Northern California

Trees across trail

By: Wendy Johnson
July 22nd, 2013

2 – 6″ & 8″ – up near top of switch backs map P2 section 36
1 – 10″ about 1/2 mile S of the above mentioned trees, PCT wooden sign post is leaning against the tree, also shrub on uphill side about 40 ft. N of tree needs to be trimmed.

The following are all on map P1:
1 – 6″ – just S of Dog Trail
1 – 18″ – about 1/4 – 1/2 M. S of Dog Trail, before W. Sulfur Creek, can go under it with some bending
2 – 8″ & 10″ – just S of E. Sulfur Creek
1 – 8″ S. of the N. Flume Trail crossing by about 20 yds.
Between Winton Canyon and N. Campground Water Supply Creek there are 4 separate areas, one area with several trees, none of the trees are larger than 8″

The Backcountry Horsemen have cleared all of the other trees in that section – thanks!!

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.

Reading Fire Burn Area through Lassen Now Open; Clear of Trees and Snow

By: White Hatter (Tom Weaver)
June 17th, 2013

I hiked northbound from Highway 36 to Old Station June 10-12. This section is now completely free of snow, and the PCT through the Reading Fire area has reopened after being cleared of the many burned trees that had fallen across the trail. (I verified this with a Ranger despite seeing a sign to the contrary.) Further south there were dozens of trees down across the trail, but all could be quickly gotten around by hikers. All water sources noted on Halfmile’s maps are running well, plus others like the Badger Flats outlet stream. Kings Creek is a wet ford with water about 18″ deep, but negotiable with poles or a stick.

Snow Pack Around Deadfall Lakes

By: Jazz Kenny
June 5th, 2013

Snow pack around mile 1539 of the PCT before the Deadfall Lakes, would suggest crampons – the area of the trail affected is on a steep ridge, with the snowpack blocking large sections of the trail.

Watch weather conditions, numerous downed trees and poor trail maintenance past White Ridge (Spring running strong) combined with fresh snowfall could completely obliterate trail visibility.

Spring directly prior to Lake Helen detour not running.

Belden equestrian TH to Poision Springs

By: Larry Kling
May 16th, 2013

Just finished three days logging out this section. We sure had a time of it with the fire damage especially between the Lassen boundary, and Mrytle flat. With two burns the lower section mile 1290.0 to 1294. looks like a war zone. Lower chips crossing is in bad shape with a steep entry washout and holes up to our stirrups. Lots of brush along chips creek and about a mile more of tick infested brush. Fair amount of snow below poison springs. After 99 trees over 5inchs and tons of brushing the trail is open for all including horses to about 300 yards below poison springs. I am very thankful for my partner Jerry Smith who worked above and beyond the call of duty on this one.

From Old Station/Rd 44 north to Burney Falls

By: Judith Z
April 16th, 2013

After the current cold snap(16-18th April) this section of N is nice right now for small section backpack as trail is in good shape, if a little grassy, not too hot, plus small wildflowers. There are 2 water caches, one large just before rd 22 and one smaller just before PCT crosses Cassel-Fall Mills Rd. The reservoir also has(questionable) water.

Danger of marijuana cultivation on the Pacific Crest Trail

By: Jack Haskel
April 5th, 2013

While only a fraction of our public lands are affected by illegal marijuana cultivation, the Pacific Crest Trail Association, Forest Service and our other agency partners believe that safety risks are real and everyone should be informed about them. Dangerous marijuana cultivation sites may be present on the Pacific Crest Trail corridor, especially in Southern California, but also all along the trail.

The safety of Pacific Crest Trail visitors, volunteers and employees is our top priority. Marijuana cultivation occurs on some public land and it’s important for everyone to be aware of their surroundings.

The disturbances that marijuana cultivation makes on natural resources causes extensive and long-term damage to ecosystems and impacts the supplies of public drinking water for hundreds of miles. Growers clear native vegetation before planting and sometimes use miles of black plastic tubing to transport large volumes of water from creeks that are often dammed for irrigation. The use of banned herbicides and pesticides by marijuana growers kill wildlife and competing vegetation. This loss of vegetation allows rainwater to erode the soil and wash poisons, human waste, and trash from the grow sites into streams and rivers.

Here are some clues that you may have come across a marijuana cultivation site:

  • Sometimes marijuana smells like a skunk on hot days.
  • Hoses or drip lines located in unusual or unexpected places.
  • A well-used trail where there shouldn’t be one.
  • People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.
  • Grow sites are usually found in isolated locations, in rough steep terrain.
  • Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food, fertilizer, weapons, garbage, rat poison, and/or dead animals.
  • Small propane bottles, which are used to avoid the detection of wood smoke.
  • Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.

As soon as you become aware that you have come upon a cultivation site, back out immediately. Never engage the growers as these are extremely dangerous people. If you can identify a landmark or record a GPS coordinate, that’s very helpful. The growers may be present and may or may not know that you have found their grow site.

Get to a safe place and report as much detail about the location and incident as you can recall to any uniformed land agency employee or to the local law enforcement agency. Please also notify the PCTA. Leave the way you came in, and make as little noise as possible.

Additionally:


 

U.S. Forest Service. (2011). Be Safe on Our Public Lands – What to do if you Encounter a Marijuana Cultivation Site. Retrieved from http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5324909