Poison Oak status. Poison Oak has gone dormant for the winter. You will not see many leaves, but bare vines may still have oil, so be careful .
Trail Conditions as of 11/08/14. Trail is mostly clear of poison oak. Washouts have been dug out between trailhead and Spruce Creek camps. The big washout between Spuce Creek and Estrella campgrounds is cleared. A detour around the narrowest part of the trail is open. Always use caution when crossing washouts. Poison oak on the trail to Dutra Flats has been cut back, but continues to be a problem. Long pants and sleeves recommended. Water at Spruce camp.
Trail Conditions as of 11/02/14. Trail is mostly clear of poison oak. Most washouts have been dug out and the trail has been reconstructed in spots. A number of small trees have fallen across the trail and have been cleared. Small debris has been cleared away. Buckeye trail north of junction seems to be fairly overgrown. Long pants and sleeves recommended. NO water on trail.
Trail Conditions as of 11/04/14. Trail is clear of poison oak. No major washouts. Poison oak has been cleared for two miles on the Buckeye trail from Cruickshank campground towards Buckeye camp. Water at Lower Cruikshank, Upper Cruikshank and Villa Creek camps.
Trail Conditions as of 11/11/14. Trail to campsites is clear of poison oak . No major washouts. Trail on the north side of Willow Creek past the second campsite area has been opened up the canyon as far as the narrow rocky gorge. The unmaintained trail up the slope on the north side of Willow Creek has been partially cleared and reconfigured. More work will be done here to provide safe access from the campground area to the old trail to South Coast Ridge Road above the canyon. Water just below the turnaround at the end of the jeep trail and at Willow Creek.
Trail Conditions as of 11/01/14. Trail is mostly clear of poison oak. No washouts. Water available all along Mill Creek.
Trail Conditions as of 09/02/14. Trail is mostly clear of poison oak and brush has been cut back from trailhead to redwood grove (approx. 2 mi.). No washouts. No water on this section of trail.
The biggest problem that you may have is with Poison Oak. Nine out of ten people get a rash from poison oak. This rash is caused by an oil found in the plants. This oil is called urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all). The itchy, blistering rash often does not start until 12 to 72 hours after you come into contact with the oil. Most people see the rash go away in a few weeks. To make the skin feel more comfortable during this time, you’ll find tips from dermatologists here . If you have a serious reaction, you need to see a doctor right away.
These trails are maintained by volunteers from San Luis Obispo, Monterey and other nearby counties. You can help too. Contact Ventana Wilderness Alliance at www.ventanawild.org. You can download a trail map from them here.