Washington

Stevens Pass Northbound (Hwy 2)

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By: Jeff Erwin
June 25th, 2013

Hiked in on an in-and-out to see how far I could get. Made it in about 2.5 miles before the trail became very difficult to follow because fo the snow fields. The trail is in good shape, but there are 3-4 downed trees across the trail at various points. I was able to make it across/under/around all of the blockages so nothing serious.

Stevens Pass Southbound

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By: Jeff Erwin
June 25th, 2013

Hiked in from the ski area at Stevens Pass (Hwy 2) south to see how far I could get. Made it in about 2 miles before the snow made it tough to continue. The snow appeared at about 1.5 miles in, making finding the trail difficult in many places.

The trail is in great condition. It looks to have been recently maintained, several downed trees have been cleared. There is still one tree across the trail but easy to get around.

I plan to hike in again late July for an overnight, will report back.

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

South Agnes Creek bridge closure

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By: Jack Haskel
January 18th, 2013

The foot-log across South Fork Agnes Creek, near Hemlock, is broken and closed. PCT travelers can ford the creek if conditions allow. During high water, travelers can detour around the ford by hiking the South Fork Agnes Trail to Suiattle Pass. If the creek is low enough, staying on the PCT is the best option. The South Fork Agnes Trail has rotten boardwalks that are OK for hikers but not safe for stock. Hikers report that this alternate trail is brushy, in disrepair and hazardous.  Stock users should use the ford next to the collapsed log and use the PCT if they can.

September 18, 2012

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By: Rebecca Wilcox

Just want to add to what is already posted about the split trail at Old Snowy in Goat Rocks. We took the Stock PCT trail thinking it would be less treacherous, but it was actually pretty frightening. Totally unsuitable for stock animals and barely hike-able without sliding down the mountain. Crossed a steeply inclined snow patch where we had to kick steps because apparently most people are taking the hiker PCT route. We did not check out the hiker route but I would not advise anyone to attempt the stock route.

September 15, 2012

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By: Randy

We hiked Section I during labor day week, and found the trail be in great condition with very few blow downs, and those that existed were easy to navigate. Although some blogs have reported a 23 mile dry stretch from WACS2360 to Lizard Lake, the water source at WACS2372 is marked with flagging tape and a trail, is easy to locate, and the creek appears to run strong year round. Campsites were plentiful at Snow Lake, Sheep Lake and Mirror Lake. The shelter at Urich Camp in Gov’t Meadow was infested with mice, so your tent may be a better option.