Extreme Hazard

many trees down

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By: Gary Pegg
September 11th, 2017

I was forced to turn around on my thru ride just north of Sitkum Creek and the north Whitechuck trail junction by several massive windfalls. Other windfalls block any possible go arounds both up and down hill from the trees across the trail. These are large trees, 36 to 60 inch in diameter on a steep hillside that on foot I repeatedly slipped and fell while trying to locate a way to get the horse around. I do not believe it is possible to get a horse through this area.

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

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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

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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

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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