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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated June 18, 2021

Breaking news: Once again there is a wildfire in the Ventana Wilderness. See the InciWeb link below for information, announcements, and road closures regarding the Willow Fire. Tassjara Road is closed at Carmel Valley Road. Arroyo Seco Road is closed at Carmel Valley Road. Evacuations orders and warnings are in place. 

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7549/

Please people. No Campfires! Violations will result in fines and/or prison time. CAMPFIRES are NOT permitted at backcountry camps in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas. 

Highway One is Open. 

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is Closed -- This 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. Remember ... NO campfires!

For now, most trails and backcountry camps in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest are open. That could change in a hurry with the new Willow Fire. The Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp will be closed until late July. But then again, the whole Monterey District of Los Padres National Forest could be closed if the Wilow Fire gets out of hand.  

Roads closed to vehicular traffic: Arroyo Seco Road at Carmel Valley Road, Tassajara Road at Carmel Valley Road, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road to Prewitt Ridge, Cone Peak Road, Arroyo Seco - Indians Road from Memorial Park to Escondido Camp

Know Before You Go: Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Call the U. S. Forest Service, Monterey Ranger District office if you need more information: 831-385-5434.  

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires are not permited. A permit is required for stove use. 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), Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Closed: John Little State Natural Reserve

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Terrace Creek Trail

Terrace Creek Trail

Terrace Creek Trail

Postby mikesplain on Thu May 28, 2009 6:10 pm

Date Hiked: May 23, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

alundy

The trail was well signed at the beginning and end. It was a bit overgrown at times, but easy to follow. There was a tree down about a quarter or a mile in from the Coast Ridge road, but it was easily negotiable. The terrain was not nearly as fire-damaged as I had expected.
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Terrace Creek Trail

Postby mikesplain on Wed May 27, 2009 6:34 pm

Date Hiked: May 1, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

pdanielson

The upper half from the North Coast Ridge Road down was in remarkabley good shape. It appears that crews had come in after the fire and worked on tread as well as cleared out a number of large deadfalls. In addition there were sections where the brush had been cut back several feet. The tread was obscure in a few places where the post-fire vegetation had grown back, but it was all soft stuff. Cannot speak for the lower half, although I suspect it received the same TLC as the upper parts.
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Trail Conditions History 1999-2007

Postby Site Administrator on Tue May 26, 2009 2:12 pm

Date Hiked: January 14, 2007
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

Conditions reported by: EW
Survey date: 14-JANUARY-2007
General: WILDERNESS FREEWAY
Specific:

Well-signed at both ends, a few very minor Tanoak deadfalls (due to rampant SOD(Sudden Oak Death)), Terrace Creek is easily crossed via well-placed stones and logs, almost anyone could walk this trail's entire 1.6 mile length in under an hour. PLEASE help stop the spread of Phytophthera ramorum(the fungus responsible for SOD) by spraying your boots and washing your clothes after this hike!
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Conditions reported by: NCarl A. Mounteer
Survey date: 12-DECEMBER-2005
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

I would have rated this trail a Wilderness Freeway but for three large deadfall obstructions. One of these was easily negotiable. Two others appear to be fairly recent and required some effort to get around including crunching through dead foliage on one and green foliage on the other. One of these latter two deadfalls is at a spot where there is a precipitous drop off the trail. So paying attention here is important.

I agree with the last post that this is a beautiful trail. It starts with oaks and madrones and sunshine and descends into a cool canyon with pines and progressively larger redwoods.

I got as far as where the trail first crosses the stream at the bottom of the canyon. I was hoping to make it to Terrace Creek Camp but had to turn around to get back to my car before dark.
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Conditions reported by: Jerry Lee
Survey date: 22-OCTOBER-2005
General: WILDERNESS FREEWAY
Specific:

The upper portion of this trail has recently had some serious maintenance; the cuttings were still green. It has been brushed out 5 feet on each side of the trail, leaving only the poison oak. The rest of the trail is in excellent shape, save for one large oak tree (NOT Sudden Oak Death) which has come down on the trail, causing a minor obstacle. Moving at a fast pace I traversed the entire trail going downhill in 30 minutes.

There are many dead oak trees in the Terrace Creek drainage, victims of SOD, so we can expect trail blockages from falling trees each winter for some time to come.

This trail is one of the most beautiful and scenic trails in the LPNF, climbing up through a redwood canyon into oak/bay woodland and ending with a magnificent view of the Big Sur coast and the Pacific Ocean.
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Conditions reported by: Jeffrey Zimmerman
Survey date: 30-MARCH-2005
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

The lower end of this trail is well-trodden, as well it would be with the heavy use the campsite receives. The upper end has encroaching ceanothus, but no deadfalls or other major obstacles. Molly the Dog picked up a few ticks. The tread wasn't broad, nor was it washed out. Only the lower third of the trail is anywhere near water.
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Conditions reported by: Jim K.
Survey date: 4-DEC-2004
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Section: Pine Ridge Tr. jct. to Coast Ridge Rd./Tr.

For the most part, this trail was easy going with no difficulty finding the trail and little erosion. However, there was one major exception: a large fallen tree across the trail (maybe about 3/4 of the way up to the top). The trail is on a steep slope there, so it isn't easy to go around. The log is large enough that it isn't a simple matter to climb onto/over it. We did make it over (2 humans and a dog, and 3 packs) without mishap. It was a bit easier in the downhill direction. There were a few other fallen logs but this one is the only one which really caused consternation.
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Conditions reported by: John Radford
Survey date: 05JULY-2004
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Pine Ridge Trail jct. up to Coast Ridge road/trail

For day-hikers, I'd highly recommend going UP Terrace Creek Trail as part of a Pfeiffer Trailhead - Pine Ridge Trail - Coast Ridge Road loop.

My experience last weekend, going up anyway, was that Terrace Creek trail is in near-perfect condition except down near the Pine Ridge junction where one has to straddle one large fallen tree. Most will have to scramble uphill around it.

I noted no overreaching poison oak to worry about and no brush to speak of, compared to the rest of Ventana. Indeed, I was so pleased with the trail that I thought at the time it would serve as a model for trail condition in Big Sur. Unlike parts of the much-abused Pine Ridge Trail, the Terrace Creek Trail tread is very fine. Needs no work that I saw, but for the one log.

The only complaint I had is that the trail is too steep in the lower half to 2/3s, up to about the point the trail finally veers away from the stream. But I also thought that the steepness was well compensated by the beauty of that section. I maybe hit it at just the right time of day and season, but I thought it was just about the most beautiful little section of trail I've done in the Ventana Wilderness; and I've hiked maybe 2500 miles in Ventana (obviously many repeats of Pine Ridge and such).

I've only been up Terrace Creek trail twice before. This time was delightful.
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Conditions reported by: Greg
Survey date: 12-MAY-2004
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Section: Coast Ridge Trail jct. to Pine Ridge Trail jct.

Terrace Creek Trail doesn¹t appear to be used much but it is still generally in decent condition. Two sections of this trail will likely be gone after a couple good rains, especially the section that skirts around a big redwood about 1/2 mile down from the trail-head on Coast Ridge Road.

Oh yeah, and this time of the year (mid-May) there is plenty of poison oak growing over the trail to help brush all the ****** ticks off your legs too.
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Conditions reported by: Tobias Dansen
Survey date: 13-OCT-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Pine Ridge Trail to Coast Ridge

Walked the Pine Ridge trail the day before (october 12th) to Sykes hot springs, and came back via Terrace Creek and Coast Ridge Road. Pine Ridge was not as heavily used as I have seen before, but met nobody on the Terrace Creek trail (which is nice). Passed a reasonably fresh carcass of a deer, and were startled by a loud noise that must have been a mountain lion, about halfway up the climb to the Coast Ridge Road. Made noise by clapping hands, and unfortunately didn't see the lion. Saw footprints on the trail later on. Trail is clear, fallen leaves make some steeper parts slippery.
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Conditions reported by: Tobias Dansen
Survey date: 13-OCT-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Pine Ridge Trail to Coast Ridge

Walked the Pine Ridge trail the day before (october 12th) to Sykes hot springs, and came back via Terrace Creek and Coast Ridge Road. Pine Ridge was not as heavily used as I have seen before, but met nobody on the Terrace Creek trail (which is nice). Passed a reasonably fresh carcass of a deer, and were startled by a loud noise that must have been a mountain lion, about halfway up the climb to the Coast Ridge Road. Made noise by clapping hands, and unfortunately didn't see the lion. Saw footprints on the trail later on. Trail is clear, fallen leaves make some steeper parts slippery.
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Conditions reported by: Jim Yurchenco
Survey date: 14-21-APRIL-2002
General: FREEWAY
Specific:

Wilderness freeway with a couple of strands of poison oak which could be clipped back.
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Conditions reported by: Gary & Darlene Felsman
Survey date: 14-OCT-2001
General: CLEAR
Specific:

From Terrace Creek Camp to the Coast Ridge Road, the Fire Crews have rebuilt this section of trail. The tread is in fair condition, and the trail is clear of all debris. We even wore shorts.
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Conditions reported by: Joan and Lew Distefano
Survey date: 10-MAY-2000
General: CLEAR
Specific:

The Trrace Creek Trail from the Coast Ridge Road to the Pine Ridge Trail is in good condition. There is some posion oak and a couple of fallen trees. From the Terrace Creek Trail to Big Sur State Park the Pine Ridge trail is good and clear of brush.
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Conditions reported by: Meade Fischer
Survey date: March 1999
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Downed trees on trail at two or three points, need to climb over. About 1/3 mile from Coast Ridge Road branching tree obscures trail. Must climb around over limbs.
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Terrace Creek Trail

Postby Site Administrator on Tue May 26, 2009 2:11 pm

* USFS Trail #3E22
* Parking: Big Sur Station ($4/day)
* Watershed: Terrace Creek
* Junctions: Pine Ridge Trail, Coast Ridge Road
* Connects: Pine Ridge Trail at Terrace Creek Camp with Coast Ridge Road
* Camps: Terrace Creek Camp, Outlaw Camp
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