This was a tough trail to follow and I needed All Trails. Bring a machete because you'll need to bushwhack. Slow going and didn't summit with a slower trail mate.
Beautiful day on Easter Sunday; chilly in the morning (34F), but soon warmed up. Still a very decent flow in all creeks, and plenty of amazing flowers carpeting the meadows. Somebody maintained the trail yesterday I guess, due to the amount of broken twigs on the ground. The trail was clear, but still overgrown though, long sleeves and trousers are advised.
~7 hours RT from Memorial Park. Temps were mild early on, but in the 90s by the time we finished. The last mile before the summit is completely overgrown.
I got crushed in the heat. I left at 3pm, so I guess I deserve it. Turned around at +/- 4,500 ft. Back at the car at 7pm, it still read 88. Fuck me.
Came back in December and got it. Much more enjoyable. 6:30 RT. Minor bushwhacking at the top. Machete might have helped.
Standard route, one tricky spot navigation wise. Views only towards the east due to clouds, there was a bit of snow just below the summit on the north aspect.
Hiked on a beautiful spring morning with Evan Escher, Chris Escher, and Paul Trevisan. Wearing long pants was extremely beneficial, as the unkempt trail nearing the summit becomes standard bushwhacking. The views from the summit are killer though and the surrounding Ventana Wilderness/the Indians are quite impressive.
Hiked with Mike Chen from Santa Lucia Memorial Park on a freezing day.
First visit to the Ventana on a low 90's degree day. Made the hike a lot tougher, but made it up and down in about 7 hours. The trail was really overgrown in places! Trip report is HERE.
day hike with jean and we camped at nearby campground for the previous night. we also met Lisa who led the SPS trip on the trail.
Super warm winter day, but still a little snow lingered near the top. Awesome views. 5 hr 45 min ctc, with a nice little stroll over to Pt. 5642 added for good measure.
picked 8 tics off me on that hike.anyways hike was great!and dont forget that the tower is not the top!
Nice views of the Ventana Wilderness to the west and distant view of the Sierras to the east.
As has been said the trail is in serious need of brushing, my bare shins got pretty beat up. But it was a nice hike, nice warm day and good views. I rode my motorcycle up Nacimiento Road from Hwy 1 and then hiked up from Santa Lucia trailhead. Up in 2:44 and down in 2:19, not bad for an old man! Quite a peak, it is on 20 lists on Peakbagger.com!
Finally made it on my 3rd attempt. The first we didn't even get to the trailhead as Del Venturi Road was closed. The second was in a large storm where high winds and rain forced me to turnaround 200 feet from the summit. The trail need some trimming. The last half mile is pretty hard to follow and leads to some bushwacking. The views are great and the Indians area is really awesome.
Excellent hike though lots of brush on the trail. Fabulous summit views atop the rickety tower. With PG.
The last 1.5 miles of the trail was badly overgrown -- had to push my way through the chaparral, 2-7 feet high. Fresh snow the night before didn't help. Otherwise a great climb. Surprised this isn't better maintained -- it's the highest point in Big Sur. Slept in my car the night before near the trailhead at Santa Lucia Memorial Park -- 8 campsites, no fee, only two other sites were taken. Stream crossings on the way in were surprisingly deep but my Explorer went thru fine. FYI, you drive around Fort Hunter Liggett on the way in -- but not through the main gate; the old gate is no longer manned.
I thought three solid weeks of sunshine would mean low creeks and passable roads, but I was wrong. Del Venturi Rd. was gated at the first creek crossing, which looked to be about 80 feet wide and 1 or 2 feet deep. The lesson: call ahead for conditions before driving three hours to a place that might not be open. Fort Hunter Liggett road conditions: (831) 386-3866. According to a 1/4/11 press release on their website, the road will likely remain closed through spring.
A couple info sources give an alternate route for when the creek is closed. Basically, you continue north on Mission Rd. (take the road to the right of the one that goes to the mission) until you reach Milpitas Rd., then go west until Milpitas meets up with the standard access route.
I followed this alternate for a little over a mile, but there were two signs warning that this was a training area and access requires a permit. The signs were small and faded (in fact, I only noticed the first one as I was leaving) but I decided not to take my chances with the U.S. military. This route does seem to check out in Google Earth, ie, you could probably get away with it.
Our first attempt was unsuccessful as snow had covered the trail to the summit & weather was not permitting. But on our second attempt with the Peak Climbing chapter of the Sierra Club, we made it! It was a blast. It was a treat to have about 2 feet of snow on the backside of the mountain..making it a nice challenge to reach the top. The trail can be difficult to spot towards to end due to fallen trees. All in all, it was gorgeous out there. I would love to see all the wildflowers in the Spring as well..Happy trails!
Smell of lupines everpresent for most of the drive to the trailhead and lush fields of this fragrant flower growing in the valley and lower elevations. Wonderful views! Spring here is awesome!
In retrospect I should have prepared a bit more for this hike, but it was a very nice hike. Sunny with a cool breeze all the way up, visuals of the ocean over the western mountains, and beautiful foliage. 6 hours up and 3 down. It certainly got the hiking bug in me! Take plenty of water! Proudly signed the register at the summit :)
Incidentally, once you get in the pine trees, there's a sign posted on a tree that says "Water" and points off the trail to the left. I was low on water so took the bait, but could find no water source anywhere. I assume there's a spring somewhere nearby - anybody know where and how far off the trail that water source is? Might be helpful to other hikers.