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Marble Peak Trail

Arroyo Seco Road to Tasajara Creek Camp

Postby Alamofox on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:09 am

Date Hiked: April 9, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Tasajara Creek itself had some nice flow, and made for a nice break point after leaving the car at the end of the paved road. Tasajara Creek camp is just beyond this point. You'll see it's clearing below you and to the right of the main trail. A spur trail with no sign is just a few yards up from when you first spot the campsite.

A series of creek crossings will begin shortly if you decide to continue further.
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Tasajara Creek Camp to Willow Springs Camp

Postby Alamofox on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:02 am

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

Shortly after Tasajara Creek, you get to the first of 14 creek crossings before the junction with Tony Trail, and then three more after that. You can tell that this has been a banner year for rainfall/water. My last time here was April 2002 (a drought year mind you), and all the crossings could be made then by rock hopping. But this time, it didn’t take long before I had no choice but to step on through in water over the boot tops. Trek poles came in very handy for helping to vault some crossings, and also to help steady against the flow and walk through quickly. A few minor obstacles along the way, but nothing that hindered progress.
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Willow Springs Camp to South Fork Trail Jct.

Postby Alamofox on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:00 am

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

Actually it's a mixed bag. The trail is Wilderness Highway up to the saddle above Willow Springs Camp. This continues beyond here,
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Typical open trail conditions found in the higher elevation chaparral of Ventana

except for the portions where the trail cuts along the canyons of Camp Creek and Shovel Handle Creek, and weeds begin to encroach. Mostly grasses that don’t rise higher than the knee. The trail was discernable, and some recent foot traffic through the weeds helped. Good water flow at both Camp Creek and Shovel Handle Creek. There quite a few other springs along the way so carrying water is not necessary at this time of year. The only major obstacle is a large downfall about 100 yards short of the junction with South Fork trail, where it is necessary to scramble about ten feet up and down a very steep hillside.
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Big deadfall just short of the South Fork Trail Jct. A very steep scramble to the right gets you around.
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South Fork Tr. Jct. to Tan Oak Camp

Postby Alamofox on Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:50 pm

Date Hiked: April 10, 2010
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The sign at the junction indicates travel towards Strawberry and Rainbow Camps, but does not indicate any continuance of Marble Peak Trail.
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Trail info for South Fork Trail. But what of Marble Peak?

Shortly after you cross Strawberry Creek at the junction, you find a campsite that is not marked on the maps that has a fire ring and a grill. There is little if any shade, so this site would not be the best in sunny, warm conditions.
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A site not shown on the maps near the South Fork Trail Jct.

The trail follows Strawberry Creek on down about ½ mile to Tan Oak Camp. While generally passable, the trail was hard to discern at times and is becoming overgrown. There is a very large deadfall just before Tan Oak Camp.
Tan Oak appears to be little used. There is an old fire ring that hasn’t been used and almost blends into the grass. No grill here.
RED_0002.JPG
Tan Oak Camp looking North up Strawbery Valley
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Marble Peak Trail Clear to Tony Trail

Postby Betsy M on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:46 am

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

The Marble Peak Trail is in excellent shape from the trailhead at the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road to the Tony Trail. The Forest Service has done a fine job of clearing out all the brush and trees, both from the fire and from whatever wind event broke a number of the standing dead alders that died during one of the recent dry summers. There is one small slide near the trailhead, but it is possible to climb up and over this, using steps someone has kicked into the dirt. In many places, a lot of attention and effort have gone into making the trail passable.
Marble Peak Trail Stock Steps.jpg

The sign at the trailhead has been replaced with a new plywood sign. When you drop down to the Arroyo Seco River, a sign points right, to the route of the Marble Peak Trail. If you are headed upstream to the water chute, this is where you turn left to get down to the Arroyo Seco River. The Horsebridge is a welcome sight around the next turn.
2010_01_09 Mbl_Pk_Tony 004.jpg
A new Ventana Wilderness boundary sign has been installed just past the River.
VW Sign.jpg
This oak was across the trail when I hiked here last summer. Someone has cleared it all away from the trail. Having such a wide trail, with the cut brush and trees well off of the trail, is really a treat.
Marble Peak Trail Cleared Oak.jpg
After you pass Tassajara Camp, the canyon walls close in and the trail crosses Willow Creek 14 times before you get to the Tony Trail junction. Plus there are a couple of side creeks that you cross. Not difficult at most times, and even during high water events, Willow Creek is not the formidable stream that Tassajara Creek becomes after significant rain. This section along Willow Creek has the dead alders, snapped off and strewn about like matchsticks.
Marble Peak Trail Alders.jpg
Amazingly, through all this devastation, the trail is completely passable. Judging from the previous trail report, a lot of these trees fell on the trail, and were removed by a work crew (thank you to whoever did that!)There is also a fine waterfall, with a good-sized pool at the base.
Marble Peak Trail Waterfall.jpg
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Marble Peak Trail

Postby runcyclegirl on Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:35 pm

Date Hiked: October 24, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked out from Arroyo Seco Campgrounds. Marble Peak Trail is fine appx 2 miles in but becomes very difficult as the trail parallels and crosses Willow Creek. Many trees along this corridor are snapped, halved in two. The creek and banks are clogged with this debris along with thorny bushes and boulders. We went as far as the Tony Trail junction. We were uncertain if the trail marker would be there but we were lucky and saw two- one next to the trail and a small sign posted high up on a large tree. Marble Peak Trail was very difficult to find under all the debris, but once spotted it was easy to follow. The damage looks recent, perhaps storm damage. It's quite impressive.
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Marble Peak Trail

Postby TRAILS on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:00 pm

Date Hiked: June 4, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Reported by Steve B:

I worked with the Sequoia Trail Crew June 4 thru June 6 from Willow Springs Camp toward Strawberry Valley. We had a ten person crew and we were allowed to use chain saws. We were able to replace the tread past Camp Creek but the soil is very soft and still a little unstable from fire ravel, but we did find the tread. Once past Shovel Handle Creek we hit very heavy brush so we spent more effort clearing brush and only did minimal tread work. The trail from Arroyo Seco to Strawberry Valley is now clear and open. We did not have enough time to finish the trail to Strawberry Camp so we just cut a narrow path through the roses but that will grow back rapidly.
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Marble Peak Trail

Postby mikesplain on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:44 pm

Date Hiked: June 1, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

sbenoit

The Marble Peak Trail is clear and in good condition all the way to Willow Springs Camp the trail is OK beyond Willow Springs until you get to Camp Creek. From Camp Creek toward Strawberry the tread is very poor and is a somewhat difficult side hill with overgrown bushy areas. A BAER trail crew will start work from Willow Creek and work toward Strawberry (and hopefully beyond) Wednesday June 3, 2009.
CAUTION! There is a large ground bee hive in the trail just before the wilderness boundary from Arroyo Seco at Horse Bridge. If you don’t want to get stung walk around the hive to the north, the hive is flagged as of this report.

Oh -- Flies are pretty bad – welcome to Los Padres.
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Marble Peak Trail

Postby mikesplain on Wed May 27, 2009 6:43 pm

Date Hiked: May 5, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

D. Dawson
Specific = With Willow Spring as my destination, I hiked out from Arroyo Seco Campground, going South on Indians Road to the Marble Peak trailhead. This section was Wilderness Freeway. Last year's rock fall that had obstructed the road has since been cleared and overall the road was in some of the best condition I've seen it. Generally the Marble Peak Trail was in good shape and had obviously seen recent work, but there are a couple obstacles for hikers to be aware of. First, there is a massive bee colony in the middle of the trail just beyond Horsebridge and before the Ventana Wilderness sign. Those allergic to bees should avoid this section. Second, beyond the Tony trail junction there are a couple of deadfalls and the trail travels through thick undergrowth, making the going slow. The canyon is, as always, awash in poison oak. Some of the leaves I saw were as big as my hand. Besides some blackened trunks, there is minimal fire damage along this trail, especially
considering the moonscapes of the surrounding mountains. Willow Spring camp is lovely as ever, but there is a very real risk of someone being injured by a widowmaker. The branches there are massive, blackened, and caution is needed when camping beneath them. The creeks and springs are all running well, and the flies and mosquitoes are the worst they've been in years. 100% DEET was completely ineffective. It's blistering out there and the bugs are hungry. Plan accordingly
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Postby dknapp1 on Wed May 27, 2009 11:42 am

Date Hiked: May 23, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

JD
We set-out from the Arroyo Seco Campground, headed down the Indians Road to the Marble Peak trailhead. Overall the Marble Peak Trail was Passable. There is a bee colony on the trail just before the Ventana Wilderness sign. Poison oak is abundant, I suggest long pants and long sleeved shirt if you have bad poison oak reactions.

The trail starts to become difficult to follow just past the waterfall; we lost the trail several times and actually gave up and set-up camp before making it to the Willow Spring camp.

In the afternoon the mosquitoes were bad but not nearly as bad as the gnats, it made for a pretty annoying hike.
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