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Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Tommy on Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:45 am

Date Hiked: January 17, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Lower part of the trail between Santa Lucia Memorial Campground and the Lower Madrone Camp is currently CLEAR (one or two simple logs to step over, one or two places to duck). I did not need to get my feet wet, using sticks for balance to cross creeks. People have been breaking branches back to keep the trail clear, but spring will see lots of vigorous growth needing control.
Note to those using certain free GPS apps using Open Streets info: the upper part of this trail (past Rodeo Flats Tr) is not depicted. The junction at Rodeo Flats Tr has no sign, which is confusing for a first timer.
Tommy
 

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:43 pm

Date Hiked: January 9, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this from the NCRT down to the trailhead near Memorial Park yesterday. There was a cairn at the top, and a new-looking sign on the left (facing downhill), but it was in the shade, and you have to head down a bit to see it.

The trail was in fairly decent shape overall, with brushy sections (crouch and push-through) in the upper section, though none of the brushy parts were particularly long, just enough to make you want to wear long sleeves and pants. I was surprised to see patches of snow down to almost 3700'. I spent some time with my pruning saw working on some of the overhanging branches and brush skeletons that were problems for me. Also a few downed trees still, so definitely room for improvement.

The middle section had great views of the sandstone formations and the drainage. I noted an old telegraph wire was hanging down over the trail at about waist level. It probably used to be routed over trees which have since burned. I propped the wire up with an old snag for now, but I think at some point someone may want to make a more permanent improvement of some kind.

There was a brushy section just before dropping into the lower canyon section. I spent some more time sawing on overhanging branches heading down to Madrone camp, but again there is more work to do. The river was flowing strongly at Madrone.

Between Madrone and False Madrone there were three large trees down, one of which was a big enough mess to warrant a sizable detour. Par for the course in this section during the winter, I guess. I crossed the river to False Madrone camp without taking off my boots, but barely.

Shortly after False Madrone the trail became a bit indistinct, probably due to the soft sandy soil, winter rains, and lack of traffic, but it wasn't hard to pick up again. The descent to the crossing at Forks was easy enough. I used water shoes for that crossing -- chilly water, about mid-calf to knee, and deeper pools in a lot of places. Nice to see all that water after so much dry weather.

Things were pretty easy after that. I could see a few bootprints, and some fresh clippings, so someone had been working on the trail. There were a few downed trees, and places to duck under branches but nothing serious. I took the boulder scramble bypass (or whatever it's called) to avoid the final river crossing. The short bit back to the trailhead was clear.
Rob
 
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby runcyclegirl on Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:39 pm

Date Hiked: October 30, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked into Forks Camp for a two night visit over Halloween weekend with a day hike to Mining Ridge via Rodeo Flat, NCRT, then down the upper Arroyo Seco Trail on the second day. This report is for the upper and lower sections of Arroyo Seco Trail.

The trail overall is passable. The tread is easy to follow in most places. The entrance to Forks Camp is a little obscured by brush but the short rock cairn near a side creek is a giveaway. It helps a bunch to have a GPS device. Arroyo Seco Creek is running good with plenty of water and it is also easy to rock hop at both crossings near the TH and west of Forks Camp.

The area was affected by the 2020 Dolan Fire and the smell of burnt trees still lingers; expect to fashion a little soot if you do any significant hiking. The upper Arroyo Seco Trail has sections of interlocking brush as well as open spaces moonscaped by last year's fire. It's worth mentioning here that wearing long sleeves and long pants will save you a good amount of grief. Also recommend a wide brimmed hat to shield your face.

Note that the trail junction with NCRT can be missed due to brush and not noticing the largish cairn at the beginning of the trail- you have to look into the trail to see the cairn. Did not notice a trail sign that was reported to be intact in the previous report. I was glad to have my Garmin map to double check my approach so I didn't miss :-)

Madrone Camp is still pleasant and mostly intact. There's a large tree on its side near the edge of camp but is not obscuring the trail or places to pitch a tent. Water is running plenty good here. East of Madrone Camp the trail is very easy to follow. As you near False Madrone Camp there is a very large branch jammy section that requires a walk around.

Final note, on my hike out, about half mile to the creek crossing, I must have encountered a bee nest or wasp nest and got stung four times. It or "they" got me in each ankle, above my right knee, and a minute later as I hustled down the trail, my left elbow. It may have been a nest in the ground considering where I got stung. I've been on this trail many, many times and have never had this particular encounter.

Maria

IMG_9796.jpg
Arroyo Seco Creek at first crossing.

IMG_9655.jpg
Fall colors near Forks Camp, westward view.

IMG_9676.jpg
Valley view looking eastward near Forks Camp.

IMG_9782.jpg
Moonscaped section of upper Arroyo Seco Trail.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:42 pm

Date Hiked: March 19, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Description:
The Monterey Ranger District Forest has not reopened the Dolan Fire area, however VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers have been allowed access to survey burned areas. Over the past several weeks, volunteer Rangers and Trailcrew members patrolled and worked on the Arroyo Seco Trail from the trailhead to NCRT. They cleared 36 trees, removed two large boulders, worked on 410 yards of tread and brushed many sections of the trail all the way to Madrone Camp.

Trail conditions are as follows:


The Arroyo Seco Trail remains closed to the general public at this time. Only authorized personnel with the approval of the USFS are allowed to access this trail corridor.

Arroyo Seco Trailhead to Rodeo Flat Trail jct. - Passable. The trail has been severely burned. The crossing at Arroyo Seco River can be rock hopped at this time with care.
Rodeo Flat Trail jct. to Madrone Camp - Passable. Most of the trees have been removed. There are still 3 downed tress on the last 1/2 mile to Madrone Camp. Lots of burned brush. No report on Madrone Camp or Forks Camp at this time.
Madrone Camp to NCRT - Difficult. Lots of burned brush, downed trees and snags to navigate to the NCRT. The sign at NCRT has been damaged but is intact.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:23 pm

Date Hiked: March 7, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

The Arroyo Seco Trail remains closed to the general public at this time. Only authorized personnel with the approval of the USFS are allowed to access this trail corridor.

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to work on trails burned in the Dolan Fire. Today volunteer Rangers worked on the first 1.4 miles of trail. They removed 10 trees and repaired a sketchy section of trail reported on an earlier report.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Needs tread 1.jpg
Needs Tread.
Tread done 1.jpg
Repaired Tread.
Before 1.jpg
Trees across Trail
After 1.jpg
Cleared Trail.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby USFShandcrew on Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:54 pm

Date Hiked: March 7, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

If hiking Arroyo Seco Trail, would recommend, sturdy pants, heavy long sleeve shirt, full brim hat and a good pair of gloves to comfortably traverse. Would also recommend carrying a pair of heavy pruning loppers to cut back fire kill. We found a pruning saw left on Saturday (along with its sheath).
USFShandcrew
 

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:55 pm

Date Hiked: March 5, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Forest/Trail Status: PARTIALLY OPEN, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is partially open per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and Stoves are permitted in the backcountry with a valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare opening other parts of the closed forest and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers continued their scouting of the Arroyo Seco Trail. This time they made it to North Coast Ridge Trail. There are many downed trees (40+), recalcitrant burned brush, rocky debris, covered tread and other obstacles. There are no major washouts or undercuts. The sign at Trailhead and Rodeo Flats Jct. was burned in the fire.

Trail conditions are as follows:


The Arroyo Seco Trail remains closed to the general public at this time. Only authorized personnel with the approval of the USFS are allowed to access this trail corridor.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
2021-03-05 Arroyo Seco Trail Survey Photos (005).jpg
Burned Trail.
2021-03-05 Arroyo Seco Trail Survey Photos (007).jpg
At the summit.
2021-03-05 Arroyo Seco Trail Survey Photos (004).jpg
Heavy brush and downed trees.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:13 am

Date Hiked: February 28, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***

Forest/Trail Status: PARTIALLY OPEN, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is partially open per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and Stoves are permitted in the backcountry with a valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare opening other parts of the closed forest and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers were scouting the Arroyo Seco Trail after the winter storms and Dolan Fire. They made it 1.4 miles before turning around. The encountered lots of rocks in the trail, downed trees, encroaching brush and a section of trail the was either washed away or covered in a land slide.

Trail conditions are as follows:


The Arroyo Seco Trail remains closed to the general public at this time. Only authorized personnel with the approval of the USFS are allowed to access this trail corridor.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
2021-02-28 Trailhead Sign.jpg
Burned trailhead sign.
2021-02-28 Oaks across Trail.jpg
Oaks across Trail.
2021-02-28 Trail missing.jpg
Missing section of trail.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Tue May 26, 2020 1:00 pm

Date Hiked: May 23, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from the Rodeo Flat junction back to the trailhead. Mostly pretty clear, except for some brush in places, but not enough to warrant a "passable" rating IMO. I skipped about a quarter mile to explore the river, but rejoined the trail at the last crossing, which looked tame.

Biting flies were out, heard a rattlesnake in the brush. Some wildflowers still in bloom.
Rob
 
Posts: 105
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Location: SJC

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby lancesimms on Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:22 pm

Date Hiked: April 10, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked up to Rodeo Flat from Memorial Park Campground. Pictures can be found here:

https://lancesimms.com/Hikes/ArroyoSeco ... ngGPS.html

The trail from Memorial Park Campground to Forks Campsite was in decent shape, but there is a substantial amount of growth to push out of the way. The poison oak is avoidable for the most part. The crossing of the Arroyo Seco involved waist-deep water with a fairly strong current.

The river crossing just after Forks is also not trivial due to waist deep water. We were originally planning to stay at Madrone and then hike up to Cone Peak, but after meeting a young fellow at Forks who had just come that way, we decided to change our plan. He said the trail from Forks to Madrone was pretty bad, and going up to Cone Peak it was totally overgrown (he wasn't all that scratched up, though, so I think it's definitely doable if you don't mind bushwhacking).

We decided instead to camp at Forks and then go up to Rodeo Flat. The trail up to Rodeo Flat wasn't bad at all. Just some low-lying brush to avoid and plenty of erosion. The view from up there is absolutely gorgeous.

We did come across a huge rattlesnake on the trail and enough ticks to fill an olive jar. Plenty of stuff to watch out for on the trail. The flies and mosquitoes weren't all that bad. Only a handful of bites to itch.
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