Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - North Coast Ridge Trail
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Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 10:18 pm
by Carl Mounteer
Date Hiked: May 5, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report covers the North Coast Ridge Trail from the trailhead at the end of Cone Peak Road to the junction with the Gamboa Trail.

The trail is clear until the trail emerges from the base of Cone Peak. There, brush is encroaching on the parts of this trail. Otherwise, it would be a wilderness freeway.

Mention should be made of the superb condition of Cone Peak Road. Although brush is also encroaching parts of it, the Forest Service has recently done a superb leveling of the surface of the road, putting it in the best shape I have seen it in 12 years.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:26 pm
by Jim Ringland
Date Hiked: April 15, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Lost Valley Connector to Cook Springs

Previous reports are fine here: not too much has changed since I was on this trail in 2013.

Except for some threading around ceanothus, deerweed, and the like, the route is essentially clear between the Lost Valley Connector junction and the Rodeo Flats Trail junction. Redondo Spring has water. Volunteer Camp doesn't, but it appears to have been seeing more use than it had two years ago. The four miles between the Rodeo Flats trail and the Arroyo Seco trail junction has many simple-to-manage deadfalls and a few sections that require more threading through the shrubs. Then it’s mostly clear up to the Cook Springs junction.

There are new signs at the Arroyo Seco junction and at the Cook Springs junctions.

Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:25 pm
by bobbomcc
Date Hiked: February 24, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Our Stevenson crew hiked from Indian Valley up the Marble Peak trail to the junction with the North Coast Ridge road and then SE on the North Coast Ridge road / trail to the Lost Valley Connector. The road was obviously clear to the gate, and the Coast Ridge Trail beyond was easy to follow despite some brush and numerous step – overs. We never did find the trail down to Bee Camp, although we spent a lot of time trying. We saw one cairn marking the supposed start of the Bee Camp trail but there was no clear trail to camp. However, finding the good water supply off the trail was no problem. The trail from the Bee Camp trail junction to the Lost Valley Connector was brushy but easy to follow.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:41 pm
by RSIBryce
Date Hiked: February 24, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


Trail was in excellent shape, we made our way to Cook Springs to camp for the night-- new signage on the Coast Ridge trail is looking great and makes navigation very easy. Ecellent views out to the ocean and really neat side views of Cone Peak in its real dramatic back dropping angle- very cool to see at sunset. There were two downed trees en route to Cook, but nothing very impeding. Cook Spring's water was slow flow, about a liter a minute- which was surprising given how much Trail Spring was flowing. Maybe the spring is clogged? I hear that spring is year round slow flow.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:10 pm
by pantilat
Date Hiked: December 28, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We took the Coast Ridge Trail from the base of Cone Peak's north ridge to Boronda Ridge. The trail is in essentially the same condition as December 2013, which is great considering we had some storm come through this December. The first part from Cone Peak to the junction with the Arroyo Seco Trail is completely clear. We made a side trip to fill up water at Cooks Spring Camp which had water flowing. This is a beautiful camp in the Sugar Pine forest with some incense cedars near the spring. The view near Tin Can Camp is one of the best with one side looking into the remote and wild Middle Fork Devils Canyon drainage and the other across to Junipero Serra. From the Arroyo Seco junction the trail has some open sections but also quite a few blowdowns. As I mentioned virtually all of these blowdowns were there last year. Instead of taking the trail around Mining Ridge we went up the firebreak to the summit. The trip up and over Mining Ridge is mostly clear except for the descent down to the Redondo Trail which has a quite a bit of deadfall. After the Redondo Trail junction the trail has some brushy sections all the way to the Coast Ridge Road as the ceanothus and other chapparal vegetation is growing in. Overall, however, I thought the brushy sections were the same as last year. There was water at Redondo (Coast) Spring. There a few spots where the Trail diverges from the break, which sticks to the crest of the ridge. It now makes the most sense to follow the trail when they diverge traversing the hillside (mostly the west side of the crest) as the chaparral vegetation on the fire break is filling in when it does not share the same path as the trail.

Photo Album:

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:38 pm
by paulina
Date Hiked: December 30, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked this from Vicente Flat Trail up to Cone Peak. The road is currently open to cars.

There is a water cache hidden in some bushes about 1/2 mile up from Vicente Flat.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:15 am
by mikesplain
Date Hiked: May 20, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section- North Coast Ridge Road-end to Upper Bee Camp Trail-
This short section is mostly clear, but there's enough ceanothus and yerba santa encroachment in a few select places to rate it "passable".

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 pm
by Jim Ringland
Date Hiked: May 8, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Tin Can Camp to North Coast Ridge Road

This northern section of the Coast Ridge Trail is very different from the southern section I reported on in April. Let me continue as I did in the earlier report, describing the trail from south to north. My actual hiking route was more convoluted and spanned both the 8th and 9th.

Immediately north from Tin Can Camp the trail is easy and clear as it descends under mature pines and oaks. About a 1/2 mile on, the pines end and the trail enters terrain that shows obvious signs of the 2008 and earlier fires. Fire damage and early recovery define the landscape for the rest of the route. There is a mosaic of forest and chaparral with more and more of the latter going north. The trail continues on what was obviously once an old road and fire break, although in places the old road (today's trail) and the firebreak diverge. The road contours while fire break stays on the spine of the ridge. Sprouting chaparral plants are beginning to reclaim the road bed and present modest obstacles to the hiker.

A few specifics on various segments. The 1/2 mile from the end of the pines to the Arroyo Seco Trail junction is still easy. At worst, a little yerba santa brushes the shins. The segment from the Arroyo Seco Trail junction north to the Rodeo Flats Trail junction mixes open trail with stretches having considerable growth in the roadway. Lots of deadfalls. Most are easy step-overs or walk-arounds, but a few require more work. The Rodeo Flats Trail junction is marked by a post with an ancient wooden sign reading only (and faintly) "Coast Ridge". The segment from the Rodeo Flats Trail north to the junction with the Lost Valley Connector is, on the whole, easy hiking. Much is completely open or has only widely separated small shrubs. No deadfalls. Not many trees either. Only a few spots slow the hiker. Lots of blooming yuccas. I found no water (but a nice place to stay with great star-gazing) at Volunteer Camp. Redondo Spring has water. The junction with the Lost Valley Connector is marked by a metal post with a tape flag. Unfortunately, the post is well off the trail. It's in the open and big, but it takes some looking to find. The junction is about 100' south of the low point as the Coast Ridge Trail approaches a saddle, so that's the place to look. The segment from the Lost Valley Connector to the trail's end at the North Coast Ridge Road has more sprouting growth in the road bed than farther south, to the point that the northern-most half mile may turn "Difficult" in the next year or two if it doesn't see any work. On the other hand, this segment had some great wildflower displays, with Grinnell's beardtongue, scarlet bugler, and bush poppy being the most raucous members. There are no significant route finding issues, although in few spots one has to pause and look around a little bit. See my post on the Upper Bee Trail for a discussion of that junction.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:59 pm
by Jim Ringland
Date Hiked: April 17, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Cone Peak Road (at the site of the old Cone Peak Campground) to Tin Can Camp

I hiked from the Gamboa trail junction to the Cook Spring trail on Wednesday, April 17. After setting up at Cook Springs, I dayhiked out to Tin Can camp just before sunset. On Thursday, April 18, I hiked from the Carrizo Trail junction to the Cone Peak Road. I'll describe conditions south-to-north rather than in the order I encountered them.

The section from the Coast Ridge Road to the Gamboa Trail Junction has seen lots of recent attention. There is some impressive rockwork and cutting-and-filling. The trail is perched on what is sometimes a very steep hillside but, at least as of now, there is only minimal slumping and erosion. There is one very tight switchback – almost a 180 degree turn – that people have missed heading southbound. Missing the switchback means walking around a pile of brush that essentially says "not here" and then plunging straight down a steep hill, but there's a track showing folks have done just that. The Gamboa trail junction is not marked but it's an obvious junction of two big wide trails.

The section from the Gamboa Trail to the Cook Spring Trail is off the steepest slopes. The junction with the Carrizo trail is not marked and I walked right past it without noticing the stone steps that mark the junction. A few steps on, however, I did notice the Carrizo trail itself to east. It parallels the Coast Ridge Trail as it heads up a little rise. For a goodly ways, the trails are only a few feet apart. From the Carrizo Trail junction, the Coast Ridge Trail gently ascends the ridge that, to the east represents the divide between the San Antonio River drainage and the Arroyo Seco drainage. Toward the top, the trail gets just a little bit closed-in. It's not really brushy, but stray branches did bounce against me now and again. The top of that ridge was the point where the old dozer cut from Carrizo Trail came in. The cut is pretty well filled in: there no real trail junction anymore although a little tape marks the spot. Past the top, the exposure and vegetation changes. It's sugar pine forest to the north. There a big blown-over stump that requires hiking over a little mound on high side of the trail. The Cook Springs Camp Trail junction is just minutes north of that. It's not marked with a sign. However, at the junction there are 2 large logs, maybe 40' long and 2' in diameter along the east side of the Coast Ridge Trail. There is a 10' (or so) gap between them. That gap is the entry to the Cook Spring Camp Trail. It's a big, wide, and steep trail descending east.

North from the Cook Spring junction, the trail is almost a road. Easy, easy hiking. I was at Tin Can Camp near dusk. The low light on the rocks and long views over to other rocky ridges and farther to Pimkolam made it an astonishingly lovely, peaceful, even spiritual place. The camp is just a fire ring on a flat. No water.

Re: Coast Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:09 pm
by Guest
Date Hiked: March 11, 2013
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Cold Springs to Hwy. 1

The only reason I'm writing this report is just to confirm for anyone who wants to know that you can walk this portion of the North Coast Ridge Road. Camped the night before on the ridge at the junction of the North Coast Ridge Road and the .5 mile side road down to Cold Springs. A much more beautiful place to camp over looking the ocean than Cold Springs itself. From this campsite I walked out to Hwy. 1 the next day, and even though it's a road, it was a beautiful hike with the Ventana Doudle Cone prominently displayed. Nice cougar tracks on the road! One thing to note is that the Wilderness Press map shows a trailhead and parking on Hwy. 1 at the start of the North Coast Ridge Road. There is NO trailhead or parking, and I'm not sure what that map is talking about. If starting a hike here you need to park at Big Sur Station.