Big Sur – The Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts of America is selling Camp Pico Blanco, its 368-acre Scout Camp surrounded by the Ventana Wilderness near Big Sur, for $1.8 million.
Deputy Scout Executive and CEO Eric Tarbox said Camp Pico Blanco is being sold because access has been hampered since the 2016 Soberense fire swept through the area and a few months later 2017 rains washed away parts of the road.
“Scouts have not been able to access the camp and may not be able to for the foreseeable future,” Tarbox said. “Specifically, we’re not selling it for financial need, but because the Scouts can’t use it.”
Camp Pico Blanco has been closed since the summer of 2016 when it was evacuated due to the Soberense fire. The camp was rescued by firefighters—the third time it was rescued from wildfires, including the 1977 Marble Cone and 2008 Basin Complex fires.
Scout Camp is accessible from Highway 1 on Palo Colorado Road, along the Big Sur Coast. Although repair work has been carried out along the road up to Butchers Gap, or milepost 7.4, 3.5 miles from Palo Colorado Road to Camp Pico Blanco at the end of the road has not been repaired due to a lack of funding from the federal and county governments. ,
Tarbox explained that the Boy Scouts’ Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council has formed a partnership committee with the Big Sur Land Trust and others over the past two years to collect input on how best to proceed. The group decided that the best route would be to sell to a community partner who prioritizes managing the land, has the ability to scouts to use the land at some future stage, and provides some financial benefits to the seller.
According to Tarbox, the Council of Boy Scouts Tender For qualified interested parties with a vision for camping.
Mahoney & Associates is handling the commercial real estate listings and Peter Baird is the listing agent.
The site, located on the north fork of the Little Sur River, consists of 20 buildings with a total of 22,525 square feet and includes a dining hall, campsites, and a seasonally-allowed flashboard dam. The property was donated to the Scout Council in 1948 by William Randolph Hearst and since opened in 1955 has served as a summer camp for several generations of Scouts from the Monterey Peninsula region and across the state and nation.
Prior to Hearst, the land had been inhabited for about 3,000 years by Native Americans, including the Ramsons, who occupied the area from Carmel to the Palo Colorado Valley and the Little Sur region. From there, Eschelon moved south into the area that is now Lucia, according to the Monterey County Historical Commission. The natives were assimilated through the mission system or died of disease brought by Spanish soldiers, clerics and civilians who had come to the region from Europe in the early 1770s.
This was followed by the California Mexican period from 1821 to 1846 when the pioneer era of Big Sur began with the grant of the nearly 9,000-acre Rancho El Sur by the Mexican government, which stretched from the mouth of the Little Sur River to Cooper Point.
By 1891, the US government was giving homeowners parcels of land that brought commercial enterprise to the area, including harvesting timber from redwoods loaded onto ships waiting at Notley’s Landing near the entrance to the Palo Colorado Road. Interest in preserving the redwoods prompted Hearst to purchase the land and tell the scouts.
Camp Pico Blanco is surrounded by undeveloped, private land owned by Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, and GraniteRock.
The Request for Proposals for Sale of Camp Pico Blanco states that “in addition to selling the property, (Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council) is also seeking to retain limited access rights to the property for the purposes of Scouting-related activities. “
Tarbox said the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council’s small volunteer committee will review the submission request for proposals and decide on its partner.