Trail Report: Clicks Creek to Little Kern River at Sagebrush Gulch; then to Soda Spring Creek and Parole Cabin Meadow

User Dan Hall did a recent trip into the GTW. It sounds like quite the hike. Here is what he has to report. Make sure to check out a link to his photos.

On October 8, 2018 I started my backpacking and hiking trip at the Clicks Creek Trailhead located on Forest Service Road 21S50. I spent three nights camped by the Little Kern River at Sagebrush Gulch and spent some time exploring, including hikes up into the areas near Soda Spring Creek and Parole Cabin Meadow.

Below is a version of the trail report that I provided the Forest Service. In addition, there is more detail about the trails and other things in the captioned photos posted at http://tinyurl.com/y9f2o27x

TRAIL 32E11: Clicks Creek Trailhead to Trail Junction for Grey Meadow

There are 3 blowdowns in this section before the wilderness boundary and they range in diameter from 6 to 18 inches. After entering the wilderness, there is 1 more blowdown and it is 30 inches in diameter. Hikers and stock are getting around all of them without significant problems or environmental damage and, regarding the tread, there are no catastrophic slides, collapses or ruts, but erosion is starting in a few of the steep sections.

TRAIL 32E11: Trail Junction for Grey Meadow to the Campsite Where Sagebrush Gulch and Mountaineer/Alpine Creek Meet the Little Kern River

There were 20 blowdowns in this section ranging in diameter from 6 to 36 inches. Hikers and stock are getting around all of them without significant problems or environmental damage and, regarding the tread, there are no catastrophic slides, collapses or ruts.

TRAIL 32E08: The Campsite Where Sagebrush Gulch and Mountaineer/Alpine Creek Meet the Little Kern River to the Trail Junction Near Parole Cabin Meadow

There are no blowdowns across the trail, nor, regarding the tread, any catastrophic slides, collapses or ruts. However, after about a 1.25 miles the trail runs through burn area and then drops into a wet area near a meadow. The official trail is mostly lost in the brush south of this meadow while numerous other “trails” have been created that lead nowhere useful.

TRAIL 32E08: The Trail Junction Near Parole Cabin Meadow to the Ridge Overlooking Soda Spring Creek

First, it looks like a bear got the new trail sign. Also, there are over 2 dozen blowdowns ranging in diameter from 6 to 24 inches. Hikers and stock are getting around all of them without significant problems or environmental damage and, regarding the tread, there are no catastrophic slides, collapses or ruts.

TRAIL 32E10: The Trail Junction Near Parole Cabin Meadow, Through the Meadow and toward Mowery Meadow

The trail is fine from the trail junction to Alpine Creek and through Parole Cabin Meadow. Then the trail runs out into the heart of the burn area and the conditions change.

There are dozens of blowdowns across the trail. For the first half a mile, hikers and stock are getting around all of them without significant problems or environmental damage and, regarding the tread, there are no catastrophic slides, collapses or ruts.

After about half a mile, however, the trail begins to run across steeper ground. The post-fire erosion has caused soil to flow onto the trail and now new brush is growing on and over the trail, thereby obliterating it. The trail is essentially gone. I went almost to the junction with trail 32E12 (to Grey Meadow), but did not reach it.

Thanks so much Dan! I am sure many fall backpackers will benefit!

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About Joshua

http://about.me/joshuacourter
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