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Big Sur Backpacking Suggestions

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        Updated October 8, 2018:   All routes are viable but some are brushy and so require more experience/preparation

Ventana Wilderness backpacking suggestions from Betsy MacGowan, Ventana wilderness doyenne:

When planning fall/winter/spring a hike consider the weather and how much rain might have fallen.  Fall is a great time for river hikes, or anywhere that requires driving on a dirt road, since creek crossings are easy and roads are driveable. Winter and spring are great times for the ridge trails. 

And be sure to check latest trail conditions for your route - moderate brush found on loop routes !

2 days:
  •  Carrizo Spring Camp  [map]  [RoundTrip=5mi]
  •  Pine Valley  [map]  [RoundTrip=11mi]
  •  Vicente Flat  [map]  [RoundTrip=10mi]
  •  from Los Padres Dam:  Any camp on the Carmel River Trail  [map]
  •  from Arroyo Seco Recreation Area:  Any camp on the Marble Peak Trail  [map]
  •  from Memorial Park:  Any camp on the Arroyo Seco Trail  [map]
  •  from Route 1:  Boronda Trail to:  Cold Spring Camp  [map]  [RoundTrip=11mi]  or  Rainbow Camp  [map]  [RoundTrip=20mi]

3 days:
  •  Carrizo Spring Camp  [map] with excursion to Cone Peak  [map]  [RoundTrip=16mi]
  •  Pine Valley  [map] with excursion to Pine Ridge  [map]  [RoundTrip=18mi]
  •  Vicente Flat  [map] with excursion to:  Cone Peak  [map]  [RoundTrip=22mi]  or  the Stone Ridge Loop  [map]  [RoundTrip=26mi]
  •  Carrizo Loop:  Carrizo Trail, North Coast Ridge Trail, Arroyo Seco Trail, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=17mi]
  •  Arroyo Seco Recreation Area Loop:  Marble Peak Trail, Horse Pasture Trail, Tony Trail, Marble Peak Trail, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=27mi]
  •  Route1↔ArroyoSecoRecreationArea One-way ("point-to-point"):  Boronda Trail, Big Sur Trail, South Fork Trail, Marble Peak Trail, Arroyo Seco Recreation Area  [map]  [RoundTrip=27mi]
  •  Route 1 Loop (ambitious due to 72 hr parking limit):  Boronda Trail, Big Sur Trail, South Fork Trail, Marble Peak Trail, North Coast Ridge Road, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=31mi]

4 days:
  •  Black Cone Loop:  Pine Ridge Trail, Black Cone Trail, Marble Peak Trail, Tony Trail, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=31mi]
  •  Arroyo Seco Recreation Area Loop:  Marble Peak Trail, Horse Pasture Trail, Church Creek Trail, Pine Ridge Trail, Black Cone Trail, Marble Peak Trail, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=38mi]

5 days: (Jack's addition)
  •  ArroyoSecoRecreationArea-MemorialPark Loop:  ArroyoSeco-Indians Road (closed to vehicles), Rodeo Flat Trail, North Coast Ridge Trail, North Coast Ridge Road (dirt), Marble Peak Trail, back to start  [map]  [RoundTrip=45mi]   [NB: if hiking in reverse direction, descend on Arroyo Seco Trail instead of Rodeo Flat Trail]

? days: (Jack's addition)
  •  Grand Double Loop from Arroyo Seco Recreation Area: [map]  [RoundTrip=106mi]

Silver Peak Wilderness backpacking suggestions:

  •  Buckeye Camp:  via Buckeye Trail  [map]  [RoundTrip=7mi]  or  via Cruikshank Trail  [map]  [RoundTrip=9mi]


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