Cultural Resources


Effective June 14, 2020 virtually all trails in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest are OPEN. 

The following trails remain CLOSED:

- The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Terrace Creek, Barlow Flat, Sykes and Redwood Camps remains CLOSED. 

- The Terrace Creek Trail from Coast Ridge Road to the Pine Ridge Trail remains CLOSED. 

Most Developed Recreation Sites are now OPEN as are most US Forest Service roads in the Monterey Ranger District. 

The following roads remain CLOSED:

- Palo Colorado Road from "the Hoist" to Bottchers Gap remains CLOSED

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: USDA Forest Service has instituted the following fire restrictions for the Los Padres National Forest (which includes the Monterey Ranger District) effective 05/12/2020. This means:

- No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires

- No smoking except in a vehicle

- Stoves are allowed with a valid California Campfire Permit

cultural resourcesBig Sur backcountry seen from near Marble Peak on the Coast Ridge, circa 1915.(Photo Courtesy of William Karnes)

Just as the diverse mix of elevations, soil types and climates sustains a unique and broad mix of plants and animals, the varied landscape of the northern Santa Lucia has molded a diverse set of cultures, crafts and characters. From native Esselen and Salinan Indians to Spanish missionaries to modern vision seekers, the culture and history of this land where the mountains roll to the sea paint a rich and living portrait of human interaction with a wild and lovely land. Many of the following resources derive from the Double Cone Register, a periodic, web-based publication hosted by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and edited by loving volunteers. Click here for an index of for this remarkable resource.

This list is by no means comprehensive and is in continual evolution. If you have suggestions for any of the sections, please email us at .


Native American

Brief History of the Esselen Indians (Monterey County Historical Society)

Local Chapter of the Esselen Tribe

Local Chapter of the Salinan Tribe

Local Salinan Nation

History of the Salinan People

"Headless Lady of Jolon"



The Big Sur Fire of 1906 (DCQ Spring 2004)

The story of Comings Cabin (DCQ Fall 2001)

Tassajara Hot Springs, circa 1869 (DCQ Winter 1998)

Road to Tassajara (DCQ Winter 2000)

A history of Tony’s trail (DCQ Fall 2010)


Forest Service & Land Management

Our Forest is Born (DCQ Winter 2000)

Failed plan to dam the Big Sur river (DCQ Summer 2002)

History of the Mont. Ranger District, pt. 1 (DCQ Summer 2001)

Forest Conditions in the Monterey Forest Reserve (DCQ Summer 2004)

Early photo of the Ventana backcountry (DCQ Fall 2004)



California Coastal Trails: A horseback ride from Mexico to Oregon, by J. Smeaton Chase (DCQ Fall 2005)

Over the Santa Lucia (DCQ Fall 2006)

The enchanted Mountains (DCQ Fall 2006)

Two Pictures of an unknown bit of the Monterey Coast (DCQ Fall 2006)

The Robinson Jeffers Association

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