Monday, August 14, 2006

More on the South Yuba's Canyon Creek

Retired Tahoe National Forest Supervisor John Skinner writes:


I enjoyed your historic and geologic view of our SF Yuba Canyon Creek. I
hadn't spent much time looking so I was glad youse guys applied your logic.
Will you be back to explore more of the trail? I'm guessing you'll run into
SPI logging in Sec 25, but I'm just guessing. You're right, the Canyon is
seldom visited.

You didn't mention the concrete building at the end of a lower miner's road
just below the narrowing of the canyon. There was a ditch coming next to the
building; so I suspected it was a power generator. Did you see it too? What
do you say it did?

I was surprised when you first passed by the terminus of the old Ridge Trail
right in that sprinkling of old P Pines on the ridgetop between S Yuba and
Canyon Cr. I had left the sign remnants leaning against one of them when I
was in there last fall. An old wildfire had taken out much of the trail's
blazed trees. The previous year I followed that historic trail as it
swithchbacked up the western nose to the ridgetop where volunteers had
rebuilt the trail connecting to Camp 19 by the Bowman Lake Road. The trail
had been surveyed and staked by the FS to let a contract to rebuild the
trail on the old route. Your story about abandoning it in favor of one
without the R/W problem is probably correct. I hiked the new version until
it quit for lack of funds. I hope it gets completed; it's a good location
and this link is scheduled to become another link of the South Yuba National
Historic Trail.

Can't remember if I mentioned one on other historic trail in that same
system? The Doolittle Trail was a pack trail to the Ridge Trail. Its lower
end is about 0.5 mile up the old, easy 4WD road up the river above the
Golden Quartz Picnic Site. This used to be gated above the Picnic Site but
the last two times I was there, the gated was open. There is the last house
up the river just above the campground. You'll hear the dog, but not seen
the house. This 4WD road easily follows the river up for 3.2 miles to still
another placer mine site that has a Glory Hole where they rerouted the river
to drain the hole. At this point the South Yuba necks down to nothing but
stark canyon until 4 miles above it tops out to Langs Crossing on the Bowman
Lake Road. Just above and left of the mine site is the mouth of Falls Creek.
Anglers find their way to here for the last of accessible hiking in this
stretch of canyon. Above the Glory Hole the old historic road crossed the S
Yuba and climbed up the south side of the river to the old townsite of

Meanwhile, back to the Doolittle Trail. The trail begins to the left side of
the 4WD road as you go up. No signs, but there is a round shiny marker
nailed to a tree on the right side of the road. As I remember it, the 100'
road to the left to the TH is about the only spur that takes off to the left
above Golden Quartz. This trail has all of the historic look left including
rock work and at least one water trough. It's pretty good grade and has
about seven switchbacks just before it connects to the Ridge Trail.


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