The parking lot at Boreal Ski area trailhead on the south side of I-80 at Donner Pass will be closed for two to three weeks for repaving starting Monday, Aug. 10. The trailhead will still be accessible and parking will be available along the road from the closed parking lot to the ski area.
This closure has been lifted as of 10-9-14.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – The Cascade Fire burning near Snow Lake on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe continues to hold at 30 acres. The wildfire is located entirely in the Desolation Wilderness and poses no threat to structures at this time. No evacuations and no road closures are in effect, and the Forest Service is working closely with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to ensure they have the information they need to protect local communities. In addition to Bayview, Eagle Falls, Tallac, Glen Alpine and Stanford Camp trailheads, and Bayview Campground, the Forest Service has closed Inspiration Point and the Taylor Creek Sno-Park for public safety and to allow for suppression operations. Due to these trail closures, access to the PCT from Lake Tahoe is not possible. California State Parks has temporarily closed vehicular access to the Vikingsholm parking lot in the event it is needed for fire suppression equipment. CalTrans and the California Highway Patrol have closed turnouts in the Highway 89 corridor from Spring Creek to the Vikingsholm parking lot to keep the highway traffic flowing to enable fire apparatus and crews ready access to the area. Here is a link to the closure on the LTBMU website http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ltbmu/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3818304
This closure has been lifted as of 10-9-14.
The King Fire has closed portions of the PCT and is resulting in extreme smoke conditions in some areas that remain technically open. The trail is closed in Desolation Wilderness on Eldorado National Forest, and travel is strongly discouraged because of danger to health and safety up into Granite Chief Wilderness on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. PCT hikers should avoid the trail at least between Donner Pass (mile 1155.6) and Echo Summit (mile 1092.9).
Going north from Echo Lake to Donner’s Pass, the trail has about 1/2 mile of snow on the north side of Dick’s Pass obscuring the trail. As it is switchbacking there, following tracks and using GPS allows you to find the connecting trail. Otherwise, there is patchy snow on shadowed sides of the mountains and many downed trees blocking the trail, but none are insurmountable with care. There are still many seasonal streams running so water is not an issue except from 1143-1155 where there is nothing.
A very important piece of info about this section – At around 1148 on Halfmile’s maps one summits an ascent to reach Tinker Knob. At the top of the ascent is a signed junction. If coming from the south, the apparent correct direction of travel is down the other side towards Truckee. DO NOT GO THIS WAY!! Go left to reach Anderson’s Peak (if hiking from the South). The signage is confusing and the direction of travel appears to be to go down (I was not the only one to make this mistake). If you go down you will be very much off-trail!
Just a reminder that campfires are not allowed in any part of Desolation Wilderness. Rangers are out educating and citing for fires.
June 28 to July 1, 2011 -Trail out of Echo Lake is clear for 2 hours of hiking – lulls you into a sense of exuberance, then you hit the snow, big time. Desolation Wilderness is snowed in, min 2-3 feet with drifts up to 15 feet. Sign at Barker Pass barely visible in 6 feet of snow. GPS with halfmile’s data extremely useful. Microspikes also useful, especially in the am. Some areas where the trail is covered, an ice axe would be useful (we didn’t carry one). We bailed at Heavenly Valley Ski Resort and got a ride to a friends home in Squaw Valley. Going was slow, 1-2 mph. Got off trail more than once, even with GPS. Miller Creek and the one following were challenging, mostly to find a safe crossing point. If you go in here, be prepared, take extra food, unless your name is Malto. Jack and the Kiwis
Photos are on facebook:
We began our hike on the Rubicon-McKinney OHV trail on June 19th. We stayed at Ludlow Hut on Lake Richardson. All of Miller Meadows was really part of Miller Lake. It was a very wet crossing.
When we joined up with the PCT on 6/20 at Lake Richardson, we only caught the trail by the lake and then had to snowshoe on what we thought was close to the trail. We headed for Phipps creek and never found the trail. We were picking our way through trees and over snow bridges. It was about a 10 hour day.
On 6/21 we had a gorgeous walk to Middle Velma and Lake Fontinillas. We were still on snowshoes, which made the terrain easier to manage, though our friend in boots was fine so far. We were able to catch the snow-covered trail, which made the day go very smoothly. We camped up at the intersection of the PCT/Emerald Bay Trail/Bayview Trail. It was nice and clear of snow up there.
We got an extremely early start on 6/22 up to Dick’s Pass in order to not be walking up a slushy mountain. As it was, we were cutting in steps and using ice axes for the full 2 hour walk to the peak. It was worth it to go slow-much more safe, especially for somebody like me who has never done any mountaineering before. When we crossed over Dick’s Pass, we made the mistake of not glissading down to the lakes. 2 out of 3 people in our group had never glissaded, so we tried to follow the trail. Big mistake-it was bad terrain and ended up being a 12 hour day picking our way through bushes and fallen rock. We finally hit the trail though, when we got to camp at Suzie Lake.
On 6/23, we left Suzie Lake and did a rough stream crossing. Actually, it was more of a waterfall crossing. We scooted on our bottoms across a fallen log, which was the best option. We had a great day hiking past Heather Lake,on part of the trail and then across part of frozen Aloha Lake and we were doing so well that we bypassed Tamarack and landed at Lower Echo for the night. This was the only time that we had trail for most of day, which is why we made good time.
We hiked out on 6/24 to HWY 50. The trail was clear except for all of the snow-melt. We fondly referred to the PCT as the PCTriver during the whole trip as all of the tiny segments we saw were creeks under snow-bridges.
Overall, the trip was filled with melting snow, which were fast moving creeks, under snow-bridges. The snowshoes were helpful, especially when the sun-spots got so big that my friend in the boots was slipping around in them.
- Equestrian issue
- Extreme hazard
- Snow conditions
- Trail Closure
- Trail maintenance issue
- Water conditions
- Central California
- Northern California
- Southern California