Highway One is Open. The washout at Rat Creek has been repaired and the highway is open throughout Big Sur. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road -- which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge -- is significantly damaged and will be closed indefinitely. 

What's Open: NEW: The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp IS OPEN effective April 13, 2021. 

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness trails inland can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) and from Tassajara Road off of Carmel Valley Road). Along the coast, Wilderness trails may be accessed via the Pine Ridge Trail at Big Sur Station, the North Coast Ridge Road, the Boronda Trail, and the De Angulo Trail on Highway One.

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are open. 

What's Closed: Click here for a map that shows the current fire closure boundaries

Road Closures: Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Cone Peak, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge Roads remain closed.

Know Before You Go: Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever. 

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and stoves are currently permitted in the backcountry. Click here for a permit and take it with you

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and for additional information. 
Open for day use: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve


Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Pine Ridge Trail

Pine Ridge Trail

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby ADonCap on Mon May 30, 2016 9:55 pm

Date Hiked: May 28, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My wife and I and our two children (9 and 11 with packs on weighing about 20 pct of their body weight) hiked from Big Sur Station to Ventana Camp on Friday, May 28. We left around 1 p.m. We encountered a rescue crew helping a hiker with a sprained ankle about 1.25 to 1.5 miles in. There were a few tricky areas that we encountered (see Alamofox's post and some slippery/sandy down hill parts) but, generally, the trail was clear and our family found it to be quite passable. The trail to/from Ventana Camp from the junction was clear.

We beat the crowd and unknowingly set up camp at the entrance of the trail to the swimming hole. We ran into Birdman who was very helpful and nice to our kids and we appreciate everything he has done. Apologies to our fellow hikers for clogging the swimming hole trailhead up, but we are grateful for all of the kinds words, smiles and laughs from the weekend. It was one we will not soon forget.

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby CJDiM on Tue May 24, 2016 6:24 pm

Date Hiked: May 22, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Look, everybody knows this is Wilderness Freeway from Big Sur to Sykes. But beyond Sykes, you had better be prepared for some tough slogging. Sykes to Redwood Camp is passable, with lots of slump and encroaching brush. But almost everything east of Redwood is barely passable: lots of encroaching ceanothus almost all the way from Pine Ridge to Church Creek Divide, with little respite. You used to be able to do the whole PRT as a dayhike if you set up a car shuttle, but it's hard to imagine doing the whole PRT in anything less than two long days now.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Steve B on Tue May 24, 2016 7:36 am

Date Hiked: May 23, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)From Big Sur to Sykes

Thank you Alamofox for the great trail report, from your photos we knew what was in store for us before we left home; we knew what tools were needed and the location of the trees.
Yesterday we were able to clear all the trees East of Terrace Creek with a 5 ½ foot crosscut saw however the last tree to the East was a problem tree that slid each time we cut it so there is now a step over tree instead of a duck under tree that we will have to go back and get. We cleared the trees that you noted and a few more, we cleared eight trees. We will try to do another trip to get the trees West of Terrace Creek soon.
Thanks for your report.
Last edited by Steve B on Tue May 24, 2016 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Steve B
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Location: Del Rey Oaks, CA

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Alamofox on Sun May 15, 2016 6:19 pm

Date Hiked: May 12, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Tread is very well-defined, and no brush encroachment to speak of. Deadfallls noted below.

There is a sign at the trailhead advising that the parking fee at Big Sur Station increases from $5 per calendar day to $10 per calendar day (Hope VWA is tracking that money somehow). You need to pay for any part of a day, even if your total time away is less than a multiple of 24 hours. My wife saw one vehicle near the place we parked that had a citation for $71 dollars waiting for the owner to return. Very easy to find parking on a Thursday.

Hiked in on May 12, 2016 as far as Barlow Flat. The next day, day-hiked to Sykes. Hiked out on May 14. In general the trail is in very good ccndition. Saw some apparent brush clear-back work just before Ventana Camp junction. Also made the acquaintance of Fat Popi on the way out, who was coming in to do some trail work with axe in hand. He was accompanied by the best dog on the trail.

Got to the hot springs at Sykes at about 11:00am. The lower "tub" had a few people, however, we got the upper tub to ourselves for quite a while. By the time we had had enough, the Friday arrivals started to come in. We encountered about a dozen or so people arriving at Sykes or on the trail as we went back to Barlow. At Barlow, I don't think anyone went across the river to camp in the old main campsite, although the was easily fordable. I didn't spot a way to hop rocks across. On Saturday morning, we easily encountered 70-80 people heading in the direction of Sykes (I just stopped asking...always got the same answer)

Starting with the return hike from Sykes, I noted the various obstacles along the way. Most are minor. Took photos and GPS readings(decimal degrees) to fully document them. Most of the photos were taken from the east side. Only added comments to the photos where more was needed to be said. Noted that there is a trail work day occurring as I write this, so maybe some of these will be gone by the time I post this.

36.24021 -121.77465
0.66 miles from TH

This is not "family-friendly." We encountered a young family trying to negotiate this as we came out. A permanent bridge needs to be installed

36.24109 -121.77257
0.86 miles from TH

36.24102 -121.77239
0.9 miles from TH

36.2452 -121.7689
1.57 miles from TH

N36.24392; W-121.75509
2.8 miles from TH

The footing is narrow as you get to the washout itself. Some very "handy" roots sticking out from the side help secure yourself. I found the creek bed the best way up and down. The switchback on the east side is very steep on the portion that returns to the trail. Cutting in some reinforced steps in this would make it better. It seems very slippery going down as when travelling back to the TH.

36.24935 -121.73825
5.22 miles from TH

36.24778 -121.73195
5.75 miles from TH

36.24705 -121.72127
6.8 miles from TH

36.24715 -121.71683
7.19 miles from TH

36.24697 -121.71504
7.5 miles from TH; just before the trail going down to Barlow Flat

As you can see, this one is a "two-for"

36.24853 -121.70709
8.16 miles from TH

36.24943 -121.70534
8.4 miles from TH

36.24836 -121.70385
8.53 miles from TH

36.24777 -121.69555
9.61 miles from TH
Somehow I neglected to take a photo of this one. Three parallel limbs cross the trail. Two are fairly low and one is about eye level, but that one doesn't completely cross the trail. All are about 3-6 inch diameter. You can step up on the lower ones and get around the upper one easily enough.

Last, but certainly not least. The seat on the pit toilet at Barlow, south-side camp, needs repair or replacement.

I found that sitting sideways worked out okay for me, but the condition is a bit off-putting and there was lots of evidence at an adjacent tree that many people chose to do not try it once they made the climb up.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby randomtrailuser on Fri May 13, 2016 11:32 am

Date Hiked: May 7, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked down to Pine Valley from China Camp.

There's some pushing through chapparal at the upper reaches of the trail, but for the most part it is in pretty good condition. This trail gets a lot more traffic than some. Still plenty of PO to avoid though.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby Fatpopi on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:48 pm

Date Hiked: April 28, 2016
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Ran out to ventana camp this morning,swam for 2 hrs and just got back. No more logs blocking pine ridge to ventanatrail turn off. Cheers

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby fat popi on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:30 pm

Date Hiked: April 8, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report is from Terrece creek back towards BSS
I have hiked this about 20-25 times in last month. On way to Ventana camp trail mostly but also to Terrece.
There are 3 Crosscuts needed The first is 100 yrds before the 1st washout (Heading toward Bss) Its overhanging bay. The second is very close to this,rotton oak. and the last is after the second washout,stepover oak...
Myself and other members of Big Sur Rec Crew continue to work on Pine ridge from VentanaBoundry to Pine ridge camp. We just finished Ventana camp trail(Go see it!) and will finish Terrece this week. If anyone would like to join us Email us at Cheers!
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby runcyclegirl on Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:40 am

Date Hiked: March 26, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is for the section between China Camp and ~0.65 miles from the Bear Basin Connector.

Note: the section between China Camp and Church Creek Divide is intermittently brushy with ceanothus tunnels, oak, and madrone. We are working to clear these sections in a series of work trips this year. However, the tread is well defined and no trees to obstruct passage.

A VWA/USFS volunteer trail crew spent an extended weekend clearing brush and removing trees from a section of the Pine Ridge Trail between Church Creek Divide and a little over a mile west of Divide Camp. A total of 11 trees were cut or removed from the trail and a ~0.25 mile was brushed out. With the exception of a large tree near the headwaters of the Carmel River, the perennial spring on the Pine Ridge before the Bear Basin Connector, the trail is clear; this tree was too big to cut safely so we widen the tread around the root ball and removed tip hazards for safer passage.

This is the second in a series of work trips to clear the upper section of the Pine Ridge of the heaviest brush. We are working our way west toward the Black Cone/Pine Ridge Junction. If you would like to volunteer for this project or any trail crew, you can sign up with our Meet-up to get the most up to date information on our work trips. ... ce-Meetup/

Special thanks to all the volunteers who have so far worked to clear this section of the Pine Ridge: Lorin Moll, William Akey, Kalani Shen, Bill Vogt, Will Salmon, Liam Headley, Lynn Moncher, Frank Martin, Marc Eldridge, John Radford.

Additional photos from this project can be found here:

March 26-28: ... /26851256/
February 13-15: ... /26746934/

Maria Ferdin

A large pine tree (~2.5 ft) just before Church Creek Divide. Before.


Uprooted tree on trail.

We widen the tread at the base of the root so hikers can get around safely.
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Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby GRITSinNYC on Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:45 pm

Date Hiked: March 26, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We backpacked from China Camp to Pine Valley for the Easter Weekend. The most treacherous part of this hike is the drive up Tassajara to park at China Camp - it's doable, but there were downed trees and large rocks. The trail was in perfect condition. There was definitely some overgrown bushes in some sections that you had to push through and a couple of smaller downed trees, but otherwise the trails were well worn, evident and extremely easy to follow. I didn't see many ticks or much poison oak until the we descended into the Carmel River Trail towards Pine Valley. It was an absolutely PERFECT hike with great weather, very few flies, and manageable poison oak growth.

Huge thanks to the Ventana Wilderness Alliance crew that was out there doing trail maintenance and clearing a large tree in the trail. It was completely taken care of on our way back! Thanks for the great work!

A perfect weekend in the Big Sur backcountry!

Re: Pine Ridge Trail

Postby hotspringadventures on Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:15 pm

Date Hiked: March 25, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Backpacked in to Sykes Camp on 3-23-2016 thru 3-25-2016. The trail is still in very good condition, however the first creek crossing above Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park campground with the notched log is getting more and more washed out. I was also day hiked into Sykes on 3-20-2016. In 3 days time, it was noticeably more deteriorated. I had my hand saw with me this morning on my way back to the Big Sur Station trail head and cut/moved at least seven fallen tree/branches ranging from 4-9 inches in diameter. A larger saw is need for two 12 inch blow downs past Dolores Creek (towards trail head) and one 15 inch tree just past Barlow (towards Sykes). Other than the items mentioned above, the trail tread is in great shape. There are also couple of pockets of poison oak have gotten closer to the edge of the trail since my last visit in February.
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