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Santa Lucia Trail

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby seagoat1724 on Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:51 pm

Date Hiked: June 7, 2019
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Trail is passable to difficult. Mostly fine with some brush, however one particular spot where trail has fallen away makes it difficult/dangerous. The landslide is below and at the trail just before Last Chance Camp. There is a go around being forged above but it is also sketchy.
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Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby Seaner on Sun May 12, 2019 3:05 pm

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

From the summit (going down)
11 tree falls incl. several step overs
ceanothus tunnels fairly brushy
Trail looks fine otherwise

From the Saddle
Brushy sections near the top
Beautiful trail otherwise

From the SL/SLP trail junction
overhead tree fall
overhead limb
1 medium tree fall
1 large tree fall
Trail looks fine otherwise

From 5th & 4th creek crossings
Beautiful open trail!

From 3rd cc
1 small tree fall
Beautiful trail otherwise

From 2nd cc
1 small tree fall (step over)
Beautiful trail otherwise

From 1st cc
1 large tree fall
Beautiful trail to TH

Took pictures of all referenced obstacles, please let me know if you want to see them.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby aa6xa on Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:37 pm

Date Hiked: March 29, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Santa Lucia Park TH to Junipero Serra Peak. From the TH to the junction with the Peak Trail spur the trail was clear and easy to follow. A few downfalls, but there were use trails around them. Some of the meadows near the bottom were very wet, but it has been raining a lot recently. A few sections of trail had streams running down them. I didn't have to push through any brush on this section.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby Samuel on Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:27 pm

Date Hiked: March 16, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Repeat of my trip from 2017 starting from Arroyo Seco to the Adobe to the Santa Lucia Trail proper. Saint Lucia Creek was in a heavier flow than last time and almost knocked me over in a few spots, but once I acclimated it wasn't too bad. The gushing nature of the creek and Falls were spectacular in a now very lush setting. Not much has changed since last time but someone may want to reflag some of the creek crossings as those can be confusing and some of the flaggings looks like they're about to go. I don't know how much longer Santa Lucia creek will be in heavy flow like this, but check it out while you still can.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:28 pm

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

This report is for section from adobe (Camp Cawatre Trail) to Last Chance Falls viewpoint.

Adobe crossing to first crossing (of 8): Clear except for one fallen-small-tree go-around and one slump, tread in good condition.

Crossings 1-8: Passable - no real tread, must follow what looks reasonable looking for flags which mark crossings. Can be tedious, but no obstructions.

Crossing 8 to Last Chance Falls viewpoint: Clear (except for Poison Oak) with many flags helping mark trail. EXCEPT for short bypass of fallen section of tread (making that too dangerous to use) - flags mark bypass which is difficult (and care must be taken) but short.
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Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby gary busey on Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:17 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread

My partner and I hiked from the Indians station to arroyo seco. After the junction to J Serra the trail conditions decline and stay that way all the way until you drop to the water. Some tread and and flagging are visible. There a quite a few minor washouts but nothing to hairy. The previously mentioned washout is not too bad to bypass and the poison oak isn't terrible along the use path above it.
You will descend into one waterway and then climb back out and hit a saddle at 3600 ft. the trail at this time follows an old firebreak that continues toward east towards the Indians road. Be sure to trust your map and and descend towards the water. Route finding through this section is more important then seeing trail tread. Dont follow the fire break. As you head towards the water the trail condtions will improve immensely. Cairns and flags and all that jazz. The trail gets easier and easier until you hit the freeway that is the north end of the trail.

Ps. We got snowed on and it was great!

Sparklefeet and Ms.Gary Busey

Ed-jwg: FYI the "firebreak" is actually an old road that at one time connected to Hanging Valley
gary busey

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby Robstone on Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:10 pm

Date Hiked: February 25, 2018
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

A friend and I attempted to hike from Memorial Park Campground to Last Chance Falls/Camp and ultimately bailed. The trail was clear up to the St Lucia Peak spur trail, from then on the Santa Lucia Trail becomes a nightmare of thick brush, downed trees, and many deadfalls. The trail is faintly visible, we had to stop to route find many times and got properly thrashed by the sharp brush. It took us about 3 hours to go 2 miles to the next ridgeline. At that rate, there was no way we'd make it to Last Chance before dark so we bivvied on the first ridge at a small clearing just big enough for a tent (seemed like we weren't the first people to do so at this spot). We bailed the next day and tried to clear as much dead limbs as we could but the trail needs some major work before another attempt.

I'm hardy enough to push through a proper bushwhack but this trip was very tough. I'm not sure if the trail opens up after that first ridge but if it's anything like the first 2 miles then I would not recommend a through trip attempt without a machete, loppers and proper bushwhack attire.

Good Luck.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby Samuel on Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:27 am

Date Hiked: March 25, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from Arroyo Seco to Last Chance Camp and back via Indians / Arroyo road. Made it around the wash out just fine, but can imagine this option may not be everyone's cup of tea due to the poison oak. Also noticed a couple slides from the hillside over the trail just past the trail head proper where it first skirts the canyon before the major creek crossings. Not sure if these have been there a while, but they're relatively close together. In one case it looks like a Manzanita and it's root system have come down over the trail not leaving much room between trail and edge. This is on a narrow and steep portion of the trail, and I would call it passable for now, but can imagine when the soil dries out or with another rain, these could become trouble spots. Beyond this the trail is in great shape and its a great time to hike it, super lush and scenic. Creek crossings were fairly clear and wild flowers are starting to make their appearance. Hiked to Last Chance camp then left the trail to head up the creek to the falls, so didn't see much of the trail past the camp.

Seeing the Arroyo Seco in heavy flow on the way back from Indians was a delight.

Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby pantilat on Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:25 pm

Date Hiked: February 5, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

An update on the dangerous slip out described by Jack Glendening in prior reports:

There has been additional slide activity and the trail bed has essentially been wiped out; whatever is left is loose and about to tumble. As Jack mentioned, a slip here would have serious consequences as the fall path is essentially a bedrock cliff down to the creek. The trail is no longer a safe option. Fortunately, one can back track a few feet and go up, over and around the slide area through some poison oak. A new trail will likely need to be constructed above the slide area in this vicinity.

The trail becomes increasingly overgrown beyond the Last Chance Falls viewpoint and especially beyond the Bluff Usecamp where the brush tunnel is collapsing in spots (turning it into a hobbit tunnel) and vegetation is growing in the trail.
Scary run out with new slide activity
Only a few inches of trail bed remain.
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Re: Santa Lucia Trail

Postby Betsy M on Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:53 pm

Date Hiked: January 2, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I also hiked the section from the Adobe to the connector trail. I agree with Jack's assessment of the trail. Best it has been in at least 20 years. Brush and overhanging tree limbs cleared way back. Tread good. Just a pleasure to hike this section. I'd call the main sections wilderness freeway, and the relatively short creek crossing section passable.

One update: I took some time to scout out all the 8 creek crossings. In a couple of places they were confusing, and now with new flagging (I added to Jack's highly visible flagging in a few places) this route is easily followed. Just be careful when the poison oak leafs out. On this misty day, the moss was green and glowing. Newts were wandering everywhere.
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