the trail just below the junction with the Tony Trail. Not difficult to negotiate.
A sycamore and a maple both fell onto the trail just below the junction with the Tony Trail. Not difficult to negotiate.
skyeloomis

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by skyeloomis »

Date Hiked: September 10, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

There was 5 of us for the weekend. We hit the Marble peak trail head pretty quick Friday evening and shot down to the suspension bridge....way cool. We made camp that night a few yards down stream where the fire pit is. Woke up Saturday morning and we made it to Willow Springs camp where the Little Giant lives. What a beautiful spot....we pushed a mile or two beyond to the first saddle nut turned around. The hike to Willow camp after Tassajara camp is really over grown in parts and a plethera of poison oak. And yes the RATTLER still lives in this area and loves to sun on the trail SO BEWARE. We cleared as much as we could on the way out Sunday. Wonderful trip. Thank you Mother Earth.
Loomis Skye
AJ Fortune

Marble Peak Trail to Tony's Trail

Post by AJ Fortune »

Date Hiked: July 9, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

HIked Marble Peak Trail to WIllow Creek Camp at the intersection with Tony's Trail and back out from July 9 - July 11. The trail was plenty clear, with lots of fun stream crossings. There is a lot of poison oak, so be prepared. Also, ticks and mosquitoes abound. After Willow Creek Camp, we continued on for a hundred yards or so, but the trail was pretty overgrown and required periodic clearing of the overgrown weeds and brush to get through the trail. We don't know if it clears up after that or gets worse, since we were tired and wanted to get in the river, but I would rate the small section that we did explore past the intersection of Tony's Trail as "Passable-Difficult." (But, again, we only went for maybe a hundred yards). We almost stepped on a rattlesnake on the trail near Willow Creek Camp, so beware of the spots under rocks and log that snakes like to chill. Between Arroyo Seco Camp and Tony's Trail, the Marble Peak Trail is mostly wilderness freeway, with a few slightly tricky stream crossings and a few spots of encroaching flora. Lots of opportunities for watering up and dunking your hat in some cool water. Fun trip with a good amount of shade and water given the time of year in Ventana. Note that the first 2.4 miles of this trip from the parking lot at Arroyo Seco are on an exposed fire road until you turn off onto the Marble Peak trailhead. Hooble on!
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Betsy M
Posts: 408
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Marble Peak Trail Horsebridge to the Tony Trail BEES!

Post by Betsy M »

Date hiked: June 27, 2010

The section of the Marble Peak Trail that starts at the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road and continues to the Tony Trail is in great condition. In fact it is mostly wilderness freeway, with the exception of minor encroaching poison oak, blackberry bushes, and a couple of underground bee inhabitations.

The largest bee abode is right past the horsebridge, at the top of the hill after you leave the Arroyo Seco River, and just before the wilderness boundary. A second one is just before the Horse Pasture trailhead. Someone had mentioned these bees last summer, but during the winter the bees must be dormant because there were no visible bees, only a bunch of small (1/4 inch) holes in the ground. Am assuming these are sweat bees or more likely digger beeshttp://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/node/2064, based on the descriptions. They are supposed to be very docile and not likely to sting. During the spring, these bees became active and increased in number, to the point that it is now downright scary to walk through these areas. Especially the place right before the wilderness boundary. Until this past weekend, it seemed like they were mostly in the meadow on either side of the trail, and I just ignored them when I walked through. But now there are literally thousands of them in the air and I finally got scared enough to walk around the main hive, on the Tassajara Creek side of the trail. Anyone with bee allergies might want to take precautions.
Ted Merrill

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by Ted Merrill »

Date Hiked: May 12, 2010
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The portion of trail west of Tan Oak Camp has become completely overgrown; in spite of having hiked this portion of the trail a number of times previously, i really didn't know where to go... although i suppose if i had just continued to parallel the creek imight have eventually picked up tread again. I chickened out instead.

The trail from Arroyo Seco River to Strawberry Meadow is in (by Ventana standards) great condition (with the occasional problem).
I spiffed up the trail portion from jnc. South Fork Trail to Tan Oak Camp, and put logs and brush across non-trails to try to make the correct trail more obvious; hopefully this will help people find the right route in the future.
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greg meyer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:50 pm

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Post by greg meyer »

Date Hiked: May 1, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Youth In Wilderness Program with high school students from Salinas Community School, hiked in and spent 3 hours brushing the lower mile and a half of the Horse Pasture Trail, opening up a few sections and clearing the sides. On Sunday a crew of us removed three trees that had fallen into the trail about a mile above Tassajara camp on the Marble Peak trail, so that path is now clear for at least the first 3.5 miles from the Arroyo Seco Road. Many thanks to the Salinas Community School for their efforts and support of the Youth In Wilderness Program!
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