Tips on Hiking the Ventana Wilderness

Tips on Hiking the Ventana Wilderness
The Ventana Wilderness is part of the Los Padres National Forest and is contained within the Santa Lucia Mountains. These rugged, steep peaks add to the isolated beauty of the area. Incredibly diverse landscape runs from the Pacific coastline to high-altitude pine forests with dense vegetation throughout. Hiking this area can be challenging and rewarding.


Difficulty: Easy


Step 1
The sharp peaks and valleys of Ventana pose difficult and rugged terrain. Whittle down your packing list to lower your load weight, and use a topographic map to determine elevation gain on any trail you want to hike. Take trail difficulty into account when planning your trek.
Step 2
Because the terrain of Ventana is so rugged and densely forested, off-trail hiking is not encouraged. You will likely find that travel through the bush is too strenuous to seriously attempt. Stay on established trails and campsites instead.
Step 3
The Pine Ridge Trail and the area around Styes Hot Springs are the most heavily trafficked areas in the Ventana. Avoid these places if you want a more secluded hike.
Step 4
A large mountain lion population means you must take precautions with camping and food similar to those taken in bear country. Hang your food and hike in groups. Make noise on the trail, and don't let any hiker get out of sight of your group.
Step 5
If you plan to hike in the winter months, stay to the east of the wilderness area. Coastal areas receive a large amount of rainfall through the winter and spring, but the inland regions are typically drier.

Article Written By Gregory Johnson

Greg's passion for the outdoors has led him in hikes across the United States and over diverse terrain. Though he currently resides in the foothills of Appalachia, Greg spends his summer months working and hiking in such places as Tucson, Arizona, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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