EXTREME HAZARD

Holcomb Fire near Big Bear, Calif.

June 19th, 2017

The Holcomb Fire started around 3:05 PM on June 19th near Big Bear, California.

The fire is burning north of Baldwin Lake near where the PCT crosses Highway 18 (PCT mile 266).

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed for about 9 miles from Highway 18 (mile 266) to Van Dusen Road (mile 275). Highway 18 is also closed. We recommend leaving the trail before the official closure.

Resources

Damaged bridge affects PCT/JMT and Rae Lakes Loop in significant way

By: Jack Haskel
May 26th, 2017

EDIT: We were previously told by SEKI staff that the Woods Creek bridge was damaged. That information is incorrect.

South Fork Kings River bridge in Upper Paradise Valley is damaged

The South Fork of the Kings River is a major water course. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park staff tell us that the bridge across it is damaged. This likely a major issue for travel in the area. Do not plan on crossing. PCT/JMT hikers should not plan to leave the trail via this trail.

Effect on Rae Lakes Loop hikers

It’d be incredibly early to hike in this area regardless due to all of the snow and flooding creeks. But if you’re planning on hiking the Rae Lakes Loop, you should reconsider your plans. SEKI park staff recently sent out this note:

“The foot bridge across the South Fork of the Kings River in Upper Paradise Valley was severely damaged over the winter and has fallen into the water. The bridge is not safe to cross and the remaining bridge structure is very unstable. There are no other developed crossings in the area and visitors who intended to use the bridge should adjust their plans.” – SEKI

 

Damaged bridge affects Rae Lakes Loop – Woods Creek/PCT-JMT Junction

By: Webdweeb
May 26th, 2017

[EDIT: for more information see: https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/trail-condition/damaged-bridges-effect-pctjmt-rae-lakes-loop-significant-way/]

I was advised by the SEKI visitor center that there are two damaged backcountry bridges in the Rae Lakes Loop area-the first crosses the South Fork of the King’s River in Upper Paradise Valley, and the second (most relevant to PCT and JMT hikers) crosses Woods Creek at the Woods Creek/JMT-PCT trail junction. The first closure is mentioned on the SEKI trail conditions web page, but the second is not yet posted-I assume they will update this status soon. There will apparently be efforts to helicopter in temporary bridges and/or repair materials for both crossings, but there was no timeline given for this work. The office stressed that both crossings were very hazardous to cross without the bridge and cautioned not to attempt a ford or a crossing on the remnants of the damaged bridges.

Trail erosion

Sections:
By: Lynn
April 6th, 2017

From approximately mile 544.5-546.5 the trail is eroded in many places on the steep switchbacks, often to the point of the trail being almost nonexistent. The steep incline and unstable sand makes the tread very dangerous for hikers and probably impassable for equestrians.

Angles NF endangered Species by-pass

Sections:
By: Ray Drasher
March 20th, 2017

The by-pass for the endangered species in Angeles Forest says equestrians should use this, but under no circumstance should any equestrian use any part of this. Even hikers should beware since there has been severe erosion on much of the Punchbowl trail portion before some of the heavy rains that have come since I inspected this. Have been working on getting volunteer support for this but none so far. Equestrian, especially any with Pack animals should continue on the trail till Eagles Roost and walk the Highway 2 till Cloudburst Summit. If done during the week in the morning not much traffic to worry about. Going down by Buckhorn to Littlerock creek has some tight areas for any packs so the extra mile or so highway is better from Buckhorn to Cloudburst. Hikers may want to consider the highway also to Buckhorn.

MP 608 – 611 Heat Warning, Wind Warning, & Erskine Fire

Sections:
By: Linda Clark-O'Brien
June 27th, 2016

Fire has not yet reached either Landers Camp Spring or Kelso Valley Rd. I was section hiking along that section thru end of Wednesday (6/22) & shuttling some hikers around on Thursday (6/23). Most hikers are off the ridge line above Kelso Valley Rd due to the heat at midday combined with gale force winds at night (40-60 mph). Have to go to ground with shade at midday & cannot hike at night in gale force winds.

Dangerous conditions north of Sonora Pass

By: frank gilliland
June 21st, 2016

Dangerous Trail Conditions: I’m a triple crown trail hiker (trail name Starman) and have been long distance hiking for nearly 20 years. I have never seen conditions more dangerous than what I’m experiencing north of Sonora Pass, in particular north of Hwy 4. I’m at mile post 1059.2; Coordinates 38.6187, -119.8436 and can see a pole and ice axe part way down an ice chute. [Editors note: A PCT hiker was rescued from this chute on Sunday.] I don’t see anyone so they may have self evacuated. However, I want you to know this is a very dangerous section of trail at the moment. It’s so dangerous that I recommend no-one walks it. If you don’t have an ice axe or crampons, you’re going to hit the bottom fast.

There are three snow chutes in the area. I crossed the first two chutes, then chose not to continue across the third chute. I turned around, scrambled back, and am hiking back to Ebbetts Pass.

If you don’t have an ice axe or crampons, you can’t cross that chute. The melt is happening so fast, that the steps are melting out and turning icy.

[Editors note: Conditions change. We’ve heard from others who say this area isn’t that bad. Be careful and cautious. Turning around is always better than hurting yourself.]

Raymond Peak

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton