Trail Maintenance Issue

Post-Flash Flood trail conditions: Agua Dulce to NW of Lake Hughes

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By: Chris Quinn
November 2nd, 2015

I hiked the 40 miles from Agua Dulce to where the PCT tread resumes NW of Lake Hughes right after the Flash Flood (which occurred 15 Oct 15). Here’s the summary:

Section Agua Dulce to the Bouquet Reservoir Canyon Rd: Not bad at all. What little damage exists is easily jumped over or walked around. Though there is some mild drainage ruts across the trail, this section should NOT be your maintenance emphasis before the 2016 Thru-hikers start.

Section San Francisquito Rd to PCT Mile 505. The majority of this is a “road hike” due to the Powerhouse Fire detour. While the Elizabeth/Lake Hughes road was initially closed while they cleared mud that was over 5 feet deep in places, they let me walk through. The hike up Road 7N23 to join the trail was in good (and driveable) shape, and the trail NW-bound from there was really nice. Minimal impact on trail tread.

HOWEVER, the section in the middle of these two (from Bouquet Canyon to San Francisquito Rd) has got some SERIOUS issues. It’s OK until you get a mile south of that pair of high-tension power lines (about 2 miles north of Bouquet Canyon Rd). Here, the 4-foot wide tread is high on both sides, thus forcing the floodwaters down the middle of the tread. In places, the trenching is 12-18 inches deep. This continues on/off until reaching /Road 6N09. Northbound from there, the problem switches to an almost complete covering of the trail tread by uphill dirt/silt. The tread is completely filled. Since this section is 99% left (dowhhill) sloped, You are now forced to walk on a 10-degree left-sloped trail “tread”. If your shoes haven’t been giving you blisters yet, they most likely will — because the left sides are always slanted below the right. The majority (60%) of the retaining walls on the left (downhill) side of the trail are still in place, but most are damaged. Another 20% are buckled, and barely holding the trail in place. The other 20% are visible but given way, or entirely washed away. Some good news? The nice wide wood footbridge a mile NW of 6N09 is completely intact — AND the large rocks accompanied by the BSA Troop 415 Post a mile before San Francisquito Rd are still intact (even though the huge hornet nests in the rocks above there are disturbed — and the hornet swarms can be heard (and seen) from 10 yds away)! If there’s ANY way to work on this section of trail before the 2016 season starts, I would strongly encourage it.

Flashfloods and trail erosion HWY 58 South to the Aqueduct

By: Jim R.
October 20th, 2015

Pete and I met two South Bounders this weekend who indicated pretty severe damage  Hwy 58 South to Willow Springs Road with damage somewhat less severe continuing to the Aqueduct.  They showed pictures of gullies that appeared to be 2 feet deep and slides covering large portions of the trail.  They indicated the switch backs are gone.  I plan to go take a look for myself soon.

The good news is that I scouted from mile 505 to 518 Friday and found no significant erosion damage from the recent storm even though Lake Hughes Road a short distance away remains closed.  The bad news is that there was a large slide in Green Valley on Francisquito.  This indicates the area of the fire closure  between Lake Hughes Road and Francisquito is likely damaged.

Oregon Skyline Trail Alternate Route

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By: Laurie Meade
July 16th, 2015

I just finished a three day loop along the suggested Alternate Route (Pacific Crest Trail guide book)of the old Oregon Skyline Trail from Santiam Pass, starting at Santiam Lake Trail #3491. The trail was clear for the first six miles to Santiam Lake. Beyond that it is NOT MAINTAINED. Four miles of blow down and bush-wacking to the Marion Lake Trail #3437. This trail up to the PCT at Wasco Lake is also in need of clearing. Best to stay on the PCT north of Santiam Pass.

Oregon Crater Lake to Fish Lake Trees Downed

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By: John Livingston
June 29th, 2015

Starting June 20 hiked south from Highway 138 to Highway 140 around lower trail west of Crater Lake and south to Fish Lake. Of course mosquitoes very heavy and variable. Hundreds of trees down across lower trail and many trees across trail south of Mazama Campground to almost Fish Lake. Bear spotted near Christi’s Spring but ran away. Several large old forest fires had many trees across trail. Some signs burned. Area needs trail crew.

Carter Meadows to Etna Summit

By: Laurie Hallum
June 22nd, 2015

Hiking partner and I hiked Carter Meadows TH to Etna Summit June 14 – 15, 2015. All of the trees that were on the trail have been cut and removed. Thank you trail crews. A few areas were a little brushy, the trail sustained some damage from the fire last year, but it didn’t make it a complete moonscape of the area. Beautiful views and water were still there, but the water may not be in a couple of months.