Hike + Trailwork with Wildtender in Big Sur

My God what a beautiful week in Big Sur. We came down from the Bay Area to assist Wildtender in their trail revitalization work and were treated to everything California’s central coast has to offer. Wildtender’s founder, Fletcher, is an old friend of Juniper Ridge who puts together trail work trips for various routes through the Big Sur backcountry each spring. Wildtender are great stewards for the natural beauty of the area who – in addition to preservative work – organize backpacking trips into the wilderness of Big Sur that cultivate reciprocal intimacy with the earth.

There’s a magic to Big Sur that’s present in every moment spent there, and doing work in these remote locations brought that magic out in full-force. Our 4-day trip began with a long hike along the historic Marble Peak Trail from Arroyo Seco and eventually we linked up with the Bordona trail which descends spectacularly down to the Pacific Ocean. The vistas were stunning, and the way Big Sur moves between climates still takes my breath away even after all these years.

Walking along these trails we quickly saw how badly this work was needed. The area was hammered with serious rain and flooding this past winter, so when we got on location it was clear we had our hands full. Not only did we have to restore the area after this winter’s heavy rains, but we also found ourselves caught in a late spring storm while doing the trail work—a reminder of how climate change is affecting the world around us.

Thankfully, when mother nature brings bruising storms it also means we get to see these stunning locations in native bloom. Deep in the remote wildness, we were able to let our guard down and take in the beauty around us. Doing work to help maintain these areas might sound tiring, but the simplicity of it allows you to connect with your surroundings in such a meaningful way. There’s something about getting your hands dirty in work like this that resonates deeply in our souls.

Juniper Ridge understands how important it is to honor our natural surroundings, and that’s the driving force behind everything we do. Working with Wildtender reminds us of the importance of preserving our local habitats. If you’ve got a local grassroots conservation and advocacy organization near you, we recommend you volunteer your services or donate to the organization. It’s not just a great way to help the planet; it’s a great way to connect with nature.