Forums

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 - Long Thru Hike

Long Thru Hike

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby Kahn Man on Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:42 am

I recently hiked from Kahn Ranch to the site of the former San Clemente Dam. The trail between the Dam and the Kahn Ranch is well maintained. That trail was embelished with a small loop on at its south-eastern end and shown on maps in the 2000's. Then in the 2010's that trail was "closed", but when I walked on it yesterday I found that the "closed" sign has been removed and the trail is clear all the way to the San Clemente Dam site and beyond to the San Clemente resort. The fence which once block access along this route between Kahn Ranch and the Dam has been removed. Seems to be if you get permission from Dormody (owners of San Clemente Resort) then you could use the line on the map which is identified as "San Clemente Trail" to get to Kahn Ranch. I believe the length of the Ponciano RIdge (along the San Clemente trail) was bulldozed in 2016.
From Kahn Ranch, you can walk Garland park trails to exit at Holt Road, near the mid-carmel-valley shopping center.
Kahn Man
 

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby Organizer on Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:13 am

The "california coastal trail" will some day allow this to happen. That trail will pass through public land for its entirety. Your idea of passing through Kahn Ranch is fascinating but really not a great idea as you would need to either pass through many parcels of private land by way of white rock gun club, then down Black Rock and San Clemente creeks, or a big bushwack down Ponciano ridge then through the private San Clemente resort (you would make quite a site all bloodied and dirty walking through the resort).
The "california coastal trail" is still only a line on the map but that line does pass through only public land so you may want to consider it. If you pull off this hike by walking only on public land some will consider you a hero. If you tresspass you will beconsidered a scoundrel, a scofflaw and a criminal. See: https://www.bigsurcct.net/

I think your best bet is to use most of the condor trail (it is routed better than the bigsurcct) then use the bigsurcct route north of Mt. Carmel to finish the northerly section (how much trouble can you get into if you are walking on public land ... I don't know)

I suppose you could call San CLemente Resort and ask if you can walk through there?
Organizer
 

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby toejam on Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:05 am

I agree with what others have said about water and trail conditions. But you've also got a really long road walk on the South Coast Ridge Rd.

More info for your research - http://www.condortrail.com/

The Condor Trail (which is actually more of a concept than a trail) passes through a lot of that. There are a handful of people who have hiked it and have info online. The web page is being rebuilt and there's a guidebook being written by a guy who hiked it twice.

The Condor Trail traditional route has some bad spots I'd skip (eg. Puerto Suelo Trail). Email me and I can get you in touch with people who know more about it.
toejam
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:41 am

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby LindsayJeffers20 on Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:09 pm

"Can you expand more on your comment about the PCT/JMT? Indeed, my only thru-hiking experiences come from the Sierras. Comparatively speaking, I've barely spent any time at all on Ventana or Silver Peak trails. Do you mean to say that I should expect these trails to be less well maintained?"

My experience in the Sierra has been that trails nearly all fall into the category VWA trail reports classify as "Wilderness Freeway." The trails are open and unobstructed. Brush almost never intrudes and fallen timber is quickly cleared. On a 60 mile PCT hike in Washington last summer, I encountered only two or three fallen trees to step over and the only time brush swept my legs it was soft and wet and never hit more than waist height.

Those conditions are almost never encountered in the Ventana. Trails are being maintained by VWA volunteers but the collapse of fire and drought-weakened timber, the very rapid growth of chaparral and ever present poison oak make for a very different hiking experience. Scrambling under, over and through brush provides much of the adventure on all but the most recently cleared trails. In the case of your long route, it will make for a lot of adventure...
LindsayJeffers20
 

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby VWA Admin on Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:34 am

Your route involves quite a bit of difficult trail, be sure to consult the maps at https://bigsurtrailmap.net/ . The trail conditions map is especially useful in that it links to VWA's interactive conditions forums & we know of no more reliable source of maps for the region.
VWA Admin
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby Jim Ringland on Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:30 am

I took a look at the route on your link. *Most* of the yellow route seems do-able. If you haven't, check out Jack Glendening's Big Sur Trail map at https://bigsurtrailmap.net/ for a fine overview of trail conditions. I don't have much autumn experience in the Santa Lucias, so I can't comment on water.

Why *most*? There's a problem in the north. The extension of the San Clemente Trail on Ponciano Ridge, as far as I know, isn't there and hasn't been for decades. Schaffer's 1987 book describes it as "definitely cross-country" and it's only gotten worse since. And the trail more-or-less straight north from Pine Creek Camp hits private property so you can't exit the wilderness there unless you know somebody who lives in the area. You may need to exit via the Turner Creek Trail, which recent reports suggest is difficult or worse.
User avatar
Jim Ringland
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby compeanja on Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:23 am

LindsayJeffers20 wrote: However, if you are considering these trails to be similar to a section of the PCT or JMT, the only sections that might compare will be those along the South and North Coast Ridge Roads.


Hi Lindsay, thanks for that info! I think I'll take your advice and adjust my route to avoid those sections you mentioned.

Can you expand more on your comment about the PCT/JMT? Indeed, my only thru-hiking experiences come from the Sierras. Comparatively speaking, I've barely spent any time at all on Ventana or Silver Peak trails. Do you mean to say that I should expect these trails to be less well maintained?
compeanja
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:48 pm
Location: Morro Bay, CA

Re: Long Thru Hike

Postby LindsayJeffers20 on Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:10 pm

At one time or another, I have covered most of your proposed route, all except the section from Ragged Point to Turkey Spr. Camp and from Pine Crk. Camp to Garland Park, Kahn extension.
Your concern with water is appropriate. There will be very few water opportunities in much of the inland areas, especially on the ridge tops. One August I was forced to dig --*unsuccessfully* in the stream bed in Indian Valley and almost passed out on the climb over the ridge to Tan Oak Camp and Zig-Zag Creek. Until next winter, I would worry about water.
Also, your concern about lost or near-lost trail segments is warranted. I would especially worry about the trail between Rainbow and Cienega camps, where the trail reports suggest serious problems, and even more the trail through Bear Basin. At least the latter can be avoided by staying on the Pine Ridge Trail to Church Crk. Divide and down to Pine Valley Camp.

It would be possible to avoid both those problem areas if you stayed on the Marble Peak Trail near Tan Oak and took it east to the Tony Trail then up Tassajara Road to Church Crk. Divide trail to the top of the Carmel River Trail down to Pine Valley Camp. But, you would also miss some great country along the S. Fork Big Sur River and probably 5K of climbing to reach N. Fork BS River and up over Pine Ridge. But you don't seem bothered by climbs.


I envy your enthusiasm for this route, which is a monster. If you can make opportunities to resupply along the way and if you wait for a wet season, I think this is a fine route. However, if you are considering these trails to be similar to a section of the PCT or JMT, the only sections that might compare will be those along the South and North Coast Ridge Roads. Read the VWA trail reports carefully and remain pessimistic about water sources in Ventana in August through November.

Best of luck
Lindsay
LindsayJeffers20
 

Long Thru Hike

Postby compeanja on Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:37 pm

Hi all, new to the forum here.

For a number of years I've been thinking about a long hike from one end of Big Sur to the other. I've finally started looking at some maps and I've put together a possible line that starts at Ragged Point and ends in Monterey itself; about 120 miles total. Has anyone else ever done anything like this? Any advice?

From the maps and satellite images (https://caltopo.com/m/8QHF) it seems possible, but a couple sections of badly overgrown or missing trail could potentially ruin the whole thing. The other worry I have is water. I've found some good info on hikelospadres.com regarding water availability, but its hard to tell if all the water I need will still be available in October or November, when I am planning on doing this.

I would appreciate any feedback y'all might have in this regards.
compeanja
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:48 pm
Location: Morro Bay, CA


Return to Ventana Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron