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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

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

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. 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. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. 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 with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are 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 (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Stone Ridge Trail

Stone Ridge Trail

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Inger on Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:46 pm

Date Hiked: March 8, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is clear. Thank you for the volunteers and friends of the trail for the maintenance efforts. I last visited the trial on Dec 9 and found it impassable. Yesterday (3/8/2020), I hiked a lollipop loop up Kirk Creek to Cone Peak, back down Gamboa and across Stone Ridge. I was so delighted to find a clear trail and am so grateful for the dedicated trail angels.Thank you!
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Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:44 pm

Date Hiked: December 21, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Pics from Stone Ridge Trail trip in previously posted report.
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About 1/4 mile from Vicente Flat Camp

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Tree 1 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (before switchback)

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Tree 2 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (before switchback)

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Working on snag on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (before switchback)
IMG_1757.jpg (65.41 KiB) Viewed 3789 times

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Snag Cleared

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Tree 3 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (after switchback)

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Tree 4 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (after switchback)

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Trees 5 and 6 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (after switchback)

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Tree 7 on west/north side of Middle Fork crossing (after switchback)
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Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:51 pm

Date Hiked: December 21, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section covered in this report: Vicente Flat Camp to the Apex

Section: Vicente Flat to Hare Ridge Crossing: Wilderness Freeway, one tree down (with a few ~6" trunks/branches) in a flat section where you can easily walk around it.

Section: Hare Ridge Crossing to Middle Fork: Clear to Wilderness Freeway, some slumping in places but no trees/branches obstructing the path

Section: Middle Fork to Apex: Passable to Clear. There are a number of trees down along here, all are passable (stepover or under), the snag reported by Inger (which was on the climb up from Middle Fork, 2/3 of the way up to the switchback) completely blocked the trail (some bay laurels had come down together) with several trunk sections and dozens of interwined branches, we had saws with us and cleared 100% of this out of the way. The rest of the downed trees etc. on this section would require more time and manpower but are negotiable without difficulty.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Inger on Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:54 am

Date Hiked: December 8, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

I've hiked Kirk Creek to Cone Peak several times. On this rainy December day I decided to try Stoney Ridge out of Vincente Flat. Made it just past Limekiln Creek before I encountered a large tree across the trail. Note, this was not a tree trunk but a thick network of branches (crown?). The best that I could see, it was covering at least 10 feet of the trail. I would have had to scramble down slope (in moist soil, thought this was a bad idea) or up around the obstacle, but was not in the mood to bushwack. In my opinion, it was fairly impassable, although, like I said, I think that a determined soul could have bushwacked above the fall and made it through. I turned around back to Vincente Flat and down to the trailhead.
Inger
 

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby SMoore on Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:27 pm

Date Hiked: June 21, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked from up near Cone Peak down to Goat Camp, then returned the way I came, so this report covers ONLY the upper portion of the Stone Ridge Trail, between Goat Camp and Ojito Saddle (where the trail connects to the Gamboa Trail and Ojito Camp Trails). This upper section of the Stone Ridge trail is passable. The tread is well defined and easy to follow. Most of this section is easy sailing (except that it's essentially all uphill from Goat Camp to the saddle). There is encroaching brush along most of the trail, but most of it isn't encroaching too badly. There is a notable exception, not far above Goat Camp, where one has to push through Ceanothus that's dense enough to steal inadequately secured things off the back of your pack without asking or telling you. A variety of wildflowers are in bloom right now (June 2019), and the views out over the Pacific Ocean (or over the layer of fog covering it) are stunning, so it's a beautiful trail. Several spots along the route are getting damaged by people stepping off trail, usually to get around encroaching deer weed or other vegetation, but sometimes to shortcut switchbacks. At this time (June 2019) there is a strongly flowing creek with a pretty waterfall and interesting limestone-like deposits about 100 yards east along the trail out of Goat Camp toward Vicente Flat, but there is also a smaller flowing creek about 100 yards west of Goat Camp as you head up out of camp toward Ojito Saddle. Other than that small creek, there is no water between Goat Camp and Ojito Summit, and much of the trail on this SW-facing slope is shadeless, so it can be a sweaty uphill journey to the saddle. The steepest part of this trail segment (roughly the middle third of it) climbs through a long and rather interesting Ceanothus tunnel. That tunnel provided me with welcome shade during my hike back up to the saddle on a warm, sunny day, but the exposed parts of the trail offered a cooling ocean breeze that was absent inside the tunnel.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Carl Mounteer on Wed May 08, 2019 4:45 am

Date Hiked: May 2, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail inbound from Vicente Flat Camp on May 2nd to Goat Camp and outbound on May 3rd back to Vicente Flat. The tread is clear but the trail is ridden with poison oak and other brush is encroaching the trail. Also, between the use camp on Limekiln Creek and Goat Camp, I counted 20 downed trees on the trail. Most of these were easily negotiable but 2 required crawling under. There were three substantially flowing streams that had to be crossed. The stream crossing the trail about 100 yards before Goat Camp was flowing nicely but difficult to cross without getting your feet wet and slipping.

This was, for me, and extremely strenuous trail, even before the last ascent to Ojito Saddle.

I picked up one nymph Black Legged Tick at Goat Camp. I saw no ticks on me on my out or back.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Erika on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Date Hiked: April 13, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Trail from Vicente Flat to Cone Peak via the inland route (joins the service road) is completely clear. There are some downed trees from Trail Spring to a bit past Goat Camp which are a minor nuisance. There is tons of poison oak, didn't encounter any ticks. Water flowing at Trail Spring, Goat Camp, Middle Fork, and Vicente Flat. For navigation, Gaia topo has the correct trail (Gaia USGS topo does not). However Goat camp on Gaia is nowhere near the true location. The National Geographic paper map has it in the right spot. If you're only going to do half of the loop I would recommend the coastal leg that passes Middle Fork and Goat camp. It has wildflowers and the coastal breeze, whereas the inland leg is hotter and doesn't have many nice views.
Erika
 

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby emlennon on Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:13 am

Date Hiked: December 31, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail was dangerous in spots between Goat Camp and the Middle Fork crossing. There was one area with a large tree fallen over the trail on a steep dropoff. We had to climb over and it was a bit sketchy with packs. A fall would have been dangerous in this area but the only other option would be to have turned around. There was one additional area where the tread was washed out down the hill with just a narrow area to pass with bad footing. Those were the only 2 areas I considered dangerous, but there were other fallen trees, most of which could be stepped over, some of which required crawling on our hands and knees to pass. Definitely could use some maintenance but would require a chainsaw. [Ed: reminder chainsaws illegal in wilderness, would require logging crosscut saw] In other areas the footing was very soft on the downhill side, with footprints where others had stepped deep into a soft area. The trail is eroding in spots.

There is plenty of water in all the usual spots.
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Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:33 am

Date Hiked: December 22, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We enjoyed the day after Winter Solstice by hiking from Kirk Creek to Limekiln State Park via Vicente Flat Trail and Stone Ridge Trail and Twitchell Elevator/Twitchell Road/Alvin trail.

Stone Ridge Trail report from Vicente Flat Camp to the Apex (Stone Ridge crossing):

General Comment: I was shocked at how well this has all held up and in particular by the fact that there is still virtually no brush intrusion and that there are so few deadfalls.

Section: Vicente Flat Camp to Hare Ridge crossing: Wilderness Freeway, no obstructions, very minor slumping in a few spots as you get close to Hare Ridge crossing

Section: Hare Ridge Crossing to Middle Fork crossing: Wilderness Freeway, no obstructions, a few of the gullies are eroding a bit

Section: Middle Fork Crossing to the Apex: Passable to Clear: Overall in pretty good shape, there are a few deadfalls on the climb up from Middle Fork, they can be negotiated, we cleared a snag that involved a number of 1"-4" branches in this vicinity and another snag that had sharp branches poking at your face; there is erosion and slumping in the section directly above Middle Fork as well as on the grassy sidehill below the Stone Ridge.
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Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Jeff Cannon on Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:17 pm

Date Hiked: November 23, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Just got back from a fully immersive, wet, sloppy hike around the Cone Peak loop from PCH. Celebrated the first storm of the Winter by getting out in it! The whole trail is in the best shape I have ever seen it. Brushy areas under control and all dead fall cut. Water is good in all the regular places: Trail Springs, Goat Camp and the main branch of Lime Kiln Creek. One note: the use trail from Lime Kiln SP up Twin Peak gets more use than the Stone Ridge Trail, so be sure you continue North/South and don't get suckered in to turning onto the use trail. A sign would be helpful here.
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