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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Church Creek Trail

Church Creek Trail

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:39 am

Date Hiked: February 15, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

*** 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 and trail crews cleared 528 yards of trail between the Wind Caves and Ranch driveway. They removed one tree at Wildcat Camp. They removed one fire ring that was too close to vegetation and rebuilt another.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Wind Caves to Ranch Driveway - Clear with no obstacles

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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
Sycamore at Wildcat Camp.jpg
Cleared tree at Wildcat Camp.
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VWA_Ranger
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:32 pm

Date Hiked: January 21, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

*** 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: No Campfires allowed. 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 have been preparing for its reopening and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled the trail from the road 2.7 miles up the trail. They replaced the old wooden sign with a new metal sign designating the actual start of the trail

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Road to trail jct. - Clear with no obstacles

Church Creek Trail to Church Creek Use Camp - Clear with encroaching brush. A few step overs and one duck under.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-7.jpg
Tree across the trail
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-3.jpg
Installing the sign.
210121 Church Creek Sign & Patrol-4.jpg
The finished sign.
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VWA_Ranger
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:59 am

Date Hiked: November 21, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Forest/Trail Status: CLOSED, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is closed per Forest Order 05-07-51-20-22
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires, No Stoves in backcountry. Cold Camping Only.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers and trail crew members patrolled the trail between Church Creek Ranch and ~ 2 miles to the top of Church Creek Divide. They cleared 690 yards of trail and removed to logs across the trail

Trail conditions are as follows:


Church Creek Ranch to Church Creek Divide. - Passable with with intermittent tree obstructions an encroaching brush.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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
Church Creek 1.jpg
Trail Crew Member at work.
Church Creek 2.jpg
Sample of cleared Trail.
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VWA_Ranger
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:18 am

Date Hiked: October 4, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

With the MRD Forest still closed. Volunteer VWA/USFS Rangers and trail crew worked on the Church Creek Trail near the Ranch driveway. They cleared 150 yards of trail and removed oak tree across the trail.

The forest will remain closed until the Dolan Fire is declared out.

Remember to do your part to help keep things nice. Pack out all your belongings and trash.

Leave your place nicer than when you found it. No Campfires of any kind.

Enjoy your travels
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gfelsman
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby zenko on Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:36 pm

Date Hiked: April 2, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Tassajara Road up the Great Divide. No difficulty with the trail from the road to the Wind Caves, even the poison oak is keeping its distance. Sometime in the past week, a massive mushroomy oak (probably from 2008) fell over the trail just beneath the Wind Caves. It was so large that it obliterated the trail, one switch back, then another. The brush was too thick to try to try to mosey along the tread. I went up the grassy pasture and did some bushwhacking down to a little stream crossing the trail. From there to the end of Church Ranch Road, things were bright and clear. Some poison oak is reemerging after it was cleared by the trail crew, but it is still little.

I didn't manage to find the tread at the end of Church Ranch Road. There were two treads, neither looking very distinct. I went to the right, and ended up bushwhacking until I found a nice oak savanna to trek up. I aimed for the gap and hoped for the best. Ran into another hiker taking a breather and she brought me back to the trail. From there to the divide, there was flagging and some clear brush removal (thanks!) No more troubles.
zenko
 

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby coyote on Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:16 pm

Date Hiked: March 28, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked from Tassajara down the Church Ranch fireroad to The Caves. From here we took Church Creek Trail up to The Great Divide. We did some trail work with clippers and opened up a few sections. There are a few spots close to the great divide where it could be possible to get off trail, but hopefully our brush clearing made it more obvious which direction is correct!

Plenty of water in Church Creek!
coyote
 

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby Sillyman56 on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:20 pm

Date Hiked: February 8, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Tassajara Rd to the divide.

There were occasional brushy patches between Wildcat camp and Church ranch road, but not bad. I got turned around and missed a switchback just after Wildcat camp, but I backtracked and found it.

As the previous post says, the most difficult section was between the caves and the divide. It was very brushy at times, but not too difficult to push through. Tread became faint in brief sections and there were moments with use or animal trails that made it slightly confusing which way to go. I relied on my gps. Without it, I may have taken a wrong turn here or there and had to backtrack, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

Water was flowing in many small streams throughout the trail. Beautiful hike!
Sillyman56
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:32 am

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby AaronP on Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:47 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2020
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Most of the trail is well maintained except for the few miles between the caves and the divide junction. As we passed the property by the caves it started to snow and the trail there was difficult to follow, probably easier in normal conditions.
AaronP
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:07 pm

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby Nic Stover on Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:07 pm

Date Hiked: June 3, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from Tassajara up. Church Creek road was just re-graded to the Homestead and a little past there. At the end of the road the trail was tough to find as the path was very faint. Stay to the left and start climbing up there.

The 1st half was nice. The last bit up to the ridge was tick infested, overgrown, and had a bit of deadfall. Someone(s) had recently cleared the Wildcat camp which was nice and parts of the 1st half of the trail had been cleared which made for easier going in place.

Final note is the Nat Geo map showed the distance at about 6 miles. It was every bit of 7 miles.
Nic Stover
 

Re: Church Creek Trail

Postby David Hirsch on Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:27 pm

Date Hiked: October 30, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The Church Creek Trail is mostly clear with a short brushy section between Wildcat Camp and the ranch driveway, and another brushy section and some deadfall between the ranch house and the Pine Ridge Trail.
David Hirsch
 

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