[pct-l] Fire and the trail from Sonora Pass to Echo

Douglas Tow douglastow at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 12:41:23 CDT 2015

I spent the last four days driving this entire area, feeding hikers at
Sonora Pass Monday, driving hikers at Sonora Pass, Kennedy Meadows,
Bridgeport, and South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, and feeding hikers at Ebbetts
Pass on Wednesday and Thursday (yes, despite that many signs say Ebbetts
Pass is closed).  I personally spoke Wednesday and Thursday, variously, to
CalTrans, the Forest Service, and the Alpine County Sheriff as they passed
by in their trucks.

The current status is this:  The entire trail from Sonora Pass to Echo is
open, hikable, safe, and without smoke that would cause problems.  Hikers
pass closest to the fire (yet still quite some miles away) between Ebbetts
Pass/Highway 4 crossing and Carson Pass.

1.  You cannot drive from the east to go up Highway 4 to go to the Ebbetts
Pass/PCT crossing.  The signs on Highway 4 coming from the west say "Closed
at Alpine Lake" but this is not true:  The closure is about 18 miles
further than that, so a car can get to the actual PCT crossing 200 yards
east of Ebbetts Pass.

2.  I spoke to hikers at Echo Lake on Tuesday, and they did not have any

3.  At least one Forest Service flyer is misleading, in that it says "PCT -
Ebbetts Pass closed."  What it meant to say was that cars were not able to
access Ebbetts Pass to meet or provide support to hikers, except that cars
did come from the west to do just that.

4.  CalTrans personnel in a truck at Ebbetts Pass said Thursday that
Highway 4 MIGHT reopen for full passage on Friday, June 26.

5..  Between LAST Friday and Monday, there was one point where the Forest
Service or other jurisdictions took hikers off at the Highway 4 crossing to
civilization, due to uncertainty about the direction of the fire's growth.


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