SECTION M

Bucks Lake to Middle Fork Feather River bridge

By: David Greenleaf
May 27th, 2016

Did an overnight trip to the PCT bridge on the Middle Feather River, 5/11 – 5/12.

Trail Condition: Starting at Big Creek Rd the first few miles to Lookout Rock have moderate amounts of snow and a number of trees on the trail (8+), none are too bad to get over or around. Trail is well marked and easy to follow despite the snow. Large amounts of branches and debris on the trail.

From Lookout Rock down into the Middle Feather River Canyon the snow disappears. However the amount of trees on the trail and debris increases. The hiking is rough going due to the amount of stuff on the trail. Past the Bear Creek Bridge (in good condition, no issues) the trail goes along a super steep hillside and is covered in leaves, which can be very slippery, in sections the trail has eroded away and the leaves have accumulated enough to completely cover it, making it a bit sketchy to cross sections. Would be super scary with a horse due to the steepness of the slope the trail is on. In the last mile or so before the river, the trail is getting very overgrown.

The PCT bridge of the Middle Feather is in good condition, didn’t notice any problems with it. Camped at the nice sites just past the bridge on the North side of the river.

Insect Note: Below 6,000 – 5,500ft this section is absolutely infested with ticks. Due to the amount of debris on the trail and overgrown sections, the ticks were able to easily attach to me and my dog. Was stopping every 15 minutes or so to remove ticks, easily 50+ ticks taken off both of us while hiking and another 20 or so that I missed and removed at home.

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.

Photo by: Kern Ducote