Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Pine Ridge Trail
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Found retainer!!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:37 am
by Megan Sebay
Date Hiked: May 9, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Hey, Birdsong - I think I found the retainer you were looking for! It was on the grass at the creekside camp. Can I text or email you a photo to confirm it's the one you're missing and that it's in good enough condition before I mail it? My email is meganesebay@gmail.

As for the trail, it's looking great all the way to Pine Ridge. I've never seen anything like it in Ventana :)

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:00 pm
by edormody
Date Hiked: June 3, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Backpacked Pine Ridge to Church Creek Divide into Pine Valley for an overnight. The trail is wide open to Church Creek Divide then chest-high grass into Pine Valley. There was a new hatch of Deerflies which combined with the 90+ Degree heat made the hike out not much fun so the best hiking is at 1st daylight.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:19 am
by pantilat
Date Hiked: May 27, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Enjoyed the work of recent trail crews all the way to Pine Ridge Camp. What used to be brushy as of a few weeks ago is now wilderness freeway from the Bear Basin Connector all the way to Pine Ridge Camp. One can now enjoy the spectacular views into Bear Basin and toward Ventana Double Cone throughout this entire section, and then once over Pine Ridge there are excellent views of the Big Sur River watershed. With the completion of recent trail work, it's Wilderness Freeway for 7.5 miles from China Camp to Pine Ridge Camp. Water is flowing at the Divide Camp, the headwaters of Carmel River and at Pine Ridge Camp Spring. Ceanothus is currently in full and prolific bloom and sections of the wide brush tunnel are completely white with strong flower fragrance.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:28 am
by jjjjeremy
Date Hiked: May 28, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Trail is park-quality between China Camp/Tassajara Dirt Road to Pine Valley Trail. No GPS needed, complete wilderness freeway.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 2:24 pm
by Jim Ringland
Date Hiked: May 6, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: China Camp to Pine Ridge Camp

I hiked from China Camp to the Church Creek Divide on the 6th, then from the Divide to Pine Ridge Camp on the 7th.

The ACE trail crew was just finishing up as I went through. The entire length of this section is now either Wilderness Freeway or Clear. Where they worked to clear brush and smooth the trailbed, it’s Freeway. Where they thought the existing path was good enough, it’s a narrower, slightly more irregular, Clear trail. About the only quibble I could offer is that there is a fair amount of angled trailbed, even on newly worked sections. The crew was working residual trailbed issues on 7th as I went by, but I don’t think they have the weeks to clean up all. (And given limited time, making a wide, brush-free swath was the right priority.) There’s a bit of slumping in spots on the Clear sections too.

The trail crew worked the lateral to Pine Ridge Camp. It’s a little slice of Wilderness Freeway.

Nice to meet Betsy on the trail on the 6th.

The burned sections have *lots* of wildflowers. On the first ascent from the trailhead, I was a surprised by the sheets and sheets of miner’s lettuce, with their little white flowers, carpeting the ground. Over the first rise there are a few large patches of Eastwood's baby blue eyes (Nemophila pulchella). It's a little more purple than the ordinary baby blue eyes (N. menziesii). And it's named for Alice, not Clint. But the biggest show came a little farther on: fields of lupines (mostly Lupinus bicolor), in burned-out chaparral, mixed variously with linanthus, popcorn flower, gilia, and chia. The section from Church Creek Divide to Pine Ridge Camp burned less and was less flowery.

The rattlesnakes were out. I had to detour around one on 6th and had one slither away, after a brief stand-off, on the 7th.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 3:38 pm
by BirdSong
Date Hiked: May 4, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Beautiful trip from China Camp to Pine Valley. MINIMAL poison oak on the trail which was a relief to me. Minor spots of encroaching brush but basically the best conditions overall I've seen in years. Lots of water, green grass, lupine in bloom. Nothing to fear but watch out for rattlers, a few were reported to us by fellow hikers. ENJOY

***One note: one of our party lost an expensive dental appliance/retainer at the creekside camp closest to Jack English's cabin gate. It is clear plastic and was left on the grass. If found please send to [MG, 243A 4th Ave, SF, CA 94118] --- $50 REWARD!!!*** Thanks.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 8:22 pm
by Tom N
Date Hiked: April 29, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hike the Pine Ridge trail from Black Cone trail junction to China Camp as part of a loop. Recent trail work was completed up to a point west of the junction with Black Cone trail. This has made it clear with no encroaching brush and decent tread between the Black Cone junction and China Camp. There was water a three spots between Bear Basin connector and the Church Creek/Pine Valley divide. Thanks to all the volunteer workers and donations that made it possible.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:40 pm
by williamleiter
Date Hiked: April 8, 2018
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Hiked from China Camp to the Church Divide Junction.

Trail was well-defined, easy to follow, offered beautiful views especially of the Church Creek area. No obstacles. No water on the trail between the trailhead and the junction, but easily accessible from near the junction if you go down into Church Creek or Pine Valley.

Did not explore past the junction.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:08 pm
by pantilat
Date Hiked: April 1, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From China Camp to 1/2 mile beyond Bear Basin Connector JCT: Wilderness Freeway. Awesome stretch of clear trail.

1/2 mile beyond Bear Basin Connector JCT to trail closure at JCT with Big Sur Trail: Passable to Difficult. Current and upcoming trail crews are working this section toward Pine Ridge Camp so it's becoming more pleasant as I submit this report. However, whatever section has not been worked on yet will be brushy with sections of eroded trail. The brush continuous down from Pine Ridge Camp for a couple miles before it transitions to a burnt zone with post-fire regrowth. As long as the Pine Ridge Trail remains closed at the Big Sur Trail JCT, there probably won't be too many visitors beyond Pine Ridge Camp... hopefully the Redwood Camp can be reopened sooner which is a fine destination.

Pine Ridge Camp: A narrow trail cut into the brush leads to Pine Ridge Camp which is positioned on a bench with a great view down the Big Sur River drainage to the ocean. Some ponderosa pines survived the Basin Complex Fire behind the camp site. The spring NW of the camp is flowing very well. Unfortunately, merely a few feet away from the campsite I found tons of toilet paper strewn about on the ground and bushes. Please do you part to keep it clean and wild; pack out your toilet paper!


pine ridge firs.jpg
Pine Ridge grove of Santa Lucia Firs


pine ridge toilet paper 2.jpg
Awful mess in the bushes immediately behind the Pine Ridge Camp


pine ridge toilet paper1.JPG
Pack out your toilet paper!

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:36 am
by Tristan
Date Hiked: January 13, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I went backpacking with friends starting from China Camp and trying to get to Pine Ridge via the Pine Ridge trail. The hike from China Camp to Divide was very clear, and from Divide up to the Bear Connector/Pine Ridge junction was pretty clear as well.

However, soon after the Bear Connector junction, the Pine Ridge trail gets very overgrown and is very eroded on some steep slopes. The ground was very moist and loose from rains during the previous week which made the steep slopes quite dangerous at times. We were constantly going through brush for over a mile and had to find an opening to camp as it was getting dark. I believe we ended up camping somewhere near the Pine Ridge/Black Cone Jct.

If I had to do it again, I would just go to Pine Valley from Divide and skip the hassle. Otherwise make sure that there is enough daylight to make the hike to the camp.