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lostsheep wrote:Date Hiked: June 22, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)
I was asked by a ranger to report back on our experience for this route so here we go:
We hiked through this section of trail on June 21st and 22nd going from Rainbow to Strawberry. This section of trail took everything my partner and I had to follow the trail. Whoever flagged the trail, thank you, thank you, thank you. The trail is doable but it is not for the faint of heart. I have two very large poison oak patches on each ankle and I removed several ticks (none had bitten me).
I do not recommend this section of trail unless it's between you and your destination.
fulmar2 wrote: From Strawberry, you ascend briefly on nice trail, but very shortly after the descent towards Rainbow begins, the trail disappears. Fortunately, some people had flagged the route (quite well, I might add - see previous posts).
The previous posters claim that this section took them 4 hours to negotiate - probably because they were flagging so well. It took two guys with hiking poles in their 30s a little under 2 hours to cover. Indeed, there is almost no trail for 1.5 miles, and you are constantly climbing over deadfall washed out gullies, and penetrating thick brush - but following the flags appears to be the best route.
Shortly after start descending from the little pass out of Strawberry, you are on decent, steep switch backs. There is a landslide shortly after the switchbacks end (you will have to climb over some fallen trees before the switchbacks truly end). Once you hit the landslide, keep an eye out for the other side (South side) of the creek. You will hopefully get a glimpse of a short piece of trail across the creek shortly after you pass the landslide. We just blazed down the hill (and up the other side), and got on some decent tread that helped us move down river another few hundred feet
. After that, though, you're strictly following flags through non trail. We did a little machete work - but only the minimum amount to prevent ourselves from getting poison oak / nettle stings. As the previous poster said, at the junction of the two creeks, the trail starts to become evident again. It isn't exactly smooth sailing, but it very gradually improves as you get closer and closer to the camp.
Before you get to camp, the flags take you up (on a trail) above a stunning waterfall that is ~150 feet high. Unfortunately, we could not find a good vantage point to safely observe the fall. I will see if I can post a GPS track of our route; it seemed pretty straight forward. If you are OK with off trail hiking, this section is OK - great thanks to the flaggers! We could have made it through without the flags, but they probably saved us some time - and were good for morale!
I have posted a GPS track at this location:
http://gotoes.org/biketours/20110527_Ve ... rnesstrip/
The GPS track includes the relevant section between Strawberry and Rainbow camps (and our small error near the base of the 150 foot waterfall). For the most part, we successfully followed the flagged route. The track also includes the path we followed from Rainbow to the Pine Ridge Campground (where we experienced some surprise snow)! For the moment, the above link is to an empty directory with just the GPS track, but I plan to add the remaining GPS tracks for the rest of our journey (through other possibly lost sections of trail) as well as a writeup with pictures.
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