SECTION M

Section “M” first 7 miles – UNSAFE

By: Sam Solace
May 17th, 2016

The initial switchback section is great, including across the middle to the post piles. However, beyond that gets dicey. Initially, you will find overgrowth within the rocks past the post pile, making a couple areas tricky as it is difficult to see where the outer edge is trail, a bush, or air. That is the minor issue.

The greater problem is the handful of rock slides (shale) that have blown out the trail on the upper switchbacks (Southwest facing). The first one I encountered was just a few feet of damage, and clearing was relatively easy to find foot holds. The others were worse, where the trail was effectively replaced (blown out) by the slide. One I cleared a bit, the other I had to create a few foot holds, wedge the trekking pole and jump! Any slip and it is 1,000 to 1,500 feet before you hit anything as you slide down to probably your final hiking memory!!

If anyone is planning to train in this area I suggest avoiding this section and using the Jeep trails (Sierra Buttes Rd, Butcher Ranch Rd, to Sierra Buttes Trail) to reach the PCT at the summit (roughly 7 miles in).

Motorbike use

By: [email protected]
June 10th, 2014

My son’s and I use the trail to scout other hikes and climbs we choose to accomplish. Last week we were twenty-four miles north of Sierra City at A-Tree springs. There is no markings on the north side of the road for PCT. A young man rode his motorcycle from there to the American River on the PCT. It is amazing how much damage a powerful dirt bike does to the trail. It would be nice to have the “No Motorized Vehicles” placard placed into this location.

September 6, 2012

By: Joe Reusser

Walked from Sierra City to the LaPorte-Quincy Road on 8/29/12 to 9/1/12. Many large dead tree blow-downs across the trail from the Johnsville Road to the top of McCrae Ridge, some of which have been there since 2011 when we last walked the section. Most of these were on the trail alongside West Nelson Creek from the road to where the trail crosses the creek, which incidently at that point is dry.

July 18, 2011

Like the previous poster, I planned to hike from Bucks Lake to Belden. However, after 4.5 miles lost the trail in deep snow. Tried following tree markers, but after losing them once too often decided to call it a day. With GPS it’s slow, but passable.