SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Mill Creek Summit to North Fork Station

By: Dave Fleischman
April 6th, 2015

I want to let all hikers know that the PCT from mile 418(Mill Creek Summit) to mile 434(2 miles south of North Fork Station) has been cleared of heavy overgrowth and has had the tread repaired by the Trail Gorillas. There may be some trees down along the way as they keep coming down from the 2009 fire. We have been working extremely hard to open this section and knock back the poodle dog bush. Another project on April 18,19th will attack the 2 mile section from mile 434 to mile 436 at North Fork Station.
Dave Fleischman, Section D Chief, PCTA volunteer

Trail Conditions California Section D March 4 – 15, 2015

By: Seaglass
March 31st, 2015

My husband and I just hiked California Section D.

The trail was snow covered and impassable a mile south of Guffy CG to Blue Ridge. We used the jeep road that parallels the trail and had to use the Blue Ridge Trail down off the mountain.

The northern descent off of Mt Baden Powell is snow covered and impassable. Use the bypass route.

We experienced an issue with a road crew who were clearing Highway 2 just above the start of the Baden Powell bypass (Manzanita Trail). They were clearing rock slides off the highway, but they were dumping the rocks over the side and down onto the trail. We gave them warning that we would be hiking the trail just below where they were working. They continued to dump rocks over the side and we were nearly hit by rolling rocks and debris. My husband climbed the hill up to the road and talked with the crew foreman. He said he knew we were down there, but he didn’t seem to know that the trail is only about 50-100 feet below the highway. The problem now is that there are boulders that need to be removed from the trail and more importantly there may be boulders caught up in the trees and brush above the trail that can still come down on people. Use extreme caution when approaching the first/last 1/2 mile of this bypass.

The Endangered Species Bypass is rough, poorly designed, many wash-outs and trees down. I would not take a horse on this trail.

There are lots of trees down in the Station Fire area. The section from Mt Gleason North is in need of tree and brush removal. The drop from Mt Gleason down to Messenger Flats is very poorly maintained. North of Messenger Flats we were literally bush-whacking our way through the trail. Sometimes the terrain was steep and the trail narrow. We were in danger of stepping off the trail and through the bushes covering it. The descent into the Acton KOA was plagued with washouts. Again, I would not take a horse into this area.

11-13 March 2015: Cottonwood Creek to Highway 58

By: Joe "Blue Feather" Waters
March 18th, 2015

On 11-13 March2015 I hiked from Cottonwood Creek to Highway 58. Trail in good condition. But a few places between Tylerhorse Canyon and Gamble Spring Canyon where one should be especially cautious with stock. Water: (1) Tylerhorse Canyon very small flow, (2) Tiger Tank dry, water shut off, (3) Oak Creek very small flow, with algae. I carried all my water (9 liters, consumed 8) for this stretch, and was glad I did.

Mt bikes on the PCT

By: John
March 12th, 2015

Saw fresh mt bike tracks while trail running on the PCT from Burnt Rancheria Campground, mile 41.4 to Lower Morris Meadow trail junction, mile 38.5. The tracks continued southbound from 38.5. Hikers should use extreme caution when hiking up to Mt Laguna, as we’re seeing downhill mt bike tracks frequently on the PCT in the section between mile 30 (Kitchen Creek Road) and mile 41.4 (Burnt Rancheria Campground.

Broken Marker /trail delineation needed at Section D Mile 388

By: Ken Marlow
March 10th, 2015

Trail delineation and replacement of a broken marker are need in Section D near Halfmile’s Mile 388, below the summit of Mt. Williamson, in Angeles National Forest.

My wife and I lost the trail north (west)-bound over a low-visibility Thanksgiving Weekend storm weekend, finding ourselves atop Mt Williamson instead of descending on the PCT in this area.

We approached the same problem area from the opposite direction last weekend and again in an attempt to figure where we went wrong and found ourselves again on a spur trail leading to summit Williamson.

The problem area is associated with a broken fiberglass trail marker (only one-inch appearing from the ground) at a ridgetop junction. Uniquely, because there is no trail tread in this area (the PCT falls away out-of-view downslope on both sides. The hiker only sees what ‘looks’ like PCT tread, but in fact is a spur trail to the summit.

Wife and I are experienced long-distance hikers, it was surreal to find ourselves off-trail from opposite approaches on separate trips.

Ken (Class of ’82) & Debbie Marlow