A fellow NorCal Backpacking redditor (first time backpacking together) and I are planning on a quick trip the first weekend of the year. Planning on driving out from East Bay around 5pm (or earlier if possible) on Friday, tenting at China Camp then at daybreak make a run for Pine Ridge. Retrace steps on Sunday. Looking at an easy 12 mi in-out with potential for day trip on sat if time permits.
If meeting at trailhead between 7-9am on Saturday works better for the masses we can be flexible. Just checking to see if there is any interest here.
Hope to hear from you all and get some Organizer love!
Additional Info taken from http://scaruffi.com/travel/chinacam.html:
Directions to China Camp: heading south on Highway 1 from Monterey, turn left (east) on Carmel Valley Road in Carmel. After about 40 kms (17 kms past Carmel Valley Village), turn right (south) into Cachagua Road and then left onto Tassajara Road for about 16km (only the first two kms are paved). After about 15 km of unpaved road, you will pass White Oaks Campground on your left. After another km you reach the top of the hill (this is a good place to camp if you don't want to camp at the campground). The road gets worse and heads downhill. After about 15' (hard to calculate distances) you are almost at the bottom. There is a sign for China Camp on your right but most likely you will first notice the sign that points to "Pine Valley trail". Just 100 meters further there is a little parking lot on the left. Park there (or park on the street) and across the street from the parking is the trailhead for "Pine Ridge trail" (sorry for the confusion with names, not my fault).
Do not wear shorts. The trail is very overgrown from China Camp to Redwood Camp. Poison Oak is expected.
Reportedly, Pine Ridge Camp has water.
China Camp: start of Pine Ridge trail (uphill)Top of the first hill (3 km): 45'. Junction with the Church Creek Divide and Carmel River trail (5 km): 1h 15' + 15' stop. Divide campground: 1h 45'. Junction with Pine Valley trail (10 km): 2h 25'. Second junction with the Pine Valley trail: 2h 50'. Top of barren hill and junction with the Black Cone trail to Strawberry Valley (mostly downhill till Redwood Camp): 3h 10'. Junction with the trail to Pine Ridge Camp: 3h 40'
Should be a dry weekend with average temps being HIGH58/LOW43
There is a fire that is contained on the West side of Highway 1 and should not be a factor.
No Fees/Permits needed.