New Meetup: Ventana Series: Cone Peak via Arroyo Seco Trail (~21 Miles, ~5,100 Feet)

From: Robert
Sent on: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:01 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group!

What: Ventana Series: Cone Peak via Arroyo Seco Trail (~21 Miles, ~5,100 Feet)

When: Saturday, November 27,[masked]:00 AM

Price: $1.00 per person

Where: Santa Lucia Memorial Park
Milpitas Road Latitude:[masked] Longitude: [masked]
Greenfield, CA 93927

Come join me for an exploratory hike along the beautiful Arroyo Seco Trail from it's beginning at the Indians all the way up towards the North Coast Ridge Trail and on to Cone Peak. Along the way we'll traverse the Gamboa Trail just past Trail Spring Camp before turning south onto the final approach to the Cone Peak Summit.

Cone Peak is one of the most spectacular mountains on the Big Sur coast of California. It is the second highest mountain (the highest peak being Junipero Serra Peak) in the Santa Lucia Range. It has a dramatic setting less than 3 miles as the crow flies from the Pacific Ocean, its average gradient from sea level to the summit is about 33%, which is steeper on average than the gradient from Owens Valley to Mount Whitney. Cone Peak is a mountain of marble that has been sculpted by erosion to its present steepness. The three canyons of Limekiln Creek which flows from Cone Peak are spectacularly deep, with dense stands of coast redwoods.

Coming down from the summit we'll rejoin the North Coast Ridge Road and head north back to the junction of the Arroyo Seco Trail for the hike back downhill to our cars.




HIKE SUMMARY:
Location: Trail Head at Santa Lucia Memorial Park
Latitude:[masked], Longitude: [masked]
Start Time: 7 a.m.
Hike Duration: 10 to 12 hours
Pace: Moderate (2 to 3 mph)
Total Distance: ~21 miles
Total Elevation Gain: ~5,100 feet
Difficulty: Extremely CHALLENGING for Distance & Elevation Gain




Click thumbnail for full topographic map of our route (member login required):






NOTE: THIS WILL BE AN EXTREMELY STRENUOUS HIKE. TRAIL CONDITIONS ALONG OUR ROUTE ARE EXPECTED TO UNPREDICTABLE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE FROM RECENT TRAIL CONDITION REPORTS. FOR SAFETY PURPOSES YOU NEED TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR WHAT ESSENTIALLY AMOUNTS TO WILDERNESS HIKING OVER POTENTIALLY STEEP TRAILS WITH UNPREDICTABLE TERRAIN AND POSSIBLY LOOSE AND/OR NON-EXISTENT TREAD. FURTHERMORE, WE MAY ENCOUNTER AREAS OF HEAVY BRUSH ENCROACHMENT SO EXTRA CAUTION IS ADVISED TO AVOID CONTACT WITH RATTLESNAKES, TICKS, AND POISON OAK.




WHAT TO BRING: Sturdy hiking shoes, layered clothing, wind & rain gear, lunch, hat, gloves, 5-6 liters of water, head lamp for hiking after dark, long pants and long sleeve shirt (for poison oak protection). Bring your trekking polls if desired. Important: Water sources in the Ventana can be extremely limited so please bring sufficient quantities for your own consumption.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Very fit, disciplined hikers who can handle a 20+ mile hike over steep/rough terrain. This hike is for hikers who enjoy the adventures of ALL-DAY exploration across vastly remote areas of unspoiled back country wilderness.

HOW TO ATTEND: You must have appropriate hiking experience to qualify for attendance. NO EXCEPTIONS! Members who do NOT have appropriate hiking experience should consider attending another event.

NOTE: The event organizer reserves the right to withhold a member's eligibility for attendance if it is deemed the member does NOT have sufficient prior hiking experience to adequately fulfill the skill requirements for this event.




WHAT TO EXPECT ON THIS HIKE:
Hike will commence at approximately 10 minutes after the posted start time. Hike will average speed between 2 to 3 mph. Trail conditions in the Ventana can be unpredictable and present opportunities to bushwhack through overgrown brush and negotiate unstable terrain. It is recommended that you wear solid hiking boots with good tread for added confidence and stability. In addition, it is likely there will be opportunities to encounter POISON OAK. It would be unwise to attend this hike without: long pants (or pants with removable legs), hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt due to poison oak & all the other bushes we may have to pass through. Trekking poles are also recommended.




HIKER SAFETY
Since we'll be hiking through areas of vastly remote wilderness along trails of uncertain condition, I absolutely MUST insist on the rule that we STAY TOGETHER! I realize that many of you hike at varying speeds as per your current skills, conditioning, and comfort level. However I will make a concerted effort to stop the group and allow time for everyone to regroup before moving on. This means that faster hikers towards the head of the group will have to stop and wait for the others to rejoin and rest up. I know that many of you prefer to keep hiking to stay warm HOWEVER you will need to layer up and exercise some patience in waiting until the rest of the group is ready to go.




ACCESS TO FORT HUNTER-LIGGETT:
The trailhead is located in the Los Padres National Forest. We will gain access via Fort Hunter-Liggett in south Monterey County.

The access gate where we would show our driver's license and proof of insurance has been relocated 4 miles northwest on Mission Rd at the intersection of Mission Rd. and Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. This is a good thing. For us, this means no ID check and we bypass the first creek crossing.




DIRECTIONS TO TRAIL HEAD:
From Salinas, take Highway 101 south to King City appx 44 miles. Take the Jolon Rd/ Fort Hunter-Liggett exit and drive approximately 17 miles to Mission Road for entry to the Fort Hunter-Liggett access gate. Continue on Mission Rd for another 4 miles. As you approach the military check point you will stop at the intersection of Mission and Nacimiento-Fergusson.

To get to the trail head from here take the following route:

1. Signal left and take Nacimiento-Fergusson for approximately 3 miles (go over the green bridge!)
2. Turn right on Vasquez and continue for approximately 1.7 miles to Del Venturi.
3. Turn left on Del Venturi (the name will change to Milpitas Rd) for approximately 17 miles to the trail head.


As you approach 17 miles, you will begin to see wooden structures on your left. Continue on past the campgrounds area and you will find the trail head sign to the left-hand side of the road.

CAMPING
I am planning on camping at Santa Lucia Memorial Park the evening prior to the hike. Others who are interested in camping as well are welcome to join me. Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday the availability of campsites may be limited. If sites are unavailable at Santa Lucia additional sites may be found at Escondido Campground which is approximately 3 miles further down Indians Road.




CREEK CROSSINGS:
Del Venturi is a well paved, maintained road. However, there are two points where the pavement dips into the waters of two running creeks. The first is encountered within a mile of turning onto Del Venturi and the other is at 7.5 miles. During significant rain events these crossings are closed to traffic. 4x4 not necessary, but higher clearance vehicles are advised.




RESPONSIBILITY:
Please be aware that we expect you to take responsibility for your safety while we are out on the trails. This means being prepared with adequate hiking gear and making sure the difficulty level of the event IS NOT beyond the limits of your health & conditioning. We understand that your "Yes" RSVP to this event means you accept this. For more information regarding safety, please refer to the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group "About" section for more details.




RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/The-Monterey-Bay-Area-Hiking-Group/calendar/15346790/

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