Trails

CURRENT RULES, REGS, and CONDITIONS - Los Padres National Forest is Closed.updated January 23, 2023

Unprecedented Forest Closure: On January 13, 2023, Los Padres National Forest officials issued a 60-day closure order for four ranger districts (Monterey, Santa Lucia, Santa Barbara and Ojai) in response to the extreme winter storms that delivered heavy rain and wind across the Forest. This closure order is effective from January 13, 2023, at 12:00 PM through March 14, 2023 at 12:00 PM. The closure order will be superseded or terminated when conditions and recreational access improves. Forest employees will be assessing the extent of the damage over the coming weeks and months and will scale back the closure based on improving conditions. See this link for more information

When the closure order is lifted, campfires will be allowed in all areas of Los Padres National Forest (including the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas).  A California Campfire Permit is required to build a campfire. Permits are available for free download at this link.   For restrictions that remain in effect and more information, see this link.    

Roads: Road closures have been the norm so far in 2023. Please read this advisory from Monterey County. Check Caltrans'  current Highway 1 conditions here before you drive the Big Sur coast. Closures are in affecgt and others may may be put into effect at any time. You can also call a hotline at 800-427-7623It is also smart to check the condition of rural roads maintained by Monterey County. Check this link before planning a trip

Roads with long-term closure to to vehicular traffic: Palo Colorado Road from the Hoist to Bottchers Gap, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Nacimiento Campground to the coast, South Coast Ridge Road from Nacimiento-Fergusson Road to the intersection with Prewitt Ridge Road, Cone Peak Road

Know before you go: Call the USDA Forest Service, Monterey Ranger District office if you need more information at 831-385-5434

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and for additional information. 

 

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