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Skinner Ridge Trail

Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby steveu on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Date Hiked: June 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is clear to Pat spring, trees down are old and trail clearly goes around them, stay right at Mt Carmel junction, trail seems to go straight but makes a right, Pat spring is flowing well.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby Carl Mounteer on Sun May 13, 2012 9:14 pm

Date Hiked: May 10, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I counted 37 downed trees between Bottcher's Gap and Pat Springs Camp (7.3 miles). All but two of these trees were easily negotiable and those two just slowed you down a little by requiring climbing over. The grass on the hillsides between Devil's Peak and the Big Pines Trail was encroaching on the tread but the latter was clearly evident throughout. Because of this and the relative ease of climbing over the two downed trees, I would have rated this trail 'Wilderness Freeway". But a literal reading of the description of "Passable" more accurately describes this trail. In spite of all that, during the 6.5 hours I was hiking this trail, I sure felt like I was on a wilderness freeway.
Carl Mounteer
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby scottshapiro on Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Date Hiked: April 21, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Just came back from 2 nights in Ventana (our first trip there!)

Drove down from SF on a Friday afternoon. Arrived at Bottcher's Gap at 6:45p and hit the trail at 7p. Hustled up the hill to Skinner Ridge and arrived at the makeshift campsight at 8pm on the dot. Just a few minutes of sunlight to spare. Woke up to many bees and other flies - it was approaching 80 degrees well before 8am. We had yet to see anyone else on the trail.

Dropped down to Turner Creek saddle and trekked up to Devil's peak in a little over an hour. Trail is wide and in excellent shape through here. Hung out at the lookout for an hour and then dropped our bags right at the Mt. Carmel turnout. Went up and back in 50 minutes and had clear views in all directions from the top. But you had to get onto the boulder to see much.

A very hot and sweaty 2.5 hours to pat spring. Well maintained but narrower trail. Met some nice folks including Steve, the VWA trail leader who were hard at work in the blazing sun near what used to be spaghetti camp. I couldn't believe how hot it was - must have been over 90 degrees. We should have brought more water. Way more. We had thought about continuing on the ventana trail but it was far too hot and allegedly very bushy.

Pat Spring was a delight. So refreshing after not having water for a couple of hours on the trail. Amazing views from the upper camps and the water was flowing very nicely from the spring. Great shade in the early morning with great views of sunrise.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby Jim Ringland on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:15 pm

Date Hiked: March 2, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Wilderness Freeway from Bottcher's Gap to Devil's Peak. From Devil's Peak to the Skinner Ridge / Big Pines / Ventana Double Cone Trail junction, the trail is a little narrower and there is less sense of heavy use. All is easily followed and obstacle-free, save one or two easy step-over deadfalls near the Big Pines junction.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:29 pm

Date Hiked: February 22, 2012
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Bottcher's Gap to Comings/Pine Creek Junction

A lot of poison oak and other vegetation has been cut back from the trail since I last passed this way (in October). There's even been some tread work done. As the recent work stops at the Turner Creek Junction, I suspect it was the VWA Youth in Wilderness crew's November Turner Creek work outing that was responsible for most of the improvement (although some work looks more recent). Over Devil's Peak and down the other side the trail remains excellent, although the passages through the brush are beginning to narrow in some places.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby AdamW88 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:51 pm

Date Hiked: January 9, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Bottcher's Gap to Turner Creek Junction:

Trail is clear and easy to follow.

Some minor encroachment in few areas with the occasional poison oak sprig to watch out for.

Specific problem areas include a patch of berry vines between Bottchers and Skinners Ridge, deer weed and grasses near the Skinner's Ridge high points, and poison oak and ceanothus encroaching the last 1/8 mile down to Turner Creek Gap.

Also, I would like to note I picked up several shotgun shells on the sides of the trail.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby Farley on Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:01 pm

Date Hiked: September 18, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report is for the Skinner Ridge Trail through to Pat Springs Camp.
From September 14th to 18th, the Fire & Fuels Crew from Rancho Cielo in Salinas partnered with VWA and the Forest Service to clear and improve this trail from Bottchers to Pat Springs. The goal of the project was to open up this trail to facilitate pack stock access in to Pat Springs to support a planned trip in mid-October with crews from ACE to re-build what I call the "Big Pines Triangle" - basically the trail from the main Skinner Ridge (VDC?) trail dropping east at the two burnt sign posts towards Big Pine Camp and the trail from Big Pine Camp south to Pat Springs Camp.
The crew removed a large amount of encroaching brush and downed logs while restoring a few badly slumping sections.
Thanks to Duke and Pat with the Forest Service for packing in supplies to sustain the crew at Comings Camp, and to the Rancho Cielo crew for all their great work on this wonderful section of trail.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby rt1 on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:56 am

Date Hiked: August 14, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Bottchers Gap to Turner Creek Junction
The trail is in good shape. There are no deadfalls. However, there are a few long stalks of poioson oak and a few small low hanging branches. This maintenance could be accomplished with a pair of loppers while hiking through; I just forgot to bring my Fiskars with me. One maintenance walkthrough and you've got a Wilderness Freeway.
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Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby Dan Gearhart on Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:40 pm

Date Hiked: March 11, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail from Bottchers Gap to the area of Mill Creek is clear without any obstructions. A dead fall was was encountered just past the creek that we climbed over. We cut and cleared much of the tree to make climbing over easier but couldn't remove the trunk. All the stream/creek crossing were passable with good water flowing in each one. Between Mill Creek and Skinner Ridge, we cleared encroaching brush and low overhangs at about a half dozen places. There is a dead fall across the trail just before the trail makes the sharp left to the North onto Skinner Ridge. We cleared about half the fall but again the trunk was too large to move. From the left turn going North up the ridge the trail was clear as it followed the fire break. The turnoff to Apple Tree Camp / Turner was clearly visible and the trail junction sign is still in place. The fire stopped a few feet short of the sign. Going up the west face of Devils Peak the trail was clear with no obstructions all the way to the true summit. Met a couple of backpackers who were returning from Pat Springs who said the spring is flowing very good. A few pictures from along the way at: ... 133403817/
Dan Gearhart

Re: Skinner Ridge Trail

Postby rt1 on Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:16 pm

Date Hiked: December 28, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Did a hike out to Pat Spring and did some clearing along the way. We removed almost all trees across the trail that require ducking under and a lot of the post fire madrone sprigs that obscured the trail. There is some poison oak in places but it is mostly below knee height. The signs at Turner Creek Saddle and Commings Cabin were still there but only the signposts remain at Spaghetti junction. The tread is in good condition. Mill Creek is flowing quite well.
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