Willow Creek fire closure

General Palm Springs area.

Willow Creek fire closure

Postby guest » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:31 am

I was checking the status of the PCT in SoCal, and came across this, in regards to the Lake Fire around San G & Big Bear area:

Sections: Section C / Southern California
Tags: Trail Closure
July 18th, 2016

The Pacific Crest Trail is open again for all users through the Lake Fire closure. However, camping is not allowed in the burn area and travel must be done in a day. Please do not leave the PCT as other trails and areas remain closed. Details about the rest of the closed areas can be seen in the closure order.

Approximately four miles of PCT are within the burn perimeter. While the trail is open, this was a very intense burn in places and you should be careful. Hazards in recent burn areas may include: loose soils, rocks and trail tread, burned stump holes, hazard trees, unstable terrain and flash flooding and debris flows. Again, no camping is allowed in the burn area at this time.



Now, I realize the Willow Creek area has some steeper slopes in areas, and experienced some heavy flash flooding since the fire. But, with a little trail clean-up, (not meaning to understate how much work may be needed), to help re identify the trail, couldn't the state & NFS reopen this area by placing a disclaimer & some rules, like the ones above? If the trail is crap in areas, state that, and we'll hike it anyway, (I hear all the liability claims already coming in...).

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but the Lake fire was last year, the Mt Fire was 3 yrs ago. I'm sure budget restraints are a big factor, but I miss going to that area, and it's the easy way to Idyllwild from the tram too!

happy hiking, ss
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Re: Willow Creek fire closure

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:33 pm

guest wrote:I was checking the status of the PCT in SoCal, and came across this, in regards to the Lake Fire around San G & Big Bear area:

Sections: Section C / Southern California
Tags: Trail Closure
July 18th, 2016

The Pacific Crest Trail is open again for all users through the Lake Fire closure. However, camping is not allowed in the burn area and travel must be done in a day. Please do not leave the PCT as other trails and areas remain closed. Details about the rest of the closed areas can be seen in the closure order.

Approximately four miles of PCT are within the burn perimeter. While the trail is open, this was a very intense burn in places and you should be careful. Hazards in recent burn areas may include: loose soils, rocks and trail tread, burned stump holes, hazard trees, unstable terrain and flash flooding and debris flows. Again, no camping is allowed in the burn area at this time.



Now, I realize the Willow Creek area has some steeper slopes in areas, and experienced some heavy flash flooding since the fire. But, with a little trail clean-up, (not meaning to understate how much work may be needed), to help re identify the trail, couldn't the state & NFS reopen this area by placing a disclaimer & some rules, like the ones above? If the trail is crap in areas, state that, and we'll hike it anyway, (I hear all the liability claims already coming in...).

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but the Lake fire was last year, the Mt Fire was 3 yrs ago. I'm sure budget restraints are a big factor, but I miss going to that area, and it's the easy way to Idyllwild from the tram too!

happy hiking, ss

There are sections of the Willow Creek Trail that are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the landscape. The trail down to Laws from the Willow Creek Trail is even worse. It's map and compass time, baby.

HJ
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Re: Willow Creek fire closure

Postby guest » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:58 am

So I've heard Jim, but that's part of the fun! We don't need the gov to hand-hold us, and maybe there's a way to limit liability if & when they re-open that area.
I'd imagine their biggest concern is dead trees falling, and maybe more destruction of areas that got hammered, but it won't be any worst, (most likely, a lot less) than the mechanical mules the state has allowed from Long Valley to Round V!
Funny thing, (not to the folks that experienced it of course), but a tree fell next to some folks, (partially hitting an older guy, but he's ok), right around Round Valley, where there's lots of traffic, so shit happens.

The stretch of forest, (different area of course), that's the worst, from what I here is on the Desert Divide by Spitler & Apache peaks, where the trail is completely gone, and the steep & dangerous would be very risky.

Do you know if a part of the trail is open from Saddle Jct. east to some of the Skunk Cabbage area?

I'd love to see someone with map & compass, but most likely it's their gps & phone instead.

Maybe the state can get a grant, (or convince the tram to donate, ha!), for the cause.
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Re: Willow Creek fire closure

Postby zippetydude » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:59 am

Yes, Scott, I'm tired of this nanny-state "protecting us" from life. I agree that if it's map and compass time, so be it... I call that "adventure time"! It's fun to explore, to wander around to previously unknown and maybe even previously impenetrable areas (see my post about the Pinnacles). I think the closures are way too long. Once the fire is out, put up a bold notice that says the place is in a potentially dangerous state, and then get out of the way. Let people live their lives the way they choose. If I die in some accident while I'm out exploring the wilderness, count me a lucky man to have gone out that way.

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Re: Willow Creek fire closure

Postby guest » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:44 am

For sure Zip,
I know some may point out: "Have you seen the typical person who wanders off the tram"?
Luckily, most don't go that far, so, for the rest, maybe the warning sign & explanation could remove some liability for us to gain access.
Too bad their another more boy & girl scouts around, they know how to navigate, (if they paid attention & had a good leader).

I'd imagine that budget is a factor, so, save money & let a few park peeps, (and maybe even a few of us), go re-establish as much of the old trail as possible, (unless terrain dictates otherwise), with some type of markers, put up solid warning signs, then open it to the general public to "walk the trail in" so to speak.

Heck, even the animals are getting to miss us out there!
(Besides, if one eats & drinks too much in Idyllwild, they don't want to schlep all the way to Wellman's, when Hidden Divide is a lot easier way back to tram)!

ss
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Re: Willow Creek fire closure

Postby Ulysses » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:00 pm

Yeah this is really frustrating. I hear of Forest Service personnel going in their all the time to "study" the situation. I was invited on a group hike led by a FS biologist in July to go into the burn area to look for Lemon Lilies. Unfortunately I had to work that day. I heard they hiked all the way down to Laws.

BTW the loop trail through Skunk Cabbage Meadow was opened up several months ago to hiking, no camping.
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