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Hiking for 8 days in Big Sur:seeking areas of concern/advice

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Re: Hiking for 8 days in Big Sur:seeking areas of concern/ad

Postby christiantmendelsohn on Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:56 pm

Hello Mike & Thank you very much for helping me. Can you please help me further to understand more with the following?

1) (Pat Spring to Hiding Camp): In order for me to prepare, what does "painful" mean so I can prepare, if nothing else, mentally?
2) (Crossing Carmel River): Does "a wet ford" mean up to my waist in water?
3) Thank you very much. I planned on doing the route you suggested as it is labeled "unpassable" on http://bigsurtrailmap.net/.
4) (Crossing Big Sur River): Does "a wet ford" mean up to my waist in water?

To fend off ticks, I assume the best way is to simply check frequently and thoroughly at the end of the trek/day. Do you wear tick spray? I don't like that stuff, but am willing to wear it if it is very helpful.

Thank you for the camp recommendations. Here are a list of the initial camps I plan to spend the night at. I have never seen Sykes Hot Springs and thought to see what everyone has talked about over the years. I was hoping there would be very little people there mid-week, I but don't plan on being so lucky. If it is crowded, then maybe I'll find my own place in the woods away from the maddening crowd (which of course includes me).
Night 1) Pico Blanco Camp
Night 2) Botcher's Gap
Night 3) Pat Springs
Night 4) Hiding Canyon Camp
Night 5) Pine Ridge Camp
Night 6) Sykes Camp
Night 7) Ventana Camp

Again...Thank You
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Re: Hiking for 8 days in Big Sur:seeking areas of concern/ad

Postby mikesplain on Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:25 pm

Hi Christian-

I'd like to hear some others chime in, but here's my 2 cents.

Your semi-loop is generally reasonable, with 4 issues:
1) the Puerto Suelo Trail will be a mess. As I understand it, it's flagged, but plan for a very long, painful day from Pat Spring to Hiding Camp
2) crossing the Carmel River from Hiding Camp will be a wet ford; plan accordingly
3) the Bear Basin Trail is usable up to the Bear Basin (aka Pine Valley) Connector; from there to Pine Ridge BB Trail is utterly gone. Don't even try it unless you are very familiar with the route & willing to suffer. Instead, take the BB Connector to Pine Ridge Trail & then continue on your route
4) the Big Sur River will also be a wet ford

Other than that you will certainly experience loose tread, very brushy sections, lack of trail signage, abundant ticks & poison oak (without telltale leaves!) Wear your chaparral body armor, check frequently for ticks & enjoy the wild winter Ventana. Be sure to consult trail conditions reports for the latest on each trail-
http://www.ventanawild.org/section-trai ... rails.html

IMHO, the best camps along this route are:
1) Pico Blanco Public Camp
2) Pat Spring Camp
3) Hiding Camp
4) Pine Valley Camp
5) Pine Ridge Camp
6) Redwood Camp
7) Barlow Flat Camp
8) Ventana Camp
(Sykes & Terrace Creek are invariably crowded & inferior camps to boot).

Happy trails!
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Hiking for 8 days in Big Sur:seeking areas of concern/advice

Postby christiantmendelsohn on Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:50 am

Hello All.

I will be hiking for 8 days in Big Sur starting 1/1/16 and would very much appreciate any opinions or areas of cern along the route below. I have studied bigsurtrails.net, and VWA's trail conditions. I do plan on reporting my route to give back. I also plan to buy a small saw to clear anything that I might be able to. I understand to bring some Technu. I plan to hike 5-7 miles/day as this is my first trip in the backcountry in along time, and first time backpacking Big Sur backcountry. Thank you in advance, Christian from Seaside,CA.

Loop from West to East, and then East to West.

Starting: Old Coast Road/Little Sur Trail > Palo Colorado Rd > Skinner Ridge Trail > Ventana Double Cone Trail > Puerto Suelo Trail > Carmel River Trail > Bear Basin Trail > Pine Ridge > Big Sur Station.

Image Map of route: http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/display/20 ... 9-map.html
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