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Pine Ridge Trail

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:08 pm

Date Hiked: November 10, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From China Camp to Church Divide: Clear. No blowdowns, but some light brush developing in a few spots where the post-fire regrowth is vigorous.

From Church Divide to Bear Basin Connector: Passable. There's about a dozen blowdowns on this stretch, some new and some old (from last winter/spring). Most are step-overs. A couple are messy with a short work around off the covered tread. One large burnt ponderosa trunk (3+ ft thick) is new and is the most difficult to surmount. The tread is characteristically thin in a couple spots west of the Carmel River headwaters with leaf litter and gravel build up. There's water still water flowing near Divide Camp and also the reliable Carmel River headwaters crossing has plentiful water.
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby seagoat on Sun May 26, 2019 6:07 pm

Date Hiked: May 10, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Pine Ridge Trail, between Big Sur Trail and Pine Ridge Camp Trail
Trail: Passable. Gets progressively better as you go along. Some heavy brush sections and blow-downs but also many open sections or areas where chaparral is shorter.

Pine Ridge Trail, between Pine Ridge Camp Trail and Black Cone Trail
Trail:Wilderness Freeway. Very open. Recently (last year) maintained by Ace crew. Camp sign replaced with legible writing.

Pine Ridge Camp Trail between Pine Ridge Camp and Black Cone Trail
Trail: Wilderness Freeway. Cleared same time as previous entry. Ace crew.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby scotcal on Sun May 26, 2019 7:42 am

Date Hiked: May 24, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Pine Ridge camp to Redwood Canyon

Plenty of good trail info to this point. At the junction, the trail virtually vanishes. Its flagged with ping plastic, but flags are strating to deteriorate. The growth is well over head height in many places with the tread barely visible. We worked our way down the ridge to the start of the final descent into redwood canyon before pulling the plug and backtracking.
Theres so much deadfall at the lower elevations that we were forced to crawl through the overgrowth. No campsite is wprth that kind of effort.
I would venture to say currently impassable, but everyone has a different perception of suffering.....

We backtracked uphill through the overgrowth to Pine Ridge camp, which btw is an amazing camp. The spring has a pipe mortared in for sub surface water. Filtered of course.

We hiked back into pine valley via the bear basin trail. This trail has a fair amount of overgrowth and deadfall. Some of the deadfall is big and messy, requiring detours through the brush.

Ticks are sparse, deerflys are out but slow.
The big question is, how to get the thick layer of plant resin off our clothing.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Mon May 13, 2019 7:45 am

Date Hiked: May 11, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is from China Camp Trailhead to Church Divide: Clear. Trail is clear and heavily used. Blowdowns and collapsed brush skeletons have been removed. The uneven tread through the grassy sections were much better than a month ago.

Wildflowers: The upper part of Pine Ridge Trail through the grassy sections is traditionally a "hotspot" for spring wildflowers. While there are still lots of flowers to enjoy, so far this is a below average (based on my experiences) year for flowers in the higher elevations of the Ventana, and especially the upper Pine Ridge Trail. My theory is it went from winter straight to summer bypassing spring in the higher elevations. Unusually snowy and cold conditions through mid March kept growth to a minimum and then the last six weeks have been warm and dry. The net of it is things dried out before they could get going. Late season rain (March and April) seems most important for higher elevation flowers and this spring has been dry. However, with rain in the forecast (potentially substantial) I'm wondering if the fields of lupine will be resurrected? Time will tell...

Access: Tassajara Road was recently graded (it was much needed) and it's a much smoother ride.
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Date Hiked: April 12, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Access: The Tassajara Road is worse for the wear after a wet and snowy winter so it's even bumpier and slower than usual, but passable. The large puddle at the LPNF boundary has dried up substantially and is no longer very deep. I hope grading this road is in the plans this spring!

Trail: From China Camp TH to Church Divide is mostly Clear with a few exceptions: (1) a few chaparral limbs succumbed to wind and/or snow weight and have fallen into the trail; (2) the tread in the grassy areas has become narrow and very uneven; and (3) vigorous brush growth post-fire is starting to encroach in a couple spots.

From Church Divide to the Black Cone Junction is Passable. There is about a dozen trees and limbs over the trail. Most of these are new from the winter storms. About half are foot+ diameter trunks. Some are easy step-overs or step throughs but a few require walking below or above the tread to get around.

From Black Cone Trail Junction to the Junction with Pine Ridge camp is Wilderness Freeway. The trail to Pine Ridge Camp is also clear except a large downed tree blocks the trail at the entrance to the campsite.
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Mackenzie L on Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:55 pm

Date Hiked: March 9, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

This difficult rating is only for Tassajara Road; we did not actually hike Pine Ridge as planned.

We made it within 4.8 miles of China Camp in my Forester and came upon a large, deep puddle that covered the width of the road. I attempted to drive us along the right side, since there was already some tread from tires. I felt like we got stuck about halfway over the puddle, so I put it in reverse and gunned it out of there. We decided to turn around since it was unclear if we’d be able to drive back over it the next day. A few trucks came up as we’d turned around and were probably able to go over it just fine. If you have a vehicle with more clearance than 8.5”, you’d probably be okay.

Hope to get back out there in a few weeks, if the rain lets up!
Mackenzie L
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:38 pm

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby KilaMoon on Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:57 pm

Date Hiked: December 29, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked Pine Ridge to Pine Valley to Jack's cabin, then turning onto the Carmel River trail, following the Carmel River Trail for around 2 miles until I turned around and headed back up. Clear and beautiful the whole way with a few spots where I had to navigate around small trees that were down, but nothing too crazy and nothing impassable. Cold nights but beautiful.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby pantilat on Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:45 pm

Date Hiked: November 18, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Conditions are largely the same as the last report from China Camp to beyond the junction with Bear Basin connector. There's a burnt step over log just after (west of) Church Divide and another log (~1 ft diameter) just before the Carmel River headwaters. Just after Divide Camp the crown of a small blown over oak is over the trail (a couple cuts of primary branches ~6 inch diameter should clear it out).

There is still seeping water in the Woodwardia Ferns above Divide Camp, but a good flow of clear, cold water is found at the Carmel River Headwaters, a reliable water source.

Ceanothus shoots and some scrub oak are filling in very quickly along a few spots of the trail between China Camp and Church Divide. Another reminder just how quickly the brush returns after a fire. Spots that were bare earth between brush skeletons last year are already filling in quickly. This rapid growth is already starting to encroach on the trail in a few sections, however it's not enough to lower the rating yet.
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby David Hirsch on Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:40 pm

Date Hiked: October 30, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The Pine Ridge Trail from the Church Creek Divide to Pine Ridge Camp is mostly clear with the exception of a few step-over/under logs. From the Pine Ridge Camp turn-off to the Big Sur Trail intersection, the trail is difficult to impassable (heavily overgrown, plenty of rough, slumped tread, and frequent deadfall) but it is flagged and can be followed.
David Hirsch

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Jana N on Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:50 am

Date Hiked: September 1, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Backpacked into Pine Valley from China Camp, the trail to Pine Valley was great, from Church Creek divide to Pine Valley there was a good mile stretch of head high grass and brush encroaching in the trail, but still very passable and the trail was easy follow.

I did not see any snakes, and only was bitten twice by bugs. There were face flies, but not many biting bugs out, granted I did wear bug spray. I also did not get any ticks.

There was water down at the creek in Pine Valley, enough to be able to filter plenty of drinking water. DO NOT FORGET YOUR WATER FILTER if you are staying the night, and it's good to have even just for a day hike into Pine Valley. I passed a woman on my way out that had gotten heat stroke, and needed water, she had a very difficult time getting out, it took her 7 hours.

There was a lot of traffic in Pine Valley, I saw about 12-15 people, mostly all that were camping in Pine Valley. My friend who hiked in on 9/2/18 passed 10 people on her way into Pine Valley.

This is a great trail, but I do want to emphasize that the trail is very steep, rugged, and unforgiving. The entire trail is either an incline or a decline, and very steep most of the time. If you don't hike often, or are not fit/strong physically, I would not recommend this trail.

I want to send a big Thank You to the Ventana Wilderness Alliance for all of the hard work on the trail, you've done an excellent job, and it is very much appreciated. Without your efforts, many of the trails would disappear, so I sincerely Thank You for the continued work in the Ventana Wilderness.

Happy Trails!!!
Jana N


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