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)

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

Postby Hydro-Logic on Thu May 28, 2020 5:33 pm

That's awesome! Must be a small population as sightings are super rare. We just a few miles away on May 20 heading up Carrizo. Two days later we were in Lost Valley. Super cool!
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:21 am

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

Postby AaronP on Wed May 27, 2020 10:44 pm

Picture or not this actually makes me very excited for the area. The last time a friend and I hiked the Marble Peak Trail (last fall) we encountered a fair amount of scat near the connector trail and there was a point here I had my headphones in and came around a ridge where I heard some fairly loud rustling and found an area of brush that seemed to be trampled along a fairly steep ridge line. I saw no evidence of a bear but I had a strong hunch that something large was nearby which made me pack my headphones away for the remainder of the hike out.
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:07 pm

Bear Sighting by Pelon Camp (Lost Valley Trail)

Postby zenko on Wed May 27, 2020 5:19 pm

I've lived at Tassajara for the past 5 years, so I've heard a few stories about bear scat in Willow Creek and sightings along the coast. I feel lucky to have a story myself to share with other Ventana enthusiasts.

On May 20th, I hiked from Tassajara to the junction of Lost Valley and Indian Valley trails. I set up at a use camp there and slept like a log. I woke up pretty dewy under an epic canopy of stars. After some trail vitals I headed out, around 6:30. Higgins Creek was deep and green, the trail easy enough to travel. Coming up to the bend right before Pelon Camp, I saw another early morning hiker. He (I assume by his size) was cinnamon colored and watching the trail just like me. We met eyes and both startled back. He took a sharp right and ran up the hillside, while I waited for a spell. No bolt of adrenaline struck me. I knew we understood each other's intentions. I hiked on an kept up a little patter with myself. Happiness spread through me at my luck, and at the benefit another apex predator could provide for the wilderness. About three-quarter mile from Pelon (after the big ford) I found my friend's scratching post- a great charred Coulter pine, marked from the earth to 8 feet up with deep rows of scratches.

I have a picture of the tree and am curious if this is worth reporting to the Forest Service. Happy to hear suggestions and to post the picture later.
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 11:30 am
Location: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center


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