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 - Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

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Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby Salty on Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:02 am

Note The second issuing of the forest service order closed the North Coast Ridge road and the Plaskett ridge road, this was more than likely due to a request from the good people of Big Sur. Another, likely unintended, aspect of the 2nd closure-order is that the forest is only closed until April 30. The forest will open soon, but don't forget who the players are in this. The Big Sur community has a huge influence on both the forest service and on Mary Adams (the Monterey Supervisor who represents them). The other supervisors of Monterey county do not appear to be inclined to represent that their constituents would prefer to have access to big sur. Talk to the old poeple that go to these community things tell them you want access to every aspect of access to Big Sur. (Localism is growing in Big Sur, it is a similar strain as the blight on surfing, fight it).

Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby gfelsman on Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:42 am

Limekiln SP is closed as all the Parks Management Facilities.
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Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby AaronP on Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:30 pm

I've looked at several sources online to try to find information about Limekiln but there's nothing online that says this park or the trails inside are closed. However, many CA State parks have closed their gates to vehicle access. Sorry I cannot be of more help. You may want to contact the Monterey Ranger District to see if access is permitted through there to Vincente Flat. I can almost guarantee the Forestry Closure Order was put into place to prevent people from going to Vincente Flat, along with a handful of other locations, as it is one of the most frequented spots to camp in the Ventana Wilderness.
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Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby VentanaViewer on Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:50 pm

Am I ok to hike from Limekiln park up the Alvin trail to the Stone Ride Trail and camp at Vincente Flat? The information on the web doesn't say it is closed.

UPDATED Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/

Postby VWA Admin on Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:13 am

The closure order has been updated. See below.

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Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby gfelsman on Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:26 am

Tom, Contact the USFS Monterey District Office in King City.

Monterey Ranger District
(office temporarily closed - but phones are being answered Mon-Fri 8-430)
406 So. Mildred
King City, CA 93930
(831) 242-0619
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Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby Tom on Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:02 am

Look I'm not trying to argue this. I have one chance later today to be in contact with people currently on Ventana wilderness trails. I need to know if Monterey county residents have to leave the forest.
So looking at the other posts I guess that's how this decision was made? Why wasn't more notice given considering the fines involved? My friends are kind of trapped out there. If they get caught trying to leave they will get fined for complying?

Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby Tom on Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:37 pm

Are the trails closed to Monterey County residents?

Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby Indiginous on Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:46 am

(I believe) The real reason the Monterey Ranger district is taking this action is because the good people of Big Sur don't want any visitors on the coast. This does not only pertain to this Covid-19 time, rather the Covid-19 is seen as a plausible reason to achieve the goal of keeping all tourists out of the Big Sur. At meetings for the California Coastal trail the only known expressed opinion by the Big Sur locals was that they did not want the trail because it might increase travel to Big Sur. At those meetings ideas were expressed related to using the Prewitt Loop trail as part if the California Coastal trail "I don't want that because it is near my house" (or something like that). And when the Prewitt Ridge was suggested as part of the route, "I would see people walking along the road, I don't want that" (or something like that), and when the Willow creek trail was suggested, " To access that trail they would need to walk along the Willow Creek/Los Burros Rd, I don't want that (or something like that). Local input recommends the california coastal trail proceed up the north leg of the Prewitt Loop trail (because the south leg is too close to someone's house if it were extended to the Plaskett Rd), and the trail proceeds south along the south-coast-ridge road, bypassing the willow creek trail (because that would mean the trail would have to cross or go up Willow Creek/Los Burros Rd), next the coastal trail bypasses the northern end of the Buckeye trail because in order to get to it (at Alder Creek Camp) the coastal trail would need to proceed along the Willow Creek/Los Burros Road for some portion (that is undesirable because it would pass near a local).
The local input has one goal, decrease access. Supervisor Mary Adams seems to be working hand-in-hand with the locals to achieve their goals.

Re: Monterey Ranger District COVID-19 Closure- 4/16-6/1/20

Postby gfelsman on Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:54 am

Only Monterey District Forest and Trails are closed per this order. However, there are many other sections of forest where access has been limited or closed to the public. You will have to look at each forest district separately. All the Day Use Areas and Campgrounds are closed in the entire Los Padres National Forest for example including Monterey Ranger District.
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