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Jay Lovato reviewed Cone Peak Loop [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 11, 2020
Hiking

Post Dolan fire pic.

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Isaac Garza reviewed Cone Peak Loop [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2020
HikingClosed

The Kirk Creek Trail is closed until further notice due to the Dolan Fire. At this time the fire is unchecked and actively burning between Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (north end) to the Hermitage and Cone Peak (to the south) . It is expected to be closed for a long time.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
BackpackingBugs

Arrived from SF and hit the trail by 11, but it was a hot weekend with temps in the mid-90s so we were pretty beat (and soaked) by the time we reached Vicente Flats. I wish we could have avoided hiking in the heat of the day because most of the trail isn’t shaded, but with breaks and water we made it up in 2 hours and 45 mins. The views of the coast are gorgeous. The trek certainly made me feel like I earned the (warm) beer I packed to the top! As others have mentioned there was plenty of poison oak creeping near the trail so stay alert. Go about 5 mins past Vicente Flat for water from a small stream. Flies were incessant at the campground from morning to night, so we didn’t get to enjoy the redwoods area as much as I’d hoped.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
BackpackingBugsNo shadeOver grownRocky

As others have stated, there is very little shade, poison oak on the trail, the trail does have stretches were it is rocky, and we were warned of rattle snakes on the trail (we only saw a garter snake). Some areas of the trail have eroded slightly which causes the footing on nearest the cliff to give way. Other than that not so bad, wear a hat. Espinosa is a small campsite with two flat areas to set up tents. The closest water source is a small stream that intersects with the trail about .25mi (.4km) past the campsite towards Vincente Flat Campground. Going to Vincente Flat Camp is advised, more areas to setup camp and a larger source of fresh water.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

This trail is very intense and extremely beautiful.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade

Lovely trail! 2 days, 1 overnight. Went out to Vicente and spent the night — great weather, only put a fleece on once it got dark. The trail is well-maintained. TONS OF POISON OAK! Wear long pants. Views were great and the hike was relatively easy. Did with 40 lb backpack — first 2 miles have some good uphill and there is scarce shade, bring lots of water. 8/11/20: Only two water sources: Creek running half mile past espinoza and fresh spring water at Vicente.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownRocky

We did this route counter-clockwise. I would suggest bringing a paper map, as there were some inaccuracies on the AllTrails map. The trail was overgrown throughout, including poison oak; pants and long sleeves are a must. Also, because of the steep ascents and descents, I’d highly recommend trekking poles for extra stability. The trail is dog-friendly, although there were points that were difficult to pass because of the temperature of the ground on the paws, points where the dog had to go under or be carried over downed trees, and spots along the side of cliffs with gravel and loose dirt. Day one: Kirk Creek campground to Trail Springs camp. This was a rough leg, big elevation gain up to Cone Peak. Caution: there were no water sources between Vicente Flat and Trail Spring, so make sure to stock up on water at Vicente Flat. I’d suggest starting the hike very early to avoid mid-day heat on the section of Cone Peak Road to Trail Spring, or perhaps camp the first night at Vicente and get an early start from there. Trail Spring is a small camp with few flat spots to set up camp, but had a small spring for water. Day two was shorter distance, Trail Spring to Goat Camp, but the downhill was pretty rough and there were several downed trees along the trail. There were two water sources on each side of Goat Camp. If it’s clear, make sure to find a place unobstructed by trees in the evening to look at the night sky. I haven’t seen that many stars in a long time; it was stunning. Day three: Goat Camp to Vicente Flat, with flowing water at Limekiln Creek and wonderful views of ocean. At Vicente Flat, there was plenty of water, campsites, and shaded areas, but there were quite a few campers on a Friday. Day three hike back to Kirk Creek from Vicente. This was on a Saturday, and there was heavy foot traffic of people heading up.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Please pack out your used toilet paper and wipes in small baggie. it does NOT degrade for years in California because it is dry. Don't go if you are afraid of heights or vertigo. Serious catwalk narrow single track with cliffs. VERY crowded on weekends, more than 50 people at Vicente flats.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Matt Gwin reviewed Cone Peak Loop [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

We did counterclockwise starting just south of cone peak trailhead-- planned on backpacking 2 nights with a short first and third day and long second. Second day was ridiculously long (Cone Peak to Vicente Flat Camp, counterclockwise)-- we started around 9 am and didnt get into camp until 8 pm. Planned on the downhill being easy but the grade wreaked havoc on our toes. Half of the mileage on day 3 was on Cone Peak Rd, so we were able to leave our packs and pick them up on the drive out. If doing again, would park at the Vicente Flat Trailhead (where the trail first meets the road) because the roughest part of the road is right after that. If youre in a 4x4 or a high clearance vehicle it doesnt matter though. There are some campable spots on the SW part of the loop, near the junction with the spine trail shortcut to twin peaks. We planned on taking this shortcut from the north, but it looked a little sketchy and less maintained. Goat Camp is significantly misplaced on the map. Its on the west loop, NW of where they have it marked.

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H Otto reviewed Jack's Cabin [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

This one was genuinely hard. Take more water than you think you'll need, and be ready to work for the views. The waterfall was really pretty, but I couldn't see how the trail continued beyond the top of the falls. There are big rocks you could potentially climb over to get down, but I wasn't going to attempt that on my own.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
BackpackingBugsOver grown

Amazing, difficult, gorgeous trail, completed in 30 hours. Hiked 16 miles the first day and 8 the second back to Kirk creek. I went counterclockwise, and from Kirk creek to cone peak via Vicente flat the trail is in good/great condition. Once you descend cone peak to trail spring camp is where the trail is noticeably overgrown with poison oak and other plants with multiple fallen trees that must be maneuvered around. The water source at trail spring is down to a trickle, but still usable. Be careful to follow the correct trail out of trail spring, in my opinion this was the only place where I could imagine someone losing the trail. Once at the ojito camp junction, the descent to goat camp is very steep and sandy and washed out in some spots. Goat camp is in great shape with water nearby. The section from goat camp back to Vicente flat is in decent shape, but not as bad as trail spring to goat camp. Long pants and sleeves are essential in the overgrown parts. Refill your entire water supply at the water sources so you don’t struggle in the long, waterless sections Water sources: Espinosa Camp Vicente Flat Camp Trail Spring (trickle) Goat Camp Limekiln Creek

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Clark Bone reviewed Jack's Cabin [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grown

Following on the previous post about the road - that sign is when it changes from a paved road to a dirt road (recommend 4wheel drive at a minimum - can be sporty) We were still about to drive up to the trail head. Did part of the trail, but got on trail too late. No shade, too hot for the team. Over grown at the start of the trail . Turned back. Reports from folks coming up the trail was the valley was fantastic, plenty of water.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Hiked just past the Espinosa camp and back for a day hike. If it weren't so foggy up and down I'd likely give this 5 stars. I wore shorts and was fine but be aware of the narrow trail with large groves of poison ivy

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Katherine Binder reviewed Jack's Cabin [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking
First to Review

As of July 2020, The road leading up to this trailhead is closed.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
BackpackingOver grown

Did this trail back in April and came back in July to do it again , with the kids this time. We camped at the first site (we got a very late start and it was starting to get dark so I didn’t want to chance going all the way to the river) and fortunately there is still water available at the small creek just past the camp site. The trail definitely needs maintaining as there is lots of poison oak and other non native invasive weeds encroaching into the narrow trail, so be careful! Otherwise it’s still one of my favorite backpacking trails I’ve ever been on just with the diversity you experience along the way. Even though it’s not a loop, It felt like a different trail coming back versus heading up since we headed up during sunset with clear skies and ocean views and returned the following morning among pea soup fog. Both equally beautiful and breathtaking in different ways!

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Jeremy Behrens reviewed Cone Peak Loop [CLOSED]
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
HikingBugsOver grownScramble

*****WARNING****** If you follow the GPS and trails on this application you will learn the Loop is actually roughly 21.5 miles and well over 5000 ft of elevation gain. In my opinion this makes it much better suited for a 2-3 day backpacking hike. You definitely pass by several breathtaking camps. I consider myself a strong hiker, and if your up for a good challenge, this hike is doable in a day. I recommend for day hiking the loop to choose a long summer day, leave early and make sure you either pack a ton of water or have some type of filtration system. Additionally there were many fallen trees that you had to figure a way over or under (very doable, not the end of the world). There were areas of the trail that were very narrow, with loose dirt. Multiple areas on the hike are super overgrown (with an abundance of poison oak). Carrying a machete and wearing long hiking pants recommended (zip off pants would be the best of both worlds, as there are areas of the hike that get very warm). The temperature fluctuates depending which side of the mountain you’re on (beach side or valley side) and dropping into ravines). There are flying bugs around certain areas, but I was not bitten ( I did discover and attached tick on my arm, while driving home). You also see an abundance of bees, but they were never an issue. From Cone Peak itself, on a clear day, if you look east you can see the Sierras. Turn west and your view is of the magical Big Sur Coastline. You drop into several ravines, with water crossings and some little waterfalls. The final assent out of the Kirk Creek ravine is truly special, but it is a ton of elevation gain in a relatively short span.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
BackpackingOver grown

Fantastic trail. We did in and out overnight trip to Vincente campgrounds. The hike starts off with a bunch of switchbacks up past the fog. Eventually you turn into the mountains and the entire trail vibe shifts. It’s like hiking in a totally different climate. Their was a stream flowing past Espinoza campgrounds and a heavy flow a five minute walk past Vincente campgrounds. It got a bit buggy during the day at the campgrounds but we day packed the ridge hike and when we got back it was better. Lots of poison oak so wear long pants, a change of pants for resting, and some soap to wash up after hikes.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
BackpackingOver grown

AH-MAY-ZING. I hiked this trail two years ago and think about it on an almost daily basis. It was my first backpacking trip.... it is HARD for a first backpacking trip. Our watch said that our elevation gain was close to 9,000 feet (not sure if that is our watch’s mistake or AllTrails). We did 2 nights, three days. Cone Peak is the highest coastal point on the Pacific Coast!

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