Explore the Trails

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated July 16, 2021

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective July 15, 2021, COLD CAMPING ONLY IN THE BACKCOUNTRY. NOT ONLY ARE CAMPFIRES AND SMOKING PROHIBITED IN BACKCOUNTRY CAMPS, SO IS STOVE USAGE. If you are going backpacking, take food that does not require any sort of open flame to prepare. Campfire use and smoking is also prohibited at Designated Use Sites but stoves are OK at those few locations for now. Bottom line ... no open flames anywhere until we get winter rains.  

The Willow Fire Forest Closure Order has been revised. See this link for what trails and camp remain closed and a map.  

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 new? The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp IS OPEN. Remember ... NO campfires or stoves!

For now, most trails and backcountry camps in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest are open. The Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp will be closed until late July.   

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: NO CAMPFIRES OR STOVES. Stoves are permitted only at a few Designated Use Sites in Los Padres National Forest. 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

 

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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