Ascent of Cone Peak on 2018-01-28

Climber: Andy Spivack

Date:Sunday, January 28, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cone Peak
    Elevation:5155 ft / 1571 m

Ascent Trip Report

See my Junipero Serra trip report for directions through the base and to Memorial Park. After climbing Junipero Serra I continued up the road just pass Memorial Park campground to the trailhead.

I started at about 3pm and proceeded 2.2 miles up the Arroyo Seco Trail, keeping to the left at at a trail junction, where I found a nice campsite along the creek (this is not Madrone Camp which is at mile 3). The next morning I broke camp at 8am and continued up the trail, passing Madrone Camp, where the trail becomes thick with brush. Although easy to the follow, the brush thickens as you rise to the ridge. I recommend pants, long sleeves, and a hat to protect from the aggressive brush.

Once on the ridge the Arroyo Seco ends at the North Coast Ridge Trail, which I turned south on and headed towards Cone Peak. I passed by two trail junctions before turning on to the Gamboa Trail which descended nearly 1000 feet to a camp below the base of Cone Peak. From there, a steep 1.5 mile ascent brought me to the top of Cone Peak just before noon. Ate lunch at the survey marker and soaked in incredible views of the the coast and Big Sur on a crystal clear day.

Returned the way I came. All in all, an immensely enjoyable alternative to the standard route. If you got the extra time I highly recommend approaching from this direction as the trails were empty, but easy to follow, diverse in vegetation, and full of great views of Junipero Serra, Memorial Park, Big Sur Mountains, and the Ocean.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5611 ft / 1710 m
    Extra Gain:1260 ft / 384 m
    Distance:19.2 mi / 31 km
    Route:Arroyo Seco Trail-North Coast Ridge Trail-Gamboa T
    Trailhead:Memorial Park  2064 ft / 629 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:4 Hours 10 Minutes

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