Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Arroyo Seco Trail

Arroyo Seco Trail

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby GaryS on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:40 am

Date Hiked: November 17, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Sign post at intersection of Arroyo Seco Trail with PCRT
Date Hiked: November 17, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Started a three-day trip on the afternoon of Nov. 15 from the trailhead near Santa Lucia Memorial Park. That afternoon hiked to the Forks campground where set up camp for two nights. Trail was clear, and water at the second river crossing at the Forks backpack camp was good considering prior drought. Also, we noticed water flowing at Madrone Camp. On Monday, we did a day hike from the Forks without backpacks to the intersection of the Pacific Coast Ridge Trail and hiked south along the PCRT to where there's a view of Cone Peak which is about a half-mile past the intersection of the Carrizo Trail with the PCRT. Both the Arroyo Seco Trail beyond the Forks past Madrone Camp and up to and past the intersection with the PCRT are passable. There are at least two false splinter trails that go off of the Arroyo Seco trail at about 4000 feet elevation or about a half-mile before reaching the intersection with the PCRT. On the way up the trail, we placed one colored trail ribbon and we noticed the remnant of a trail ribbon which we left in the areas to avoid going off the Arroyo Seco trail on our way back downhill, which turned out to be helpful and save energy and time. I did this trail the same time of year in Nov two years ago, and learned then that the section at around 4000 feet along the Arroyo Seco trail before reaching the PCRT can be tricky in a couple of spots without trail tape placed going up the trail in order to avoid the false splinters going down the trail particularly in that area. Also, for some reason there's a twin metal wire (each about six gauge uninsulated metal wire), seems to be from an old fence, that is draped across the Arroyo Seco trail in that area as well. Beware, as the two old fence wires are only about five feet above the trail which without noticing would be a rude awakening to a person or a horse.
We didn't see any evidence of horse travel on the Arroyo Seco trail past the second river crossing at the Forks, and figured that the equestrian parties must take the fork toward Big Sur rather than toward Cone Peak at the Forks, or they turn around at the Forks and return to Memorial Park campground trailhead. We thought of the risks of horses taking the Arroyo Seco trail particularly in the higher elevation sections past the third stream crossing due to narrow trail in some sections with risk of washout of trail in some sections where trail is exposed to soil erosion and along steep embankments in at least a few areas.
Even with the light rain on the day we went in, there were no trees fallen across the trail; only a few small ones that we could move out of the way by hand. Thank you to the volunteer trail crews who have cut and cleared the trail of large fallen trees earlier this year and prior to that to make this trail passable. Clear view of the Pacific Ocean when you reach the PCRT going up the Arroyo Seco trail.
Fall color on trees between the Forks and Madrone Camp
Along the PCRT just south of intersection with Carrizo Trail
Sign post at the intersection of Carrizo Trail with PCRT
View looking west from PCRT at Arroyo Seco Trail
User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:21 am

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Guest on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:17 am

Date Hiked: November 7, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from The Indians to Coast Ridge Trail. Trail was in great shape. Some brush crowding the trail in some places, but trail was so well defined that it didn't create any difficulty. Not much poison oak along the trail.

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby hydrologic on Tue May 05, 2015 10:15 pm

Date Hiked: May 2, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

hiked from memorial to ncrt. trail in good shape. some PO and brush at beginning and again near thew top. no dead fall. nice combo of shade and sun.
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:23 am

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:47 pm

Date Hiked: February 25, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)


Trail was passable with good tread the whole way through. Plenty of encroaching brush- scrub oak and ceanothus, some PO in areas, especially in the section immediately dropping from the Coast Ridge and down to Madrone camp. There were several small trees fallen across the trail, I cleared 3 of them. Nothing too difficult to dip under though. False Madrone Camp made for an excellent camp- though PO is rampant in the vicinity and makes finding a safe place to dig a cat hole a real challenge. Trail From False Madrone to Santa Lucia Memorial Park was east to follow, though a bit brushy in sections. Arroyo Seco was flowing well. River crossings were easily rock hop-able (though a few people did slip in!)
User avatar
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Rob on Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:29 pm

Date Hiked: January 18, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail from the Coast Ridge down to Memorial Park. The upper part was mostly clear except for an assortment of downed trees. I spent some time sawing a few, but most were larger than I could handle. The middle part was intermittently brushy, but quite manageable. Thanks to the trail crew, the lower part was a breeze :)

The creek crossings were rock hops after all this dry weather we've been having. Ticks were out in force. Lots of newts running around.
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Betsy M on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:36 pm

Date Hiked: December 20, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A VWA volunteer trail crew spent two days clearing all the fallen trees from the Sportsmen's to Madrone Camp.
Some of them were pretty significant! We also cleared out a lot of the dead brush that has been drooping down into the trail. While the trail is now a lot more passable, there is still a good bit of living, growing brush that is encroaching, though it isn't yet difficult to get through. We did find crossing the Arroyo Seco River 3 times each way to be a challenge. At the first crossing we went upstream almost to the traditional high water crossing, and rigged a rope across the river above a fallen tree. At the second crossing some of us were able to jump from rock to rock, and some waded across. At the third crossing we went upstream and found a way across. Thanks to the two hikers who placed rocks and a tree limb there Sunday morning. Also just before Forks Camp we went upstream and found a way across. In general if you plan to just wade across, search carefully for the shallowest location. There are some pretty deep places in the river.
User avatar
Betsy M
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Hillary on Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:12 pm

Date Hiked: December 8, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Wow. What a difference one storm makes! I trekked this again today and whoa! Wear your long pants, long sleeves, and a great hat because you will be adventuring on this one. Many new trees down, most of them in rather inconvenient spots. Had to army crawl under one that wasn't possible to get around. At least a dozen new fallen trees. You can certainly push through them, but it was a lot harder than last week. Also, LOTS of water in the rivers. I had to go upstream to find a decent (but sketchy) crossing at all three river crossings. Water was definitely flowing at both False Madrone and Madrone camp (it was dry last week). Forks had lots of water too (it had water last week). There was one tree in particular between False Madrone and Madrone that was huge and very much in the way. I skipped up the creek to get around it okay. It will take some trail work to make this trail clear... especially if the next storm downs some trees. I would call it difficult, except that the tread is very obvious, just very brushy and lots of downed trees. Oh, and at least seven billion lady bugs - if you don't want to step on any than it would be impassible...
User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Hillary on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:00 pm

Date Hiked: November 31, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail between Sportsmans Club and North Coast Ridge Trail has some encroachment and downed trees that are okay to get around. Lots of poison oak and a few ticks. But it was absolutely beautiful and well worth the push through. Never lost the trail and there was LOTS of water. And about a hundred salamanders. Picked up a bit of trash that was left behind :( . Glad we got some rain!
User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby Fred Watson on Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:49 am

Date Hiked: November 28, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Easily passable. Occasional logs to crawl over or duck under. Brush closed in a bit in some sections (scratchy). Good water flow at Madrone Camp; more of a trickle at False Madrone Camp; plenty at Forks Camp and all the way downstream to trailhead; none (?) at parking area.
Fred Watson
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:29 am

Re: Arroyo Seco Trail

Postby greg meyer on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:20 am

Date Hiked: March 9, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail between Sportsman's Club and Forks camp has at least 6 - 8 pesky deadfalls on it. Mostly madrone and oak so they are tough to get through with a pack but other than that, the trail is clear with good tread in the previously washed out sections.

Sad to see that the fire killed the Santa Lucia firs in this area, they were a grand addition to the walk.
User avatar
greg meyer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:50 pm


Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest