[Russell Towle's journal]
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003
From: Russell Towle
Subject: The High Old Upriver Trail
When Larry Hillberg and I explored the Upriver Trail from Canyon Creek into Giant Gap, on our way back down the canyon we crawled through a patch of horrible buckbrush and struck a certain gully. Since we were at least 300 feet above the river, we decided not to descend to the known, lower, more westerly part of the Upriver Trail, instead just climbing up to the Blasted Digger Overlook and thence to the Canyon Creek Trail at Waterfall View.
|"Lucky", an intrepid companion on many of Russell's hikes in the canyon.|
An occasional grey and weathered old branch stump showed that the High Old Upriver Trail had been used a bit, perhaps fifteen or twenty years ago. The trail appears to have led to the area near the Big West Spur of Giant Gap, a ridge spurring away from Moody Ridge into the canyon, west of Lovers Leap and east of Bogus Point. In this part of the river there are at least two old camping terraces, perhaps many more, dating from, in the first place, the Gold Rush itself, and in the second place, from the era of Chinese mining, which I imagine mainly spanned the decade from 1855 to 1865, in that part of the canyon.
There are three main spur ridges jutting into Giant Gap: on the north, Lovers Leap and Big West Spur, and on the south, the Pinnacles Ridge. To these may be added Giant Gap Spur, east of the Pinnacles, and the unnamed massive cliff, likewise on the south side of the canyon, west of the Pinnacles.
Lest anyone on this list imagine that the High Old Upriver Trail could become part of Rex Bloomfield's misguided Capitol-to-Capitol Trail, I should say that every inch of it was infested with the most vicious Poison Oak, and where there was a gap in the Poison Oak, Rattlesnakes were either stretched out across the trail, sleeping, or were irritably gazing about and rattling, making sudden forward motions with their heads. The only parts of the High Old Upriver Trail free of Poison Oak and Rattlesnakes were the sheer cliffs, where one false step would send you tumbling uncontrollably down to the boiling white rapids, ten thousand feet below. So you can just mark this trail off your list.
|Blue line is the Canyon Creek Trail; the red line is the HOUT (High Old Upriver Trail)|