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La Ventana "The Window"
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Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
La Ventana "The Window" on 12/10/2012 00:44:34 MST Print View

I did this hike to La Ventana “The Window” with Maria, an organizer from the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group, which is a meetup group. This terrain feature is a notch in the ridge west of Ventana Couble Cone and the namesake for the wilderness. We drove into the Boyscout Camp below Botchers gap and started our hike from there. The first 1.5 miles of trail to Jackson Camp was maintained with a few blow downs which were manageable. This started the river crossings which were necessary because of the steep nature of the Little Sur drainage. The tread along the section between Jackson Camp and Fox Camp at Jackson Creek, approx. 1.2 mi, was visible because of the camp and the Boy Scouts tramping out there. This section however was not brushed and had quite a few blowdowns and log jams. We encountered Jackson Creek, which we would follow, at Fox camp and that is where the tread was totally obliterated for most of the way and the blow downs, log jams and bushwacking started in earnest. There was however flagging which we followed from Jackson camp and continued clear up to The Window. We made our way to Happy Camp where Jackson Creek forks and made camp there.
Woke at 5:30, got ready and left at first light. Besides the flagging that we encountered Maria had a GPX file loaded on her GPS with the track which came in handy when we were off the flagging. We took the north fork of Jackson creek which led us to a saddle just below The Window. To the west of the saddle was the head waters of the Little Sur River. Dropped down a little from the saddle then began the climb up along the Little Sur River until it went underground, then continued up to The Window. It was pretty steep but it had rained a few days earlier so the ground was moist and a little compacted which helped quite a bit. We did about 2600 ft in 2.3 mi. from our camp to The Window. Got back to camp about 4:00, made a fire and relaxed for the evening turning in around 7:30.
After a good nights sleep, got up after sunrise, packed up and headed out about 8:30 and got back to the Boy Scout Camp at 2:30. We made better time going out because of the downhill and familiarity with the route. This trip was on the order of a full body contact sport with bruises to prove it.

The gate down to the Boy Scout Camp by Botchers Gap

Bridge crossing the Little Sur River by the Scout Camp.

The Little Sur River. On our way up we must have crossed this at least 10 times.


One of the many river crossings.

Jackson Camp where the maintained trail disappeared.


There were some really nice redwood groves up Jackson Creek

This was our camp at Happy Fork where Jackson Creek forks.

Not the ideal hang but it worked.

Looking back down the canyon on the way up to The Window. That is Pico Blanco in the background.

There was some serious bushwacking on this trip.






View of the southern Ventana Double Cone from The Window

The cliff above The Window

Looking south from The Window.

View to the west from The Window.

Log of visitors to The Window.

View down the east fork of Jackson Creek with Pico Blanco on the left.

One of the many big redwoods that got taken down in the wind event a year ago last Nov.

Confluence Jackson Creek and the Little Sur River.



View of The Window which is the notch in the ridge with the Ventana Double Cone to the left and Kandlbinder to the right.


Edited by meld on 12/12/2012 07:04:05 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: La Ventana "The Window" on 12/10/2012 03:37:56 MST Print View

No way, I am going to do this exact same trip in late December or early January when my friends get off for winter break. But we are going to make it into multi-day trip. We are going to hike to kandlbinder and somehow bushwack around the north side and get to the double cone lookout. I am also going to see if I can walk down the south side of the window, apparently there is a massive waterfall down in the gorge.
We might hike back on the longer trail leading from the double cone to botchers gap.

How far away was a water source from the window? We are going to need to hike some water up to the window.

Did you see anyone else on the way up there?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: La Ventana "The Window" on 12/10/2012 06:26:25 MST Print View

Fun time Marc. Bruises, like trip souvenirs.

Embrace the brutality.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"La Ventana "The Window"" on 12/10/2012 09:46:56 MST Print View

Nice Marc, but just looking at those photos makes me itch!

Green Thumb
Brings back memories on 12/10/2012 11:04:06 MST Print View

Thanks for the pictures. I embarked on at least two weekend trips each month from Bottcher's Gap, Los Padres Dam, and Tassajara Road in 2003 and 2004. I recall one trip departing from Bottcher's Gap. 5 buddies and I hit trail late in the afternoon heading over Devil's Peak toward Ventana Double Cone. The guy that lived in the trailer at the trailhead stared in disbelief when we told him we would be back the next day. I introduced at least a dozen people to backpacking in Ventana Wilderness. Again, thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
La Ventana on 12/10/2012 11:41:09 MST Print View

Nice trip report. I haven't done that hike yet but I'm liking the looks of the area judging by the photos. I can't get enough of the greener, wetter, more lush scenes of the northern Los Padres.

Everything is dry and brown down here at my end of Los Padres NF.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
La Ventana "The Window" on 12/10/2012 12:38:07 MST Print View

Marc you are a backpacking machine! Great photos and TR. Hope to see ya at Coe.

Edited by Creachen on 12/10/2012 12:46:53 MST.