The Freedom of the Hills – Ventana Wilderness & Beyond


“A Guide Book to the Wilderness, complete with figures and estimates! Lo, the untamed, adieu …”  – Jaime de Angulo

The Santa Lucia Mountains

               The Ventana

                           The Big Sur Backcountry



Call it what you will.

 Here at Xasáuan Today, we call it home …

 People ask us questions:

 Is it true there are hot springs in the Ventana Wilderness?

 What is the easiest hot spring to get to?

 How do I get to Sykes?

 I just came across your site on the Internet and I know I don’t know you, but could you please tell me about your favorite secret hot springs because I’m a really great person who loves the Wilderness and I’d never ever tell anyone else, really.

Well, all you inquiring minds out there, today you are in luck. Here at Xasáuan Today we are going to reveal to you some of the Ventana’s innermost secrets. Things hitherto known only to a select few. Things it took us decades of backbreaking toil to find out on our own.

 But first, in answer to your questions:

 1.  Yes, there are hot springs in the Ventana Wilderness.

 2.   The easiest hot springs to get to aren’t the ones in the Wilderness, but the ones you can drive to, like Esalen and Tassajara. Nothing in the Ventana Wilderness is easy to get to (at least by the standards of people who write to ask these kinds of questions).

 3.  To get to Sykes, just hike along the trail from Big Sur Station along with everyone else.

 4.  No.

  …. And now that that’s out of the way, allow us to present the official Xasáuan Today Guide to the Santa Lucias:


Travel in the Santa Lucias


Syking Up


The White Redwood Cult


Semi-Historic Pre-Marble Cone Fire Photos


Santa Lucia Related Posts


Important Disclaimer: All information on these pages is provided for entertainment purposes only. No one should be so foolish as to treat this site as a guide to wilderness travel or to otherwise rely on any of our ill-considered rants.

2 Responses to The Freedom of the Hills – Ventana Wilderness & Beyond

  1. Tanngrisnir3 says:

    Very nice site you have here. As a native of the Big Sur area, now living in LA, I appreciate the photos.

  2. JimmyTH says:

    A hot spring and a good soak must be about the best thing possible on a backpacking trip. I’ve been in plenty of cold springs, that’s a whole different sort of joy. After a few days of being dirty it’s worth the shock. Hopefully I’ll run across a good hot spring one of these days so I can comprehend what you’re talking about here. Sounds like a great area to hike.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: