Water Conditions

Echo Lake to Donner’s Pass- snow, obstacles and water

By: Pound Hound
June 20th, 2014

Going north from Echo Lake to Donner’s Pass, the trail has about 1/2 mile of snow on the north side of Dick’s Pass obscuring the trail. As it is switchbacking there, following tracks and using GPS allows you to find the connecting trail. Otherwise, there is patchy snow on shadowed sides of the mountains and many downed trees blocking the trail, but none are insurmountable with care. There are still many seasonal streams running so water is not an issue except from 1143-1155 where there is nothing.

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.

Sierra snow conditions for Forester Pass area – May 16, 2014

By: Ned Tibbits
May 16th, 2014

Ned Tibbits of http://mountaineducation.org/ called the PCTA office via satellite phone from the base of Forester Pass. He takes yearly early season trips to the PCT in the High Sierra.

Ned reports:
– Consistent snow on north facing slopes about 10,500 feet. It’s “hard and nasty in the morning and rediculously soft and slushy in the afternoon. Postholing starts around 11am or noon.”
– North of Tyndall Creek, the snow line starts at about 11,000 feet on south-facing slopes.
– On Forester Pass, the switchbacks are full of ice and Ned recommends climbing the rocks instead. In the chute on the south side of the pass there is snow on the trail. Someone has cut steps. There is “a minor cornice” at the top of the chute.
– There is very little water in general, with seasonal creeks being only a trickle. The larger creeks are flowing moderately strongly.

Walker Pass to Yellow Jacket Springs

By: HyltonHiker
May 12th, 2014

The conditions on this part of the trail were in excellent shape with no felled trees across trail and tread was in good shape also, water is a different story with McIvers Spring not flowing but thanks to trail angles there were three gallons of water in the old cabin thats there. Yellow Jacket Spring was at a trickle. Did this hike on 5/3/14

Baden-Powell water/snow conditions

By: Daytripper
October 28th, 2013

October 22-23. Trail from Inspiration Point (1st crossing Highway 2, mile 369.5) to Islip Saddle (3rd crossing Highway 2 mile 386.2) in very good shape. Thin patches of snow/ice on north facing slopes above 7500′ but trail mostly dry. Only a few short patches of ice on trail. Multiple hikers reaching Baden-Powell summit. Water faucet at Grassy Hollow (mile 370.4) on (per report from through hiker Derrick). Little Jimmy Spring (384.1) flowing well, water in trough clear.
Daytripper.

Bear Creek ford/ Edison lake water taxi

By: Daytripper
July 1st, 2013

June 22 – Bear Creek ford (mile 869.25) quite easy – depth only at mid-calf.
June 23 – VVR water taxi on Edison Lake now running both in morning (9:45) and evening (4:45). Pickup point at east end of Edison Lake marked by US flag. Due to low water, pickup point is on dry lake bed about 1/4 mile farther west than dock at high water mark.

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.