Trails

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. 

 

 

Trail Conditions Reports

 

Please note: Wilderness travel in the Big Sur backcountry during the summer months can be dangerous. Extreme heat, impassable trails, and unrelenting topography conspire to make summer backpacking difficult for even the most experienced explorer. This is not the high Sierra. Loop routes that look do-able on a map may be impassable in the field. Summertime exploration of the Big Sur backcountry is best done closest to the coast.Trail and camp conditions change constantly. Always research trail conditions before you head out and be prepared for the many perils associated with Wilderness travel. Apply information gathered at ventanawild.org at your own risk. VWA assumes no liability for the usage of this information.

Welcome to on-line Trail Conditions Reports for the Los Padres National Forest Monterey Ranger District and California State Parks on the Big Sur coast. These reports are provided as a public service by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance. Here you will find (and hopefully share) the most up-to-date information for trails within the public lands of the northern Santa Lucia Range, from the coastal bluffs to the craggy heights of the Big Sur backcountry.

Planning a hike? Check out our Plan a Trip page for maps, weather, road conditions and other helpful resources. Once you have a route in mind, click on the appropriate land designation below. For simplicity’s sake, all USFS trails are categorized by wilderness area. Non-wilderness USFS trails are included in the nearest wilderness area. You can also view trails by network. We have organized USFS trails into seven regional networks. The five coastal state parks each serve as de-facto networks.

Once you’ve selected the wilderness, state park or network that interests you, browse the list of trails within and click on a trail name to view parking information, watersheds, junctions, connections and campsites. Select Latest Conditions to view previously submitted trail conditions reports, or choose Submit a Trail Report to upload a report from your own recent experience. When submitting reports, be sure to use the accurate trail name and please separate trip reports into reports for constituent trails. You may also wish to separate trail reports into sections (Section: trailhead to camp A, Section: camp A to camp B, etc.) This is especially helpful for trails with sections in varying degrees of repair. Please note - inquiries about conditions of a particular trail should be posted at the Ventana Discussion Forum, not here!

As you can see, this entire project depends heavily upon input from trail users such as yourself. Reports filed here are also an important resource for the VWA Trail Program when selecting new projects. So please take the time to tell us how the walking went on your last trip!

 

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Ventana Wilderness
Trails

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Silver Peak Wilderness Trails

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State Parks
Trails