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 - Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Postby mikesplain on Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:30 pm

Expect to see all of the south coast backroads (Cone Peak, South Coast Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & Plaskett Ridge roads) closed to the public in the next day or 2. The closure order may last as long as October. This is unfortunate, but likely due to certain individual's insistence on gathering in large groups & (especially) building campfires in the dead of fire season. At least the Monterey Ranger District will still be open for foot traffic for the time being. PLEASE DO NOT BUILD CAMPFIRES & convince fellow hikers not to build them if you can. Also, consider dismantling fire rings that others have built (being careful to ensure that they are dead out & cold to the touch) & scattering stockpiles of firewood. As I see it, we can either self-police now, or accept that locked gates & seasonal closures will become the new normal.
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Re: Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Postby gfelsman on Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:19 am

Here is a link to the minutes from the meeting July 29th.
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Re: Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Postby gonehiking guest on Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:37 am

they closed an area in southern los padres called the punchbowls after it was mobbed and trashed... ... 6f7ppLngxM
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Re: Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Postby gfelsman on Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:59 am

It makes no sense to close the entire Monterey District Forest. If they do anything they should limit dispersed camping again. Hunting season starts August 8th from what I recall. Closing the trails makes no sense in my mind.

When they closed the entire forest last time enforcement was very limited at best.
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Talk of Closing the forest because of car-campers

Postby Alladin on Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:17 pm

What is wrong with just closing the car-camping? In the meeting notes there is a lot of talk of car-campers starting fires, and there is no evidence related to backpackers. Why must they ask for closing the entire national forest? How does closing Tassajara road, or closing any trail help this? Even if you did have evidence (currently there is non) of backpackers starting campfires, couldn't you just ban backpacking and let dayhikers continue to use the forest?

From Big Sur "Covid-19 community response meeting notes" july 29,2020

CERT Leader Martha Karstens suggested that the LPNF close the Monterey District due to fire danger. BSF Chief Harris agreed that closing the Forest was a good short term solution to the problem of inability to enforce the fire restrictions.

CERT=(big sur) Community Emergency Response Team
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