Central California

September 6, 2012

By: Joe Reusser

Walked from Sierra City to the LaPorte-Quincy Road on 8/29/12 to 9/1/12. Many large dead tree blow-downs across the trail from the Johnsville Road to the top of McCrae Ridge, some of which have been there since 2011 when we last walked the section. Most of these were on the trail alongside West Nelson Creek from the road to where the trail crosses the creek, which incidently at that point is dry.

Barker Pass to Sierra City

July 1st, 2012

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!

Jackson Meadows to HWY 49

June 3rd, 2012

While overall not bad, there are a few sections that could use some TLC, especially the southern and mid portion. By the end of the trip I was almost wishing I had left my tent behind and taken a chain saw. Numerous fallen trees along the way, with half a dozen or so near the crest (SW of the switchbacks above milton creek). Switchbacks are fair, but a 20 foot section is now dirt and starting to wash out. Lots of the typical early season debris on the trail. Could use some trail markers on the Jackson Meadows side.

Three possible campsites to consider. Best is at the second (furthest south) bridge over Milton Creek. Small fire-ring, space for perhaps 2 tents and sitting log and rock next to the creek. A few hundred yards north up the trail is a alternative, what it lacks in access to water might be made up with less creek noise. It’s a bare bones place for a tent. At the top of the switchbacks SW of the creek is another area, but lots of bugs and little appeal.

July 18, 2011

Like the previous poster, I planned to hike from Bucks Lake to Belden. However, after 4.5 miles lost the trail in deep snow. Tried following tree markers, but after losing them once too often decided to call it a day. With GPS it’s slow, but passable.

July 1, 2011

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