Trail Center Logo

Trail Center





Trail Center
  Who We Are

  Calendar & Activities
  Trail Building

Current Projects
  Arroyo Seco Trail
  Bay Area Ridge Trail
  Annual Tool Party

Maps & Publications

Photo Gallery


Contact Us


Facebook button

Follow the Trail Center on Twitter

RSS Button

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:

  • Water, food and snacks for the duration of the trip.
  • Day pack able to carry lunch and 3 liters of water.
  • Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent.
  • Sturdy shoes (no open toes or sandals), long sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Hardhat, work gloves, protective eyewear.
  • If camping, tent, sleeping bag and mat, folding chair, flashlight, campstove and other camping gear.
  • Warm clothes for after work.
  • Sun shower if you have one but fill it before arrival.
  • Technu or other poison oak remedies if you are sensitive to PO.
  • A water filter if you have one.

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.

Saturday, October 04, 2014 - Arroyo Seco Trail

Activities: In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act the Trail Center will be joining with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance to do trail maintenance in a wilderness area.

This will be a three-day event in a spectacular area.

Drive down and camp Friday night. Work all day Saturday. Camp Saturday night and optionally work a half-day on Sunday.

The Arroyo Seco Trail runs 4.9 miles southwest from Santa Lucia Memorial Park to its junction with the North Coast Ridge Trail, gaining 2330 feet along the way. We will be working approximately the first 2.5 miles of the trail out of Santa Lucia Memorial Park. The trailhead is a 5 minute walk from the campground and we will begin work about 15 minutes up the trail. The trail closely follows the Arroyo Seco River, crossing it several times. It is narrow with fairly steep sideslopes and a moderate grade. It catches sun most of the day but has shady spots and should be fairly breezy. The work will mostly be brushing with some bench restoration. The brush is not too heavy and while there is some poison oak many sections are relatively free of it. The bench work is mostly slough removal. There are also several trees down along the trail, most small but one or two bigger ones so we will have an opportunity to practice our bucking skills.

Copyright © Trail Center. All rights reserved.

Please contact the Web Manager for corrections or comments. Updated 28 Sep 2014

    decoration decoration decoration decoration decoration