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Miller Canyon Trail

Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:42 am

Date Hiked: January 14, 2021
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

*** 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, Stoves with valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled and flagged the first three miles of the Miller Canyon Trail.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Trail is passable, with a few difficult spots due to fallen trees or post-fire vegetation, and occasionally confusing due to offshoots and animal trails. Some tread is in mediocre shape.

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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
IMG_1060.jpeg
Flagging along the trail.
IMG_1041.jpeg
A dry Miller Canyon Trail
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby VWA_Ranger on Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:29 pm

Date Hiked: December 12, 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 patrolled and flagged the first two miles of the Miller Canyon Trail.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Trail is passable, with a few difficult spots due to fallen trees or post-fire vegetation, and occasionally confusing due to offshoots and animal trails. Some tread is in mediocre shape. The endpoint of their patrol was approximately N36°19.010 W121°36.293.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby seagoat1724 on Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:57 pm

Date Hiked: October 23, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Between Clover Basin Camp and Miller Canyon Camp
Trail is good, but the trail maintenance crew is a cattle herd. Trail is soft and dusty but easy to follow trampled brush, which is not so good looking. Seems like the cows went up stream past Miller Canyon Camp. Also, many trails lead up the right canyon wall (looking upstream) most seem to go to Clover Basin but maybe there is a way out from up there. No clear evidence of them continuing on trail past Miller Canyon Camp, which is just past the camp and climbs away from the creek to the left looking upstream.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby seagoat1724 on Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:26 pm

Date Hiked: October 22, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Between Carmel River Trail Junction and Clover Basin
Trail is passable. Some sections good but most of the tread is overgrown or falling down slopes. Frequent stream crossings make staying on trail more challenging and multiple false trails are present. Cowpies present 1/2 mile before Clover Basin camp.
Clover Basin camp has evident cow activity and is rutted up and covered in cowpies making ground lumpy, pocked, and dusty.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby taylor on Thu May 09, 2019 10:13 am

Date Hiked: May 7, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

The Forest Service has posted a sign at China Camp indicating the Miller Canyon Trail is lost or impassable.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby Alison on Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:37 pm

Date Hiked: February 9, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

We attempted this trail via Carmel River trail to see how far we could get. We soon discovered the answer: not far. We maybe got a 1/4 mile on the "trail" before giving up. There's nothing there besides some game trails that appear and disappear.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby amy patten on Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:48 pm

Date Hiked: August 30, 2017
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

A report on trail conditions received from Brian Rowlett from August 2017. Most of the Miller Canyon Trail is difficult to impassable. Brian conducted this trail survey as a USFS volunteer and was approved to enter the Soberanes Fire closure area for the survey.
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Miller Canyon Notes:

From the end of Jeffery Road to Carmel River Trail intersection

(0.2) First tread issue was .2 miles from trailhead - 100 ft of washout

(.07) Then mostly good until .5 miles where they were a few more short sections of tread washout (either undercut or buried from slides). The tread is never really "good" it is always a bit rough and uneven/broken.

(1.0) Just past some unnamed use camp (fire ring) the tread worsened. Hard to follow the trail as missing sections of tread become longer and the brush/grass gets thicker. Previous flagging helped in this section.

(1.5) About .5 miles past the use camp, the tread was mostly not there, and not much flagging to rely on. You have to follow the GPS track here closely to stay on trail. Following the GPS you discover islands of tread that are mostly intact, but quickly they are gone again.

(1.8) The lost tread becomes more problematic after another .3 miles as the hillside gets steeper - some scrambling here in loose/steep soil. Conditions persist on and off through the first half of mile 2.

(2.75) The second half of mile 2 though mile 3 the poor conditions deteriorate further. There is no differentiation between the tread - if you can find any - and animal tracks. Steep canyons here probably cause enough GPS tracking error here that even close monitoring of the GPX track provided little help. We may have missed some sections of tread that were really here are it was hard to stay on trail.

(4.0) There is one longer island of tread here that is welcome relief - maybe a whole quarter mile of walking on the actual tread.

(5.0) Basically the conditions keep getting worst and hit bottom as you approach mile 5 where you face the steepest/loosest scramble of the day. And then no obvious way back down to the river and Miller Camp.

(5.0) Miller Canyon Camp - is a welcome site. Up to this point we have not encounter any big obstructions on the trail except a couple downed Oak where we had to cut though the canopy with clippers to make a path. The issue up to this point is the trail itself - not a lot of saw work.

We periodically find the tread as we head downstream toward Clover Basin Camp. But at least half the time we are in the river or bushwhacking on the slope along the river.

(5.5) Clover Basin Camp - past here we are walking the river more often than not. Much of the low part of the trail much have been washed way or covered by the water from heaver winter rains. Very slow going for almost 2 miles.

(7.5) We are out of the river most of the time now finding more and more tread sections on both sides of the river all the way to Bluff Camp.

(8.0) From Bluff Camp, Carmel River trail looks like a wilderness freeway to is at this point.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby Elena on Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:47 pm

Date Hiked: July 4, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

This is update to my previous post regarding 2.3 miles section of the trail, from Carmel River to Clover Basin camp.
First about 1/2 mile trail has plenty of poison oak alongside, but not too tall. After that, trail opens up, follows creek past some interesting cliffs and not too overgrown. At about 1 mile the trail climbs higher up along southern side of the creek and, for about 1/2 mile it is more or less clear, with some good views of the canyon ahead.
At about 1.5 miles trail returns to the creek. From here to Clover Basin we were walking through dense thickets of ferns, berry vines, poison oak and other brush.
With help of flags, and watching for subtle signs of trail we followed it without problems. And since it is along the creek, there was no chance to get lost.
Camped at Clover basin: million mosquitos in the evening.

I made some video recording along the way. It is a little shaky, but will work for the purpose of showing trail condition.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9THEdLdt7E[/youtube]
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby Elena on Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:14 pm

Date Hiked: June 18, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from China Camp trailhead down to Clover Basin, camped by Miller Canyon camp and hiked back up next day. Great trip, when I have more time, will go again for the loop hike, returning along Carmel river and Pine valley.
This review is for Miller Canyon trail between China Camp and Miller Canyon Camp.
Route is marked with tape. The trail is faint, but it is there. On the way down it was pretty obvious where to go. However, when going up, I lost trail couple times, but since I knew that it is there, it was not a big problem, and take long to find it back.
Few places where trail, very narrow, contours a steep hillside over loose soil.
Few places (3 or may be 4 ) where fallen trees blocking trail. One very large (3+ feet in diameter). I manage to go over it on the way down, but going up I had to make my way around it through poison oak.
Lost of poison oak. Out of 5 miles between Jeffrey Road and Miller Camp, for at list one full mile I was surrounded by poison oak.
It was brushing against knees, shoulders and occasionally overhanging, so it was brushing against my hat as well.
Since I am well aware that poison oak is unavoidable there, I wear protective clothing (including gloves and bandana on my face) and bring spare clothing when backpacking in Ventana.
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Re: Miller Canyon Trail

Postby alexmsf on Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:13 pm

Date Hiked: June 12, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Previous posts were dead-on. We headed up to China Camp and although we faced curtains of poison oak and negotiated multiple fallen branches, those ribbons were super reassuring and kept us on the sometimes very faint trail. We did have to hunt a few times as some ribbons had fallen off (we retied those) but always ended up back on track somehow. We camped at the Nason Cabin site where there was just about enough water to filter from the creek. Other than a couple of creek puddles, that was the last place we saw water. Ironically, it was once we popped out of the final thicket where no more ribbons or signs were to be seen, that we took a wrong turn. We followed the last few hundred feet of the clear trail onto private land through a gate and onto a Jeep road. Somehow we ended up climbing too high and too soon, and joined Tassajara Road by the junction to Mira Observatory, a mile and a half up the road from China Camp. Still trying to figure that one out. Otherwise a beautiful though buggy trail, no trash or other people (hurrah!), very dry with lots of wildflowers, grass seeds and stickers, butterflies, birds, evidence of meals (piles of feathers and fur), deer, squirrels and a rattesnake or two. Amazing vistas from ridges and across meadow areas.
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2016-06-14_07-43-58.jpg
2016-06-14_07-43-08.jpg
2016-06-14_07-42-52.jpg
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