Explore the Trails

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (updated June 14, 2020) 

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

 

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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