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 RSIBryce on Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:27 pm

Date Hiked: February 22, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


Amazing hike from Vicente Flat Camp, we had light showers all along the way intermixed with sunshine. Trail was in great shape, small erosive slides in the usual places between Vicente and Dubage Point. There was 1 downed tree between Dubage and Middle Fork. Overall the trail is in excellent shape, brush was very minimal as was the PO. Goat camp was also in good shape with plenty of water at the spring.
User avatar
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby C M Heard on Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:07 pm

Date Hiked: December 8, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)


While on ranger patrol two of us found the following pair of trees down about 1/10 mile above Goat Camp:

Downed oak + downed pine near Goat Camp

It was dark when we arrived but not wishing to take a dangerous downhill detour in our packs, we took a few minutes to toss away the loose slash and trim off the protruding branches. Even with that work I found it necessary to remove my pack; hence the designation of "passable" rather than "clear" for this trail segment. However, there are no other significant obstacles: farther on past Goat Camp the downed madrone noted in a previous trail report was reduced to a step-over during a previous patrol in August.
C M Heard
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:49 am

Date Hiked: December 21, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


I was worried about what we might encounter on this section after the recent storms because some of it goes through some areas that have historically encountered a lot of sliding and some of it is notorious for trees coming down. But we found zero trees blocking the trail other than one that we were able to drag and toss off and a couple of stepovers and a few branches or very small diameter items that I cut with my saw.

On the climb towards the Hare Ridge crossing there were two gullies that had slid a little but I've seen a lot worse on this stretch.

The trip down from Hare Ridge to the Middle Fork crossing was in excellent shape, all the gullies had held up. Middle Fork was flowing stronger than I've seen it but is crossable. I didn't investigate to see how accessible Middle Fork Use Camp was.

The climb up from Middle Fork to Cow $hit Creek was in excellent shape, no sliding anywhere, no trees down.

In the section on the grassy hillside as you climb towards the Apex, the tread was very visible and easy to follow.
User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:51 am

Date Hiked: November 28, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)


I hiked this at the tail end of a Sea to Sky adventure; interestingly, I ran into two different pairs of people who were also doing Sea to Sky that day.

I hadn't had a chance to hike this section for maybe 2 years and was glad to see that it remains in pretty good shape.

The switchback section down to Goat Camp remains precarious in lots of places and there's one brush tunnel section where you are going down a steeper than normal grade where I was glad that I wasn't carrying a heavy backpack.

Nobody was at Goat Camp (maybe because of the rain forecast for Saturday), although I ran into two backpackers who had spend the night there and were headed to Cone Peak, and I also ran into two backpackers on Cone Peak who had spent the night at Vicente Flat but who were going to Goat Camp.

Water was flowing nicely at the water source at Goat Camp, and it tasted great.

From Goat Camp to the Apex the trail remains in good shape, with some brush encroachment and some minor sliding that narrows the trail in places.

Anybody who hikes this trail should consider this: a few years ago this section of trail was virtually impassable, and was completely lost in places, and due to the efforts of Mike Heard and the VWA, it is now an absolutely delightful route to take; so if you are able, volunteer for a VWA work trip sometime, or make a donation, because without past volunteers and funding, you wouldn't have been able to hike this trail.
User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Stone Ridge Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:19 am

Date Hiked: November 2, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report covers the section from the Apex to Vicente Flat Camp.

Section: Apex to Middle Fork crossing: Clear to Wilderness Freeway. Other than a branch the fell from a Redwood tree that is partially blocking (you need to duck under it) the trail just as it arrives at Middle Fork (and this could easily be removed), there were not trees down anywhere and the tread is in excellent shape.

Section: Middle Fork to Hare Ridge: Clear to Wilderness Freeway. The only issues here are the minor sliding in some of the gully crossings as you get up to Hare Ridge

Section: Hare Ridge to Vicente Flat Camp: Clear to Wilderness Freeway. As is typical in this section, there are some very minor slides at a few spots, all easily negotiated.
User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby foo on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:39 pm

Date Hiked: July 5, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is fine; I hiked this (carefully) in shorts.

West Fork of Limekiln Creek is nicely flowing 3 minutes East of Goat Camp. Very easy to fill a bottle here.
Limekiln Creek, in the Eastern half of this trail, is flowing very nicely as well. Also very easy to fill a bottle here.

Vincente Flat has water (flowing nicely as well), but one needs to follow the trail higher up, past the initial camping area, so that's not part of this trail technically.
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:07 am

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:47 am

Date Hiked: June 15, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Ojito Saddle to Twitchell Elevator

There is one easily bypassed madrone on the trail, but it's so minor an obstruction that this laboriously reconstructed trail must be considered clear. It's a pleasure to walk it. Plenty of water still flowing in the West Fork Limekiln Creek.
User avatar
K Vandevere
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Mario on Tue May 27, 2014 7:45 pm

Date Hiked: May 25, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Hwy 1 via Vicente Flat Trail to Goat Camp. Water running generously at Middle Fork Use Camp and near Goat Camp. Goat Camp was extremely overcrowded, probably about 25 folks sharing this relatively small spot. This was memorial day weekend.

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Blarneyguy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:01 am

Date Hiked: March 25, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I walked from Vicente Flat campsite out to the Limekiln/Hare divide on what was more a layover day than anything else. Fog and rain seriously restricted views which curtailed things considerably.

LOT of ticks. Two blowdowns, one coming complete with deteriorating tread. Generally, however, more "Clear" than "Passable," with those exceptions.

Beautiful. Thanks always to the trail crews. These are tough to get to let alone maintain.
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:06 pm

Re: Stone Ridge Trail

Postby Bill on Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:28 pm

Date Hiked: January 19, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail was in a good, hikeable condition. We encountered no obstacles hiking from Vicente flat to Goat Camp (and subsequently Goat to Gamboa trail).

Water was available at two points on the trail:
1. Limekiln stream about 2 miles from Vicente Flats.
2. Goat Camp - spring fed right near the camp site (200 yards from Goat Camp).

There was no other running water at any locations on the trail.

There is a fork at one point in the trail when you get out at the point closest to the ocean, it is important to hug the ridgeline (take the flatter trail) instead of going up the mountain. This was the only point of very minor confusion. If you have a map, you should not have a problem.


Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests