Trail Maintenance Issue

Trail Maintenance

By: Golly (Gail)
March 4th, 2014

My husband and I are thru-riding our horses this year. We began at Campo on Jan. 1. There is an area north (west) of Van Dusen Rd. in Big Bear area, around mile 265 or so, that could use some good trail maintenance. There are many downed trees and while they are possible to step over or go around, it isn’t good for the trail. There’s also a lot of dead branches hanging from trees that are a hazard to equestrians. We made it to just a few miles from 285.4 (Little Bear Springs) and had to turn around because there are trees crossing the trail and too steep to go around. One of the trees could slide if someone tries to climb over it and it’s certainly too high for a horse to jump and too low to go under.

Mile 283 (Approx.)

By: Golly (Gail)
March 4th, 2014

Dangerous trail situation near Big Bear! Trail mile 278.5 (Holcomb Valley Rd) to 285.4 (Little Bear Springs Trail camp) is dangerous. The actual spot is closest to 282 and beyond, but the last place to pull out would be Holcomb Valley Rd. or possibly the next dirt road about a mile further (which I think go back to Holcomb Valley Rd.). You are on the side of a cliff and there are many downed trees crossing the trail making it nearly impossible to get around. Climbing over the trees could make them slide. Since we have horses, it’s a little tougher. We made it across the first, then around the bend was a second. One horse got over the second, but the other horse refused. It was higher than his chest and he wouldn’t jump on the cliff with very unstable ground…and narrow. I went around the next bend and discovered a tree that no one would be able to get around with out endangering themselves. We had to turn back. The horses refused to go back over the first tree, so my husband was able to pry it around to at least rest on part of the trail and you can step over it now, but it isn’t stable.

Trail Destruction

By: George Brenner
February 5th, 2014

In section C south of Whitewater, a heard of feral cattle have destroyed the trail. It is BLM land and I have called it to the Palm Springs Office’s attention. They say they are aware of the problem but to date nothing has been done about it. There are 4 large bulls that accompany the herd and are quite intimidating.

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.