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Gamboa Trail

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 pm

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

As usual, dead trees keep coming down on this trail at the slightest excuse -- the latest being the wet weather. More specifically, there is one tree down between the Ojito Saddle and Trail Spring Camp, and I had to go on hands and knees to clear it when I was packing out the exercise bicycle. And between Trail Spring Camp and the North Coast Ridge Trail, there are two step-over trees (these were large enough to require a crosscut saw) and two that I had to crawl under (these, fortunately, can be gotten with a large pruning saw).
C M Heard
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Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:38 pm

Date Hiked: September 10, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The downed trees and thick brush at the western end of this trail were recently cleared by a joint VWA/Forest Service effort, as noted in these reports:

The trail is definitely not pack stock passable, but it is easily hiked, even with a large pack.
C M Heard
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Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:07 am

Date Hiked: July 7, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

In July Paul Danielson and I took the Gamboa Trail from the Ojito saddle to Trail Springs Camp and had no difficulty following the tread. We did need to walk somewhat stooped at its western-most end. In any case, additional trail work has now been done on this section.

Jack Glendening
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Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby slohiker on Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:23 pm

Date Hiked: June 28, 2010
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The trail to Trail Spring Camp is clear, as was the trail to Cone Peak. We saw one other hiker atop Cone Peak. The sign for Trail Springs Camp is partially burned and no sign is left to Ojito Camp or Goat Camp. From Trail Spring Camp to Ojito Camp and Goat Camp the trail gradually disappears underneath an explosion of "scotch broom" (Ed. note:Ceanothus integerrimus, a native species) and fallen trees. A tunnel of brush also made for stooped hiking and frequent snags on the clothing and packs. The sign for Goat Camp is burned and laying down next to the fire ring at the campsite. Occasionally there is a pink ribbon tied in the brush to mark the way, but this has become intermittent. Past Goat Camp the trail becomes impassible because of the brush and many deadfalls. Where previous signs of the trail can be found, there is scotch broom growing over the trail and ground squirrel burrows have undermined the stability of the slope. Because there is no longer a defined trail, alternative low spots in the vegetation which look like game trails go in different directions and create confusion. We set out to do the Gamboa / Stone Ridge trail and make the loop around Cone Peak. After bushwacking for ten hours, we came across Limekiln Creek and followed it out to Hwy 1. We were out of water by the time we reached the creek. The hard going caused us to go through our water faster than planned. We walked south on Hwy 1 and made it to Limekiln State Park at 10:00 p.m. where the campground host gave us a place to sleep. She was an angel. We got a ride back to our car the next afternoon. I don't recommend Gamboa Trail past Trail Springs Camp to anyone but the hardiest hikers until work is done to restore it. If you do go, plan on taking twice as long as you'd expect to cope with the conditions. I also recommend a handheld GPS to find your way because there are no trail signs past Trail Springs Camp. Watch out for ticks, we picked up several during the day. Poison oak was also present.

Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby Carl Mounteer on Sun May 23, 2010 9:30 am

Date Hiked: May 16, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report comprehends the entire Gamboa Trail from the Coast Ridge Trail.

It is easy to miss the trail head where the Gamboa Trail intersects the Coast Ridge Trail. After you emerge from the base of Cone Peak on the Coast Ridge Trail and you can see the ocean to your left, be alert for the Gamboa Trail trail head that will appear on your left. You will pass a huge stand of granite on your right. Near the end of this there will be a several burned, standing dead pines. This is where the Gamboa trail begins. If you pass a yellow ribbon tied to a bush on your right you have just missed the Gamboa Trail trail head.

This trail is wilderness freeway until about 1/4 mile before the Ojito saddle. There you enter a tunnel of brush. There are four things to be alert for in this interval:

1. There are ticks here. I picked up two of them, one imbedded on my chest and one imbedded on my shoulder because I only checked myself for them very cursorily. So check yourself frequently as you tunnel through.

2. There is poison oak here. It was at my eye level and I am 5 foot, 7 inches tall.

3. There was a rattlesnake rattling at me but he was no danger because he was about 15 feet away from me off the trail on my left as I was heading towards Ojito saddle.

4. There are two downed trees that require crawling under. I could do this with my backpack on but it required me to crawl on my stomach on the ground. This may have been where I picked up the ticks. So check yourself throughly right after you do this.

If you are headed this way to go to Ojito Camp, forget it. If you want to know why, see my trail report posted today at: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=260
Carl Mounteer
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Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby sugg on Tue May 18, 2010 8:12 pm

Date Hiked: May 15, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I think I traveled this trail right after the trailwork! Everything was smooth and clear - but it did look like some major clearing had recently taken place. I traveled from Trail Spring Camp up to Coast Ridge Trail. From the camp, it's all uphill. Nice enjoyable grind though - twisty, singletrack, short trees, a little brush - great views. There might have been a couple of deadfalls. View south to Cone Peak almost constantly. Once again, thanks trail crews. Here's some photos out of Trail Spring Camp moving up to Coast Ridge Trail....
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Re: Gamboa Trail

Postby C M Heard on Thu May 13, 2010 5:03 pm

Date Hiked: May 6, 2010
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

A portion of this trail was recently reworked by a Forest Service crew, as noted in this report:

Here is a summary of the condition of the trail by segment:

- From the junction of the North Coast RIdge Trail to Trail Spring Camp about a half-dozen trees were down, all easily stepped over, and there was some encroaching overhead brush that had been bent over because of late April snowfall. None of this would be particularly difficult to deal with, even with a heavy pack. I hiked this segment on 29-APR-2010.

- The 1.2-mile segment starting from Trail Spring Camp is now clear of brush and trees and has reworked tread. It is in good shape for hiking. The remaining 0.5-mile segment to the Ojito Saddle still needs to be cleared, with a total of about 25 downed trees of various sizes. The last 0.2-mile segment next to the Ojito Saddle has very thick brush and about 20 downed trees, making progress very difficult for anyone with a large pack.
C M Heard
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Rough hiking - No End

Postby soontobe_wackthedrums100 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:39 am

Date Hiked: June 18, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Went from Spring Trail toward Ojito.

It started out feasible but as it went on there was more and more poison oak and bushes in the path. Eventually it got to the point where you had to keep your head down and push through the bramble in 100 ft lengths. Even for the experienced, it was not particularly pleasant.

Eventually got to a pass on a ridge between two mountains (I assume right next to twin peak where the trail is supposed to meet the stone ridge trail) but there was just a clearing with a some rusty metal crap in the middle. No trails in any direction except back where we came from.

I was wearing a pretty heavy backpacking pack, but either way I do not recommend this trail.

Gamboa Trail

Postby TRAILS on Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:21 am

Date Hiked: June 6, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Reported by: Cody P.

Specific = Trails Springs Camp - Ojito Camp Junction:

Approximately 1 mile traveling from Trail Springs, you run into severe brush overgrowth which makes it almost impossible to pass. I was determined enough to continue another mile, burrowing through the brush with my hat and trekking poles as my only shield; however, between the downed trees from landslides and brush overgrowth, it proved to be too much. The trail is impassible and requires serious attention before anyone should consider hiking it.
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Gamboa Trail

Postby mikesplain on Fri May 29, 2009 11:13 pm

Date Hiked: March 18, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)
Conditions Reported by: Mike Heard

Section: Trail Spring Camp to Ojito Saddle

This section is not to hard to follow, but there is a lot of brush impeding one's progress. It would be difficult with a heavy pack.
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