Salmon August Complex near Etna, Calif (Wallow Fire and more)

August 18th, 2017

Update at 2:30 pm on 8/18/17

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Sawyers Bar Road/Etna Summit (mile 1597) north for more than 20 miles. The closure will become official in the next couple days and extend to approximately Halfmile mile 1620 in the Marble Valley.  Given current conditions, it is probably best for northbound hiker to skip to Seiad Valley and southbound hikers will need to skip to Etna Summit.  The trail was previously closed to the Kidder Creek Trail (approximately mile 1612.5 – note that this trail is not marked on Halfmile maps) but the closure is being extended due to the growth in the fires. This is on Klamath National Forest in Marble Mountain Wilderness.

There are a number of other fires in the area, and the Wallow and Pointers Fires are being managed as part of the Salmon August Complex.

Closure map

We do not have a current closure map as the closure is being extended.


Alternate information

Update: do not use the old alternate. We’re leaving it up for a bit in case someone is already on it and needs it. The PCT is now closing in the Kidder Creek Trail area. Do not head onto Kidder Creek Trail or the PCT in the area until more is known about the new closure.

If you’re aiming to walk as much as possible

It looks pretty feasible to leave the trail south of the closure area, do some road walking and maybe ride in a car, and then rejoin the PCT. This route is ~38.3 miles.

Download maps of an alternate that takes you from the Duck Lake Trail to the Kidder Creek Trail: Wallow Fire PCT detour map 8.16.17 (27 mb PDF). This is a GeoPDF that should be printed and can also be opened in the Avenza App.

Alternate directions for a northbound hiker from Duck Lake Trail to Kidder Creek Trail

  1. Leave the PCT mile ~1589.4 by turning right (east) on the Duck Lake Trail #5507 for 3.9 miles to Duck Lake Trailhead
  2. Turn right (south) onto Road #41N14 for 1.3 miles
  3. Turn left (east) onto Road #40N22 for 0.6 miles
  4. Turn left (north) onto Road #3G002 for 7 miles
  5. Turn left (north) onto Highway 3 for 4.4 miles to Etna, California. You might want to ride in a car for Highway 3 as the road does not always have a shoulder. Be safe!
  6. Visit Etna, CA
  7. Continue heading north via Highway 3 for 6.3 more miles
  8. Turn left (west) onto Main Street in Greenview, CA, take Main Street for 0.4 miles past the Post Office
  9. Turn left (west) onto Kidder Creek Road for 9.8 miles to Kidder Creek Trailhead. Road becomes North Kidder Creek Road #42N04
  10. Rejoin trail tread on Kidder Creek Trail #5545 for 4.6 miles to the Pacific Crest Trail near mile 1612.5

You could also just walk north to Etna Summit

From Etna Summit, you’d take a car down to Etna.

You could also just skip ahead to the next trail town [Update: this is likely the best option at this time.]

You’d head via car or bus to Seiad Valley. The bus goes via Yreka. More info: 


Island Fire in Marble Mountain Wilderness

July 7th, 2017

The Island Fire is burning deep in the Marble Mountain Wilderness on the Klamath National Forest. It was ignited by lightning on Sunday June 25 and first reported on the afternoon of June 26.

The PCT is not closed at this point but it may close in the future. The fire is burning about 5 miles west of the PCT from around mile 1600 to about mile 1610. It is visible from the trail.

We recommend that you pay close attention to smoke conditions and avoid the area if it’s too smokey. Please refer to the smoke advisory below.

The Fay Fire is also burning in the area. It’s south of Etna, near Highway 3. We do not anticipate it effecting the PCT but you might see the smoke that it’s producing.


Smoke advisory for PCT hikers

Temporary holds on PCT due to helicopter activity

September 15th, 2016

About a mile south of Seiad Valley, there will be 20 minute holds on the PCT as helicopters fly salvaged logs across the PCT. This activity is part of salvage logging in the Happy Camp Complex burn area. It is being done to help reduce future fire danger. These holds will start on 9/15/16 and will continue for the next 45 days.

Temporary closures for trail work on Grider Creek

September 14th, 2016

On the morning of September 15th, 2016 there will be temporary closures at Grider Creek (around mile 1640) as a new bridge is helicoptered in. Hikers and riders may be held from advancing for a few hours at a time. A second bridge will be flown in later this month and similar holds will occur. The date is being figured out now.

May 12, 2011

Due to this year’s heavy snow fall, much of the PCT through the Marble Mountains Wilderness will remain under snow well into July. In addition, snow pack could remain on the north facing slopes of the higher elevations into early August.

The heavy snow pack will make trail maintenance difficult, particularly for the Backcountry Horsemen volunteers who work so hard to open trails throughout the wilderness every year.

Hikers should be patient as late melting snow will hinder the clearing of blowdowns on the PCT.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton