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Fireweed - Bigfoot Trail Journal - 2016

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: Jun 10, 2016
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, Jun 10th, 2016
Start: Poker Flat Trailhead
End: Lake below
Daily Distance: 5.8
Trip Distance: 5.8

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 428
Journal Visits: 3,036
Guestbook Views: 132
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Bigfoot Trail Map

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Mystic Forest, Bashinka, Traihopper

Back on the Bigfoot Trail

I backpacked the Bigfoot Trail last summer but was stopped from completing the section through the Siskiyou Wilderness by a wildfire trail closure at Poker Flat. I decided to lead hikers from the local Backpack Interest Group along this trail in June of 2016. We would all go to Raspberry Lake (which is off the BFT) and when the group got to Youngs Valley on the return trip to the Poker Flat trailhead, I would part company and proceed SW on the Bigfoot Trail to the South Fork of the Smith River at Sand Camp, completing the missed section. Mystic Forest, myself and Bashinka carpooled from my place in Ashland on Friday morning June 10 and drove to Grants Pass where we met Trailhopper. We then drove to the Poker Flat Trailhead (which just opened for the season) via the old Happy Camp Road (aka the Bigfoot Highway) south of Cave Junction off Hwy 199. It was about 2 hours from Ashland. The weather looked stormy around Ashland, but it was clear by the time we reached the trailhead at 11:30. A cinnamon colored bear quickly vacated Poker Flat meadow and ran away up the hill, crossing the road as we drove down to the trailhead. We ate lunch and started hiking at noon. The temperature was great as long as the wind didnt gust. The trail to Twin Valley is well graded and wide enough to walk at least two abreast. We meandered down to Twin Valley through serpentine rock and Jefferey pine forest, with great views of snow dappled Preston Peak. We encountered very large Port Orford cedars in Twin Valley for the first time. We crossed Twin Valley Creek and finally located the trail across the meadow. This inaugurated a steep, rocky climb (750 feet in about a mile) under the now hot afternoon sun to a ridgeline south of the meadow. We descended through a shady multi-aged forest of Ponderosa pine, Western White pine, Incense Cedar, Douglas fir, White fir, Shasta red fir and Brewer spruce and then climbed to a meadow system and a trailside cairn that indicated the short spur trail to a small unnamed lake below peaks called the Lieutenants where we camped. Bashinka located a great campsite right next to the lake that accommodated all four of our tents on the SW edge of the lake. It was cold that night. We either hung our food or used an Ursack.

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Bigfoot Trail 2016

Fireweed

 

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