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Big Pines Trail

Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby Noble on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:24 am

Date Hiked: September 20, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Though the trail was inundated with poison oak, the tread was distinctly evident from Los Padres Dam to Big Pines Campsite. The trail alternated between shady sections on the North side of the ridge and exposed bits passing through the firebreak. Transitions between these segments were clearly marked with red and yellow tape. At Big Pines Camp, the trail seemed to disappear in the severely burned pines at Danish Creek, just before climbing up to the Ventana Trail. There was no water source from the Los Padres Dam to Danish Creek, but the creek was running strongly, even this late in the season. Overall, the trail was easy to follow and offered wonderful views of the Danish Creek watershed and Carmel Valley.
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Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby justinj14 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:38 pm

Date Hiked: June 27, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked out and back from Los Padres to Big Pines Camp. KV's trail report below is still very accurate but with some areas of heavy overgrowth that require pushing through chest high brush along the ridge line and the initial descent towards Big Pines Camp. Contact with poison oak is unavoidable and there is no water until Pat Springs.
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Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby KV on Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:45 pm

Date Hiked: April 25, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Los Padres Dam to Big Pines

I have to call this trail "Passable," rather than "Clear," because there are simply too many sections (mostly in the firebreak) where a lush growth of grass has obscured the tread to the point that it cannot be called "well-defined." If more people used the trail this problem would solve itself, but there was no sign of anyone having been over the trail recently. The previous report was probably from the last person to pass this way. There are ribbons marking the trail's every entrance and exit from the firebreak, though, so no one should have any difficulty staying on route. There are also some deadfalls - all of which are easily climbed over or bypassed.

If you have problems with poison oak, this trail would be best avoided. Poison oak is crowding the trail and vigorously growing over the trail, pretty much all the way from the dam to the pines. Regardless of your level of vigilance and your degree of acrobatic ability, you will find it impossible to walk this trail without coming into contact with a good deal of poison oak. On the bright side, an immense diversity of blooming plants and singing birds are currently to be found along the route.
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Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby frijoles on Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:21 pm

Date Hiked: April 8, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

With my son (15) and dog we hiked from Los Padres Dam out to Big Pines Camp area one day and back the next. We left the dam parking lot at 8:30am and arrived at the Big Pines Camp area by 2pm. Trip back was shorter by 1hour. We opted for the shorter, steeper horse trail up from the reservoir to the ridge. It was a bit steep at the top but shady the whole way and not bad. Saw numerous red salamanders in the wheel tracks where wet, so watch your step. Weather was clear an cool and it had rained prior weekend so water was everywhere we read that it would be. But you will want to carry plenty on the way up to Big Pines Camp, especially if it promises to be warm. Ticks were an issue in the grassy areas along the ridgetop firebreak that Big Pines trail cris-crosses. I'd leave the dog home next time or bring him later in the season when ticks are not so plentiful. We must have picked 50 off of him during the hike (and almost as many on ourselves) and at least a dozen once we got home.

As expected, poison oak lined some of the trail, so expect contact at the knees and lower when on the single track. You won't be petting your dog much on this route either. Bring soap. Once into the national forest there were a few fallen trees across the trail, but easy to get around. Ribbons or cairns mark the trail well but worst case you could follow the firebreak and pick up the trail again. You may want to walk the firebreak up to the tops of some of the knolls or to save time, but the marked trail keeps you in the shade and keeps the elevation changes manageable.

Up at Big Pines Camp area (we must have stopped just short of it) the big pines are burned and mostly dead though still standing. Plenty of water in Danish Creek and some contributing creeks. Morning temp was 37 degrees F. Liked the trail and the views it offered, weather was ideal (cool and sunny).
Attachments
charpines.JPG
former big pines near Big Pines Camp area.
lupine.JPG
View east from big pines trail.
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Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby Food Dreams on Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:02 pm

Date Hiked: April 8, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

With my son (15) and dog we hiked from Los Padres Dam out to Big Pines Camp area one day and back the next. We left the dam parking lot at 8:30am and arrived at the Big Pines Camp area by 2pm. Trip back was shorter by 1.5 hrs. We opted for the shorter, steeper horse trail up from the reservoir to the ridge. It was a bit steep at the top but shady the whole way and not bad. Saw numerous red salamanders in the wheel tracks where wet, so watch your step. Weather was clear an cool and it had rained prior weekend so water was everywhere we read that it would be. But you will want to carry plenty on the way up to Big Pines Camp, especially if it promises to be warm. Ticks were an issue in the grassy areas along the ridgetop firebreak that Big Pines trail cris-crosses. I'd leave the dog home next time or bring him later in the season when ticks are not so plentiful. We must have picked 50 off of him during the hike (and almost as many on ourselves) and at least a dozen once we got home.

As expected, poison oak lined some of the trail, so expect contact at the knees and lower when on the single track. You won't be petting your dog much on this route either. Bring soap. Once into the national forest there were a few fallen trees across the trail, but easy to get around. Ribbons or cairns mark the trail well but worst case you could follow the firebreak and pick up the trail again. You may want to walk the firebreak up to the tops of some of the knolls or to save time, but the marked trail keeps you in the shade and keeps the elevation changes manageable.

Up at Big Pines Camp area (we must have stopped just short of it) the big pines are burned and mostly dead though still standing. Plenty of water in Danish Creek and some contributing creeks. Morning temp was 37 degrees F. Liked the trail and the views it offered, weather was ideal (cool and sunny), did not like the ticks and poison oak. Some flies under the oaks, none of the biting variety.
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Re: Big Pines Trail

Postby Tradtimbo on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:20 am

Date Hiked: March 20, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This is part of a series of reports for a hike from Botchers Gap to Ventana Double Cone. For the entire trail report see the Ventana Trail section.

San Clemente Trail junction to Big Pines Trail junction is clear and passable. Some trail flagging, and faint spots but easy to navigate. Small spots of encroaching brush and trees. Big Pines trail past this junction is faint. Charred trail sign posts exist here with no signs. The hike continued on the Ventana Trail. No water.
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Big Pines Trail - Los Padres Dam to Big Pines

Postby rbarringer on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:55 am

Date Hiked: January 30, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked the Big Pines Trail between Los Padres Dam and the Big Pines area (didn't quite make it all the way to the Ventana Trail). Trail is generally in good condition with well defined tread and only minimal deadfall trees.

Los Padres Dam to the Big Pines trail head:
Well defined fire road from the Los Padres Dam parking area all the way up to the dam and beyond. There are some minor landslides from the recent winter storms that have fallen onto the access road encircling the dam. But nothing too serious and can be easily circumnavigated.

Big Pines trail head Blue Rock Ridge:
Single track trail with well defined tread in generally very good shape. Slippery in some spots due solely to the preponderance of fallen leaves on the trail but otherwise very passable and a quite lovely trail.

Blue Rock Ridge up to Big Pines:
The trail through this section meanders in/out of a fire break that runs the entire length of the ridge all the way up to the Big Pines area. On sections traversing the fire break, you will encounter some steep slopes and brush that is starting to overgrow the trail. But at this point the trail is clearly visible and passable. Keep an eye open for numerous rock piles and red/yellow flagging to help guide your way. Other sections of trail take you off of the fire break into lovely, shaded madrone forests. There is a section of trail through this area that has several deadfall trees which require some circumnavigation. These deadfalls have been here awhile as you can see the paths of alternate trails that have already been blazed around the fallen trees. Very passable and otherwise in fair condition.
rbarringer
 

Big Pines Trail, from Los Padres Dam to Ventana Trail

Postby sugg on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Date Hiked: September 19, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This trail is in good shape.
-From the trailhead down by Carmel River trail to the the firebreak up on the first exposed ridge, the trail resembles a well used county park. Clear, twisty singletrack trail with lot's of Oaks and bushes, but none of
them really encroaching. Trail easy to see. Some gnats, no flies. Fun.
-From the first exposed ridge the trail sort of parallels the firebreak, but dives off far enough off to the sides here and there to make for more enjoyable shady, singletrack. I didn't go over to Danish Creek camp, but
the exit sign was burned in last year's fires. At a certain point, you really have to watch the trail to catch its next dive over to the Danish Creek side of the ridge. The trail is typically clear, but at maybe two
sections, the trail's clearity gets a little unclear. The cairns start up high on the firebreak ridge - they are at intervals where the trail dives off to the left or to the right (most often) of the ridge.
-As the trail reaches the burned trees, it gets a little brushy. The trail is still clear, but brushy. These bushes are flimsy bushes, easy to push aside.
-Once into the trees, the trail sort of, almost completely at places, disappears. Someone has used red and yellow ribbons to mark the trail's way at eye-shot intervals. LOOK FOR THEM. If you have never been on this
trail, you will need these ribbons - I needed these ribbons!
-The trail veers over to Ventana trail. Instead of going towards Spaghetti Camp, I always take this "short cut" over to Ventana Trail. For me, the first big landmarks has been the huge dead tree which I climb over,
then I get going on the trail. Not this time. The low lying sticker bushes do a very good job at obscuring the trail. I could not even pick up the subtle contour of the the path. DAMN! So here's what I do: As soon as I take the "short-cut" fork, I hit the big dead tree, jump it, then go straight down to the little creek - about 30-50yards straight on. Once at the little creek, cross it, then go at a 45degrees angle to the creek, going up hill (I know this sounds crazy, but this is how I re-found the trail after the sticker bushes) and go about 30-60 yards.... you'll hit the clear trail again after the sticker bushes fade. Turn the trail radar up!
-After the sticker bushes have faded and you've found the trail again, it's pretty clear and nice to the Ventana Trail connection.
-Here's a few pictures going into the "short-cut" intersection.....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38029403@N03/3960302734/in/set-72157622469670740/
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Big Pines Trail

Postby mikesplain on Thu May 28, 2009 6:11 pm

Date Hiked: May 1, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Reported by jdoelman:

The trail is obscured in places by a fire-break bulldozing of blue-rock ridge. The Big Pines area trees are a bit charred and it doesn't look like many survived.

The big pines camp is still nice as the trees right by the creek faired better than other parts of Big Pines.
The table at the big-pines camp is missing, presumed burned.

The table at the official Pat's Spring camp has survived the fire!
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Big Pines Trail

Postby mikesplain on Thu May 28, 2009 4:17 pm

Date Hiked: April 15, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Forest Service Report:

I hiked from the trailhead at the Carmel River Trail toward Big Pines Camp. The trail crisscrosses the dozer line and had not been completely flagged as to where the trail intersects with the dozer line. With some difficulty I was able to find and flag the areas where the trail intersects the dozer line; I talked to the Stanislaus trail crew and advised of the trail flagging. The trail on the north side of the dozerline did not burn during the Basin Fire and is some what over grown but is not too difficult to follow. On the burned side of the dozerline the trail dips in and out of the dozerline in some places but it runs at about the same grade as the dozerline so I did not flag those small sections, the trail will be less difficult to maintain if it follows the dozerline where the grade permits. Again I would like to say that I feel that Big Pines Camp should remain closed to camping until the dead snags in the campsite can be removed.
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