CCT in Indian Heaven?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
Chazz
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Re: CCT in Indian Heaven?

Post by Chazz » August 18th, 2020, 12:52 pm

I've taken the CCT from Rock Lake to Bear Lake about five years ago. The trail was never hard to follow but brushy in spots and and some places where water had washed through, leaving large steps. Unless something drastic has changed, it's probably quite navigable.

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naturalle
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Re: CCT in Indian Heaven?

Post by naturalle » August 19th, 2020, 5:42 am

Chip Down wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 6:17 pm
When you get to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground ( ;) ) be sure to hike up to the top of Pyramid Peak. It's a gem, really worth the effort.
It looks gorgeous but I only go where the dogs can go :(
Chazz wrote:
August 18th, 2020, 12:52 pm
I've taken the CCT from Rock Lake to Bear Lake about five years ago. The trail was never hard to follow but brushy in spots and and some places where water had washed through, leaving large steps. Unless something drastic has changed, it's probably quite navigable.
This is a totally different section of the CCT, so this is probably not applicable where I'll be unfortunately!

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jime
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Joined: June 9th, 2013, 1:35 pm

Re: CCT in Indian Heaven?

Post by jime » August 20th, 2020, 10:22 am

Hiked yesterday. Found most of the trail, but it wasn't always easy. Got off a few times. My biggest problem was at Spring Camp. However, I did stumble across the actual Spring. Surprisingly good flow for this time of year.

My plan was to take the CCT to Tombstone Lake and return on the PCT. We found the old trail like the field guide says about 75 yards South of the Racetrack Short-Cut Junction. Immediately here, the trail is a brushy, overgrown trench with blowdown. We did soon find some pink flagging marking the route here. My hiking friends were dismayed, showing displeasure and we quickly returned to the PCT with a new out-n-back plan to Blue Lake. After lunch, I opted to try to follow the CCT back from Tombstone Lake while they returned on the PCT.

So, from Tombstone Lake, the CCT start was obvious opposite the last campsite. There are old trail blazes and a lot of the tread was easy to follow. A lot of braided trail. Stream gullies and trail gullies were hard to tell apart. And blowdowns. I began to think that when you see blowdown rotted in place across the trail, you know the trail is truly abandoned.

About the time I lost the trail at Spring Camp, I ran into some pink flagging for the first time since Tombstone Lake. Once I got back on the trail there was occasional pink flagging all the way South to the PCT.

Fun little adventure.

My GPS track maps.
CCT_TRACK_MAP_1.jpg
CCT_TRACK_MAP_2.jpg
Preparing for this hike, I found that the Google Terrain layer in CalTopo showed the PCT following this old CCT route. Funny, it shows no other trails or today's PCT route. I traced that and created a GPS track to help as a guide. It turned out to be pretty close to my actually track.

In addition, on CalTopo, you can see landscape details in the Shaded Relief LIDAR layer. You can see parts of trails (old and new) cut in the landscape. Zooming in, you can see parts of the CCT here.
CCT_NO_TRACK_LIDAR.jpg
Shaded Relief LIDAR
CCT_TRACK_LIDAR.jpg
Track on the Shaded Relief LIDAR
P1270244.JPG
CCT Start from Tombstone Lake
P1270240.JPG
Tombstone Lake

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naturalle
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Re: CCT in Indian Heaven?

Post by naturalle » August 20th, 2020, 3:30 pm

jime wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 10:22 am
Hiked yesterday. Found most of the trail, but it wasn't always easy. Got off a few times. My biggest problem was at Spring Camp. However, I did stumble across the actual Spring. Surprisingly good flow for this time of year.
Funnily enough I was out there yesterday and today! Started off kinda late and slowly wandered along the PCT to Tombstone lake, so I might have missed you. After seeing how brushy the beginning of the CCT was I ultimately decided not to attempt it. I have the weird little black dog, if you happened to see us. ;)

the entrance to the CCT from the south
IMG_5466.jpg
and aforementioned little black dog on the nice trails just before the junction with the trail to the Indian Racetrack
IMG_5460.jpg

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jime
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Joined: June 9th, 2013, 1:35 pm

Re: CCT in Indian Heaven?

Post by jime » August 20th, 2020, 5:25 pm

Sorry I missed you. I left Tombstone Lake on the CCT heading South about 1:30pm.
Yes, that start from the South near the Racetrack Junction is a real mess.

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