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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

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 - Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby toejam on Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:39 pm

Cool post on hikelospadres.com this week of a bear sighting at Dutra Flat 6/30.
http://www.hikelospadres.com/dutra-flat-campground.html

I was at that table watching it get dark on Saturday but didn't see a bear. Never seen good bear sign there either.
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby toejam on Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:54 pm

The only bear I've seen in the northern Los Padres was on South Coast Ridge Rd south of Lottie Potrero in November 2018. He was quite large, black, looked startled and bounded down the west-facing slope into the Silver Peak Wilderness. I never saw bear scat when I started hiking here in 2008, but now see it frequently. Also saw footprints on Baldwin Ranch Rd in January.
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby kanyer on Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:24 pm

Sighted a healthy black bear at Chews Ridge lookout on June 22 during lookout service.
kanyer
 

Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby gonehiking guest on Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:04 am

I have seen scat and bear scratches often in the Little Sur area, a bear came into Pico Blanco scout camp a few summers ago (when it was still open). Not their traditional range as this was all Brown Bear country until the Americanos wipped out the last ones... (or did they? https://www.mantecabulletin.com/sports/ ... alifornia/ ) supposedly black bears would be more populous in Monterey Co. but they are saaid to be well (illegally) poached in Central Ca for gall bladders for the Chinese market.

here are some other posts...

https://www.ventanawild.org/forums/vent ... ssion/1538

https://www.ventanawild.org/forums/vent ... ssion/1751
gonehiking guest
 

Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby zenko on Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:01 pm

I told Leslie James (a Tassajara old-timer) about my sighting. In '96 a young black bear investigated the compost shed at Tassajara, but was warded off by some monks clashing pot lids. Never came back.

The bear I saw seemed like he was at home, not wandering through... here's the clawed-up tree picture, as promised.
Attachments
20200521_091446.jpg
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Sat May 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Should not have used "eyeball-to-eyeball" in my last post, since the interest was really in whether this was the first in-person sighting by a human eyeball, regardless of whether the bear saw the human.

Appears so far that this is indeed the first in-person Ventana/SilverPeak wilderness sighting, which I find exciting and likely the first of others to come. Zenko had an exceptional experience.

Jack
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Fri May 29, 2020 7:09 pm

By "sighting" I meant an in-person, real-time eyeball-to-eyeball event. We knew they are out there without photos, etc.. But I've not heard about a live human meets live bear far from human population and how the bear reacts when meeting a human there.

Jack
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby pantilat on Fri May 29, 2020 4:13 pm

Ventana Wildlife Society condor streaming cams caught a big black bear dining on a free meal. Note that the location of this cam is immediately over coast ridge from Pelon and their facility is located within the wilderness (might be an inholding?).
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby jack_glendening on Fri May 29, 2020 3:14 pm

Is the first actual bear _sighting_ in the Ventana/SilverPeak wilderness areas? Does anyone know of one earlier?? I've not heard of one before actually inside the wilderness, only sightings outside and scat, etc inside.

Jack
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Re: Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby pantilat on Fri May 29, 2020 12:28 pm

While probably still a relatively small population, there's reason to believe the population is on the increase. I have observed an uptick of bear scat from Pine Ridge/Bear Basin down to Lost Valley in recent years. I also heard something large thrashing through the brush near the upper part of Carrizo Trail (but no sighting). San Clemente Rancho adjacent to the north border of the wilderness has excellent trail cam photos of a healthy looking bear hanging out there this month.

Now the question is whether black bears have established a breeding population in the Ventana. At least initially it's likely bears arrived from the southern part of the Los Padres forest (where sightings are regular), expanding north to reclaim their historical range. I have seen a bear in the Santa Lucia Wilderness near San Luis Obispo, which is very close to where a bear would have to make its first and only crossing of 101 on its journey north.
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