Trail Maintenance Issue

Burney Falls to Castle Crags, 5/21-26/14

By: Tom Weaver (White Hatter)
June 9th, 2014

The trail was free of snow except for a few small and easily crossed patches near 6000′. It was brushy in places but not difficult to follow, with only a few downed tree to climb over or around. Poison oak was abundant everywhere below about 3500′ (especially between the McCloud River and Trough Creek), but could be avoided with care, although it did slow me down.
All the on-trail water sources noted on Halfmile’s maps were running well, and there were a few other still active springs as well. With the weather still relatively mild and the wildflowers in full bloom, it was a great time to hike this Section.

Endangered Species Detour: Tread is Sliding

By: Thomas Meissner
April 4th, 2014

On March 29, 2014, four of us hiked part of the endangered species detour from Islip Saddle – Devils Punchbowl via South Fork Trail – High Desert NRT, which has now become the official [editor: alternate] PCT route.

Though the new route is very scenic, the tread is faint and has disappeared over wide sections of the South Fork Trail between Islip Saddle and South Fork CG.

The trail, not particularly well designed as it is crossing steep exposed slopes without vegetation has become dangerous in several places with the trail sliding above steep dropoffs. It would need serious stabilization and with more rain, it is likely getting worse. This new route is definitely substandard for the PCT and completely impassable for stock.

The section along the High Desert NRT from South Fork Camp to Devils Punchbowl is in better shape. However, there is one short washed out section near the saddle between South Fork CG and Devils Chair.

I would advise long distance hikers to stay on the old PCT from Islip Saddle to Eagles Roost and then walk a couple miles along Hwy 2 to reconnect to the PCT via the Burkhart Trail rather than taking this long, tedious and risky detour.

Collapsing trail tread near North Fork RS

By: Jack H
March 17th, 2014

Ten and a half inches of rain fell on the area around North Fork Ranger Station (mile 436) in a single day in early March. This has caused unstable, collapsing trail tread in the area (especially where the trail was previously affected by fire). Equestrians are advised that the PCT tread may be unstable. Equestrians are advised to detour from North Fork Ranger Station to Soledad Canyon Road by riding the Santa Clara Divide Road to Indian Canyon Road to Soledad Canyon Road.