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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated April 26, 2021

Highway One is Open. The washout at Rat Creek has been repaired and the highway is open throughout Big Sur. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road -- which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge -- is significantly damaged and will be closed indefinitely. 

What's Open: NEW: The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp IS OPEN effective April 13, 2021. 

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness trails inland can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) and from Tassajara Road off of Carmel Valley Road). Along the coast, Wilderness trails may be accessed via the Pine Ridge Trail at Big Sur Station, the North Coast Ridge Road, the Boronda Trail, and the De Angulo Trail on Highway One.

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are open. 

What's Closed: Click here for a map that shows the current fire closure boundaries

Road Closures: Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Cone Peak, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge Roads remain closed.

Know Before You Go: 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. 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. 

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and stoves are currently permitted in the backcountry. Click here for a permit and take it with you

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and for additional information. 
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.

Closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby Betsy M on Tue May 04, 2021 12:42 pm

A couple more ideas:

The Pine Ridge Trail just to Ventana Camp. This Camp is right next to the Big Sur River with a beautiful swimming hole.

The Marble Peak Trail out of Arroyo Seco Campground (paved road to Arroyo Seco Campground. Camp at one of the first camps:
1. Take the Horsepasture Trail, cross Tassasjara Creek, and camp on the far side, just downstream. This is an unofficial, unnamed camp. It gives you the option of a day hike up the Horsepasture Trail where you will find views and possibly flowers.
2. Adobe Camp is just a few hundred yards beyond the junction with the Horsepasture Trail, on the right.
3. Tassajara Camp, another mile up the Marble Peak Trail. Also right on the Creek. There is a large swimming hole just downstream.

Also: bring your headnet. Bugs are starting to appear. And always watch for poison oak and ticks.
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Re: Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby jack_glendening on Sun May 02, 2021 9:45 am

Some additional ideas with photos to see what the route is like
(though many currently not accessible due to closures)

https://bigsurtrailmap.net/backpack-suggestions.html

Tassajara Rd now rutted, not recommended for Prius at current time

Jack
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby Tdluxon on Sun May 02, 2021 9:11 am

ventana_phile wrote:I wouldn't recommend Rocky Creek Camp --- Last time I hiked through that area a few years ago the trail was pretty brushy, especially through the creek crossings. And the camp itself was covered in berry vines, so altogether not an ideal place to camp.

Horse Pasture Trail is a lovely hike to be sure but the camp itself is pretty small yet large enough for a single tent. Water may be your bigger issue here as the nearby spring tends to slow to a trickle in dry years (such as now).

I would recommend you take your wife on a one- or two-night trip to Pine Valley provided you don't mind driving 12 miles of dirt road (Tassajara Road) to China Camp. Once there however the hike into Pine Valley is a mere 5 miles on well traveled trail which per recent trip reports is in pretty good condition.

Alternatively you could plan for a hike up the Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur and camp at Terrace Creek (5 miles in) or Barlow Flat (7 miles in). Both camps are lovely and water is plentiful at either location.

I just hiked the Pine Ridge Trail myself yesterday (4/27) for the first time since before the Soberanes Fire in 2016. I must say the trail is in the FINEST condition I've ever seen. Many thanks to the hearty volunteers and paid trail crews for their efforts in restoring this absolutely beautiful wilderness trail. Get out there now and enjoy the Pine Ridge before the maddening crowds return.

Quick follow up… the tassajara rd is unpaved right? We have a Prius (super nerdy) so it’s not too capable of pavement.

Thanks again, really appreciate the ideas and tip!
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Re: Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby VWA_Ranger on Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:23 am

If you decide to hike the Pine Ridge Trail best to go mid-week if you can. Fewer people along the trail. Terrace Creek is nice destination. Be sure to fill out a Self Registration Wilderness Form. It takes only a couple of minutes. This will help the VWA/USFS track usage and work towards long term management of the trail. Enjoy your travels.
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Re: Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby ventana_phile on Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:49 pm

I wouldn't recommend Rocky Creek Camp --- Last time I hiked through that area a few years ago the trail was pretty brushy, especially through the creek crossings. And the camp itself was covered in berry vines, so altogether not an ideal place to camp.

Horse Pasture Trail is a lovely hike to be sure but the camp itself is pretty small yet large enough for a single tent. Water may be your bigger issue here as the nearby spring tends to slow to a trickle in dry years (such as now).

I would recommend you take your wife on a one- or two-night trip to Pine Valley provided you don't mind driving 12 miles of dirt road (Tassajara Road) to China Camp. Once there however the hike into Pine Valley is a mere 5 miles on well traveled trail which per recent trip reports is in pretty good condition.

Alternatively you could plan for a hike up the Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur and camp at Terrace Creek (5 miles in) or Barlow Flat (7 miles in). Both camps are lovely and water is plentiful at either location.

I just hiked the Pine Ridge Trail myself yesterday (4/27) for the first time since before the Soberanes Fire in 2016. I must say the trail is in the FINEST condition I've ever seen. Many thanks to the hearty volunteers and paid trail crews for their efforts in restoring this absolutely beautiful wilderness trail. Get out there now and enjoy the Pine Ridge before the maddening crowds return.
ventana_phile
 

Recommendations for easyish overnight trips?

Postby Tdluxon on Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:53 pm

Hi! So I’m introducing my wife to backpacking this year, she’d only ever been car camping prior to about a year ago. I don’t want to take her on anything too tough yet because I want her to have fun and not to scare her off, so I’m looking for options for one or 2 night overnights without to tough of hikes (ideally under 5 miles in).

So far we’ve done salmon creek trailhead up to Estrella camp, and Cruikshank up to villa camp, and she’s really enjoyed both, so I’m looking for some other options with similar hikes in to take her on.

A couple I’ve considered are arroyo seco up rocky creek to that camp, or up the arroyo to maybe horse pasture. Another possible option is maybe Buckeye camp, but I don’t want to take her there if there’s not decent water available.

Anyways, I’d really appreciate any suggestions for camps/trails to hike in to with a relatively mellow hike in… I don’t want to take her up anything too tough quite yet. Thanks!!!
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