Big Creek-Powell Divide 25/07/09

Chris on the Big Creek-Powell Divide:
“Early interest in this trip fizzled so it was down to just Cara and me again. We covered a lot of ground so the salient points only are:
– the Hurley was rough – lots of washboarding, potholes and rocks – but still 2wd.
– June’s Tyaughton Lake fire didn’t affect the drivability of the Tyaughton road but you do drive thru a bit of burnt forest.
– The first km after the Tyaughton Creek FS campsite will give 2wd drivers a taste of the worst of the coming 20km or so – minor rutting and a waterbar going uphill.
– 2wd drivers should stop in an old logged area just after an overgrown road to the east and then one doubling back to the west (sorry, no odometer reading). Immediately after this, the forest gets close and the rutting gets worse. You will be facing a 2hr road walk before the trail start.
– We made it to road end in my Suzuki Jimny.
– Mosquitoes were not too bad (i.e. not horrible) but horseflies came by the bushel-load (killed 5 with one slap) in the alpine areas to the west of Big Creek and stayed with us from about 9am – 7pm each day.
– The Big Creek crossing was around mid-thigh (shorts will get wet); Tosh was about knee-height near Big Creek; an un-named creek about 2/3 up Tosh was mid-thigh and almost dangerously fast. Other creek crossings were lower but plentiful.
– Saw little evidence of bears and with most big mammals sheltering from the sun during the day, only a handful of deer, some bighorn sheep and one moose. Wolf prints were plentiful but didn’t see or hear any.
– Snow was at late-August levels.
– Encountered only one guide-led horse trip and then a couple of the same wranglers a couple days later. No bikers or hikers.
– When going up Little Paradise, the fork for Little Graveyard Pass is difficult to find – look for a couple new flags to your right when you encounter an old moose antler on the ground.”

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