Ascent of Manuel Peak on 2016-02-21

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:Dean Gaudet -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Shelley Shostak
Date:Sunday, February 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Manuel Peak
    Elevation:3520 ft / 1072 m

Ascent Trip Report

We parked at lot 3 in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and started at the sign for the Mt. Manuel Trail. The distance is shown as 4.0 miles on the sign at the start, and at a sign about half a mile up the trail, both of which appear to be too short. The trail switches back at a steady grade, first on a well-maintained trail, and later on a track through encroaching bush and some poison oak, with several blown down trees that are easy to climb over. The brush is periodically moderate, but the trail is always clear, so it's not really a bushwhack. At some points there is a steep dropoff, and this trail could be dangerous if wet.

At the 3379 benchmark on the topo are good views. We couldn't find the actual benchmark, only reference mark #2. The summit of Mt. Manuel is barely discernible and there is no view or register. Better is to continue another half mile to Cabezo Prieto, which has 900 feet of prominence and excellent views of the Ventana cones and the top of Pico Blanco. We turned around here. A nice traverse with shorter mileage (12 mi) could be made with two cars by continuing along the ridge to Post Summit, and then down grassy slopes on the East Molera trail to the Andrew Molera State Park on Route 1.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail

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