ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 


Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby Thordyke on Tue May 05, 2020 3:40 pm

If someone wanted to make a trail closer to the coast, better views and more trail miles (versus dirt-road miles) they could use bigsur trailmap tools. It doesn't show property lines but all the trails on the map are usable I would think. I tried and got this: ... :Nend.0001

I am not a consortium of trail designers and I am not an expert, but this seems preferable for a "california coastal trail". It also seems like some trails may not be shown even on the bigsurtrailmap which are even closer to the coast like this route

Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby Palatial on Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:10 pm

Below is link to a portion of the proposed california coastal trail. If it is implemented it should provide a well traveled long distance route through the area. ... FRYnc/view

The proposed route through the silver peak area may have been layed out to bypass some obvious trails because many connecting roads were inadvertently left off the map (and thus their used could not be envisioned), some of those roads are Prewitt Ridge rd, Portions of the southcoast ridge road, Plaskett Ridge Rd, Kinder Mine Rd, Los Burros Rd, Willow Creek Rd, San Martin Top rd, and the road to Alder Creek Camp. The full trail can be found at bigsurcct.

Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby All addin on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:16 pm

Fantastic!! How will you get from vdc to Big Sur ?
The xcountry route over kandlbinddr peak is slow unless you take the more technical panilat route
All addin

Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby AaronP on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:10 am

After talking with Betsy and Brian over the weekend I've decided to alter the route and avoid as many headaches as possible. The new route will not include either the Santa Lucia Trail or Black Cone.
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Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby Allad in on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:24 pm

The most recent trail report of the Santa Lucia Trail makes it sound difficult but doable.
The Black Cone trail adds a huge number of miles to the proposed route whether you do South-Fork-to-big-sur-trail or go Marble-PeakTrail-to-CoastRidge. After muscling through the Santa Lucia you may want to put a cherry on top of your glory by conquering the Big Sur Trail from Pine Ridge to Rainbow.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail
Postby gary busey on Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:17 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread

My partner and I hiked from the Indians station to arroyo seco. After the junction to J Serra the trail conditions decline and stay that way all the way until you drop to the water. Some tread and and flagging are visible. There a quite a few minor washouts but nothing to hairy. The previously mentioned washout is not too bad to bypass and the poison oak isn't terrible along the use path above it.
You will descend into one waterway and then climb back out and hit a saddle at 3600 ft. the trail at this time follows an old firebreak that continues toward east towards the Indians road. Be sure to trust your map and and descend towards the water. Route finding through this section is more important then seeing trail tread. Dont follow the fire break. As you head towards the water the trail condtions will improve immensely. Cairns and flags and all that jazz. The trail gets easier and easier until you hit the freeway that is the north end of the trail.
Allad in

Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby AaronP on Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:41 pm

We're camping at the trailhead on the 15th and finishing on the 19th. Fingers crossed for decent weather!
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Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby jack_glendening on Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:42 am

Your guess as to why the tape was put there is as good as mine. Eagerly awaiting your report of what lies beyond it.

Big Sur Trailmap:
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Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby AaronP on Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:39 am

Checked out the first couple hundred feet of the Santa Lucia Connector trail and noticed these flags blocking the trail. Does this indicate a trail closure or there just to deter people from attempting to take it?
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Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby gfelsman on Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:50 pm

As Betsy put it volunteer if you can. Cut branches or limbs close to the trunk or main branch they come off of. Lastly, as you have already done. Post trail reports with pictures of what you find. Enjoy your travels. Stay away from high water and support the VWA if you can.
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Re: 50+ mile thru-hike from Santa Lucia Memorial to Posts

Postby Betsy M on Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:08 pm

If you have "backpacked approximately 250 miles in the Ventana this year" but have not participated in a single volunteer trail crew outing, you might consider helping out. One thing the trail crew has found is that a little bit of instruction goes a long way. For example, hikers often lop off branches at eye level. The branches die and become hard poky spears. Or they saw off branches about 5 feet away from where they should, requiring the saw cut to be completely re-done. EVEN ONE WORK TRIP will give you a wealth of knowledge about how to efficiently remove brush so it doesn't hurt someone, or have to be done all over again.
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