Went in late March. Was absolutely beautiful. Mostly uphill the entire way. Had some gorgeous. Views of the ocean insuring the first couple miles of the hike

I’ve been on this trail before and it’s gorgeous and lovely and very challenging (for me ) so I’m giving this 5 stars. However I wanted to post on here so that people were aware that the trail is currently closed!! I saw a week or so ago someone had posted they’d gone, so I don’t know how recent they’ve started to enforce it, but I did try and hike this for a few hours, sneaked past the very clear closure signs, enjoyed the view for a bit and then determined that was a bad idea after a few miles and headed back. When I got back to my car just 3 hours later there was a notice from the CHP that if my car remained there, I could be fined up to $5000... so they’re not messing around! There were a few other cars parked there as well so I hope they didn’t get fined! (I was planning on staying a few nights but luckily my gut told me to get out of there and follow the rules! Otherwise I’d be contentedly camping on a mountain right now while accumulating $5k in debt!) Anyway, fingers crossed this trail opens up again soon, because I love it! Stay safe out there, fellow hikers!

A well maintained trail descending into the valley. A few camp sites outside of Jack's Cabin. I'd recommend dropping your bags before continuing to the water fall. After the camp sites, the trail becomes much harder to follow for another couple of miles. The water fall is definitely worth the trek though. Had the pleasure to do this hike in the rain. The trail at the bottom on the valley becomes a creek.

Amazing trail with incredible views. At each turn there was something new that left us speechless. This could and easily should be a 2-3 night backpacking adventure. We did the whole loop in two days and one night. Plenty of water throughout but Goat Camp is way off of where it is labeled on All Trails. The only negatives are the amounts of ticks and poison oak but come prepared and you’ll be fine. In addition, be ready to earn the views. Regardless of the direction you choose your climbing 5,000+ vertical feet in a relatively short distance.

over grown
1 month ago

Didn’t make it to falls but enjoyed a pseudo alpine coastal overnight with no tics or poison oak. Camped at the start of a clear stream in my hammock

Loved it! Backpacked during the week ascending on Thursday afternoon and arriving at Vicente Campground 5 miles later.. Decided that this would be the perfect hike during Covid-19 breakout and Yep!! I was right, it is truly a hidden gem. No permits needed for staying over night at Vicente camp, only permits required if you will make a fire or use a portable stove. Lots of spots for hammock, definitely recommend it. Water source at camp. The next morning I left my overnight supplies in my hammock, only took up layers of clothing, food and water. (Definitely recommend it) - Started my ascend to Cone peak 6.5-7 mile hike, all the signs are pretty clear. Ugh... I am missing it already it was sooo beautiful.. 360 views the whole way up. You can see the goal from a mile away which is great motivation, it was not too cold at top but I also got lucky with great weather. Definitely need layers. Jogged all the way down, super fun! highly recommend it. Got back to my car by at a perfect time for a beautiful gorgeous orange sunset. Check weather, plan ahead, don't worry about water. Have lots of fun :)

Awesome trail, went this weekend with lots of rain in forecast but had plenty of other backpackers on the trail and a few trail runners. We ended up hiking the extra ~1.5miles to Vicente flat campground. I would highly recommend doing that as the campground there is absolutely beautiful and a small creek right next to them. Overall an awesome trail but lots of poison oak, so wear pants and be careful

2 months ago

Great trail with nice views! No joke about the poison oak though, definitely wear pants. I saw more backpacker traffic than dayhikers.

3 months ago

Update: As of today, 2/28/20 Forest Route 22S05 is still closed. We walked up the road toward the trailhead. Very pretty but we didn't have time to get to the top and back. 6 miles of road before the trailhead per road sign at Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd. We didn't even make it to the start of trailhead due to late start time and early darkness of winter. We'll return to try again! I'm guessing a 5 star to make it to the top. Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd is a 5 star of it's own. We took my boyfriend's truck due to fear of need for high clearance but it's a great road with spectacular views. Almost any car would have no problem navigating. Paved the whole way.

3 months ago

Hiked over President’ day (Feb 15-16, 2020) from Kirkwood and set up camp at the top off of fire road. Great views. Hike from fire road to peak was tough. We climbed the peak the 2nd day and made our way back to Kirkwood in ~4 hours. Perfect weather but bring layers. Load up on water at Vicente. No water source on top. Beware of ticks.

Unfortunately the Forest Service road up to the trail is closed as of 1/21/2020. You can drive up Nacimiento-Fergusson Road but then the turnoff to Forest Route 22S05 is closed and that road is an additional 5 miles up to the actual trailhead. There were several cars parked near the closed road so I’m not sure if people were just walking up the closed road or doing other hikes. Wanted to give a heads up. Trail otherwise looks beautiful—not sure when the road will reopen.

Hiked a portion only. Well maintained.

As of 1/5/2020 Lots of water at Vicente Flats creek (fill up there) No snow on cone peak (there was back in November, so make sure you check the latest forecast and are prepared) Trails were all pretty clear

Great trail! Somewhat steep from Kirk Creek to Espinoza and no water sources. No water at Espinoza but there was a very small creek about 1/2 mile past. Lots of places to pitch a tent in Vin. Flat. We got there early enough to get the only picnic table under a giant redwood! Lots of water available! Most everyone that we talked to was taking the loop up and around Cone Peak. We decided to take Stone Ridge to Goat Camp which was 2.5 miles further up the trail past the intersection. Absolutely the most stunning views from the intersection! We stayed at Goat Camp where it got a little crowded and hard to find enough level ground to pitch a tent but we made due. Plenty of water here. We hiked back out the 2.5 miles to the intersection where we went down the really steep Limekiln trail. The elevator was no joke!! Once to the bottom we were rewarded with an amazing redwood grove and a beautiful stream running through it! Another couple miles and we were back on the 1! Walked the road back to Kirk Creek. 20 miles of pure soul finding happiness! No big issues and no poison oak issues (yet). We did it in early January.

Did a two day backpacking trip over New Year’s Eve/New Years. Camped at Vicente Flat for the night and refilled my water there. Started out early to catch the sunrise on the peak. Would recommend! No issues with bugs and the weather was perfect this time of year. It’s probably helpful to have water proof or resistant shoes as you cross the river several times when you leave Vicente Flat. Great views at pretty much every point of the hike!

5 months ago

Brilliant scenery, but if you expect this hike, not so much; not the route descibed

It’s nice. Just summited with my dog

Great trail. A lot of poison oak but avoidable if you’re careful. No water at Vicente as of October 2019 but if you continue on the trail for 5-10 minutes towards Cone Peak the river starts flowing again.

Took this trail as a first section of a low mileage backpacking loop a few years back. Nice views and low traffic.

no shade
over grown
7 months ago

Just wrapped the full loop, starting at Kirk trailhead and going counterclockwise from Vicente Flat. Did a 4-day/3-night tromp. General notes as of this writing: • there is no water at Vicente Flats itself; you have to continue on the trail a stretch before you find it • a number of massive fallen trees on the path from Cone Peak to Trail Spring; you will need to climb and crawl to pass • there is little water at Trail Spring; you'll find some, but you have to look and you'd better have a filter • some overgrown bits, but not too bad • endless bugs from 10am to just past sunset Camp spot reviews: Day 1: Espinosa — great view and a solid stop if you start late from Kirk Camp like I did; especially nice if you have it to yourself Day 2: Cone Peak — not technically a backcountry campsite, likely due to the lack of water and the presence of a (closed) lookout, but clearly gets a lot of use. By the time I got there it was too late and I was too tired to continue, so I just camped out. Easily the best night of my stay. A billion stars at night and a sea of clouds below in morning. Beautiful. Day 3: Goat Camp — second-best spot. Again I had it to myself and took the ledge spot. It had a boulder-table, which is nice. Goat also has the best nearby water source of the camps.

Ran this in about 6 hours or so. Once you break off the main trail to the forest road it’s HOT and exposed. Once you come back onto the trail heading up to the lookout on cone peak the flies were nasty and vicious! The way back was all downhill. I don’t recommend trying this in one push unless you’re experienced and bring a lot of good nutrition along with you. I had to refill my water sources in the creek at the campground on the way back. Took a nice little soak too! Gorgeous views all around. Lots of overgrown sections and poison ivy/oak. Get ready for a long day.

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