Round trip: 12 miles & 2700 ft elevation gain
Hike date: July 2, 2017
Back in 2010 Paul Danielson and I GPS’d the Santa Lucia Trail from Eagle Creek north to Last Chance Camp, a 19-mile/14-hour marathon highlighted by crawling with a saw under an interlocked ceanothus brush canopy – no actual “trail” but the brush only let us move where the tread had been, other directions being impassable. To get there we’d taken an overgrown firebreak up from Indians-ArroyoSeco Road, which in turn led to an overgrown road. At the time Paul spoke of the other old roads that had once been there, now overgrown, and wanted to return later to explore them. We never did that, but with the Soberanes fire re-opening of the road from Hanging Valley to the ridge above, and the firebreak created along the ridgeline itself, I decided to take the opportunity to see the views from high above Hanging Valley.
Last Wednesday a fire broke out at Arroyo Seco, near the junction of ArroyoSeco-Indians Road and the road to the adobe. It was reportedly brought under control relatively quickly through aircraft retardant drops and the local USFS fire crew. I went out to see the aftermath.
Round trip: 5 miles & 1500 ft elevation gain
Hike date: June 29, 2017
The Soberanes fire has greatly disrupted hiking activity in the Ventana Wilderness and caused extensive trail damage from downed trees, slides, etc. To make something positive out of the circumstances, I decided to use a firebreak opened up by the dozers to ascend the ridge north of the scenic “The Rocks” area near the Indians Guard Station, above the Arroyo Seco Trail, for some normally-difficult-to-get views.
Round-trip: 7 miles & 2500 ft elevation gain Hike date: June 11, 2017
With the current difficulty of getting to sections of Route 1, hiking down from the South Coast Ridge Road, instead of up from Route 1, is an attractive alternative – though the slower speeds along the dirt SCCR can give long driving times. Hearing about recent trailwork on the southern end of Three Peaks Trail, Maria Ferdin and I went out to hike it in the opposite direction, from north to south.
I’ll be creating reports on Big Sur Trails & Maps I find interesting – hopefully reading about these places, sometimes remote and obscure, will inspire others to get themselves out into the Ventana & Silver Peak wilderness areas. I did more adventuresome things in the past than I expect to do now, so perhaps will sometimes take a look back.