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Pine Ridge Trail

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby JoshHayes on Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:24 am

Date Hiked: November 6, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail was still well kept, easy to traverse on the way way down Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes. But a long needed rainfall fell the following day and though it didn't effect the trail much (other than muddy and a little slippery) for the most part, there was one new downed tree we had to climb around to exit (within the last two miles before you return to the ranger station parking lot where the Pine Ridge Trail launches). The tree was directly in the path, so it's probably been moved now, but if not, it just takes a big step over/climb over type deal.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby C M Heard on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:45 am

Date Hiked: July 13, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The segment from Big Sur Station to Terrace Creek Camp is getting overgrown with brush (especially deerweed in the open section overlooking the State Park), and as usually happens people are walking around that brush and breaking down the edge of the trail:
Encroaching deerweed causing trail edge breakdown

The segment from Terrace Creek Camp to Redwood Camp is for all intents and purposes a Wilderness Freeway. As of this writing it is pack stock passable all the way to Sykes Camp -- indeed, a trail crew supplied by Forest Service mules was spiked there July 8-13, 2010 -- and it is free of brush and major obstacles all the way to Redwood Camp. Another crew is scheduled to be out starting July 20 to make it possible to get pack animals from Sykes to Redwood. Below is a photo of the trail taken from the saddle between Barlow Flat Camp and Logwood Creek, looking down toward Logwood Creek ... note the very old Forest Service blaze on the oak tree.
View of trail from saddle between Barlow Flat Camp and Logwood Creek
C M Heard
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Betsy M on Sun May 16, 2010 7:31 pm

Date Hiked: May 8, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

A VWA trail crew removed most of the fallen trees between Church Creek Divide and Pine Ridge.
We found awesome displays of sky lupines in the fields above the Divide. Not so much in the large meadows yet, but more in the burned sections closer to the divide.
Overall, the stretch of trail from China Camp to the Pine Ridge Camp turn off is in fine condition. A couple of trees remain: one 16-inch pine on the Divide Camp Trail, and a 20-inch oak between Divide and Pine Ridge.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby sugg on Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:28 pm

Date Hiked: April 17, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

This trail was wide open and clear, no anxious feelings or map check urges. Moved from China Camp trailhead to Black Cone intersection and then onto Black Cone. Trail slowly and comfortably grinds uphill. Lots of little water drainings. Great views down into Church Creek area and then west out towards Pine Valley and beyond. There was some snow at the higher point just before Black Cone Trail. Ventana Wilderness Expressway. Here's a few photos in sequential order Nice intro trail for someone who doesn't want to bushwhack or get lost..... or perhaps a cruise down to Big Sur. How about a snow to sea run?
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby greg meyer on Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:38 am

Date Hiked: April 23, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

The Youth in Wilderness Project of the VWA has spent two weekends in March and April clearing the eastern end of the Pine Ridge trail. Light brushing was done along the path between the trailhead on the Tassajara Road and the Church Creek Divide. From Divide Camp we cleared approximately 3 miles of the Pine Ridge Trail from fire-killed brush and stump-sprouting growth. We also removed 8 trees that had fallen across the thread.

On the Bear Basin trail, which connects Pine Valley to the Pine Ridge trail west of Divide Camp, we removed mountains of fire-killed ceanothus that had choked the trail and removed 3 dead tanoak trees that blocked passage. Both trails are now easily passable with good thread and little or no encroachment by brush. Many thanks to all the student volunteers from UCSC and CSUMB that donated their time and energy to this worthwhile project.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Morgan Harris on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:29 pm

Date Hiked: April 24, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

I worked with the VWA's Youth In Wilderness crew on this trail on March 26-28th and April 23-25th. Between these two separate outings we were able to clear a signifigant amout of deadfalls and brush from the trail, as well as pulling shrubs and pruning plants that threatened to encroach upon the trail in the future. From Divide camp to the Bear Basin junction is now cleared and pristine. The "walk-arounds" that had been the de-facto routes around the deadfalls are now blocked off, and the original tread is accessible. A beautiful trail that all should take advantage of!
Morgan Harris

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Noble on Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:56 pm

Date Hiked: April 1, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We hiked this trail from China Camp to Big Sur 31 March-2 April. It was very well worn and easy to follow the whole way, with only a few trees down, all of which were easy to climb over, under or around. We were caught in snow and eventual darkness between Church Creek Divide and Pine Ridge Camp site, but we were able to follow the trail, even in these conditions.
There are three tricky spots. The first is on pine ridge, about half a mile closer to China camp than Pine Ridge Camp Site. The trial was a bit difficult to follow as the terrain levels out in the saddle under South Ventana Cone, though we hiked this section in the dark and snow. The second tricky spot is the junction with Big Sur Trail. The Pine Ridge Trail goes downhill and to the right, whereas the Big Sur Trail continues straight. This was a bit confusing and only marked by an arrow of stones in the trial, marking the way towards China Camp. The third tricky section is at Redwood Camp. The trail crosses Redwood Creek after coming down the hill from Big Sur Trail junction, then disappears into Redwood litter and downed trees on the west bank of the creek. The trail reappears at a very prominent signpost a bit downstream, however.
Even with snow melt, there were only two river crossings of note. Big Sur River at Sykes required wet feet (or waders, which we did not have) to cross safely. It was just possible to cross Logwood Creek while keeping our feet dry, using gaiters, but a boulder hop would not have been possible, safely.
Overall, the trail was easily passable, with good footing and clear tread.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Brian Manley on Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:23 pm

Date Hiked: March 20, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

China Camp to Pine Ridge Camp: Minimal deadfalls, no brush encroachment, and well-defined tread. The turnoff leading from the Pine Ridge Trail to Pine Ridge Camp was slightly overgrown and a few deadfalls required creative hurdling, but nothing serious.
Brian Manley

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby johnradford on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:16 am

Date Hiked: March 21, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Tassajara Road to Pine Ridge Camp.

ROAD: Tassajara Road is normal for this time of year, which means rough and to be driven with caution. BUT, the online County Road Advisory "2WD vehicles not advisable" is very misleading. I've driven this road many times in winter (careful to avoid rainy weather), always with 2WD vehicles. This is the first time I've ever had an up-to-date road conditions report and it is worse than no report. The road is ALWAYS "inadvisable" for 2WD but that only means, "no problem if you go slow as needed". There were no ruts too deep or rocks/slides too high. There were fewer washboard sections than any trip I've done in 30 years.

It's the classic story of crying "Wolf" when there is none until the warning becomes meaningless. What cry will be made when the road actually IS "inadvisable"?

TRAIL: new dead-falls starting a half mile past Church Creek Divide and off and on for a mile or so. There are several mature trees needing cross-cut sawing - perhaps 6 sections to cut (12 cuts or so). Otherwise, very clear and clean.

FLOWERS: almost no Lupine, just a couple of Poppies, a scattering of Bluet patches no Ceanothus in bloom anywhere. Spring is late.

WATER: intermittent creeks and seepages are flowing briskly, better than in most years.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:52 pm

Date Hiked: March 14, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Big Sur Station to Ventana Camp junction: Trail in excellent condition. Only obstacles are three logs that are easily stepped over or around.

Ventana Camp junction to Terrace Creek: Excellent trail. A few more logs to step over - no problem.
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