Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report - USDA Forest Service

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report - USDA Forest Service

Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Trinity Alps Wilderness

Trail Condition Report

October 25 th , 2012

This will be the last report for 2012. The watershed write-ups here reflect trail

conditions prior to the coming winter snows. In the spring this report can still be of

value to you because it does, at least, let you know what the trail conditions were at the

end of the 2012 season. And frankly, if a watershed lists a trail problem in this report,

you can be sure that nothing was done about it over the winter! The weather today

(October 25 th ) is scattered showers here in Weaverville. The current snow level is

approximately 6000’ and the accumulation at 7000’ feet is approximately 12”.

If you are planning a winter camping adventure, it is a good idea to call the

Weaverville Ranger District (530 623-2121) to get information on general winter

conditions. The RD should at least be able to give you an insight on what the snow

conditions are for the access roads to the watersheds you plan to visit, and what the

current stream flows and avalanche conditions may be.

Our plan is to start updating this Trial Condition Report again at the beginning of

the 2013 field season (which typically starts at the beginning of May). Due to the

predicted budget cuts next season however, there is a strong possibility that these cuts

will necessitate a further reduction in staffing levels. If this occurs we will at least repost

one copy of this report to let you know that there will be no Trail Condition Report

in 2013.

In closing, all of us here at the Ranger District would like to thank you for your

cooperation in making this a fantastic hiking season. This year many of you began to

e-mail me with timely trails updates that I was able to include within this report. We all

benefitted.

Our Wilderness Patrol Staff was particularly gratified by what seemed to be a

general improvement in the camping habits of overnight Wilderness Users. It enabled

us to keep our high use destination areas in a relatively pristine condition despite our

already reduced staffing levels in 2012. Please keep up this trend in 2013! It may well

prove to be a year in which our Wilderness Users will have to assume many of our

Wilderness Patrol responsibilities.

This summer we managed to do an invasive weed survey along our trail corridors

for approximately 1/3 of our Wilderness. The funding that we received for this survey

helped to keep our staffing levels high enough to provide trail condition reports for

most of the summer. However, the additional work load also meant that we had to

curtail the frequency of this report later in the summer to get the invasives mapped.

Fortunately, we were able to keep the trails information coming to you far enough into

the season to get us past the point that snow levels and high water flows were no

longer much of an issue.

Since our summer was so highly invaded by ‘invasives’ I thought it might be

appropriate to include a summary of how the Alps is doing relative to invasive plants.

A full 13-page write-up is included at the end of this report for those of you who are

interested in a summary of the details. The report is written in sections, alphabetically

organized watershed by watershed, for those of you who would like to know how your

favorite destination is doing relative to obnoxious weeds. In short, we found 79

instances of invasive weeds. Only four of these infestations will be problematic to

eradicate. Most of the rest are still minor enough infestations that they can be

effectively dealt with --if we don’t wait much longer for treatment (and treatment here

means hand-pulling the weeds). We are currently searching for funding to facilitate this

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

effort. The three species that were the most prolific, the most problematic, and most

common in the Alps were Wooly Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus), Sweet Pea (Lathyrus

latifolius), and Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare).

Due to our lack of funding and reduced personnel some of the trails in the Alps are

beginning to become difficult to follow (i.e. check out the hiker write-up for the Bob’s

Farm trail in the North Fork Trinity watershed). I will now begin to preface trails like

these at the start of their trail write-up with the comment A GPS Unit Helps! It will take a

few weeks to reflect this on all the trails that need this designation so please bear with

me for the time it takes for this upgrade.

**From now on I am going to change the font color within this document each week for that week’s

newly reported trail entries. This will make it more convenient for return users to identify our newly reported

changes in trail conditions.

CANYON CREEK WATERSHED

Bear Creek Trail #10W06 – A GPS Unit Helps! The trail has been cleared of downed trees from the

Canyon Creek side to within 1/3 mile of the Alpine trail junction. The trail up to the ridge-top from Canyon

Creek has several brushy sections and areas of thin tread, but it is passable for hikers and backpackers. The

brush is VERY thick on last ½ mile before the Alpine trail junction however, with approximately ¼ mile of

‘force your way through’ type of brush.

Stock users should take note that this trail is not suitable for stock usage past the ridge-top coming from the

Canyon Creek side of the ridge. Even the last pitch up to the ridge-top (on the Canyon Creek side of the ridge)

is on a 30 to 40% slope that gains 1200’ in the last 1/3 mile. Even day-riders intent on gaining the view at the

ridge-top should be prepared to walk their stock while traversing this steep gravelly trail segment

Boulder Creek Lakes Trail #10W02 – The trail is free of snow and debris all the way to the lake. It is

becoming a bit brushy though –but not yet of the ‘force-your-way-through’ variety. Canyon Creek itself is

easy enough to wade across on the way to either set of lakes.

Be sure to pay strict attention to the cairned route across the bare granite just before lake. If you simply

follow your intuitions you will probably end up at the base of the cliff below the lake. The cairns lead you

higher and more to the north than you would expect, but they also lead you to the only spot that makes it

possible to access the lake without the use of ropes and pitons!

Remember, the current Forest Order for Canyon Creek specifies that there are

NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED AT ANY OF CANYON CREEK’S LAKES. It is a $375 fine

(absolutely no exceptions) for anyone caught in violation of this Forest Order.

East Fork Lake Trail #9W22 – A GPS Unit Helps! The trail is now clear of downed trees and brush to

within one mile of the lake. However, that last mile is a very brushy trail section.

Canyon Creek Trail #10W08 – The trail is free of snow and debris to each set of lakes. The creek crossing up

to Canyon Creek Lakes (at the bottom of Lower Canyon Creek Lake’s granite approach slope) is not difficult to

cross. All the campsites are now melted off at LCCL and UCCL. Hikers Report that outflow from Upper

Canyon Creek Lake is now passable 24/7. This means that day-hikes to ‘L’ Lake are now possible without

angst about the return trip.

Remember, the current Forest Order for Canyon Creek specifies that there are

NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED AT ANY OF CANYON CREEK’S LAKES! It is a $375 fine

(absolutely no exceptions) for anyone caught in violation of this Forest Order.

COFFEE CREEK WATERSHED

As of 05/17/2012 Trinity County did manage to clear the Coffee Creek road all the way to Big Flat. They said

that the Big Flat campground still had some large snowdrifts but that some of the campsites were usable.

Adams Lake Trail #9W73 – As of 06/12/2012 the Wilderness Patrol reports: There is a 36" downed log lying

on the trail for about 25 yards just past the trailhead. Within the first mile there are 12", 16", 16", and 28" top.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

At about a mile and a half there are two 32" logs down; one runs along the trail for 50 feet and the other is

hanging at a 45 degree angle. Next there are 28", 14", 14", and a 16". Several of these trees are stock stoppers.

The lake itself is free of snow and all of the campsites are free of snow as well.

**The CCC’s today (06/20/2012) are in the process of removing these trees. Check back next week to find out

what they accomplished.

Battle Canyon Trail #9W59 – The CCC’s just finished a stint up on the Battle Canyon trail (08/20/2012).

They were able to re-tread the washed out sections and establish enough trail definition that you can find your

way along the trail on the Union Creek side of the ridge. They did not have enough time to work the Sugar

Pine side of the ridge however, so there may still be some poorly defined sections of tread on that side of the

ridge and perhaps some sections of very thin tread. The worst of the Battle Canyon issues were on the Union

side of the ridge though so adventurous hikers can probably now find their way from the Sugar pine watershed

to the Union Creek watershed and visa-versa. Anyone who attempts it should let me know by e-mail how it

turns out for you.

Billy’s Peak Trail #7W08 – Trail conditions are not currently known for this trail. However, the CCC’s

were unable to clear the trail of downed trees in 2011. There are about 20 trees across the trail in the

first mile and a half. Of these about four are stock stoppers, larger than 20" diameter. The trail is

brushy throughout, long sleeves recommended. The trail is easy to follow and is quite passable to foot

traffic. However the trailhead is hard to find, if you don't know where it is. It is marked only with a

sign post that has the trail name written on it in black sharpie marker. Finding the trailhead is made

more difficult by the fact that there are many more roads in the area than are marked on our maps, and

these are not well labeled.

Boulder Creek Trail #8W08 (Goldfield Campground Trailhead) –The Coffee Creek road is open to this

trailhead. There are at least 8 trees down to the junction, and several are stock stoppers. These trees do not

pose much of an impediment though for hikers.

Caribou Lake #9W180 – The Coffee Creek road to Big Flat is clear of snow and debris. The trail is now clear

of downed trees all the way to Caribou Lake.

If you make the trek to the Caribou basin, due to the basin’s rapidly disappearing organic matter,

responsible hikers should refrain from having a campfire. Please keep in mind that most of the lakeside organic

matter needed for plant growth (90% of the nitrogen needed) has already gone up in campfire smoke…

PLEASE NO CAMPFIRES AT CARIBOU LAKES !

East Boulder Lakes Trail #8W02 – There are three trees down on the trail and none are stock-stoppers. The

trail coming up from Tangle Blue Lake actually empties onto an in-holding road and travels along this dirt road

for approximately 1/3 mile. Be sure to make note of this intersection because it is not well signed and is easy

to miss on a return trip toward Tangle Blue. You follow this road to its terminus where the trail simply

continues on (it crosses a year-round creek at this point). There are carsonite trail signs along the road, but they

are in an ill state of repair. The junction to Big Marshy Lake is not signed, but the most obvious piece of the

trail leads you directly to the lake. The trail continuing on to the PCT is quite faded but it can be followed if

you pay close attention.

Big Boulder Lake Trail #8W20 – The trail is free of downed trees.

Deadman Peak Trail #9W16 – No Information.

Doe Lake Trail #8W05 – The trail to Doe Lake (from the Stoddard trail) is clear enough for stock passage.

There are a total of eight tress across the trail but none are stock stoppers. The trail is now clear of snow. As of

07/02/2012 the lake was clear of snow and only one campsite had snow left on it. That snow should be gone by

July 7 th . The north-facing rim around the lake still had snow down to the lake and this should persist for several

weeks.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Dorleska Mine Trail #9W65 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

East Fork Saloon Creek Trail #9W03 – There is one tree down (12”) and it is stock passable.

Lady Gulch Trail #9W05 – In mid-July hikers reported: “Lady Gulch Trail is open, free of snow and

easy to follow throughout. There are approximately 10 down trees with one snag of significant size

above the North Fork of Adams Creek crossing that appears to be a stock stopper. The multiple trail

junction signs at the top are smashed to various degrees of head scratching interpretation”.

East Fork Coffee Creek Trail #8W06 – The road is open to the Trailhead. The trail is now clear of downed

trees.

Granite Creek Trail #8W09 – As of 06/27/2012 the trail had five trees down. One of them (36”) is a stock

stopper. It is one quarter of a mile past the North Fork Coffee Creek bridge on the Granite Creek trail. The trail

to the lake was free of snow. All the campsites other than the campsite on the south end of the lake were also

free of snow.

Lion Lake Trail #8W12 – There are five known trees down on the trail. None are considered stock stoppers.

Little Boulder Lake Trail #8W11 – The trail is now clear of downed logs.

Long Gulch Trail #9W60 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Trail Gulch #9W15 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

North Fork Coffee Creek Trail #9W02 – As of 06/5/2012 the trail is clear of snow and debris to the Saloon

Creek trail junction. There are two trees down past this point, but they are stock passable.

Packers Peak Trail #9W06 – The Coffee Creek Road is open to the Packers Peak Trailhead. The Scott

Valley Ranger District now reports that the trail is clear from the Coffee Creek trailhead to the junction with the

Lady Gulch trail. However, the trail segment (9W16) that connects the Packers Peak trail to the Fish Lake/Long

Gulch trail junction has 9 downed trees. Several of these trees are stock stoppers. Hikers report that the sign

demarcating the trailhead along the west side of Coffee Creek road is now missing. The trailhead can still be

found approximately 1.2 miles prior to the Big Flat Trailhead.

Saloon Creek Trail #9W01 – There are 6 trees down on the trail ranging from 12” to 30” in diameter. Two

would be somewhat difficult for stock to get around but they are passable.

South Fork Coffee Trail #9W04 – A GPS Unit Helps! The Coffee Creek road is open all the way to the Big

Flat trailhead. The trail has been cleared of downed trees for the first 1.5 miles (the South Fork creek crossing).

Conditions are not known beyond this point. As of July 10 th of last year hikers reported: “After wading the

South Fork (1.5 miles up the trail), the trail is a mess with much downfall up to the trail junction to

Steveale Meadows.

I consider the trail from there up to the top of the ridge, the entire way, a mess! This was my

second time I had walked this trail, the other was many moons ago. Additional cairns, tread work and

pruning are necessary for anyone below the level of Daniel Boon to make it. I lost the trail on so

many occasions I lost track, but fortunately for me, I had a fairly good idea where to look for it again.

There is some downfall but it’s mostly a matter of just finding the tread. Cairns work just fine on that

very open upper stretch however. Some lower sections of the trail were almost soupy, with no way to

avoid sinking in or bypassing short of raising the tread with rock.”

Steveale Creek Trail #9W61 – A GPS Unit Helps! Trail conditions are not currently known for this trail.

However, as of July 10

4

th 2010 hikers report: “I decided to head north (from the South Fork Coffee Creek/

Steveale Creek junction) to the divide above Trail Gulch Lake, as it traverses the upper reaches of the


Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

North Fork Coffee Creek (I took the upper or west branch trail; I never saw the junction that goes

down the North Fork). There is much downfall here and places where the tread is indistinct and with

no cairns that I saw to mark the trail. Partially due to snow, which was still plentiful, I must have lost

the trail for 50-100 feet in several places. The last stretch to the top is pretty good.”

Stoddard Spur Trail #8W24 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Sugar Pine Lake Trail #8W07 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Tracy Trail #8W26 –Trail conditions are not currently known for this trail.

Yellow Rose Trail out of Big Flat – The Coffee Creek road to Big Flat is now open. The trail is clear of

downed trees and debris to the ridge-top and the junction with the Sunrise Creek trail.

Union Lake Trail #9W64 – The Coffee Creek road is open to the Union Creek trailhead. The trail is

now clear of downed trees to Union Lake and on to Foster Lake, and on to the Parker Creek trail as well.

Wolford Trail #8W03 – There are two trees down (22”) and they are not reported as a stock-stoppers.

MAIN STEM TRINITY RIVER

Visitors should be advised that the Main Stem area was affected by a massive wildfire in the summer of

2006. Many trails throughout the area may still have hazardous conditions for hikers and stock users. All

visitors should ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Dolly Ditch Trail #10W12 – No Information

East Weaver Creek Trail #9W23 – A GPS Unit Helps! Trail conditions are not currently known for this trail.

However, at the end of last year, hikers reported: “I hiked up East Weaver Creek Trail a couple of days

ago. This trail is in very bad shape. Lots of trees and large scale blow-down was on the entire trail,

mostly from the clear cut on up. I could not walk more than a hundred yards without stepping over a

tree. Some trees were the stock stopper type. I know with the funding problems this is not a priority

trail, it would be a shame to see such a historic trail go away.”

East Weaver Lake Trail #10W11 – The road to the trailhead is now passable. There is one 20” diameter log

across the trail which is easily stepped over by hikers and can also be stepped over by experienced horsemen.

Rush Creek Lakes Trail #10W10 – The trail is now clear of downed trees to within ¼ of mile of the first lake.

This now gets you to the beginning of the steeper approach to the first lake. The brush at this point is fairly

scattered and about waist high. It can now be considered relatively passable for hikers but still inaccessible for

stock users.

French Creek Trail #8E03 – As of 06/12/2012 Hikers Report: “Today, hiked two miles up the French Creek

trail. There were four trees down; one about 0.4 miles from trail head and the other three (all in quick

succession) 0.6 miles. They measure about 8-10 inches in diameter and none are stock stoppers. Plenty of

poison oak but easily avoided”.

Green Mountain Trail #12W09 – The trail is now free of downed trees from the trailhead all the way to the

Salmon Summit trail.

Oak Flat Trail #12W16 – No Information

Manzanita Ridge Trail #12W15 – No Information

Treloar Ridge Trail #12W17 – No Information

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

NEW RIVER WATERSHED

Visitors should be advised that the New River area was affected by a massive wildfire in the summer of

2006 and 2008. Many trails throughout the area may still have hazardous conditions for hikers and stock

users. All visitors should ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Battle Creek Trail #8E19 – Snow conditions in 2012 are not known at this time. Last year however, there

were many down trees and, due to a lack of funding, this trail is now an unmaintained trail.

Cinnabar Trail #12W06 – Snow conditions in 2012 are not known at this time. Last year however, this trail

had a major slide and is not suitable for stock use. Additionally, due to lack of funding, it has not been brushed

for several years.

Eagle Creek Trail #8E11 – A GPS Unit Helps! Due to lack of funding, the trail has not been brushed or

logged out since the 2006 fire. Also, due to a lack of funding, this trail is now officially an unmaintained trail.

The CCC’s were up that way over the last few weeks however, and did clear the first 1.5 miles of downed trees.

Most of the trail though is completely indistinguishable and has returned to its natural state.

East Fork New River Trail #12W08 – The trail is now clear of downed trees to the Mullane Corral trail

junction.

Emigrant Lake Milk Camp Trail #8E16 – A GPS Unit Helps! The trail conditions are not currently known

for this trail. The snow is receded now (May 2012) though this portion of the Alps.

Lipps Camp Trail #6E01 – A GPS Unit Helps! Snow conditions in 2012 are not known at this time. Due to

lack of funding, the trail has not been brushed or logged out since the 2006 fire. There are at least 40 trees down

on the trail, and several lengthy sections of trail tread were obliterated in the fires of 2008.

Jim Jam Trail #12W1 – A GPS Unit Helps! As of 05/10/2012 the trail is clear of snow and debris to just past

Jakes Upper Camp. Last year however, Wilderness Patrol reported that the trail past the Semore Gulch trail

junction was burned over badly several years ago and it is very tough to follow.

Mullane Corral Trail #12W04 – Trail conditions in 2012 are not known at this time. Due to a lack of funding,

there has been no trail maintenance since before the 2006 fire.

Also, due to the lack of funding, this trail is now an unmaintained trail.

Milk Camp Trail #8E16 – No Information

New River Trail #7E05 – The trail is clear of snow and debris to the confluence with Slide Creek.

Pony Creek Trail #12W07 – Snow and trail conditions are not currently known for this trail.

Salmon Summit Trail #12W02 – The CCC’s have been re-working the Salmon Summit trail from the High

Point Trailhead east to just past the Hotelling trail junction and west to One-Mile camp on Devil’s Backbone.

Further east, thanks to fire rehabilitation dollars in 2009, the trail was cleared of downed trees from the Cecil

Lake to Mary Blaine Meadows.

Semore Gulch Trail #8E08 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Slide Creek Trail #12W03 – The trail is now clear to the Battle Creek trail junction (8E19).

Soldier Creek Trail #7E01 – Soldier Creek is now clear of debris to the Devil’s Backbone Ridge trail.

Virgin Creek Trail #7E03 – The trail is clear of snow and debris to the Salmon Summit Trail.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

NORTH FORK TRINITY RIVER (WATERSHED)

The road to the Hobo Gulch trailhead is now passable.

Backbone Creek Trail #11W07 – The trail is clear all the way to Russell’s Cabin site.

Backbone Ridge Trail #11W40 – In 2011the CCC’s re-worked this trail to within 100 yards of One-Mile

Camp. The last 1-mile brushy section that was left in 2011 has now been cleared.

Bob’s Farm Trail #11W03 – A GPS Unit Helps! The road to Hobo Gulch is open for traffic. The trail from

Bob’s Farm to specimen Creek has 12 downed trees between 10” and 30”. Several are stock stoppers. On

07/07/2012 Hikers Report: The trail leading from the junction for Cecil Lake (not sure the trail has a name??)

up to the ridge where Bob's Farm is was a different story. I think your report mentions the numerous downed

trees. In addition, there was a spot on the ascent where the trail disappeared into what appeared to be a solid

growth of bushes. I went around and discovered the trail again on the return of a switchback further up.

Also, once I reached the ridge, the trail totally disappeared. It was only with the help of my GPS app that I was

able to figure out where the trail was. The same happened a little further along on the downhill headed toward

Rattlesnake Creek ... near where the "farm"(?) is, I lost the trail & needed the GPS with its map to find it again.

Beyond that, to Rattlesnake Creek, it was OK - just some manzanita encroaching on the trail - but not too

serious. I tried to remove what I could along the way up the ridge ... though to be honest I didn't get everything

(it's very steep & I needed all the energy I could muster just to continue :).

China Gulch Trail #11W08 – The trail is now clear of downed trees and the road to the trailhead is also in

good condition.

Green Mountain Trail #12 W09 –The trail is now clear of downed trees from the trailhead all the way to the

Salmon Summit trail.

Morrison Gulch Trail #11W04 – The trail has been cleared of downed trees and is clear of snow to

Rattlesnake Lake. The North Fork is being crossed on a log not far from the trail crossing.

Moliter-Cold Spring Trail #11W02 – The first two miles of the trail (starting from the Hull Cabin trail) is

now clear of downed trees.

North Fork Trinity Trail #12W01 – The road to the trailhead is open. Keep in mind that the road to the Hobo

trailhead is quite rocky and has a number of blind curves. Drivers should proceed with full attention. The trail

has been cleared of downed logs to Grizzly Meadows. The trail is clear of snow all the way to the lake.

Rattlesnake Creek Trail #11W05 – There are approximately 30 trees down from the Bob’s Farm Junction to

Enni Camp. Several of these are stock stoppers but none are much of an issue for backpackers. From Enni

Camp to Papoose Lake (about ¾ mile) there are too many trees down to count, --if you can find the trail. Much

of it is badly in need of brushing and even though it is well cairned, several sections require a lot of hemming

and hawing to find the way through. Stock Users should take note, that even in the best of years (a perfectly

clear trail) this last ¾ mile is impossible for stock to negotiate. For hikers, this all sounds a bit worse than it

actually travels. There is no doubt where the lake is located and, with a little patience, you can get to the lake

without much problem. All the trees are easy enough to step (or occasionally climb) over and even if you lose

the trail for a bit you should be able to find it again without much issue. After you get through the brushy

section and the two steep, nearly rock climbing elevation gains, be sure to stay up high enough along the ridge

along the final approach gorge to the lake. There is actually a well-defined trail along this rather dangerous

‘cliffy’ section, so if you are not on it, keep looking for it to ensure your safe passage

Raymond Flat Trail #11W12 – Trail conditions in 2012 are not known at this time.

Whites Creek Trail #11W06 – The White’s creek trail is now clear of downed trees.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Waldorf Crossing Trail #11W13 – Trail conditions in 2012 are not known at this time. The Waldorf Crossing

trail is known to have a number of stock stoppers, but we do not have specifics at this time.

STUART FORK (WATERSHED)

The road to the trailhead is passable and in good condition.

Alpine Lake Trail #10W04 – Just about 1/4 mile past Stuart Fork there are two 8" logs, one being a stockstopper.

At the Bear Creek junction only the Stuart Fork sign remains. About 1/4 mile past the junction there

is an 18" log followed by a 28" stock-stopper. At the end of 2011 the CCC’s finally finished clearing the

‘head-high force your way through’ type of brush all the way to the lake. Irrespective of the brush issue

however, stock users should take note that this trail is not suitable for stock usage. Several sections are simply a

‘route’ up through aging talus slopes that are not practical for stock to cross. This trail is notorious for

Rattlesnake sightings so keep a wary eye as you make the tough climb up this hot south-facing slope to Alpine

lake.

Remember, the current Forest Order for Stuart Fork specifies that there are

NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED AT ANY OF STUART FORK’S LAKES! It is a $375 fine

(absolutely no exceptions) for anyone caught in violation of this Forest Order.

Bear Creek Trail #10W06 – A GPS Unit Helps! Specific trail conditions in 2012 are not known at this time.

However, the trail has significant and lengthy sections of head-high ‘force your way through’ type of brush

between the Alpine Lake trail junction and the ridge-top. Additionally there are 150 trees down from the Alpine

junction to the trail’s terminus in Canyon Creek. Anyone desiring to get from Stuart Fork to Canyon Creek is

much better off, at this point, to return to the Stuart Fork trailhead and drive over to the Canyon Creek

trailhead.

Blacks Basin Trail #9W12 – The trail is now clear of downed trees and debris.

Bowerman Meadows #8W22 – A GPS Unit Helps! Hiker’s Report: “The trail was in good shape, although

slightly hard to follow through one of the meadows--didn't look like many people had been through yet this

year. The trillium, larkspur, and mission bells were everywhere!”

Caribou Lake #10W01 – The 99 switchbacks are free of snow to the top of the ridge on the Stuart Fork side of

the ridge. The trail on the Caribou side of the ridge now has very little snow to speak of.

Deer Creek Trail #9W17 – The trail is clear of downed trees including all of the Four Lakes Loop.

Elk Gulch #9W31 – A GPS Unit Helps! Hikers Report on 08/16/2012: We would like to ask you to update

your trail report to more accurately reflect that the Elk Gulch trail is not just "not maintained" - the trail really

no longer exists as a trail that can be followed. We arrived at the end of our trip with a different expectation

based both on the USFS Map "A Guide to the Trinity Alps Wilderness" (2009) which shows the Elk Gulch

trail, several different trail guides that mention the trail as an option, and your trail report which only lists the

trail as "not maintained." What we found was way worse than just 'not maintained'. There is no consistent,

discernable trail to follow. There were a few rock cairns for the first quarter mile downhill only. It was

impossible to discern what might once have been the Elk Gulch trail from animal trails, especially with heavy

overgrowth everywhere. We essentially had to bushwhack our way down the hill for two miles using a south

compass bearing. (We did come across a nice meadow with many California pitcher plants). The fact that

there are still trailhead signs up at both the Stuart Fork road and the Stoney Ridge road adds to the perception

that at least some semblance of a trail might still exist. In reality, none does. Hikers should be prepared to

completely bushwhack their way down the hill - or better yet, make other plans. Going downhill at least

decreases the possibility of becoming lost as at least we knew we would come out somewhere on the Stuart

Fork road (we managed to arrive within 20 yards of the marked TH). A hiker who tried to go uphill to connect

with the Stoney Ridge road on their way to the Stoney Ridge TH might not fare so well. With an old USFS

map showing the maze of (old, closed) logging roads in the area it would likely have been possible to use these

roads to hike the area but neither our current USFS map or USGS topo that we had showed enough of the roads

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

for us to do so. We would recommend that all trail signs for the Elk Gulch trail be taken down to avoid

misleading other hikers.

Four Lakes Loop Trail #9W13 – The trail is now snow-free and access is good through the Four Lakes Loop.

There is one 16” tree down between Summit and Diamond but it is not a stock-stopper.

PLEASE NO CAMPFIRES AT THESE LAKES!

Granite Peak Trail #9W18 – Hikers report: “Hiked this on Sept 17th. Trail is clear of snow all the way to the

top from trailhead. Several downed trees along the way but none are stock stoppers, easily stepped over or

walked around. Trail is overgrown where the spring comes out, but not enough to lose it if you plow through

the brush a little ways. Otherwise the trail is pretty decent all the way to the peak.”

Long Canyon Trail #9W14 – The trail is now clear through to the Four Lakes Loop.

It is worthy of note that the CCC’s (in 2011) managed to finish the trail re-routes. The two main re-routes

are quite a piece of work. The one in Siligo Meadow re-aligns two trails out of Siligo meadows up into the

talus slope under Gibson Peak. It is nothing short of a hand-crew wonder. Car sized boulders were moved with

rock-bars and grip-hoists and copious amounts of crush-fill were pounded out by hand. All of which has

resulted in a smooth, grade appropriate, almost invisible, new trail that is suitable for stock and backpackers

alike. The other re-route is above Deer Lake. It took a 35% grade (dangerous) old trail segment and turned it

into a 10% grade trail (by adding one switchback) that is much safer AND a joy to walk.

Seven-Up Peak Trail #9W67 – The trail is clear of snow and debris. Hikers should remember though that, at

the end of 2012, in spots, the tread was very thin with steep drop-offs. There are several spots where large rocks

have slumped down into the tread. They are easily negotiated by hikers, but complicate stock passage.

Technically it was possible for stock to pass, but with the steep out-slope and thin trail tread stock users should be

prepared to walk stock on this one-mile section of trail.

Stoney Ridge Trail #9W21 – The worst of the road problems in the first ¼ mile of Route# 3 have had a bandaide

fix. The road is not recommended for ‘economy’ (and low clearance) types of cars though. At 4.5 miles up

the road conditions deteriorate for the next ½ mile. At that point the road is pretty much just a dirt road and the

mud tire ruts have hardened into bumpy tracks. Several spots are also wet and need culverts. As of 07/11/2012

The trail is clear to Stonwall Pass. Stonwall Pass to Echo Lake: There is one 12 inch tree 1/2 mile down from the

pass which is easily passable and one 32 inch possible stock-stopper 1 mile from the pass on the switchbacks up

to Echo Lake. The trail is clear of logs from Echo Lake all the way to Deer Lake.

In 2011 the CCC’s managed to finish the trail re-routes. The two main re-routes are quite a piece of work.

The one in Siligo Meadow re-aligns two trails out of Siligo’s meadows up into the talus slope under Gibson Peak.

It is nothing short of a hand-crew wonder. Car sized boulders were moved with rock-bars and grip-hoists and

copious amounts of crush-fill were pounded out by hand. All of which has resulted in a smooth, grade

appropriate, almost invisible, new trail that is suitable for stock and backpackers alike. The other re-route is

above Deer Lake. It took a 35% grade (dangerous) old trail segment and turned it into a 10% grade trail (by

adding one switchback) that is much safer AND a joy to walk. Unfortunately the storm of October 5 th 2011 may

not allow anyone else to see it until the 2012 summer season!

Stuart Fork Trail #9W20 – As of 05/12/2012 the trail is clear of downed logs past Morris Meadow. There are

two 12” trees down that we know of beyond Morris Meadow, but neither of them is a stock stopper. Back on

05/12 we saw a huge black bear foraging in the meadow which reminded us that Stuart Fork is typically the only

area in which we have ‘bear’ problems. Be sure to hang your food whenever you sleeping or are not around

camp for any significant period of time, and don’t leave any dirty dishes behind while you are on a day-hike!

You can check our Leave No Trace page for instructions on how to do this correctly. (See our Leave No Trace

page under the ‘Useful Recreation Links’ heading on the Website’s Home Page for appropriate instructions).

Remember, the current Forest Order for Stuart Fork specifies that there are

NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED AT ANY OF STUART FORK’S LAKES. It is a $375 fine

(absolutely no exceptions) for anyone caught in violation of this Forest Order.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Willow Creek /Tri-Forest Trail #9W11 – The trail is clear of downed logs out of Big Flat to the top of the

ridge (approximately 5.5 miles).

SWIFT CREEK (WATERSHED)

The road to the trailhead is clear and in good condition.

Bear Basin Trail #9W10 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Landers Lake Trail #9W09 and 9W09A – As of 06/27/2012 the trail up from Mumford Meadows to Landers

Lake is clear of snow and debris. The trail coming up to Landers from the Union watershed is also free of snow

and debris. The campsites at Landers are also snow-free.

Lilypad Lake Trail #8W21 – The trail is free of snow and debris all the way to the Lake and up to the junction

with the Thumb Rock trail. The trail has been cleared of rocks, branches, and downed trees.

.

Deer Flat Trail #8W13 – (Lake Eleanor) – A GPS Unit Helps! As of 05/11/2012 hikers report: “My family and

I were just up driving around by Swift Creek and found that the road was free of snow and in fairly good shape

for the whole loop to the Lake Eleanor trailhead. I walked up the trail for a little ways (not quite to the lake) and it

looked as if it was free of snow”.

Granite Lake Trail #8W14 – Thee is now a 12” tree down across the trail about 1.5 miles past the Swift Creek

bridge. It looks like a stock stopper but it is obvious that a few head of stock have gotten around it. It must be

categorized as ‘tough for stock to negotiate’. There is a 30" and a 10" tree down on the trail about 800ft. above

Granite Lake. These are not reported as stock stoppers.

In 2009 the Wilderness Patrol reported that: “The trail above Granite Lake towards 7-Up is very brushy in

several spots, there is a spot that lasts for about 100 yards where the brush completely covers the trail up to and

over head height.” One of the brushy sections about ¼ mile from the lake is along a very thin trail tread that

obscures a drop-off of several feet down into the creek. Proceed with full awareness through this section!

Mumford Basin – Trail conditions are not known at this time.

Parker Creek Trail #9W19 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Poison Canyon Trail #8W10 – The road is passable but there are a lot of rocks on it. They can be avoided if

you drive with caution, but could be tough on horse trailer tires. Small trees, branches, and rocks have been

removed on the trail but there are 5 downed trees remaining to Lilly Pad Lake and two additional to the Parker

Creek/Union divide. None of these are stock stoppers. The loop up and around Lilly Pad Lake (Thumb Rock

trail to Poison Canyon) has also been treated for rocks, small trees, and branches and is stock passable. There are

six trees down on this trail loop but only one of them will be a bit difficult for stock to get around. As of

07/03/2012 there were a few scattered patches of snow left but none were of concern relative to stock passage.

Seven-Up Peak Trail #9W67 – The trail is clear of downed trees. Hikers should remember though that, at the

end of 2012, in spots, the tread was very thin with steep drop-offs. There are several spots where large rocks

have slumped down into the tread. They are easily negotiated by hikers, but complicate stock passage.

Technically it was possible for stock to pass, but with the steep out-slope and thin trail tread stock users should be

prepared to walk stock on this one-mile section of trail.

Swift Creek Trail #8W15 – The trail is now (06/27/2012) free of and significant downed trees and snow all the

way to Horseshoe Lake.

Sunrise Basin Trail #9W15 – The trail is now clear of downed trees.

Thumb Rock Trail #8W16 – The trail is clear of stock stopper trees. Three trees remain but are relatively easy

to get around.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Ward Lake Trail #9W66 – As of 07/10/2012 the trail was now free of snow and downed logs for easy access

from the Swift Creek side of the trail. Scott Valley Ranger District is now reporting that the trail on the north

side of the ridge is clear of downed logs.

UPPER TRINITY (WATERSHED)

Bear Lake Trail #7W03 – The trail is clear of downed trees all the way to the lake.

** Overnight hikers please note that the campsites around the lake are rapidly becoming devoid of firewood. If

you must have a campfire, make it only a small social fire at night in a pre-existing fire ring.

Bloody Run Trail #8W04 – A GPS Unit Helps! Trail conditions are not known at this time. At the end of the

2011 season there were approximately 12 twenty-four inch tress across the trail. Several are stock stoppers. As

of season’s end in 2011, several sections on the east side of the ridge (where the trail looses elevation toward

Bloody Run Creek) were quite obscure and hard to follow.

Deadfall Lakes Trail – The road up from either the Mount Shasta side of the ridge or the Trinity side of the

ridge is now clear of rocks and boulders. It is a paved road and is suitable for passenger cars. Hiker/s Report

on 6/22/12- The actual trail was in great condition. No logs, clean, easy hike compared to many other trails. A

couple of hikers we met said they had had backpacked to Mt. Eddy and said it was also fine with just a couple

of patches of snow they could get around. Deadfalls Lake didn’t want to give up any fish, nor did the lower

lake. The waterfalls along the lake to the lower lake are beautiful and there are a lot of great wildflowers right

now”.

Eagle Creek Trail #7W05 – The trail is clear of downed trees to the junction with the Tangle Blue trail.

If you venture up into the Benches themselves, there are many spots where the trail crosses meadows. Users

will find that the trail is clearly marked with cairns (ducks) to facilitate proper orientation. At these meadow

crossings (in locations where there is no visible trail tread), please 'meander' across the meadow to keep a

visible path from forming. When usage is low in places like the Eagle Creek Benches impacts to the meadows

can be reduced if users simply follow individual and slightly winding paths from cairn to cairn across the

meadow.

East Boulder Lake Trail #8W02 – The trail has three downed logs but none of them is a stock-stopper. The

trail coming up from Tangle Blue Lake actually empties onto an in-holding road and travels along this dirt road

for approximately 1/3 mile. Be sure to make note of this intersection because it is not well signed and is easy to

miss on a return trip toward Tangle Blue. You follow this road to its terminus where the trail simply continues

on (it crosses a year-round creek at this point). There are carsonite trail signs along the road, but they are in an ill

state of repair. The junction to Big Marshy Lake is not signed, but the most obvious piece of the trail leads you

directly to the lake. The trail continuing on to the PCT is quite faded but it can be followed if you pay close

attention. The trail to East Boulder Lake is free of snow.

Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – The PCT from Route#3 to Carter Summit has several trees down, but none are

stock-stoppers.

PCT Lake Reports – Information from the Scott Valley Ranger District:

• Carter Meadows Loop- The road and trail conditions are unknown at this time.

• China Gulch- The trail is open for both stock and hiker access.

• East Boulder Trailhead – The trail is open for both stock and hiker access.

• Fish Lake Trailhead – The road to the trailhead is in good condition. The trail to Fish Lake is hard

to distinguish at the Junction with Twin Lakes Trail. The Fish Lake trail is through the tall Corn

Lilies. There are no trees down on the trail to Fish Lake. From Fish Lake to Long Gulch Lake

there are 18 trees down. Several of them are stock-stoppers.

• Fox Creek Ridge Trailhead- As of 06/27/2012 the Wilderness Patrol reports: There is a downed 16

inch snag right before the Fox Creek Lake outlet crossing --stock stopper. 200 yards past the

Mavis/Fox creek junction (left of the fork heading towards the PCT) there is a 22 inch snag, one or

two switch backs past that there is another 18 inch snag. 100 yards past is another 26 inch snag

that fell on top of and parallel to the trail (it’s sitting in the middle of the trail for most its length).

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

About 150 yards later is a 32 inch stock stopper. **I just received (07/02/2012) a report from

hikers that the trail is now clear. There seems to be confusion about this. Stock users should call

the Scott Valley RD (530 468-5351) for the most accurate trail condition. If the trail has been

cleared they would have been the ones that did the work.

• Little Mill Creek Trailhead- Passage to the lake is now suitable for hikers and for stock.

• Middle Boulder Trailhead – As of 06/02/2012 riders report the trail to Middle Boulder is

free of logs and snow until the lake. The road to the trailhead is in good condition.

• Telephone Lake: The trail is now clear of debris to the lake.

Trail Gulch Lake: The trail is now clear to the lake.

• Twin Lakes: There are three-22” tress down on the trail. None of these are stock-stoppers.

• South Fork Lakes- Hikers Report: We accessed the trail from the Carter Meadows trailhead. At

about .65 miles into the hike on the Pacific Crest Trail there was a very large tree blocking the

trail. It was easy to climb under. This would definitely stop horses. The junction to take the South

Fork Trail could be missed, we put a couple of stone markers there. Overall the trail has some

downed trees and was messy but not as bad as other trails we’ve seen in prior years. All water

crossings could be done by stepping on rocks/logs. (As of 6/21). When we entered the meadow

we had a difficult time finding the trail up to the lake. Knowing it was west we crossed the stream

and eventually found it. The meadow was as beautiful as ever but soggy. We saw a few bear

tracks. We put stone markers where the trail picks up and hikers should enter the meadow

knowing to head west at an angle. The markers are on both sides of the stream. Heading up the

steep incline we had little snow or logs to block us (just a few sections that can be walked around).

The biggest hazard as to be expected was stones tumbling. This hike is still a “huffer puffer” so

make sure you are ready for the challenge even though it is short. Hiking books call it “easy to

moderate” but I would call it difficult due to the steep incline /decline and movement of the trail

stones. It’s easy to slide if you don’t pace it correctly. Lake was pretty with no signs of camperswe

caught and released a couple of brook trout.

** Check with the Scott Valley Ranger District (530 468-5351) for the most up-to-date report on these

lakes and trailheads .

Stoddard Lake Trail #7W06 (accessed off of Route #3) – The trail is now open for hikers and for

stock usage.

The last ½ mile of the road (the same section no matter which access road you started from) is quite rough and

should not be attempted by vehicles with low ground clearance. Some improvement of the last ½ mile of road

tread occurred last year but this section is still difficult for vehicles without much ground clearance.

Tangle Blue Lake Trail #8W01 and #8W23 – The trail is clear of snow and debris all the way to the lake. All

of the campsites are free of snow. The creek crossings are all easily manageable.

Telephone Lake Trail #8W25- The trail is now open for hikers and stock alike.

We constantly strive to provide you with the most up to date trail and

campsite information. When you return home from your Wilderness

adventure, if there is something new that you think we should know,

please feel free to send me an E-Mail jholmes@fs.fed.us and I will see to it

that it gets posted. For those of you who write asking specific trail

condition questions, I will respond as quickly as I can. If my response

takes a couple of days, please understand that often I am out in the field

clearing trails, or rehabilitating campsites.

Thanks for Your Help, Jim Holmes (Wilderness Program Manager)

Trinity Alps Weed Survey for 2012 –Next page�

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Trinity Alps Invasive Weed Survey 2012

Areas outside our Wilderness are highly disturbed by agriculture, logging, and road maintenance operations.

These activities unwittingly promote invasive weed infestations. Many of these infestations have progressed

beyond most reasonable attempts at eradication. Simply stated, once these invasive weeds have taken hold in

non-wilderness areas, the constant amount of soil disturbance inherent in agricultural, logging, and road

maintenance activities make the control of invasive species highly problematic.

Soil disturbance within our Wilderness, relative to areas outside the Wilderness, is minor. Other than

fighting wildfires (with approved chainsaw use) mechanical devises of any kind are not allowed within the

Wilderness. The Wilderness has no roads. Vehicular access of any kind is not allowed within the Wilderness.

Consequently, in contrast to areas outside of the Wilderness, opportunities for the establishment (and especially

the spread) of invasive plants are greatly reduced within our Wilderness. Additionally, the watersheds in our

Wilderness are at the top end of the riparian zone. We are the initiation point for rain and snow run-off. There

are no creeks or run-off areas above or running into our Wilderness. The Trinity Alps high degree of geographic

isolation and lack of interior access, coupled with its low incidence of soil disturbance and its all-inclusive

watersheds, make it a candidate for special considerations relative to invasive species.

The data collected this summer (2012) indicate that most watersheds in the Trinity Alps are free of major

infestations. Most infestations still offer us ample opportunity to fully eradicate identified invasive species,

thereby maintaining the watershed in question as an area of pristine and unbroken genetic continuity. In fact,

Wilderness Areas in general can be viewed as one of the last bastions of unbroken genetic continuity in the

nation. They are also in a unique and advantageous position for staying that way. Our Wilderness is no

exception.

There are several species on the invasive species ‘A’ list that are fairly common within the Trinity Alps

Wilderness. These are Wooly Mullein, Bull Thistle, and Sweat Pea. Several infestations of Sweat Pea have

expanded to the point that they would be very difficult to eradicate. However, most infestations are small

enough that eradication is still a viable treatment option. There is also one other species of note that is not on

the ‘A’ list but, in several instances, should be considered from the point of view of ‘treatment’. This species is

Klamath Weed.

Unfortunately, Klamath Weed is so common outside of the Wilderness that it is no longer on anyone’s ‘A’

list. However, our Wilderness’s advantages of isolation, inaccessibility, and lack of soil disturbance puts it in such

a unique category that any outbreak of an invasive species (especially one with ‘obnoxious’ overtones) should be

deemed worthy of treatment. At this point in time, no invasive is, or should be, deemed beyond inclusion on our

Wilderness’s ‘A’ list.

Watersheds Surveyed in 2012

Adams Lake (9W13)

About 400' up the trail from the trailhead there are approximately 60 Woolly Mullein, 100 Sweet Pea, and

45 Bull thistle plants on both sides of the trail. It could be treated. It is a unit that is approximately 40’ by 100’.

Bear Lakes Trail (7W03)

The trailhead is clear of invasives. The first 2.5 miles of the trail is clear of invasives. A Sweet Pea infestation

starts around the 2.5 mark. There are then several spots right along the trail (not yet moved into the surrounding

forest). At the first decent sized meadow there is a rather significant dispersed patch (all the plants within 50’ of

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

the trail). Approximately ¾ mile from the lake there is a ¼ mile infestation of Sweet Pea along the trial. This

section of trail has an especially diverse number of species and they are beginning to be drowned out by the

Sweet Pea. It is the worst Sweat Pea infestation within the Alps so far.

Bear Basin (9W10 –Swift Creek’s Bear Basin)

There were no invasives spotted in Bear Basin. This is quite amazing in that, traditionally, there was

plenty of cattle grazing in the watershed well up into the 1960’s. More surveillance is needed however, because

in the time available, only the meadow sections directly adjacent to the trail were scoped. There are many more

meadows stretched out along the upper 2/3rds of the watershed that need a thorough scoping.

Bob’s Farm (11W03)

There are Sweet Pea plants near the top of the trail towards Bob's farm at a water crossing. There are more

at the next water crossing as well. I (Art Thompson) found Wooly Mullein on a fire disturbed slope above the first

camp site about 1/4 mile before Bob's Farm --the first switch back after the old water pump station. I estimate it

covered roughly 150’ by 300’ but it could have been larger. I'd say there were at least 100 plants of multiple age

groups. The slope seemed to be a fire-disturbed site.

Boulder Lake (8W20 8W11)

The access road to the trailhead had White/Yellow Clover and Klamath Weed along it for the first 2 to 3

miles. The clear-cut block along the road, approximately 2.5 miles from the trailhead, had an infestation of Wooly

Mullein and Bull Thistle. There were probably other invasives within this recent clear-cut block but we did not

have the time to scope it thoroughly.

There were no invasives along the trail to either Big or Little Boulder Lake and there were no invasives

around either lake. The meadow at the south end of Big Boulder was also checked and it has no invasives. The

trail up toward Lilly Pad Lake and the trail over toward Conway from Big Boulder still needs to be checked.

Canyon Creek (10W08)

Canyon creek is free of invasives up to and including Lower Canyon Creek Meadows (about 3.2 miles up

the trail). The sinks were also looked over closely as was the Canyon Creek Meadow proper (06/20/2012). A

second trip up to the lakes included a side trip over to the first waterfall that you see along the trail (about three

miles in). Just east of the waterfall on the top of the bank in a relatively open and partially rocky area there was a

patch of approximately 30 Klamath Weed invasives. We pulled all of them up. Further along the trail, not far past

the Lower Meadow another patch of 50 Klamath Weed invasives was found. They were also all pulled up.

There were no invasives found at the BCL trail junction or along the trail to Boulder Creek Lakes. Boulder

Creek Lakes was also free of invasives. There were no invasives along the trail to either Lower Canyon Creek Lake

or Upper Canyon Creek Lake. However, a patch of Wooly Mullein was found at the small ‘Stonehouse’ overhang

on the southern shore of Upper Canyon Creek Lake. There were approximately 20 plants in a contained area and

we pulled them all up. There were no other invasives around the Lake and the area was surveyed up to and

including the waterfall up the inlet creek toward Thompson Peak. No invasives were found around the waterfall

or in any of the meadow areas between the Upper Lake and the waterfall. The scramble to ‘L’ Lake was not

surveyed nor was ‘L’ Lake itself surveyed.

On a return trip to Upper Canyon Creek Lake on 10/8/2012 the ‘Stonehouse' site was re-visited and

approximately 40 Woolly Mullein seedlings had sprouted since their initial discovery in July. They were all pulled

up.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Deer Lake (9W17)

Medusa Head is scattered along the trail for approximately ½ mile up around the Black’s Basin cut-off and

the 7-up Pass cut-off.

Doe Lake (8W05)

The Doe Lake trail was checked as far as Doe Lake. Only Wooly Mullein was found along the trail. We

determined that it got its start from a fire line up above the trail about six years ago. It worked its way down the

slope and got established in some trail work about four years ago and has moved laterally for an extent of

approximately ¼ mile along the trial. This infestation starts approximately ¾ of a mile from the Stoddard Lake trail

(7W06). It would take a serious undertaking to stop this infestation. There are hundreds of plants dotted along

this ¼ mile section. The trail also had a lot of thistle along it but, as of the end of June, they all appeared to be

natives.

East Boulder Lakes

The road up to the trailhead had Wooly Mullein and Star Thistle along the shoulders. The trail itself had

two outbreaks of Wooly Mullein (50 plants 20 plants respectively). All were pulled. The 50 plant outbreak also

had one bull thistle plant associated with it and it was also pulled. Further up the trail (1/2 mile from the lake

several more Bull Thistle were found and all were pulled. The lakes (lakeshores) themselves had no invasives. All

five lakes were circumnavigated. The general lakes area however is one large 600 to 800 acre meadow and would

take a few days to fully survey. It is also heavily grazed by cattle.

Four Lakes Loop (9W12)

No invasives were found along the Four Lakes Loop either along the trail, or around the lakeshores

(however, Luella Lake was not surveyed). The meadows immediately adjacent to Diamond Lake were also

surveyed and no invasives were found.

Fox Creek Mavis and Virginia Lakes

There was only one potential invasive along the trail to these lakes. It was a probable infestation of

Medusa Head. It definitely was not Foxtail (it had a spiked head that did not pull apart), but the plants were

somewhat clustered and did not seem to have a dispersed growth pattern. There were no invasives at any of

these three lakes.

Granite Creek (8W09)

Approximately 3/4 mile from the junction with the North Fork of Coffee Creek, off to the right of the trail

(the creek side of the trail) was a 100’ by 100’ wet area that had a number of Wooly Mullein and Bull Thistle

plants. I pulled all of the Woolies that had gone to seed and also all of the Bull Thistle seed heads for deposit in

the Coffee Creek dumpster (approximately 40 each). This is a recent infestation that seemed to be caused by

three large trees that had recently fallen and disturbed a large area of soil on the edge of the wet area. It could

be completely wiped out with surveillance for the next few years. This is a contained infestation.

One mile from Granite Lake there is a significant infestation of Wooly Mullein on approximately ½ acre of

relatively dry meadow. It is at that ‘take off’ stage such that, if left untreated, in a year or two the entire meadow

will be a solid thicket of Wooly Mullein. I pulled all of the flowering plants and cut off the flowering heads. I did

not attempt to deal with the multitude of vegetative plants. This infestation appears to be quite localized and I

did not find ‘strays’ up and down the trail beyond this area. The lakeside itself was clear of invasives.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Granite Lake (8W14)

The Granite Lake trail was free of invasives to the lake with the exception of one patch of Klamath Weed

along both sides of the trail approximately 1/3 of the way up alongside of Gibson Meadow (approximately 50

plants). This patch was pulled up. There were no invasives around the lake and the trail was surveyed all the way

to the top of the ridge between the Granite Creek watershed and the Deer Creek watershed. There were several

dispersed areas of Medusa Head along this stretch near the top of the Deer Creek divide.

Landers Trail up from Swift Creek (9W09A and the section of the

Sunrise trail that connects this trail with Swift Creek)

There are no invasives on the trail from Swift Creek all the way to Landers Lake. A short walk around the

meadows at Landers Lake also uncovered no invasives. One of the campsites at Landers was still under snow

(06/14/2012) and that general area should be checked again.

Lilly Pad Lake Trail (8W21)

The Lilly Pad Lake trail to the Thumb Rock trail junction (8W16) is free of invasives –including Lilly Pad

Lake and its environs. There are numerous meadows along this trail however, and several more days of intensive

searching would be required to make a definitive judgment.

Long Canyon (9W14)

Only one invasive weed was identified along the Long Canyon trail from the trailhead to the junction with

the Four Lakes Loop trail at the top of Siligo Meadow. This was a significant invasion of Klamath Weed that

started approximately four miles up the trail and went on for approximately 1.2 miles to the point where the trail

crosses Long Canyon Creek. Along some sections, plants were found up to 350’ from the trail, on both sides of the

trail. There were too many plants along this 1.2 mile section of trail to estimate their numbers.

No plants were found past the steep rise in topography that begins where the infestation ended, which

means that no plants were found from the Long Canyon Creek crossing all the way up to Bee Tree Gap either

along the trail or in the meadows along, and below, the trail. Additionally, no invasive plants were found past Bee

Tree Gap in Siligo Meadow or along the Four Lakes Loop.

Middle Boulder Lake

Two miles back from the trailhead there is a road spur that is infested with many Wooly Mullein and Bull

Thistle plants. It looks like the infestation got started when the road crew dumped/disturbed soil and road base in

that general area. The trailhead itself has an infestation of many Wooly Mullein and Bull Thistle due to recent

culvert repair/replacement. One mile up the trail an infestation of Sweet Pea (about 60 plants) was found on the

east side of the trail. It did not look as though it was going to flower (probably too dry in this spot) and is a good

candidate for removal.

There was one Klamath Weed plant another mile up the trail and it was pulled. There were no invasives

around Middle Boulder Lake.

Mill Creek Lakes (8W01)

There is a road spur along 40N17 that was used by the road crew to dump road debris. This spot is a

cauldron of invasives including Dyer’s Woad, Bull Thistle, Wooly Mullein, and Star Thistle. It seems to be

contained within that area at present and could possibly be treated at this point (08/13/2012). Also along the

road (at the junction with the Bolivar Lookout road) there were three Bull Thistle plants and a number of Wooly

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Mullein plants (approx. 40). All of these were pulled.

100' up from the trailhead (not yet technically in the Wilderness) 6 Wooly Mullein plants (two were

flowering, all were pulled) were found and a 100' by 170' patch of Sweet Pea which was beginning to drown

everything on both sides of the trail –it was still 150' from the creek and could be kept from getting directly on the

creek bank ...

Two patches of Wooly Mullein (11 and 40 plants respectively) were found within the first two miles of the

trailhead. All were pulled.

Two Chicory plants were found within the first 1/2 mile of the trailhead and both were pulled up. There

were no invasives found around Mill Creek Lake. However, only the lakeside was surveyed. Washbasin Lake or

the trail over to East Boulder was not surveyed at this time.

North Fork Coffee Creek (9W01)

The North Fork of Coffee Creek had several areas of relatively heavy infestation of Wooly Mullein and Bull

Thistle. The meadow at the top of the watershed (at the junction of the North Fork trail and the Steveale

Meadow trail) had the worst infestation of Wooly Mullein yet seen in the Alps (or in the surrounding National

Forest for that matter). ¼ acre of this 6 acre meadow was pretty much a solid ‘thicket’ type of Wooly Mullein

infestation. Even this infestation though had a promise of eradication. Almost all the Wooly in this meadow was

concentrated in just this one area. There were very few ‘stray’ plants to contend with. I did not have the time to

attempt to treat any of these plants.

Further back down the trail toward the trailhead all the infestations of Wooly were also in association with

Bull Thistle. Several small side streams between the end of the North Fork trail and the confluence of the North

Fork and Saloon Creek had minor infestations. However, at the confluence of these creeks there was an extensive

flood plain area that was mildly inundated with Wooly Mullein and Bull Thistle. There were no ‘thicket’ types of

areas yet but the plants were scattered around in enough places that, in a few years, a severe ‘thicket’ problem

could easily develop. Below the bad Wooly infestation at the end of the trail I spent an appreciable amount of

time pulling the Woollies and de-heading and pulling the Bull Thistle plants that were in flower. I carried

approximately 7 pounds of Bull Thistle heads out of the Wilderness with me at the tour’s end. I attempted to

treat all the plants that were in flower/seed, but I did not attempt to pull all the plants in the Vegetative state.

I followed the North Fork Creek streambed from the confluence of Saloon Creek down to the Granite

Creek Bridge. Surprisingly, there were only a few scattered Woolies along the creek banks. The main originating

infestation seemed to be emanating from the confluence without much expansion as yet down the North Fork.

The trail from the Granite Creek Bridge to Hodges Cabin was clear of invasives. I did not have time to check

the streambed proper along this route though, but from up above on the trail I did identify a few scattered Wooly

Mullein (but no Bull Thistle) plants along the creek bank. This is a relatively wide area of streambed with

scattered meadow areas in association with the creek banks. It is an area that will require a more dedicated

segment of time for further exploration to determine the extent of these additional infestations.

The area around Hodges Cabin had many scattered Wooly Mullein and Bull Thistle plants around the cabin

and on both sides of the creek. None of these infestations were of the ‘thicket’ variety however, and one day’s

labor should be able to eradicate all the sprouted plants.

The trail from Hodges Cabin back to the trailhead was free of invasives. When I did get glimpses of the

creek below the trail I did not see any additional invasives. It is practically inconceivable though that there are not

scattered Wooly Mullein and Bull Thistle plants along this stretch. An organized survey of this creek stretch could

not only identify the invasives but also allow for removing what few are found as the surveyors move up the

creek.

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

North Fork Trinity (12W01)

Unfortunately the Garmin unit used by Art Thompson to gather the GPS points on this trail fell over a cliff

on the way back to the trailhead and the points were not able to be recovered. This is not a big deal however,

because all of the sightings were right along the trail and GPS Point Estimates for these locations have been

established using the TOPO Program. These estimates are the UTM’s shown on the data sheets.

Hobo Gulch to Grizzly Lake: About 1/4 mile from the trailhead there is a decently large patch of Klamath

Grass in the meadow right before the first campsite on your left. All were flowering (07/24/2012). There were

approximately 100 individual plants. I (Art Thompson) found and pulled two Bull Thistles 200 feet past Backbone

Creek on the low water trail. I found more Klamath Grass off to the left of the trail somewhat close to where

China Creek joins in.

About 200 yards before Jorstad Cabin there is a thicket of sweet pea on the right side of trail (a 50’ by 15’

patch). Jorstad Cabins was clear of invasives. There was one large Bull Thistle in among a Thimble Berry patch

just before China Gardens. From here to the Moliter Mine Site Klamath grass was distributed here and there

along the trail. At the China Gardens water access there was a small patch of Sweet Pea. One mile before the

Moliter Mine there was a 100’ by 10’ patch of Sweet Pea. ¼ mile past Low Gap there was a 40’ by 15’ patch of

sweet Pea. The trail and Grizzly Lake were clear of invasives from this point on.

Poison Canyon (8W10)

The Poison Canyon trail was checked to the junction with the Thumb Rock trail (8w16). Somewhat

surprisingly the Poison Canyon trail had only one invasive. Starting about ¼ mile from the trailhead Sweet Pea

began to appear sporadically along the trail. It culminated in a patch of unknown extent about 1.5 miles up the

trail. Here the trail parallels a side creek for a short distance and the sweet pea is along both sides of this creek

for at least 1000’ and probably more. At its worst the infestation has crept up about 80’ on both creek banks.

Time constraints did not allow me to follow the creek to the beginning of this infestation, but we are talking

hundreds of plants (or more).

Past this major infestation there are no more indications of any invasive up to the Thumb Rock junction.

There are numerous meadows along the trail however, and several days would have to be spent within them to

make a positive determination that the rest of Poison Canyon was clear of invasives. Oddly, there were almost no

thistles in Poison Canyon. None of the invasive varieties were found, and only a few of the natives.

Rattlesnake Creek (11W05)

There are approximately 60 Klamath Weed plants near the old mining equipment ½ mile before Brown’s

mine. There are three large Sweet Pea thickets on the way to Enni camp right off to the sides of the trail. The first

thicket started about 1 mile after the Middle Fork creek crossing.

Saloon Creek (9W01)

The confluence of Saloon Creek and the North Fork of the Trinity had a significant but fairly mild

infestation of Wooly Mullein and Bull thistle. There were no ‘thicket’ types of areas yet but the plants were

scattered around in enough places that, in a few years, a severe ‘thicket’ problem could easily develop. I spent an

appreciable amount of time pulling the Woolies and de-heading and pulling the Bull Thistle plants that were in

flower. I carried approximately 7 pounds of Bull Thistle heads out of the Wilderness with me at the tour’s end. I

attempted to treat all the plants that were in flower/seed, but I did not attempt to pull all the plants in the

Vegetative state.

Approximately 1/3 mile from the top of the ridge leading to the South Fork Lakes there was a 2 acre

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

meadow with a significant number of Wooly Mullein plants in all stages of development. If nothing is done in this

meadow soon, it will be pretty much solid Wooly Mullein. I pulled all of the plants with flowering/seed heads but

did not attempt to deal with the excessive number of plants in the vegetative state. I also found 5 Bull Thistle

plants and decapitated them (and brought out the immature seed heads with me back to the trailhead and

deposit in the Coffee Creek dumpster).

Siligo Meadow (9W21)

Only the upper portion of Siligo Meadow was surveyed. This is the portion from the trail junction with the

Four Lakes Loop down to the lowest meadow before you start the climb back up toward Echo Lake. The trail and

the meadows within this area were looked over very carefully by two surveyors and no invasives were found. The

trail relocations and the trail rehabs of 2010 were also looked over closely with no invasives showing up in these

areas of recently disturbed soil.

7-Up Trail (9W67)

Medusa Head is scattered along both sides of the trial from the 7-up Pass above Granite Lake for

approximately ¼ mile toward Black’s Basin.

South Fork Coffee Creek (9W04)

Three Woolly Mullein plants were pulled at the SF Coffee Creek trailhead. Those three seemed to be the

extent of the infestation at the trailhead. However, Woolly Mullein plants are dispersed all along the Coffee Creek

road. The road infestations, at this point, are hit and miss. I did not yet notice any of the solid ‘thicket’ types of

infestations that are possible with this plant.

The main trailhead issue was a Sweet Pea infestation that started at the trailhead and ran up a side creek

(one to the west at least 1/4 mile along the flowing creek bed). After following the infestation for 1/4 mile I gave

up on finding its source. The Sweet Pea was mixed in with fetch and the Sweat Pea will probably become

dominant after a few years. Right now the fetch had at least 80% of the vegetation with Sweet pea around 20%

or slightly less. There was more Sweet Pea toward the trailhead than farther up the stream. This would be a good

place to check over the next few years to see who the ‘winner’ is in the competition between Fetch and Sweet

Pea.

I did not have the time to recon more than the first ¼ mile of the South Fork trail.

Stoddard Lake (7W06)

The trail to Stoddard Lake is free of invasives 07/05/2012). There are a lot of thistles along the trail

however, and they should be checked later in the year to be sure none of them are invasives. The Lake trail and

the lake were thoroughly looked over at the end of June 2012. McDonald Lake was also free of invasives.

Sugar Pine (8W07)

Sweet pea has been found along the trail in a number of small (10’ by 5’) patches before the Battle Canyon

Trail junction. The Cabin Flat area (the trail junction) itself was free of invasives as was the rest of the trail to

Sugar Pine Lake and Sugar Pine Lake itself.

Swift Creek (8W15)

The main Swift Creek trail up the Landers trail junction is clear of invasives with two exceptions. A single

Bull Thistle was found approximately 2 miles from the trailhead. That one thistle was pulled including the root.

There is also an infestation on Medusa Head scattered along the trail from the Granite Lake trail junction to

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Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Condition Report October 25th, 2012

Mumford Meadow. From the Landers Lake trail junction in Mumford Meadow up to Ward and Horseshoe Lakes,

rather amazingly, there are no invasive weed infestations. The lakes were circumnavigated and no invasives were

found around either lake.

Tangle Blue Lake (8W23 and 8w01)

There are several populations of Sweet Pea and Bull Thistle along the road/trail section that SP just logged a

couple of years ago (the first 1.5 miles of trail that is not technically in the Wilderness). There is an additional

Sweet Pea infestation just past the old turn-off to the Grand National Mine (approximately 2.5 miles in --and

within the Wilderness boundary).

Telephone Lake

The trail spur to Telephone Lake had no invasives other than a small area of suspected Medusa Head

grass. The lake itself had no invasive outbreaks. The intensely beautiful meadow to the west of the trial just past

the Middle Boulder trail split was also surveyed fairly thoroughly and no invasives were found.

Thumb Rock Trail (8W16)

The Thumb Rock trail is free of invasives. There are numerous meadows along this trail however, and

several more days of intensive searching would be required to make a definitive judgment.

Union Creek (9W07)

The Union Creek trail had several possibly infected sites (06/14/2012). ¼ mile past the Union Creek bridge

one Wooly Mullein plant was found and removed. Additionally 50 to 100 Sweet Pea plants were found in the area

but we were somewhat unsure if they were of the invasive variety (later ID needed). At the first large meadow

thistles possibly Bull, Italian, and Canada were found but identification will be needed later in the season for

positive ID. This area was checked again in October of 2012 and no invasive thistles were found. At this time an

additional 7 Wooly Mullein plants were found and pulled.

Yellow Rose Trail

The Yellow Rose trail from Big Flat to the junction with the Dorleska trail and up to the ridgetop going

toward the Dorleska Mine had only one infestation of Bull Thistle at the second creek crossing up from the

trailhead. Approximately 50 plants were present in a 20’ by 50’ area.

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