One of my favorite places to go when the Sierra Nevada are inaccessible (I'm not a snow person) is the Ventana Wilderness (Los Padres National Forest), specifically the Cone Peak area. Despite the fact that it takes the same amount of time to get to as Tuolumne Meadows, it has some major plusses for me. You start high, so you don't have to do a steep Ventana slog to get anywhere (not that there isn't plenty of steepness available), it is little visited, and there are great views of the rugged country. Also, as a trailwork aficianado, there is a huge amount of truly necessary trailwork beginning a short stroll from the trailhead.Map(s) of perambulations below.
This trip was intended to be a survey of the area trails along the Coast Ridge Trail. Out to Cook Spring, back to the Old Carrizo with a short check of that, down the Gamboa to Trail Spring Camp, and back. Estimated at 8 miles and 2000 feet of ascent. Casual brushing and deadfall clearing as needed/possible.
Tom B. joined me for this trip. The trip went pretty much as planned, I collected the data I needed, we were able to clear a number of recent deadfalls, or at least prune them to passability.
The weather was cool and very windy at the saddles, otherwise very pleasant. The trails are generally passable, but could use pleant of work. Link to .RTF logging report and annotated map Map with Location Notes (97K).
Map of hike location and route detail maps
Large Map (94K)
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Home . ImagesCone Peak Trails 1 / Robert Parks / firstname.lastname@example.org / revised July '05