[pct-l] Sec G: Long Valley Loop Road to Manter Creek
David Hough reading PCT-L
pctl at oakapple.net
Thu Apr 13 14:55:55 CDT 2017
On April 11 I filled a gap south of Kennedy Meadows South.
Manter Creek in Rockhouse Basin was running well. One actually had to use
the steppingstones to cross it. There was even a tiny bit of snow
around 7000' on the trail. There also was water running along and in
the Long Valley Loop Road, about half a mile south of the trail crossing.
That was not there last year around Easter time.
The trail is in great shape. There is one 12" tree trunk
that might trouble stock, about a mile downhill from the road,
but it's serving as an effective cattle guard for now. There were plenty
of cow pies on the trail above the tree and none below.
As is often the case with section hikers, the 4 hour drive from Hwy 178
was more exciting than the 4 mile hike.
The north arm of Long Valley Loop Road is permanently closed; so much
for the "Loop."
The south arm of Long Valley Loop Road, from near the Chimney Creek
Campground, is just one thrill after another. You can probably
get through to the PCT trailhead in a passenger car, but borrow one from
somebody you don't like much. An SUV is better, but remembering the
deteriorating funkiness of the last mile to the trailhead, I parked
at a wide spot for an old trailhead about a mile south of the PCT.
I wished I had brought some kind of saw, even a handsaw, to deal with
the blowdowns across the road. There were three trucks parked along
the road, including a BLM truck at Long Valley
Campground but I guess he wasn't there to do logging. However somebody
had worked on one of the bad spots during the time I was parked. The worst
spot involved driving into a ditch to bypass a tree blocking most of the road.
Dayhikers as strong as I used to be could easily hike the 22 miles
between Kennedy Meadows and Chimney Creek Campground in one day, simplifying
the car shuttle. Being able to hike this section is pleasant weather is
one of the rewards of day and section hiking.
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