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Marble Peak Trail

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:57 pm

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

Just an update on the Marble Peak Trail conditions between the Arroyo Seco - Indians Road and the Tony Trail. The bees seemed to vanish about the same time that the deerweed stopped blooming. Now that they are gone, I got a nice photo of their holes. Won't be too surprised if they reappear next year. Also, a note for horsemen and women: the perennial slide just past the wilderness boundary, before you arrive at the Horsepasture Trail junction, is really tricky for stock. An alternate route is to take the detour just BEFORE the wilderness boundary, go up and around, and you will come back to the trail after about a quarter mile.
Bee holes in the ground.
Another issue for stock, there are several trees down between Tassajara Creek Camp and Willow Springs Camp. One of these looks like it would be quite difficult for stock to get around.
big tree.JPG
The largest tree on a steep slope above the creek.
tree near stream.JPG
This tree is over the trail, and easy for hikers to duck under; maybe not too bad for stock.
A pretty good-sized rattlesnake near where you start one of the climbs on the south side of Willow Creek. Not sure if this is the same snake others have seen.
trees at tony trail.JPG
A sycamore and a maple both fell onto the trail just below the junction with the Tony Trail. Not difficult to negotiate.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby skyeloomis on Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:27 pm

Date Hiked: September 10, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

There was 5 of us for the weekend. We hit the Marble peak trail head pretty quick Friday evening and shot down to the suspension bridge....way cool. We made camp that night a few yards down stream where the fire pit is. Woke up Saturday morning and we made it to Willow Springs camp where the Little Giant lives. What a beautiful spot....we pushed a mile or two beyond to the first saddle nut turned around. The hike to Willow camp after Tassajara camp is really over grown in parts and a plethera of poison oak. And yes the RATTLER still lives in this area and loves to sun on the trail SO BEWARE. We cleared as much as we could on the way out Sunday. Wonderful trip. Thank you Mother Earth.
Loomis Skye

Marble Peak Trail to Tony's Trail

Postby AJ Fortune on Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:01 pm

Date Hiked: July 9, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

HIked Marble Peak Trail to WIllow Creek Camp at the intersection with Tony's Trail and back out from July 9 - July 11. The trail was plenty clear, with lots of fun stream crossings. There is a lot of poison oak, so be prepared. Also, ticks and mosquitoes abound. After Willow Creek Camp, we continued on for a hundred yards or so, but the trail was pretty overgrown and required periodic clearing of the overgrown weeds and brush to get through the trail. We don't know if it clears up after that or gets worse, since we were tired and wanted to get in the river, but I would rate the small section that we did explore past the intersection of Tony's Trail as "Passable-Difficult." (But, again, we only went for maybe a hundred yards). We almost stepped on a rattlesnake on the trail near Willow Creek Camp, so beware of the spots under rocks and log that snakes like to chill. Between Arroyo Seco Camp and Tony's Trail, the Marble Peak Trail is mostly wilderness freeway, with a few slightly tricky stream crossings and a few spots of encroaching flora. Lots of opportunities for watering up and dunking your hat in some cool water. Fun trip with a good amount of shade and water given the time of year in Ventana. Note that the first 2.4 miles of this trip from the parking lot at Arroyo Seco are on an exposed fire road until you turn off onto the Marble Peak trailhead. Hooble on!
AJ Fortune

Marble Peak Trail Horsebridge to the Tony Trail BEES!

Postby Betsy M on Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:31 pm

Date hiked: June 27, 2010

The section of the Marble Peak Trail that starts at the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road and continues to the Tony Trail is in great condition. In fact it is mostly wilderness freeway, with the exception of minor encroaching poison oak, blackberry bushes, and a couple of underground bee inhabitations.

The largest bee abode is right past the horsebridge, at the top of the hill after you leave the Arroyo Seco River, and just before the wilderness boundary. A second one is just before the Horse Pasture trailhead. Someone had mentioned these bees last summer, but during the winter the bees must be dormant because there were no visible bees, only a bunch of small (1/4 inch) holes in the ground. Am assuming these are sweat bees or more likely digger bees, based on the descriptions. They are supposed to be very docile and not likely to sting. During the spring, these bees became active and increased in number, to the point that it is now downright scary to walk through these areas. Especially the place right before the wilderness boundary. Until this past weekend, it seemed like they were mostly in the meadow on either side of the trail, and I just ignored them when I walked through. But now there are literally thousands of them in the air and I finally got scared enough to walk around the main hive, on the Tassajara Creek side of the trail. Anyone with bee allergies might want to take precautions.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Ted Merrill on Sat May 15, 2010 3:40 pm

Date Hiked: May 12, 2010
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The portion of trail west of Tan Oak Camp has become completely overgrown; in spite of having hiked this portion of the trail a number of times previously, i really didn't know where to go... although i suppose if i had just continued to parallel the creek imight have eventually picked up tread again. I chickened out instead.

The trail from Arroyo Seco River to Strawberry Meadow is in (by Ventana standards) great condition (with the occasional problem).
I spiffed up the trail portion from jnc. South Fork Trail to Tan Oak Camp, and put logs and brush across non-trails to try to make the correct trail more obvious; hopefully this will help people find the right route in the future.
Ted Merrill

Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby greg meyer on Tue May 11, 2010 5:48 pm

Date Hiked: May 1, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Youth In Wilderness Program with high school students from Salinas Community School, hiked in and spent 3 hours brushing the lower mile and a half of the Horse Pasture Trail, opening up a few sections and clearing the sides. On Sunday a crew of us removed three trees that had fallen into the trail about a mile above Tassajara camp on the Marble Peak trail, so that path is now clear for at least the first 3.5 miles from the Arroyo Seco Road. Many thanks to the Salinas Community School for their efforts and support of the Youth In Wilderness Program!
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby sugg on Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Date Hiked: April 17, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I used this trail moving from Strawberry Camp to Indians Rd. I loved this trail. It generally heads downhill as you get closer to Arroyo Seco River. There were a lot of streams which had good water flow. Although this wasn't exactly as clear as a typical county park trail, for the Ventana Wilderness this felt like a bike path. There were a few toppled trees across the trail which were not tough to get around. There were some non-burned pine trees just outside Strawberry and it was great to see them after Black Cone Trail - and to feel the pine needles underfoot. That's a good way to look at this trail. It's a fun comfortable trail after a long tough trail (Black Cone). With the currently (relatively) clear trail, slight downhill, and many trees, this trail will make you smile. I don't get poison oak, but I try to notice it for these reports - I don't remember seeing any encroaching on the trail. Wild grass is growing fast on the trail in some parts along with a minor amount of brush encroachment in very short lengths. The trail really gets fun once it drops down into Willow Creek. Lot's of trees still standing, but a lot of deadfall - the deadfall has been cleared. Numerous creek crossings all on a slight downhill gradient. Willow, Tassajara, and Horse Pasture camps were all empty, but looked fine. I'm not sure what happens with this trail moving west past Strawberry heading towards Tan Oak Camp. Here's some ref. photos of what Marble Peak Trail looks like starting at about 5:00pm till a bit past 6:00PM..... the photos are in order moving down the trail..... Warm, about 75 degrees, not too many bugs, great trail!
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Marble Peak Trail

Postby JeffSmith on Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:18 pm

Date Hiked: April 9, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Our group of five hiked the Marble Peak Trail from the Arroyo Seco campground through to Anderson Peak on the Coast Ridge Trail. Our trek took two days-- April 9-10.

The weather, scenery, and trail through to the Tassajara Camp was gorgeous. There had been rain earlier in the week, so Willow Creek was running reasonably high. This made the many crossings of Willow Creek real work. Often, we had to remove our pack and throw them across the creek before making the crossings. After reaching the top of the Willow Creek Canyon saddle through to the Marble Creek/South Fork trail intersect the trail was in excellent condition.

At the Marble Peak/South Fork trail intersect, the trails were not clear to be seen or followed. It took some map/GPS work to find the trail down to the Tan Oak camp. We made it to the Tan Oak camp just at twilight after hiking the twelve miles from Arroyo Seco in ten hours or so.

Tan Oak camp is just beautiful. The lush, green ridges slope up steeply on both sides, and Tan Oak Creek was full. It was a wonderful place to camp. Ben from Santa Cruz was willing to share the camp with us. We compared notes, and Ben was a friendly and helpful fellow hiker. It was great to make a new friend.

Following the trail climbing out of Tan Oak Camp was somewhat difficult , but about a half mile into the trail the path improves greatly and the trail is in decent shape. From Tan Oak camp to the Marble Peak/Lost Valley trail intersect the trail is overgrown in many places, but the trail is clear to follow and not too much trouble for most of its length.

Descending into Indian Valley, there is about a half mile section where the trail is burned out. We got a bit lost and lost about two hours climbing some ridges and finding where the trail picks up again. Hint: look for a rocky prominence on a sub-ridge as you drop into Indian Valley. The trail picks up on the back side of the rocky prominence. From there, the trail is reasonbale and gets you down to the Marble Peak/Lost VAlley trail intersect pretty easily.

At the Marble Peak/Lost Valley trail intersect, there is a similar problem to the Marble Peak/South Fork trail interstect. At the intersect, we had some trouble picking up the start of the trail up Marble Peak. After a few hundred yards, the trail becomes obvious again. At the Marble Peak/Indian Valley Camp trail intersect, the sign is burned up, so be careful there. We left the charred remains of the sign in the trail intersection. We hope this would be more visible to future hikers. The rest of the trail up Marble Peak is in excellent condition.

We expected to climb down to Highway 1 on the Tin House Trail. We struggled to find it. We were stuck in the clouds on the Coast Ridge Road that day, so we couldn't see at all.

At that point, one of our hikers started to suffer from very sore feet. Providence smiled on us and Mr Sal Lucido of the Ventana Wildlife Society happened by in his pickup and bailed us out. He drove us down the remaiing thirteen miles to the Ventana Inn. We are very grateful for his kindness. We did make a donation to the Ventana Wildlife Society to express our gratitude.

This was a great trip. The scenery was georgeous. Just a fabulous time.

Arroyo Seco Road to Strawberry Valley

Postby Betsy M on Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:16 pm

Date Hiked: April 18, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The Marble Peak Trail is in the best condition I've ever seen it. After hiking it over the past several years, with more deteriorated tread every time you hiked through, it was truly a delight to see the rehabilitation that was done after the fire. There are some obstacles to stock, but for hikers this is an excellent trail. Only downside is that the brush is returning quickly, and will likely force hikers to start walking off of the tread again.
There are incredible flowers now: purple chia plants, creeping sage, indian paintbrush, lupines.

The one tree that was down across the trail, above the junction with the South Fork Trail, has been cleared.
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Re: Marble Peak Trail

Postby Noble on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:07 pm

Date Hiked: March 30, 2010
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Coast Ridge Road to Indian Valley:
This section of trail is marked by pieces of orange tape, which are helpful but not comprehensive. Much of the lower part of this trial has been hit hard by the 2008 fire. Many burnt trees and shrubs block the way. In the lower sections, there were places where the burn and subsequent erosion have left the trail indistinguishable from the surroundings, causing us to go off track. The trail picked up again within a few feet, however, so finding it again was not too hard.
Indian Valley to Tan Oak:
Coming out of Indian Valley Camp site, the trail is obvious, but it looks a bit like a stream, which made us take another way, which proved a dead end. We realised our mistake quickly and took the trail up the other side of the valley. Climbing up to the ridge, the trail was quite obvious and very overgrown in unexposed sections. There was a lot of brush which made the trail a sort of tunnel, which became quite small, requiring us to crouch or crawl in many sections to get through. Exposed sections of this part of the trail have suffered from significant fire damage, causing loose, eroded soil. Fortunately, it was relatively dry, though it seems possible these sections could easily turn into mudslides. All this was well worth it, because the view from the ridge was marvellous.
On the North side of the ridge, the trail was overgrown, but not as much as the South side. The trail was quite overgrown once it met Tan Oak Creek, but this was not much of a problem, since the trail just follows the left bank of the creek.
Tan Oak to Willow Springs Camp site:
Coming out of Strawberry Valley over to the Willow Creek watershed, the trail is easy to follow but consistently narrowed by calf-height herbaceous plants. This was easy to walk through, though the rain from the night before was still on the encroaching plants, wetting our clothes up to the knee. The trail was not quite level, causing the uphill foot to be a bit higher than the downhill. (Hiking toward Willow Creek, the footing is perfect if your right leg is longer than your left.)
Willow Springs to Tony Trail:
Crossing the creek a few times, the trail is pretty easy to follow from the camp site to a sign for the Tony Trail. There were some Eucalyptus trees trees along this section, which is a bit of a bummer, especially in the heart of the wilderness. I did not see any Pampas Grass, however, which is heartening.
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