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Sean "Miner" Nordeen
Begins: Mar 19, 2016
Date: Sun, Feb 21st, 2016
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The Condor Trail (CT) is a recreational thru-hiking route through the length of both the northern and southern portions of the Los Padres National Forest in Coastal Central California. The hiking/backpacking trail is approximately 410 miles long and extends from Lake Piru (border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties) in the south to Botchers Gap (just south of Monterey, CA) in the north. Over its length, it passes through 7 designated wildernesses and 4 counties. Portions of the trail are rarely traveled and infrequently maintained. Bushwhacking and route finding are necessary at times. Due to private property issues between the north and south portions of the Los Padres, some road walking is required to connect the trail.
I first heard about the CT back in 2010 when someone posted some information about it on a backpacking forum. As it was (and still is) an incomplete trail, I remember thinking I'd like to hike it one day when they complete it and that was it. I was concentrating most of my attention at the time on the other big trails; the AT and CDT. I hadn't thought anything about it since then. And then earlier this month, over President's Day weekend, I was hiking with a friend from the PCT, O'Dark, in the Los Padres NF. Even though I had wanted to do some hiking in the Los Padres for years, I never actually did. I had bought several trail maps of the wilderness areas of the Los Padres over the past few years, and this trip was the first time I really looked at them since I was finally hiking the area. I noticed on 2 of the maps, the Condor Trail was marked. That reminded me about the trail.
I spent a little time browsing the internet to learn more about it as I had been wondering what to do with my vacation time this year. I discovered that the first person (Brittney Neilson) to thru-hike the Condor Trail had finished very recently in June of 2015. The more I researched, the more I realized that the trail was sounding less like a nice straight forward trail like the Tahoe Rim Trail, but more like my experience on part of the Tahoe Yosemite Trail. More specifically, the route finding and bushwhacking that I experienced for portions of 4 days of that trip. It sounds like if I can hike this trail, the CDT may feel easy in comparison; wishful thinking perhaps.
Condor Trail - 2016
The Condor Trail (CT) travels 410 miles through Central Coastal California in the prime habitat of the endangered California Condor. It runs the length of the Los Padres National Forest from Botchers Gap in Big Sur to Lake Piru near Los Angeles. This scenic trail extends through 4 counties and 7 designated wilderness areas.
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