Tony Krizan

Forgotten local Logging Road

Following this logging road down through the wilderness.
Following this logging road down through the wilderness. /Special to the Sierra Star

Finally our local temperatures are giving way to spring. Wild flowers are blooming in our meadows and mountain canyons. Trees are displaying their spring blossoms and overhead those colorful song birds are chirping ushering in the warmth of spring. Spring makes one think adventure in our great outdoors.

Another bright warm spring morning but the snow is still around 5,000 feet, so I’ll look for an adventure below that elevation. There are many old forgotten logging roads which I have hiked in the past. Maybe to add adventure to this morning’s hike I’ll attempt one of those forgotten roads.

Just south of Bass Lake is an old road that skirts across the ridge line which leads to a Cell Tower. Its entrance is off of Road 223 or Teaford Saddle Road. Before arriving at the green forest gate, on the left is another old dirt road. This road will be my starting point and will not be a new adventure. I’ve hiked this route a few times in the past but today may be a challenge? With five years of drought and followed with heavy rain; who knows if the road is still passable.

Once I arrived at an old log staging area, up ahead is my first obstacle. The drought had fell a few trees across the road and the heavy rain had cut a deep crevice extending over 30 feet along its length. I managed to maneuver around this obstacle and after 50 yards to the left should be the hidden logging road which will lead almost to the summit of this mountain.

Just as I suspected, pine and cedar trees that fell victim to the drought are now laying across the road. I may have to change my game plan from hiking to the summit to the area of roads end. Normally after 45 minutes I should arrive at that point, but this morning my watch revealed I’ve hiked over an hour from climbing over fallen trees. At least roads end hasn’t changed except for those fallen trees from the drought. Sad but the huge Sugar Pine Tree that I retrieved from its branches 5 years ago a 23.4 inch sugar pine cone had succumbed to the drought. If I wanted to continue this adventure next to that fallen sentinel is a game trail which will lead to another logging road then to the summit.

Realizing that completing this morning’s adventure will take much longer than expected, I decided to retrace my footsteps back to the trailhead. The only excitement this morning was bear tracks leading in the same direction as I was walking. Eventually departed from the road and disappeared down the mountain. I was also amazed by a few dear that scurried up the mountain as I was moving through the cluttered vegetation along the logging road.

Within the next few weeks I’ll return, but at that time I’ll complete the entire lope to the cell tower and return by the road that concludes at the green forest gate at Road 223. This complete adventure is roughly 3.5 hours of logging roads, game trails and bushwhacking. The adventure I’ve completed today to roads end can be accomplished by any hiker with average skills. Do not attempt to complete the 3.5 hour lope without cross country skills. Compass or GPS knowledge are recommended.

We are very fortunate in this area to have many safe maintained trails. As the snow pack disappears many maintained trails will become available for our recreation. If you decide to attempt an adventure such as stated above take someone along that has the skills of this area. New experiences within our wilderness can be enjoyable with a hiking buddy.