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Arroyo Seco Trail Survey Trip

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October 8, 2005

Introduction and Summary

The Arroyo Seco Trail connects Memorial Campground (and the Santa Lucia Trail) with the Coast Ridge Trail. It gains about 2500' in the 5.0 miles up to the Coast Ridge. I surveyed conditions and did light brushing and minor logging on the length of the trail. Solo daytrip.

Work Plan

My plan was first to survey the conditions on the trail, logs, major tread issues and brush growth, secondary was to flag out any sketchy sections, and finally accomplish any brush and log work given time and tools (hand pruners and folding saw).

Accomplishments

From False Madrone Camp to Madrone Camp, deadfall branches trimmed, trail diversion at #13 made redundant. Above Madrone Camp, some trimming and removal of small deadfall, trimming of brush at critical points, flagging. At junction with Coast Ridge Trail, upgrading the first 100 yards of trail to Wilderness Freeway. :)

Commentary

The good news: the trail is passable for experienced Ventana hikers, and the difficult parts are well flagged.
The bad news: the trail has trapped a number of seasonal streams as well as having eroded into the soft sandstone on the upper half.
The good news: only 1.5 miles of brushing to the Coast Ridge.
The bad news: only 2 miles of trail to the Coast Ridge.
The good news: only one slide really needs work.
The bad news: the trail could about a mile of Macleod plowing.
The good news: I did a bunch of prep brushing so existing logs can be tackled immediately[1].
The bad news: 14 more trees to cut (20 stems total).
The good news: the biggest tree on the trail above Madrone Camp is only 18" in diameter.
The bad news: the tanoak across the throat of the first switchback crosses both treads with three stems.
The good news: that is the last big log, and most of what is above is long down pine.
The bad news: you need to wear kevlar body armor to get to them.

Scary Images

Landslide (#20)

Log in Brush (#23)

trail diversion (#27)

Weather and Conditions

Fairly pleasant and breezy, although the climb to the ridge was hot and unpleasant, and would have been under most any conditions, certainly, it would have been unpleasant.

Images

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Images

Maps

Route map detail, Wilderness Freeway in red and Survey area in green

Map with route
Detailed Map (200K)

Detailed map of trailwork location (lower section), route in red and obstacles noted in blue (numbered waypoints)

Map with route
Detailed Map (180K)

Detailed map of trailwork location (upper sections), route in red and obstacles noted in blue (numbered waypoints)

Map with route
Detailed Map (205K)


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Arroyo Seco Trail Survey/ Robert Parks / rparks@lvhot.org / revised October '05