Friday, March 20, 2015

This Week In The King Range: Trail Conditions and Other News

Are you planning to visit the King Range this spring break? Check out this blog post for a ton of useful information.

This past week I hiked from Lightning Trailhead along the King Crest Trail to Rattlesnake Ridge Trail which I descended to Big and Miller Flats; from there I hiked out to Black Sands Beach. Although windy, it was warm and sunny most of the time. These are a few of the things I discovered:

1. Along Big Flat Creek I was lucky to see this Northwestern Salamander:

Do you see it? Look a little closer:

2. Trail Conditions: This is what you can currently expect on the trails in the King Range

  • There are lots trees down on most of the upland trails – This is what Rattlesnake Ridge Trail looks like in several sections:

It is passable on foot but makes travel more difficult at times.

  • The lower portion of Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, where is meanders along Big Flat Creek, can be hard to follow at times. The trail crosses the creek 4 times - Keep an eye out for cairns on each side of the creek crossings to help you find the trail.

FYI - the photo above is not current. I'm including it here to show you what a cairn looks like so you know what to look for. Also, please do not build additional cairns. 

  • Many sections of the upland trails are dense with vegetation..

Particularly, the King Crest Trail, the top half of Buck Creek Trail and the top half of Rattle Snake Ridge Trail. 

  • Cooskie Creek Trail can be VERY difficult to navigate because the trail goes through a lot of grass, it doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, and there are wildlife trails (and cattle trails in some areas) that go on/over/adjacent to the real trail. It would very much benefit you to have route finding skills.

  • The Lost Coast Trail is rocky and sandy – you will probably not be going much faster than about 2 miles per hour. Many people tell me that the trail is much more difficult than they expected.

(Photo by Daniel Hartmann)

3. I packed out close to 2 pounds of garbage between Big/Miller Flats and Black Sands Beach. This is garbage left behind by backpackers! I know how easy it can be to accidentally leave behind a wrapper – It’s good to get into the habit of checking around your campsites, resting areas, lunch spots, etc., before you leave. Once I get my pack on I always take a few steps then turn back around and scan the site. You never know – this has saved me from not only forgetting trash but also cameras, knives, and hats! 

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. There's a possibility that I may be out on the trail so give me a few days to get back to you. If you need immediate assistance call 707-986-5400.

Your Wilderness Ranger, 

Paul Sever

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I am curious about the creek crossings. Are they running high? What is the expected height of water at these? Thank you so much!