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Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

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Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby ChasingRainbows » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:47 pm

All,
I am wondering if anyone could share with me information regarding access to the area around the confluence of the Main Fork and the South Fork of the San Joaquin River, just South of Balloon Dome. I have looked on Acme mapper, and the topo map shows trails (Hells Half Acre, French, South Fork Trail) which all appear to end near this location, but the canyon walls appear quite steep down the the river itself. I have hiked in this region of the Sierra National Forest previously and know that some of the trails shown on the older topo maps no longer really exist, or are very overgrown and unmaintained. Any information regarding routes / access to this area would be appreciated.

Thanks!



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Re: Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:49 am

I know this is a little south of Balloon Dome, but would check to see what
kind of damage or access is allowed because of the French Fire, that is now 97%
contained with over 13,000 acres burned. http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4013/
Some roads near Arch Rock is closed.
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Re: Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby ChasingRainbows » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:57 am

Thanks for the heads up on that! I have no immediate plans for a trip here, just looking for general info if anyone has it. Maybe sometime in Sept. Thanks!
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Re: Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:00 pm

Beasore Rd is open all the way, variably paved but rough.

The trails in that area (the river) are overgrown and crisscrossed by cattle trails - the cattle use the trails more than hikers do. We tried the French trail from Mammoth Pool a few years ago and it was difficult to stay on the real trail. Only got a few miles out to one of the creeks.

I would also be careful of marijuana growers in any area that low with trails that go part way out.

The fire was south of the Cassidy crossing, so this area is not burned out.

The trails into Ansel Adams (Isberg, Jackass, Norris, Fernandez) have heavier use and are pretty easy to travel on.
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Re: Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby canyonfish » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:06 pm

We hiked the South fork trail in early October maybe five years ago. Lost the trail proper on the way in as it is pretty faint. My buddy got poison oak pretty bad (I am all but immune). We were able to follow the trail on the way out OK. Given how overgrown the trail appeared, we were anticipating wild spaces--solitude and spectacular wild fishing. To our disappointment, once we hit the river we found an abandoned camp with a mattress, empty food cans, shoes, chairs, etc. My first thought was pot grow camp--I was a little spooked about shutting my eyes that night. More likely it was just mountain vagrants who live there during summer--we have seen similar camps near Cassidy, Miller, as well as Sheep's on the North Fork. It's a shame that the USFS doesn't monitor this and route these people out. I can only imagine how much better the fishing would be if people didn't meat fish all the hikeable water all summer long. That said, it is a spectacular rugged canyon, and the fishing can be quite good. I'm tempted to hone my rock climbing/rappelling skills a bit to do a late fall excursion into the super inaccessible portions of the canyon where fishing pressure is likely nonexistent.
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Re: Question: Main Fork / SF San Joaquin Trail Access

Postby ChasingRainbows » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:14 pm

Thanks for the replies, that is exactly the type of info I was looking for!
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