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Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:26 pm

Date Hiked: May 7, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Trailhead to False Madrone
Thanks to Maria Ferdin and VWA trail crew volunteers, over several work trips on this trail, the fallen trees have been removed between the trailhead and False Madrone Camp. Some of these trees were huge, requiring multiple days and multiple saw crews to clear. Much of the brush has been removed as well. There is more to do, and the trail crews did not get too far beyond False Madrone. The various biting flies, face flies, and mosquitoes made the Memorial Day weekend trip pretty miserable. But these tend to diminish after a few weeks.
Several sections between Forks Camp and False Madrone, and beyond, have some impressive poison oak specimens. Lush meadows of large leafed poison oak, on both sides of the trail and meeting in the middle. Be forewarned, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. But there are beautiful sections of the river where you could take a dip if you need to.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby ahamilton on Wed May 10, 2017 5:38 pm

Date Hiked: May 8, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Thick bushes over the trail at times and half dozen downed trees, but nothing too difficult. The real problem is the poison oak which lines the trial heavily in the wetter regions of the canyon below 4000 feet. At times, we needed to hack back the stuff to pass without being covered in it. Be prepared with long pants and shirt, alcohol or Tecnu wipes, and trekking poles or other whacking implements.

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby anadem on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:02 pm

Date Hiked: April 4, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked a loop of Arroyo Seco trail from Santa Lucia Memorial campground up to Coast Ridge, spending the night at Cook Springs, returning down Carrizo trail. As in other reports after Madrone camp Arroyo Seco is getting quite grown-in and hard work to push through with a pack. Wear long pants or get scratched legs, and I'd recommend arranging packs slim and tall instead of short and wide! The lower half of Carrizo trail was wonderfully open freeway but the top is tough.

We'd taken two cars so left one at each end, avoiding the road walk from Carrizo trailhead back to Santa Lucia camp
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:05 am

Date Hiked: April 1, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked down from the Coast Ridge to the trailhead on my way out, and things were a bit rough. The upper part was actually not that bad -- some encroaching brush, and some midsized blowdowns, not really too difficult.

The middle sun-drenched part where you get expansive views of Junipero Serra Peak and the surrounding sandstone formations was pretty brushy though. Long sleeves and long pants recommended for sure. There were some larger blowdowns to get around too.

There was a short section of narrow and potentially loose tread above an exposed slope as you descend towards the creek, probably from an old slide.

The lower part had some even bigger areas of downed trees between false Madrone and Forks. The two crossings before Forks were rock-hops at the time, though there was a lot of water flowing.

From Forks to the last crossing a lot of brush was encroaching the trail and there were several more blowdowns. Lots of water flowing and wildflowers blooming. On a warm Saturday afternoon this section was getting a fair amount of traffic -- a boy scout troop, a family of four and their dog, various folks sunning themselves in the creek, etc.

I decided to use my water shoes for the last crossing -- about mid-shin and cold. Kind of refreshing on a warm spring afternoon.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Samuel on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:25 pm

Date Hiked: March 18, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Lucia campground to Mining Ridge and back again this past Saturday. Hard to say, sometimes rating seems like it can be subjective - I'm rating as passable as the upper sections, while overgrown, were fairly easy and I never lost sight of the trail. The lower section (first mile or so) is as described above - lots of brush and dead-fall to maneuver around, and I lost the trail somewhere here on the way back as it was getting close to dark. Was able to reconnect where trail meets the river thanks to my GPS, but would have had a rough time of it without.

Aside from that, its a glorious climb out of the canyon onto the ridge.

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby hydrologic on Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:30 pm

Date Hiked: March 12, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked from the top down. The top 2 miles were pretty brushy. Live oak is very scratchy. The bottom 2.5 miles had many downed trees you had to navigate over, under or around. The river crossing weren't bad. I didn't find any ticks but I did hear others that had some. This trail needs major work to be passable. I would NOT attempt with overnight back paks.
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Jesse Schmidt on Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:51 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Because of the recent storm some of the "river" crossings were difficult. It involved some traveling along the river banks to fine a place to cross. Some of the more difficult crossings took a balancing act across a couple downed trees. This made the trip quite difficult because it made the trails more of a guessing game. MANY TICKS on this trail, they are small, and a bit after the last creek crossing they seem to stop collecting. The last bit is a huge climb up a hill with a lot of brush to maze through, just keep trekking I swear it will end. Definitely have the offered printable maps or this will be a difficult trip. If you aren't up for a challenge wait for the creeks to die down.
Jesse Schmidt

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Brian M McCutcheon on Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:45 pm

Date Hiked: December 26, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My dog Dash and I hiked the section of Arroyo Seco Trail up to Rodeo Flats, and found it passable without any major difficulties. I also brushed hundreds of ticks off of us. The creek crossing half a mile up the trail had a good flow and was fairly easy for me to rock hop, but not so easy for Dash. I had to straddle two rocks in the middle of the creek and lift Dash across that part by the handle of the harness that holds his backpack. It worked well with fresh legs at the start of the day, but not so well with tired legs on the return at the end of the afternoon. The brush is grown in tight at spots on this narrow trial, but never an obstacle. There are numerous deadfall trees. At one point, three trees (each 6-8 inch diameter) were across the path at heights of 2 ft, 3 ft and 4 ft. While Dash simply ducked under them, I had to take off my backpack and crawl under. All other trees were easy for both of us to either go over or under. There was a short stretch with poison oak protruding into the path for 50-100 yards, roughly a mile up the trail, but not too tough to maneuver through. A very passable trail, and entry way to some very nice backcountry (at least on a cool winter day).
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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Wilderwill on Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:46 am

Date Hiked: June 17, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Alan I hiked the Arroyo Seco Trail, from Cook Springs to FHL, Indians Rd. (I had to promise Alan that we were not doing the Rodeo Flat Cutoff again ! What a grade, tough going, even hiking down that one). We climbed up from Cook Springs to the NCRT finding two "new signs" ! We hiked downhill, moderate grade, on Arroyo Seco trail. Conditions were mixed: passable with some brush, and some open areas, tread is good. Much of the trail is brush tunnels and a large PO area we had to wade through, above Forks Camp. Some easy rock hops over the Arroyo Seco River, any downed trees were easy to step over or slide under. Much of the trail is pleasant and wooded, with numerous camp spots.

We heard a rattle warning by a Diamondback off the trail, and we saw a horned lizard along the trail. Weather was warming up but we had enough access to water.

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Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby KChris on Wed May 04, 2016 1:52 pm

Date Hiked: May 3, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

poison oak, ticks and rattlesnakes oh my!

beautiful day, hooked into a small native rainbow by Forks camp, access to the river is very limited, face flies were not too bad, pulled off multiple ticks but nothing out of the ordinary for the backcountry


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