Turner Creek Trail


Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by willlma »

Date Hiked: April 18, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked from the Hoist on Palo Colorado Road to Pat Springs campsite via Long Ridge Road, Turner Creek trail, and Skinner Ridge trail.

Did not see Turner Creek camp as it looked completely overgrown. See Alan Harder's note on the detour trail (marked as Turner Creek Usetrail on bigsurtrailmap.net). In general the trail runs a bit further from the creek than the map would indicate. The trail is quite clear with some brush encroaching and a few trees to step over. There's some poison oak starting to grow, so pants are recommended. Apple Tree camp was cleaned up and was the only place we were actually able to access Turner Creek along this trail. Water is available from a couple of streams that that flow into Turner Creek from the north as well, which the trail crosses.

We met some Ventana Wilderness Alliance (VWA) volunteers at Pat Springs and I believe that they had cleared sections of the Turner Creek trail.

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by marinahobson »

Date Hiked: February 21, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Several deadfalls. Trail was well maintained in most spots and it looked like someone had recently cut back the brush. There were some areas of encroaching brush, but for the most part it is in good shape. There is a bypass trail around a large deadfall but the turn for it is easy to see and the trail is good.
Alan Harder

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by Alan Harder »

Date Hiked: February 8, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is in good shape all the way up to Skinner Ridge Trail.
Brush has been trimmed back, just a few logs to climb over.
There is a well established detour trail around one big tree fall in the vicinity of Turner Creek Camp, but both ends of the detour are not in sight of the blockage so you have to backtrack a bit if you miss the turnoffs.

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by sur_swing »

Date Hiked: June 27, 2020
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Wow. Experts Only. But great fun! Eager to see if I could get to Devil's Peak. Walked up Long Ridge Friday evening. Cowboy camped 100 yards into the Turner Creek Trail because it was dark. I was literally on the trail while cowboy camping -- locals still came over to ask what I was doing. I told them I was just sleeping on trail so I could head up Turner Creek Trail first thing in the morning. Not pleasant -- but accepted my answer. No trail angels in Big Sur. We are completely in our rights to sleep on trail. I hiked up to Turner Creek which was passable -- not completely clear but not difficult. Buggy. Lots of poison oak. At Turner Creek the trail splits three ways and one passage to the creek is nice but does not go anywhere from there. One goes up to an upper flat camping-like area but then leads nowhere. The middle trail passes directly into a giant forest of Poison Oak. I saw a more recent post suggesting gloves and machete. I'd agree with that. The roughest part is from Turner Creek Camp to Apple Tree: not for the faint of heart. I want to go back and try hiking up Turner Creek from Turner Creek Camp to Apple Tree as walking the creek itself through the Poison Oak forest looked more passable than the trails. Eager to return snd potentially get to Devils Peak and maybe even through-hike to Jeffrey Road!

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by jyoder93 »

Date Hiked: July 6, 2020
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Turner creek trail is extremely overgrown, though I passed through it twice over the weekend, hacking with an 12-inch blade as I went. After my passage trail conditions are better than they were, but some hikers may still find this to be an impassable trail. It is a heavy bush-wack, and has one large downed tree with it's canopy across the trail which was difficult to climb over. The section from the trailhead to apple tree camp was worse than the remaining section after that, up to the ridge. Apple tree camp (directly next to the creek) had plentiful water and is a great campsite, though there's a precarious dead tree across the creek overhanging the site. On the way up to skinner ridge from Apple tree camp, I stumbled upon a huge rattlesnake that must've been at least 4 ft long, directly on the trail. After a long showdown I started to carefully bush whack around it and it scurried into the brush away from me. Too close for comfort. WATCH the trail as you go. On the way back down later on, I heard rockfall nearby but could not see it, which was also frightening as it sounded like it was coming my way. There's a boulder on the trail indicating rockfall may be a hazard with potential for hitting the trail. This could be a horrible time or great rugged adventure depending how you look at it. But don't go unless you want to bushwhack. Long pants and sleeves are a must. TONS of poison oak and some growing as high as face height. If I were to go back, I'd bring gloves and a machete!

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by htrent »

Date Hiked: June 13, 2020
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The trail is evident to anyone with an eye for it, however despite being able to keep track of the trail, (or what was) the area was completely overgrown with brush, and plenty of spiny thorn bushes.
That being said there is still an accurate sign at the intersection with the Skinner Ridge Trail, and it is still possibly to follow the trail however it ought to be marked as a lost trail.

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by vJaedicke »

Date Hiked: June 8, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Hike from beginning of Long Ridge Road to Double Cone peak. Turner Creek trail was impassable after Apple Tree Rustic camp. Lost the trail on both ways, in and out. 10 feet high brush and poison oak made it very hard to go through. Would not anybody to go through there.

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by croombeatty »

Date Hiked: May 31, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail is covered in poison oak once you drop down towards the creek- a lot of it you can avoid but much of it is impossible to bypass. A couple of sections where the trail completely disappears and you have to bushwhack / search to regain it. A couple of downed trees in places but easy enough to scramble over. The Turner Creek campsite is clear and the water is flowing fully in the stream.

When we drove up to the TH a local gave us permission to continue but warned us to tell others not to drive to the TH and instead to walk from the junction w/ Palo Colorado Rd. Upon returning to our car, someone had left a note on our windshield telling us we are not allowed to be here. They also wrapped poison oak around our door handles and scattered it around the entrance to the driver door (pretty aggressive behavior).
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Jim Ringland
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by Jim Ringland »

Date Hiked: April 16, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked in from the Hoist and Long Ridge Road on the 16th on my way to Comings Camp. Out on the 18th.

The trailhead off Long Ridge Road is not marked. I initially walked right past it. At the very east end of Long Ridge Road, the route straight ahead leads to private property. The last bit of road turns right (southeast) steeply down the hill. The Turner Creek Trail takes off to the left about 300’ after that right turn. A bit beyond on the road is a metal sign that says “This Way”, which, I discovered as I explored down there, is meant for a cabin’s visitors, not hikers. If you reach the sign, retrace your steps about 100’.

Once on the trail, the situation is much as Genea described in his March report. It’s clear down to Turner Creek Camp except for one crawl-under fallen tree. Turner Creek Camp is, as noted, mostly brushed in, although you can easily get to the creek for water if need be. The segment from Turner Creek Camp to Apple Tree Camp has a few deadfalls and several places where you have to push through encroaching ceanothus. Branches from both sides of the trail mingle but don’t interlock. Elsewhere, there can be blackberries at your feet. Still, between camps the overall feel is one of a quite passable trail. At Apple Tree, there are two campsites. The lower seems to be getting most use. It’s right on the creek – too close – but it has a nice bedsite. The higher camp is farther from water but doesn’t have an obvious good bedsite. Both have fire grates. The trail up to the Skinner Ridge Trail from Apple Tree appears to have seen the greatest deterioration. There’s the same ceanothus (perhaps a little denser) as between the two camps, but now there's more poison oak mixed in. One can limit PO contact but probably not avoid it completely. Some deadfalls. Going up, I got off the trail several times. It was mostly a case of misjudging which vague opening in the brush was the correct one. No trail-finding problems coming down on the return. The good news is that the really bad sections aren’t too long, they alternate with considerably less bad ones, and it does open out up before the top.
gene a
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:29 pm

Re: Turner Creek Trail

Post by gene a »

Date Hiked: March 11, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The Turner Creek Trail is slowly deteriorating. From the National Forest boundary to the unusable Turner Creek Camp, its wilderness freeway. As the trail gains elevation, one encounters new, large tree falls, some requiring a work around. Tall dense brush has completely enclosed the trail in sections. The trail is passable and not hard to find, but its getting more difficult. The trail improves as it nears the junction with the Skinner Ridge Trail. There were some large colonies of ladybugs along the trail on the day of my visit.
Tree fall + water on trail.JPG
Trail brush.JPG
Tangled trees + flooded trail.JPG
Lady bugs.JPG
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