Hot Spot

Arroyo Seco Gorge 2019

Greenfield, CA

The headwaters of the Arroyo Seco lie in the Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest. The drainage encompasses some of the most rugged terrain in California. Flowing north from the Santa Lucia Mountains, it cuts a steep gorge as it approaches the Arroyo Seco Campground, making it a heavily used recreation resource for visitors from nearby and around the globe. The Hot Spot efforts will reach thousands of people through a series of communication workshops, public outreach, and public events in nearby communities.  We will be working with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance (VWA), USFS, as well as other local stakeholders ranging from businesses like Patagonia and REI to concessioners managing local campgrounds. It will benefit those who care about wild places, help protect communities on the wildland/urban interface from fire, and ensure clean water for communities and significant agricultural activities downstream. Tourism and agriculture are the two largest industries in Monterey County, so any efforts to protect her natural resources have a significant benefit for people locally, regionally and around the globe.

Kickoff event at Patagonia Santa Cruz

When: Thursday, August 15 @ 7:00-9:30pm

Who: Up to 200 attendees

Where: Patagonia Santa Cruz, 415 River Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060

Additional Details: Alvarado Street Brewery will provide beer. There will be a food truck and tabling. Project leaders at Patagonia, VWA, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer team will lead a brief introduction to Leave No Trace and the Hot Spot efforts.  Adventure runner Leor Pantilat will do presentation (with Q&A) on swimming and hiking the Arroyo Seco from the backcountry to the campground and day use area. There will be a raffle at the end of the evening, too!


Enjoy the Arroyo Seco Gorge and Leave No Trace

When: Tuesday, August 20th @ 7:00-8:30 pm

Who: 40 max

Where: REI Marina, 145 General Stilwell Drive, Marina, CA 93933

Contact: Rich Popchak, VWA Communications and Outreach Director (831)423-3191 (office) or (831) 818-6255 (cell)

Additional Details: This workshop will introduce attendees to the wonders of the Arroyo Seco watershed and how to enjoy it responsibly by learning and practicing Leave No Trace principles.


Brewery event – Trivia Night!

When: Thursday, August 22 @ 3:00pm – 8:00pm

Who: Up to 200 people

Where: Alvarado Street Brewery Tasting Room, 1315 Dayton Street, Suite E, Salinas, CA 93901

Additional Details: Patagonia and REI will table at the event and offer prizes.  Alvarado Street Brewery is creating a “Keep It Wild” IPA specifically for this Hot Spot and proceeds will benefit the good work of the VWA.


Community clean-up day

When: Saturday, August 24 @ 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Arroyo Seco Gorge and Day Use Area. Three separate teams with different roles will remove trash and litter from the river from Horse Bridge to the Gorge to the heavily-impacted Day Use Area.

Contact: Mike Splain, VWA Executive Director, (831)359-2489

Additional Details: Campsites available for volunteers.  The Arroyo Seco Citizen’s Association will be hosting volunteers for a post-clean-up dinner at a nearby ranch from 4:00 – 7:00pm.

Upcoming Hot Spot Events

Your donation helps bring Leave No Trace solutions to these impacted areas.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.