Northern California

July 4, 2011

7/4/11 Snowman Truckee Adding to the posts by others. Continuing from my brothers trip N/B from Sierra City. They arrived Old Station today. They also had major problems getting over King River. Only one of the two logs where there. Apparently “Blaze” fell off the log and was swept downriver- but o.k. At the split my brother found 1 log then bushwacked up river to another log to get across.

OLD STATION. Resturant is closed, and hikers hut is closed for the season. Woman who runs it taking the year off. Also store closes at 7pm sharp weeknights, 8pm weekends.

June 29, 2011

My son and friends headed out June 26 Burney Falls toward Old Station – trail was clear and temps were warm and sunny. June 27 trail clear to 9 miles south of Old Station.

June 28 started 9 miles south of Old Station toward Lassen with goal to reach Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Patchy snow increasing to hard pack and rain. Solid snow pack in higher elevations. Hiked all day in the snow and rain. DANGER: Kings creek was almost impassable with ropes and harnesses. They were completely swept under water and were happy to make it to Drakesbad Guest Ranch to dry out and re-supply. Met with another hiker heading north from HWY 80 who said the trail ahead had only about 10 of the 140 miles without snow.

June 25, 2011

As of 6/20/11, the PCT between Belden(Hwy 70) and Chester(Hwy 36) is still snow covered above 6300-6400 ft getting deeper as one ascends above that elev. In shaded areas the snow depth is obviously greater with drifts of 5-6 ft above that elev. Lots of HOT (90* temps) in the forecast though. I saw no evidence of anyone having hiked through that section yet.

June 4, 2011

From Old Station to Burney, the trail is free of snow and in good condition except for very few fallen trees. Generally the trail is wet, occasionally with 100 yard sections where it is filled with water.

From Sierra City north to Belden, looking at the altitude of the trail from the road and talking with a Sierra City resident who uses the local trails professionally, (mountain bike guide/shop owner), the trail here will have significant amounts of snow, particularly on north slopes. It was actively snowing when we were there.

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.

While the PCT is accessible at Castle Crags SP, the Trail is still snow covered at the higher elevations north of the state park. Due to the heavy snow pack in Northern California much of the PCT through the Trinity Alps and Russian Wilderness area will remain snow covered well into June, particularly on north facing slopes.

While the lower elevation sections of the PCT north and south of Seiad Valley, CA are accessible, the higher elevations on the Siskiyou Crest along the CA/OR state line are still holding significant snow. Acess and route finding on the Siskiyou Crest will remain challenging through the month of June.

May 1, 2011

It is May 1, 2011 and as a member of backcountry horseman I just got in after spending three days logging the burn area from Belden to about 300 yards south of williams cabin. it is open from Belden to where we were stopped by a landslide with snow down trees etc. We got into tons of ticks. they are really hungry and active this time of year. In November I rode south from Humbolt summit to Belden and at that time there was at least 50 places of down timber and I can only imagine what it is like now. Forest service is making noise that they plan to work the area this year so let’s see what happens.