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Pine Valley, Ventana Wilderness - California, United States

by calipidder  
with a Garmin Oregon 550t
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Story:
Pine Valley in Ventana Wilderness is a great place for both dayhiking and backpacking. The valley is filled with large pine trees and rock that remind you more of Sierra meadows than typical coastal ranges. There is a 5 acre parcel of private property in the valley belonging to Jack English, a friendly and welcoming 90+ year old man who will invite you in and tell you the amazing stories of his life. Unfortunately on this visit he was not home, out in the real world getting a root canal. We were still able to visit with his son and granddaughter and learn a bit of the history of the cabin. It's an amazing piece of history.

There are some campsites scattered through the valley, so after setting up camp we visited the cabin and wandered down the stream about 1/2 mile to a beautiful, hawaii-like waterfall. The trail is steep and overgrown (with abundant poison oak), but the destination is worth it - don't miss this side trip when visiting Pine Valley!

Tips:
The road into the China Camp trailhead is steep and rocky, 4WD recommended. We drove it in slippery muddy conditions and although the 2WD Jeep made it, we felt a lot safer in the 4WD truck. No matter if you have 2WD or 4WD, at the very least you need some clearance to navigate the 10+ miles of rocks and ruts on this steep and windy dirt road. 
Tags:
ventana, Coast, waterfall, jack english
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Pine Valley, Ventana Wilderness
Comments (3)
darbsitton
Took my 9 year old twins on this trip. Climb out is a bit steep and exposed, but scenery is nice. Recommend avoiding the peak heat of summer.
by darbsitton on Jul 15, 2013
lundjohnson
Had tea with Jack Saturday. He fed my 12 year old son pie and root beer - very nice! He's 93 now.
by lundjohnson on Jul 30, 2012
tripalongtheroad
My husband and I did this hike in late May, and the hike in was very pleasant. It was a cool day and there were many interesting plants along the trail. We noticed one somewhat short but slightly steeper hill on the way in, and commented that it would not be as fun on the way out. What we didn't notice was the 2-3 mile downhill trek we were making, and were therefore not prepared for on the way out. I wouldn't do it on a 90 degree day, though. Otherwise, the hike was very pretty and my husband loved the geological features.
by tripalongtheroad on Jun 06, 2012
Trip Info
April 10, 2010
Trip Location: Tassajara Hot Springs, California, United States
Length: 12.4 miles
Duration: 2 days
Activity: Backpacking
Trip viewed 9,630 times
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