Tag Archives: trail conditions

GaiaGPS maps, and website

I finally finished the project of placing the trails, junctions, and trailhead GPS data for Granite Chief on GaiaGPS. This is my platform of choice, selected after evaluating about 10 possible options, but if you use another, you can download the gpx files and put them into your own.

To view the trail, junction, and trailhead data, go to https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/folder/5b4e23c555d0dc5fd992f16948fb09de/. You can turn on or off (hide) the various elements, change focus, and, if you are a member, overlay and intermix a large number of base map layers. To be honest, GaiaGPS carries through some display elements even when the creator logs out, so I’m not sure exactly what you will see when you go there. Please let me know if you have comments or questions. The element ‘Granite Chief Wilderness’ is the new boundary of the wilderness, after the additions that resulted from the American River Conservancy purchase and restoration of timberlands in the northwest corner.

The trail maps and junction descriptions have been removed from this website in order to reduce the number of things I need to maintain. The trailheads page is still there. You will also see a page specific to the McKinstry Trail, which is the one trail or route that I have not yet been able to get a GPS track for. Maybe this year! I also created a new category of trail, a route, shown in yellow. These are old trails that used to be maintained but no longer are, and have deteriorated to the point where they require higher level route finding skills to use. I don’t want to discard them, but also don’t want anyone to get the impression that they are trails for average users.

This is the key to the map, which unfortunately GaiaGPS can’t display:

  • red = Pacific Crest Trail
  • purple = other trails within the wilderness
  • orange = access trails which are outside the wilderness
  • yellow = routes; these were formerly trails, but are now unmaintained and difficult to follow, and should be used only by people with a high level of trail finding skill
  • black = access roads (Barker Pass Rd)

I also dropped the Conditions page, as it was very out of date. The blog posts serve to share information about trail and snow conditions, to the degree I have the information, and I encourage users of the wildnerness and this blog to comment there.

All in all, hoping to be useful to you while making it easier for me to maintain the blog/website. Just like you, I’d rather be out there!

Greyhorse Valley report

head of Greyhorse Valley

head of Greyhorse Valley

A trip report and photos from Keith Wootton on the Greyhorse TH and trail.

Like your website, and love granite chief wilderness. Here is the latest on Greyhorse Creek.  Rode motorcycle in, 10 miles of dirt road, no road markers and it is possible to take some wrong turns.  Seven miles of the road have water bars about every 100 yards, and some trees and large rocks on road. Lots of rock up to baby head size, and the water bars are high, not something to take a car on.  High clearance vehicle, bike, horse, or motorcycle are good. It took me about an hour to get to the trailhead, from French Meadows, which has a Granite Chief map but no other designation. Road beyond trailhead gets worse, and steeper, and I decided I really didn’t need to go to roads-end and another trailhead, although i could have made it, just slow going. Any other method of travel would take more time than motorcycle (i rode up from Foresthill).

Shanks Cove and towards Five Lake Creek

Shanks Cove and towards Five Lake Creek

Trail starts out faint for the first 100 yards, then runs into a sprawling mass of large uprooted  trees that make the trail hard to follow, as you cross a melt water creek and push your way thru a willow thicket. Trees are recently blown over and all from the north, some have root balls 15 feet tall!  I dont think there is any way a horse is going to make it thru. After that trail becomes much better as it switchbacks up between two meltwater creeks. About 2/3 way up hill, trail gets faint, then lost. Working up and to north towards bare rock outcrop with out crossing creek until you get close to rock will reward you with an easy to follow trail tread to the trail fork at the saddle. I continued north, and trail was easy to follow as it climbs, then drops down into Picayune Valley, though there were many more blown down trees.  All with drying needles, and all from the north.

I gave up before reaching the valley, I got a late start, travel time was more than I thought, and it took some time to find my way thru all the down trees. I did do some exploring around, and think next time I will cross the saddle at the top of Greyhorse Valley, get a better look at the Johnson monument, and continue towards Mildred Peak and lakes.