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Hiking Ventana or Big Sur
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Hiking Ventana or Big Sur on 04/03/2007 18:38:40 MDT Print View

The snow levels are still too low to get into the backcountry. I was wondering if there was any lower elevation hikes around Yosemite/Emmigrant or Seki. If not my buddy and I were discussing Ventana or Big Sur. Does anyone have any experience in those areas?
I have done Rancheria Falls too many times to count and I am looking for some variety. Thanks!!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 04/03/2007 18:39:20 MDT.

Benjamin Tomsky
(btomsky) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking Ventana or Big Sur on 04/03/2007 18:53:40 MDT Print View

I've backpacked most of the Ventana wilderness over the past few years, and highly recommend it for the scenery, remoteness, and rugged terrain... assuming you can manage to find the trails and avoid the poison oak. Navigation can be a challenge at times, as the backcountry is little traveled and even less maintained. Poison oak is sometimes overhanging and often surrounding the trails.

The best online resource for trip planning is

One small note: I recommend against parking at the Los Padres Dam. My car was broken into in 2005 and the ranger explained it happens pretty frequently. Since then, if using the LP Dam trailhead, I park at the ranger station a bit down the road.

Let me know if you have any specific questions or want route recommendations.

Emily Hardy
(emilyehardy) - F

Memorial day in Big Sur on 05/19/2009 09:13:10 MDT Print View

Hey Ben, i will be headed to Big Sur this Thursday evening and returning Sunday morning. I was looking for a nice loop or out and back over night trip. About 30 miles or so. It could be as long as 50. Which Trails and areas are must see? I dont like crowds so back country would be better.
Thanks for any help you can give me. I may just buy a book but thought i would give a try here first.

Jesse Gibbs
(jessewg) - F

Locale: Northern California
Big Sur closures(?) on 05/25/2009 20:46:45 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

Anyone know if there are still significant trail closures in Ventana due to the fires in 2008? I had heard that many trails are still closed, but haven't confirmed.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking Ventana or Big Sur on 05/25/2009 20:51:46 MDT Print View


Ken...I have a photo essay on Ventana before it burned.

You really want to contact the rangers before heading down there.

My understanding is that a lot of it burned up.

When Jeremy and I were there there were only 3 Rangers for the whole area and many of the trails were badly in need of some clearing as they were getting grown over.

If you do go, prepare for wet feet....we has some 18 or so stream crossings in one day.