SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Hidden Cameras

By: Paul "Nohawk" Hacker
May 3rd, 2016

Greetings to all PCT hikers. Hope all is well with your through hike. Just return from section hiking the Cottonwood Creek at the aqueduct to Tehachapi-Willow Springs road section. We ran into a Forest Service Ranger who was monitoring the motor cycle traffic in the area. The Forest Service has been installing hidden cameras to catch cyclist who are abusing the Trail. He told us that hikers have been covering the cameras lenses for some reason ? He wanted to let you know that it is not hunters trying to shoot Bambi, or Big Brother trying to spy on your whereabouts.
The Forest Service is trying to protect our trail.

Please help

Thanks
Nohawk and Firewoman
Class of ’77

Lake Fire closure south of Big Bear, Calif.

April 27th, 2016

April 27, 2016 update: San Bernardino National Forest informed us today that the Lake Fire closure will remain in place at least through May. There is no ETA for opening the trail.

The Lake Fire burned approximately 32,000 acres, much of it in San Gorgonio Wilderness in June 2015. A much loved wilderness and a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail burned.

The Pacific Crest Trail remains closed for about 15.5 miles from the southern boundary of San Bernardino National Forest (approximately mile 236.5) to Onyx Summit (mile 252). Details about the rest of the closed areas can be seen on the map below and in the closure order.

The PCT is indeed open north of I-10, past Whitewater Preserve and all the way to mile 236.5 in Mission Creek. But once you get there, you hit the closure boundary. Only people interested in an out-and-back hike can utilize this section of the PCT. People wanting to go to Big Bear will want to stop at I-10 (or perhaps Whitewater Preserve if you have transportation arranged).

When will the Lake Fire closure reopen?

What a great question. Trust us, no one is more excited about re-opening the Pacific Crest Trail than PCTA. In our meetings and many conversations with our partners at San Bernardino National Forest, it’s clear that opening the PCT is a very high priority for all involved. Trail maintainers are ready to work as soon as the snow melts and the go-ahead is given. A big unknown is how this year’s El Nino affected winter storms will affect the burn area. How much snow will fall this winter? How quickly will it melt? How much new damage will winter storms bring? When will the snow melt off the access roads? While other sections of the trail in Southern California have been severely damaged by recent landslides, we’re crossing our fingers that the PCT in the burn area was not similarly damaged.

Once the trail maintainers head out this spring, the necessary work will be done and then the legal process of opening the trail (official signatures and the like) will occur.

All said, our hope and goal is to have the work done and trail legally opened by the time the bulk of northbound hikers reach the area. People planning to hike through in early season will probably reach the area before the trail is open. They will have to skip this section of trail. Unfortunately, we really don’t know what challenges we’ll face and how fast the work will go. Support our trail crews by donating or volunteering today.

As soon as we have more information, we’ll update this site.

Getting around the closure

We spent time researching a safe and legal way to walk around the closure and did not come up with anything. Since June, hikers have been taking a series of buses and taxi cabs between Interstate 10 and Big Bear. It’s a research project that you’ll need to do. Here’s some advice to help you in your research:

  • Hiring a private car, finding a volunteer, a friend, or a family member will always be the most convenient way. Consider splitting a taxi with other hikers to take you the whole way (if you can find one).
  • Public transit will take you from cities along I-10, through the San Bernardino MetroLink Station, and to Big Bear.
    • You have two good bus options between I-10 and MetroLink:
    • Mountain Transit will pick you up at the MetroLink and will take you to, and around, the Big Bear area.

Lake Fire resources

Current closure map

Lake Fire closure map published 7/16/15.

Lake Fire closure map published 7/16/15. Download a PDF version here.

Major littering at Warner Springs area

Sections:
By: Hamburger Helper
April 22nd, 2016

Someone has been dumping toilet-related trash in the crevices around Eagle Rock. A few weeks ago I found a fresh banana peel and human feces in the open at the base of one of the smaller boulders in front of the eagle. The trash can at the pipe gate outside the trailhead at Hwy 79, next to the Fire Station is overflowing and hikers are tossing their zip locks and misc trash on the ground below it and on the stone ledge above it. I might be able to clean it up when I go back in early May if the problem persists. There is a dumpster across the road at the Community Center!

Chinquipin Ridge snow

Sections:
By: Andy
April 12th, 2016

Be Advised: Snow conditions still exist on the re-route section from Tahquitz peak summit across Chinquipin Ridge. It is a little deceiving right now because snow is holding on that aspect but not evident from down below. Apparently, there have been a number of hikers that have backtracked down Southridge and back up Devils Slide.

End of California Section E and Beginning of Section F

Sections:
By: Donna Saufley
February 17th, 2016

Hiked northbound from Cameron/Willow Springs Road to Robin Bird Spring.

At approximate Mile 562, significant erosion damage (2′ deep trench) on short stretch of trail. Easily side-stepped, but will continue to worsen.

At approximate Mile 565, steep hillside in state of extreme deterioration. Trail tread was sound and passable, but hillside above and below trail is unstable and is washing away.

From Mile 566.5 to 566.7 (the stretch of trail parallel and alongside Hwy 58) the trail has been obliterated due to heavy flooding. It was easy enough to follow however. Trail conditions okay above gate and beyond.

The most serious conditions and the primary reason for this report were blowdowns below Cache Peak, where trail leaves road MK10 and becomes single-track again, and Robin Bird Spring. I lost count of the blowdowns, in excess of 50 downed trees. Soft, moist soil and heavy winds took down live and dead trees in and out of burn area

Powerhouse Fire Closure

February 9th, 2016

The PCT is closed from mile 478.2 at San Francisquito Canyon Rd. north to approximately mile 492 (the center line of the southeast half of Section 19, Township 7 North, Range 15 West, San Bernardino Base and Meridian).

Please stay out of this closure area.  It is critical that our volunteers are able to access, survey, plan and rebuild this stretch of trail.  They are not able to complete their work with people using the trail.

PCT users have options for getting around the closure. With northbound travel in mind:

  1. Take the Halfmile detour.
  2. Take San Francisco Canyon Road north to Elizabeth Lake Road, then leave Elizabeth Lake Road at the Junction of 7N23 and take that road to its intersection with the PCT.  Hikers can then resume their hike as normal on the PCT.  Due to law enforcement activity going on in the area near Bear Camp we do not recommend camping nor traveling at night in the stretch of trail north of Sawmill Campground to the Angeles Forest Boundary (just north of Horse Camp). View a google map of this detour here.

Resources

Small Landslide PCT – Mile 69.10

Sections:
By: James Amato
January 25th, 2016

Just got done hiking the first 150 miles of the PCT from Campo to Hwy 74. At mile 69.10, I came across a small landslide that blocked the trail. It was roughly several meters wide in a very steep part of a canyon. The trail was blocked by 2 huge boulders and tons of loose sediment. What lied above the trail (where the slide came from) looked extremely unstable. When approaching the slide the trail was literally cracked and slumping. As a backpacker, it was a bit sketchy to get over, but doable.. no way a horse could pass and is in an area that would be extremely difficult to turn around. It’s ALOT steeper then how it appears in the photos attached. It was located just north of the concrete Water tank at mile 68.4.

Sincerely, James Amato aka Business Time

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