Let’s talk a little Ventura Backcountry. Highway 33, which is the primary road used to access the Ventura Backcountry, has been closed since January due to storm damage. Hwy 33 is used to visit many special places including Pine Mountain, Matilija, Rose Valley, Piedra Blanca and large portions of the Sespe Wilderness. The latest update from CalTrans is that Hwy 33 is expected to reopen sometime around the end of the year – that will be great, we can’t wait!
Unfortunately, so many of the trails accessed from Hwy 33 remain in very bad shape. Not only are there trail-gobbling landslides, washouts and sinkholes resulting from the winter rains but the plants have also been growing like crazy, exploding with trail-guising regrowth. We’ve helped survey many of the trails off Hwy 33 and most of them need a lot of work clearing slides, brushing back the scub oak and helping to once again define where the trail should go.
We’ve started with some of the trail restoration work and have led trail projects this year on the Sespe, Piedra Blanca, Matilija, Chorro Grande, Reyes Peak, Boulder Canyon and Alder Creek Trails but we’ve just scratched the surface of what is truly needed for this amazing network of trails.
With your support this #GivingTuesday, we’d like to make a huge push over the coming months to get as many of the gnarly sections of trail cleared and back in good shape.
First on our trail priority list would be repairing the Kerr Spring slide along the Sespe River Trail. This section of trail just upstream from Kerr Spring has been a problem for decades but was hit exceptionally hard this past January. Over a hundred yards of trail was buried by a landslide of rock and mud. It’s a disaster and certainly hard to navigate in its current condition. We’d love to organize a combination of volunteers and hired trail professionals to camp at nearby Bear Creek and spend a couple weeks clearing this slide and reopening the Sespe. Please considering helping this #GivingTuesday.
We’ll also be continuing our work on the Matilija Trail (come volunteer too!), we’d love to clear Lion Cyn again, work the GMPB up towards Pine Mtn Lodge and hack away at both Potrero John and lower Chorro. No shortage of work to be done, we can’t wait to get out there and do what we do best.
Your support today goes a long way to helping repair the trails across the Ventura Backcountry. Thanks everyone! See you in the forest and on the trails…..
We’ll be working the Alder Creek Trail in the Sespe Wilderness above Fillmore all of next week as part of a large scale Working Vacation. The project is full but we’re looking to clear the trail from Dough Flat out to Cow Spring and hopefully down a couple miles towards Alder Creek. Should be fun, with us luck!
We’ve been chipping away at the Matilija Trail for the past few months and are now up about 2 miles from the lower trailhead. We’ll continue our regularly scheduled Thursday and Saturday volunteer days. The canyon is beautiful and we really appreciate all the hard work from the volunteers. Join the fun!
This coming Sunday will be the second of many trail days this season pn the Agua Blanca Trail. The ABT is located above Lake Piru in the Sespe Wilderness. Super Volunteer Alan Coles will once again be leading the charge and we’ll hopefully continue pushing up towards the Devil’s Gate. Hope you can make it!