So, yeah, I’ve had a journey up Palo Colorado Road, to Pico Blanco Scout Camp, on my radar for awhile. It’s been closed for about 5 years, due to fire damage, and a washed-out road. It’s now FOR SALE!
I guess I better get going, and see it before it changes, or becomes off-limits!
There’s a gate, 4 miles from Highway 1. From there it’s about 3.5 miles to Bottcher’s Gap and 4 miles further to the Scout Camp…and about 1300 feet of climbing in each direction!
The camp is in great condition, from what I can see. We were told there was an on-site caretaker, but we saw no signs of anyone.
The caretaker at Bottcher’s Gap told us that there’s been quite a bit of vehicle traffic to the camp. He believes the property showing is complete, and the Scout Council is reviewing offers. It will be interesting to see…
We also had an interesting discussion about the endangered Dudley’s Lousewort and the Santa Lucia Fir. I’ve seen Dudley’s at Portola Redwoids State Park, but didn’t spot any here. The beautiful, and very rare, Santa Lucia Fir was visible on the steep hillsides, as well as one in the Bottcher’s Gap parking lot
Scouting has been on a long decline so this isn’t surprising. I’ve never been to the scout camp but I was the trail lead for the Ventana Wilderness Alliance’s project to improve the trail from the Coast Road up the Little Sur River to Pico Blanco Public Camp. After the 2008 fire destroyed almost the whole trail I became discouraged and abandoned it. There is a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole at the Public Camp.
Beautiful area! I’m motivated to explore a little more, though I know many of the trails are a mess. VentanaWild.org has good trail reports.
You should use this map to explore the area, https://bigsurtrailmap.net/ I have hiked with Jack and he keeps it up to date. Pico Public Camp, Pico Blanco summit are something else to see, I got to see them when my boys were is Scouting…. The lousewort is out there, just need to spend a lot of time to find it, it like disturbed soil, trails, washouts etc… the trip up the Little Sur from camp to Fox Camp is one of my favorites…then there is La Ventana…..bummer the road is closed, the BSA used to sell parking permits for backpackers and made it easy to head in to a real hard place to hike…
I went to the Scout Camp last year. (I’ve seen Lousewort at Portola Redwoods State Park.)
copy…”Pico Public Camp” is a USFS campsite on the South Fork reached from the Old Coast Road with egress over El Sur Ranch and Granite Rock property, the BSA camp is on the North Fork.. complete bushwack as Caljim51 noted……cheers