Just finished the BFT from Poker Flat to Sand Camp

Forums 2016 Hikers Just finished the BFT from Poker Flat to Sand Camp

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Mary Kwart 2 years, 11 months ago.

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    Mary Kwart

    I was stopped by wildfire at Poker Flat last year when hiking the BFT, so I completed this section last week to Sand Camp on the South Fork of the Smith River. I was really glad I had a GPS–trail was impossible to find in many areas, starting above Harrington Lake. Lots of dead trees from an old wildfire. The newer fire last year has not impacted the BFT. The only place I saw recent fire damage was where it spotted across the S Fk of the Smith for a few acres just east of Sand Camp when I was doing the road walk. Water sources are amazing–lots of fords across the West Fork of Clear Creek. Lots of bear scat and prints in this section. After my friends returned to their car from Young Valley, they camped at Twin Valley and a bear visited their camp. They had an Ursack and hung their food. The brush west of Baldy Peak was horrendous. I hear that there will be trailwork this summer. The Kelsey Trail is an amazing historic trail and it is a shame it has not been maintained by the US Forest Service. I see this often across the US. My recommendation for traversing the brush is to stay on top and balance so you don’t fall through. I tried to go underneath where I could be on the ground and drag my pack–bad decision. Occasionally the trail tread is evident for short stretches even in the no maintenance sections. Beautiful wildflowers and some poison oak by the Smith River. I did a detour to Raspberry Lake and went up the ridge toward Preston Peak, but didn’t like the look of the snow left on the ridge to the summit. On and off rain for 50% of the time, but the sun managed to come out long enough every day so I could dry off my gear. I saw no one–this is a beautiful and little visited wilderness. Loved the big Port Orford Cedar. I will update my BFT journal at http://www.postholer.com/fireweed this week with pics. Also–a water report, wildlfower list and detailed trail journal from last year is available through my dropbox. Just email me at mkwart@gci.net for the link if you are interested.

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