First, I have to say – Great job Wild South!!! I have put off doing this trail because I heard it was difficult to find the trail in places. That is not the case. The people with Wild South have done a GREAT job maintaining and marking this trail. It is very clear with very few downed trees and the few places (especially on the northern portion) where it may be confusing they have marked with either a wood pile to keep you from going down the “old” trail or rock cairns to mark turns.
The “old trail” turns off the “new trail” just a few minutes south of the abandoned shooting range. The trail forks and the “old trail” heads downhill but this trail is blocked by a wood pile. From my understanding, this route crossed Borden Creek again before steeply heading up the ridge to the trail. It comes out west of the new trailhead. We didn’t go this route as the water level was up due to the recent rain. The “new trail” gently climbs the hill and is simply marked by the small trail juction sign. It’s easy to miss if you are not looking for it as you go down the road. The trail comes out 1.6 miles from Hwy 33.
As a note, I love the new Dutch Wasp and quilt hooks I recently received. I liked the Dutch Flyz, but the Wasp makes adjusting a breeze! The quilt hooks kept things nice and tidy and I didn’t have to adjust my underquilt at all.
Now on to the trip report…..
A buddy and I headed in Friday night with plans to hike in just far enough to camp and hiking 203 the next day. All went pretty much close to plan. We night hiked from Borden Creek Trailhead and set up camp in a slight drizzle. We waited to see if the rain would stop so we could have a fire. The rain didn’t stop.
My buddy is a ground dweller, so we sat under the Superfly in porch mode and watched the rain and talked. I’m trying to convert him to hanging and he realized how much coverage the Superfly provided. He’s getting closer to losing the t**t. About 11 pm we called it a night and I set up the Superfly in storm mode. I quickly went to sleep listening to the wind and rain.
The next morning I woke up and explored around the camp a bit. I found out we had slightly veered off course. We had taken the turn to 207 and went just past where 207 crossed the water to set up camp. I walked upstream on this trail a bit – it’s pretty worn. It follows Borden Creek upstream, but it’s not on the map. Does anyone know where this goes or where it connects?
I found the 203/207 junction 2 minutes downstream from camp. I was glad I wasn’t crossing to 207 this morning after all of the rain the past 24 hours:
We took our time and headed toward my car we had dropped at the other end of 203 the night before. If you have never hiked this trail – you are missing out. The views when the leaves are off the trees are spectacular! It’s an easy trail with a few ups and downs, but nothing too bad. 203 is different than any of the other trails I have hiked so far in the Sipsey. Since this is mostly a ridgeline trail, there’s not a lot of water available, so you need to plan accordingly.
We found an old carved Beech Tree, a couple of small waterfalls, and signs warning us of a shooting range. We explored a bit, but didn’t see anything that appeared it would have been a shooting range in years past. On the northern part of the trail, rock cairns mark crucial turns so pay attention to the little piles of rocks. The final water crossing was still deeper than I desired to cross, so we went upstream a bit and found a downed tree and crossed without even getting our feet wet.
Lots of little creatures were out and I was able to catch a few for pictures. Here’s the other random pictures from the trip: