Ventana Wilderness - Celebrating 50 Years of the Wilderness Act
The Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest is a Federally designated wilderness area located in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. This is part of the Los Padres National Forest
For over a decade the Ventana Wilderness Alliance has led the grassroots effort to protect the wilderness qualities of the Ventana Region, along the Big Sur Coast. VWA volunteers also contribute thousands of hours each year maintaining the public trails in the Ventana back country.
Location: Ventana Wilderness, California - Arroyo Seco Trail
Directions: VIA HWY 101 SOUTHBOUND From San Jose (about 2 hrs 45 min)
NOTE: If using Google Maps, set destination to Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground, Monterey County, CA; Google Maps has some roads miss-named but the route is correct.
NOTE: The turnoff CA 101 is just before you reach King City. There is a gas station at the turnoff but it has high prices. If you need to fill up with gas, you might want to do it before reaching King City or drive into King City to fill up, then drive back to the turnoff. King City is also the closest town with services.
NOTE: Access to the park is through Ft. Hunter Liggett but bypasses the Post so there are no longer any checkpoints. However the road is heavily patrolled so DO NOT SPEED on Mission Road and carry valid ID, auto Registration and proof of insurance in case you are stopped.
1. Take CA 101 southbound from San Jose to Exit 283 for Jolon Road/County Road G14.
2. Turn Right off the exit ramp and drive south on Jolon Road for about 18 miles to Jolon (consists of a couple of buildings) and the intersection with Mission Road. Jolon Road is heavily patrolled by the CHP so DO NOT SPEED.
3. Turn Right onto Mission Road (Jolon Road bends to the left here). Signs direct you to Fort Hunter Liggett. DO NOT SPEED.
4. Follow Mission Road for about 3 miles where it will make a sharp left turn (this is at the south end of Fort Hunter Liggett). DO NOT SPEED.
5. Continue (to the left) on Mission Road for about 1 mile to its junction with Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Mission Road angles sharply right.
6. Continue on Mission Road to the right for another mile. DO NOT TURN LEFT TO FORD THE RIVER OR GO OVER THE GREEN BRIDGE. DO NOT SPEED.
7. Just past the entrance to the Ft. Hunter Liggett Post (Bradley Dr. on your right) Mission Road will curve slightly to the left and be intersected by Del Venturi Road. THIS TURN COMES UP FAST. Take a left onto Del Venturi Road. If you miss this turn you will come to a 5-way intersection near the mission. Turn around and return to Del Venturi Road. There are several paved fords on Del Venturi - SLOW WAY DOWN FOR THEM.
8. After a mile or so, just past the first paved ford, you will run into a Y junction. BEAR TO THE RIGHT AT THIS JUNCTION. (This should not be difficult as the road to the left is hard to see when driving out but, if taken, it will lead you to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road)
9. Follow Del Venturi Road for about 12 miles, at which point you will be entering Forest Service Land (which will be signed). Continue on the paved road until it ends, about 5 miles. Look for the small red ranger station (no longer in use) on the left. The camping area is on the right just past this ranger station.
Agency: Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Betsy MacGowan, Director
Supervisor: Woody Collins
Project Lead: Woody Collins
Additional Information: Car Camping (optional) Friday Oct 3rd and Saturday Oct 4th at Santa Lucia Memorial Park. Work Saturday Oct 4th, 8:30AM - 4:00PM, Sunday Oct 5th, 8:30AM - 12:00PM (optional)
Registration Required: Due to logistical issues please register for this event.
Camping will be available on Friday, Oct 3rd and Saturday Oct 4th. Camping in Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground is first-come-first serve and is free. The campground is primitive but well shaded with a vault toilet, picnic tables and some fire pits but no potable water. In the event the campground fills up we will have options for dispersed camping.
We will work a full day on Saturday and an optional half day on Sunday. Other options for Sunday include: Visiting the Mission San Antonio, built in 1771, adjacent to (but not on) the Fort Hunter Liggett military post. Hiking to the top of Mt Junipero Serra (at 5,865 ft. the highest peak in Monterey Co) via the 6.2 mile Santa Lucia and Santa Lucia Summit Trails. The trail head is at the campground (at 2090 ft.) Exploring the nearby area which is a beautiful oak savannah with some spectacular rock formations.
Weather: Expect daytime highs in upper 70ís to lower 80ís; night time lows in mid to upper 40ís. Local Weather
What to Bring:
NOTE: There is no potable water in the campground but we should be able to filter some water from the river or a nearby spring. To be safe, plan on bringing sufficient water for camping, cooking and to have a minimum of 3 liters for Saturdayís work and 2 liters for Sunday.
The Trail Center will provides tools, training, gloves, and refreshments after the workday.