SECTION N

Significant number of trees across PCT in Lassen National Park

By: Lassen NP
June 9th, 2015

It should be noted, that Lassen Volcanic National Park experienced a major wind event this past February causing a significant number of trees to fall over the winter months. The amount of blow down on park trails this year is unprecedented and our crews are working hard to clear park trails for our visitors as soon as possible. Along the northern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, approximately 390 trees fell over the winter. Volunteers from the Pacific Crest Trail Association working in tandem with the park trail crew will cross-cut clear the trees June 14 through June 20.  Hikers should use caution while navigating through the fallen trees and should expect trails that have not been cleared to take twice as long as usual to hike. Equestrians will be unable to navigate most trails until they are cleared of downed trees. To check the most current trail conditions, visit http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/hiking_lassen_park.htm

Timber project near Chester, CA

By: Justin K.
March 31st, 2015

Beginning in mid-April, the Collins Pine Co. will begin a timber thinning project on private lands that are adjacent to the Lassen National Forest, Almanor Ranger District. Approximately the first two miles of the PCT north of the Hwy 36 crossing (just west of Chester, CA) may be affected by project activities (see map). If you are hiking or horseback riding on the PCT, you may encounter heavy machinery and management activities in this area. While the project is ongoing, the Collins Pines staff will place signs alerting trail users to project activities. Additionally, when project activities overlap or are very close to the trail, a Collins Pines employee will be on the ground to ensure trail users can safely pass through the project area.

You can see a project map here.

Flagging near Old Station on Lassen NF

By: Justin K.
January 8th, 2015

Flagging was placed by Lassen National Forest Staff along the PCT on the Hat Creek Ranger District near the town of Old Station. Approximately one mile of the PCT is lightly flagged from Forest Service Road 32N99 north to the PCT/Spatter Cone trail junction. The flagging colors are orange and white with blue poka-dots.

The flagging was placed to mark a vegetation management project that will be implemented in the spring of 2015. Although some trail users may find the flagging to be a visual impact, the Lassen National Forest and PCTA ask that PCT users do not pull the flagging down, as it is necessary for project implementation. In instances where flagging has been removed along the trail, it has necessitated Forest Service or PCTA staff to duplicate their efforts by re-marking the trail. PCTA appreciates trail users’ understanding.

Bald and Eiler Fires – Hat Creek Rim, Calif.

August 19th, 2014

The PCT is open again in this area.

The Bald Fire and Eiler Fires burned near the PCT around the Hat Creek Rim, the communities of Old Station, Hat Creek, Burney and others.

MODIS layer of the Eiler and Bald Fires as seen on 8/4/14 at 9 a.m.

MODIS layer of the Eiler and Bald Fires as seen on 8/4/14 at 9 a.m.

Bald Fire (foreground) and Day Fire (background), taken 7-31-14 (thanks to Walter Bunt)

Bald Fire (foreground) and Day Fire (background), taken 7-31-14 (thanks to Walter Bunt)

MODIS fire layer for the Bald Fire as seen at 2:29pm on 8/1/14

MODIS fire layer for the Bald Fire as seen at 2:29pm on 8/1/14

Logging in Reading Fire burn area

By: Jack Haskel
August 16th, 2013

Logging Operations

Hat Creek Ranger District

There are three timber sales operating on the Hat Creek Ranger District to remove fire-killed trees within the 2012 Reading Fire area located on the Lassen National Forest.

Logging operations have started on these sales and will continue through early summer 2014.

Expect to encounter frequent logging trucks and road watering trucks along main haul routes on National Forest system roads.

This map displays the main haul routes, including Twin Bridges Road (32N12) to West Prospect Lookout, the Potato Butte Road (32N20) through to the north slope of West Prospect, and the Lost Creek (32N13) along Lost Creek.

When driving in the area, expect temporary road closures and some delays. Please plan your activities accordingly and use caution when in the area.

Belden to Highway 36

By: Paul N.
June 25th, 2013

I started at Belden about 4pm Thursday (6/20/13) and camped at Myrtle Flat that night. The trail was clear of downed trees but could definitely use some brush clearing. Lots of poison oak all along the trail edges. The next day between Myrtle Flat and Poison Spring the brush got worse – in places it wasn’t clear just where the trail was, given that the bushes had grown together and the trail underneath was pretty eroded in places. For a while, it felt as though I was going cross country. That said, those guys that did the logging of the trail in May, clearing it of downed trees did a great job. There were almost zero blocking the trail through that area which was wonderful. (and plenty of fresh saw cuts and evidence that someone had been hard at work there clearing the trail).

North of Poison Spring I started to encounter a few downed trees (and mosquitos). I loaded up with water at Cold Springs, (but not enough it turned out later the next day), and made a dry camp at Humboldt Summit Friday night. Nobody else there until some car campers came by about midnight. Nice camp though and wonderful views and no mosquitos! Next morning I left early hoping for water along the way somewhere, but never did find any until reaching Soldier Springs about 4pm, and I was hot, tired, and thirsty by then. The five miles or so after the Butt Mountain junction had quite a few big downed trees across the trail, some difficult to get around.

Another thing I noticed which concerned me for a while was that in that same five mile section there were virtually no trail “diamond” markers. Don’t know why they were missing on that piece of trail. I had seen them faithfully everywhere else along the way, and because I was essentially out of water by then, it was a bit worrisome. Had me a little bit spooked, but I couldn’t quite imagine that I had gotten off on some side trail. When I came across the “Midpoint” marker, I was happy and relieved. Wrote in my first trail log there.

Saturday night I camped at Soldier Creek, a small but very nice spot right next to the water. I drank a lot of water when I got there. And then I hiked out to Highway 36 by 9am on Sunday.

So my recommendations for this part of Section N would be some serious brushing south of Poison Spring, some log clearing north of Butt Mtn junction, along with some diamond (or better yet) – PCT Trail markers.

I didn’t see any rattlesnakes, and watched for ticks but wasn’t aware of having any of them find me. Saw several deer, lots of great birds, tons of beautiful wildflowers, one big buzzard, and one bear that was scrambling to get away from me even though he was at some distance away already.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton