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Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby Jim Lowe » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:29 pm

It must be pretty well hidden. I walked thru there this summer and even spent a night near where the turn off is supposed to be. All I remember is LOTS, LOTS and didn't I mention LOTS of fallen timber.



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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby ERIC » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:19 pm

Jim Lowe wrote:It must be pretty well hidden. I walked thru there this summer and even spent a night near where the turn off is supposed to be. All I remember is LOTS, LOTS and didn't I mention LOTS of fallen timber.


You were obviously headed DOWN then. :) Yes, the trail is initially a little bit harder to follow coming from that direction. After passing through the meadow, you have to continue heading parallel to the creek (within earshot of moving water) as you come into the trees until just below the 10,000ft contour line shown in richapple's map. At that point (approximately), there's a bit of a drop off into thicker brush near a large downed tree that's easy to miss. In that spot it's easy to move on, going the wrong way, veering almost sharp west following the terrain. My advise is to just take your time searching for the trail before moving beyond earshot of the creek. After you find that part of the trail, you're home free.
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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby ERIC » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:28 pm

Oubliet wrote:It's been a few years since I did some brush clearing and pruning there, but there was one 8=day crew trip that I was on where I must've gone up and down that trail about 8 times.


A never ending job, I'm afraid. Your work is hardly evident anymore. BIG downed trees with massive root ball craters following the big 2010-11 winter. ](*,)
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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby ndwoods » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:22 pm

Interestingly, my old topo map shows that trail on it too....must be some old unmaintained trail...
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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby richapple » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:54 pm

Just to follow up, we did indeed kinda do this Sallie Keyes Creek trail downhill, and like Eric mentions, maybe not as easy to find from that direction. But wow, I do wish we had the Eric "how to find" stuff for coming from Sallie Keyes down before we were up there. But we had a good time meandering a bit and eventually found red tape on trees marking the way kinda. And yes, one huge downed tree in particular gives no choice but to clomp way downhill then back up to try to sniff out the route.

At some point there is the ghost of an actual old trail to do some switch-backing (remember, overall this trail is doing the steep side of the mountain that the endless switchbacks of the JMT up to Sallie Keyes Lake accomplish, but in, uh, less distance than the JMT takes for it). The following photo happens to be at a rare flattish part of that switch-backy stretch.

Image

I did just post a TR from the entire trip (TR - Marie Lake and Vee Lake areas, September 2012), but since that goes on and on (and on) I'll copy and paste the two "ROUTE INFO" blurbs I wrote about the Sallie Keyes Creek trail here.

From the bottom of it:
ROUTE INFO: We were keeping our eye out for where to leave the main trail on its way to Blayney and turn left (north) a bit before it crosses Sallie Keyes Creek. This would be an old trail called the, duh, "Sallie Keyes Creek" trail... We'd already decided to not go up it, but to try to find it and take it for our hike back down... What I can tell you, though, is if you're serious about wanting to get onto this trail going up to Sallie Keyes, don't expect much of a junction at all. Know the topography, where you are, and how you'll be looking to venture off the trail to turn left and north probably just before you pass the last white blob on the standard topo map that's north and west of Sallie Keyes Creek. If you've gotten to the right area you'll end up on vague use trails heading uphill, north and east at first, and eventually see big painted arrows on large granite boulders. I'm not kidding, and I hope those were, uh, painted a long long time ago, 'cuz that was way uncool and it's easier to excuse people who are dead. The following image is a close-up of the only evidence we saw of a marker along the main trail (taken on the way out - we never saw it on the way in).

Image

From the top of it (or trying to be):
ROUTE INFO: For our adventure down this trail I'll say we hadn't seen a very clear x-country type junction from the main trail, so from Sallie Keyes Lakes we figured we could just stay west of the main trail shortly after leaving Sallie Keyes. There is a very large "meadowy" area that is west of the main trail and seems lower, so we headed to the other side of that from the north end, and then headed south. We picked up some markers and so forth, but in retrospect, I think the "trail" can be reached easier staying on the main trail until you get about as far as that body of water south of Sallie Keyes, uh, even though you don't see it from the trail. Years ago I went for a morning stroll south from the east side of Sallie Keyes and saw it... It's on the map and looks a bit like a cowgirl boot, so if you can estimate when you're lined up with it, then go west, cross Sallie Keyes Creek, and start looking for markers. We probably ventured farther west while still too far north, but we did head back to the east some and eventually found some huge ducks. Even artful! I think the trail is quasi maintained by some Muir Trail Ranch people now? We did find some red (or faded to pink) pieces of tape on tree branches and followed those, and eventually we were definitely on an old (and steep) trail that was mostly a corridor filled with varying sized boulders. "Unmaintained" would be the operative word, and at the time "vintage" came to mind. We ended up probably not too far from the main trail at the bottom after some chaparral type terrain, and there were plenty of markings on a rock ridge type mound guiding us back northwest, and even a couple arrows painted on big rocks. (What up with that?) So then we angled naturally with the slope a bit more southwest, and lo and behold, the main trail from Blayney to Florence, which was already in progress.


It definitely is a short cut.
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Re: Is this Sallie Keyes Creek trail real?

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:22 pm

Glad you found your way through!
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