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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 1, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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August 1, 2001

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Wednesday. Aug1. 2001 I Beckwourth's emigrant trail this five loop is not on trail, I bet you following oderate route 43 feet ele- Big Grizzly direction, always on your leg of the is true, so you to Sweat getting the most )rominent moun- Was born of mixed His planta- Sir Jen- nobility his mother was thus making from slavery exploits read novel. The he founded m 1851, became a promi- West to the riches tOday the wagon been nearly nature, his- researched emi- and old maps to With some degree the location of Not every- agree that this exactly fol- of the origi- if it's not ex- who's to com- the trailhead ' of two directions. , three miles turn north on Continuing on it of Lake Where the pave- and well graded (at Lake Davis name becomes Greenville Views of the lake you, you an intersection Road 24N10 on leads south Shore of the there is from Tay- the Beck- Road In Genesee, and continue on Genesee Little Griz- t the old turnoff and past a turnoff right onto Forest Road 24N85Y. About a mile farther, you will drive over a cattle guard and there will be the trailbead at the aforemen- tioned intersection with 24N10. The hike begins by walking 50 yards westerly towards Genesee on the Beckwourth Greenville Road, crossing over the cattle guard. After crossing It, double back to the left towards the meadow and Big Grizzly Creek to the fence which runs parallel to the creek between the forest and the creek. This maneuver avoids having to climb over or crawl under the sturdy barbed-wire fence that abuts the 24N 10 bridge over the creek. Turn right and, on the forest side of the fence, follow it, paralleling the creek. In three-quarters of a mile the fence ends at a corral. Walk around to the other side of the corral. From here you can chose your own route along the side of the meadow. A well-beaten path may make you think that lots of people walk this way, but it has been beaten by cows, not people. No harm; the cow paths are easy to follow, but you do have to keep watching so that you don't step onto a meadow- muffin, most of which aren't "fresh". One-quarter mile past the corral a spring feeds water in- to a round trough. Continuing along the edge of the meadow, you will come across a dim road which crosses your route. Just beyond this road watch for a Beckwourth Trail marker made from old rail- road rails, one of 49 such markers along Beckwourth's trail erected by Trails West. At this point, the old wagon tracks can be dimly seen heading along the meadow. When you've gone one-half mile beyond the marker, a fence line blocks your way. You have two choices; either crawl under (it's too high and barby to climb over), natu- rally, picking a place free of cow pies, or turn right, walk along the fence for 200 yards to where it meets the road at a cattle guard, cross the cattle guard, and f oJ ow the otl er side of th l c "bacl to[ where you'd been. Your next impediment is two separate sections of meadow that are fenced off in large squares. Circling around them on the left is a bad plan because you'll get wet in the creek so circle around them on the right. A bit farther, the creek branches, and you follow the left branch. Soon Forest Road 24N85Y running to Little Summit Lake and Blakeless Creek is encountered. Turn left on the road, cross the bridge over Big Grizzly Creek, then turn left off the road and head back in the di- rection you came from, btlt now on the south side of the creek and meadow. On the way back, as you meander along cow paths, you will en- counter two locations where the forest extends down to the edge of the creek. These are easily traversed. In other places the meadow widens to almost 1/4 mile width, re- quiring you to cut across it staying in proximity to the creek. If you are surprised that I suggest tromping across a meadow (usually a bad plan for the health of the meadow) you will easily see that Big Grizzly Creek Mead- ow is super-hardy and graz- ing cows scrunch it down much more than any bunch of hikers possibly could. On the way back, the afore- mentioned fence line, now on this side of the creek, needs to be crossed. Step over (I found a low part that made this pos- sible) or crawl under, if you chose, but no handy detour to a cattle guard is available. Continue in the downstream direction until the creek reaches 24NIO. Turn left on the road (watch for another Trails West marker on your left, down off the road, just be- fore crossing the bridge). ,Just beyond the bridge is your car. The big in Big Grizzly Creek seemingly refers to the size of the bear, not the size of the creek. Through the whole length of the meadow it flows lazily with no rapids. Howev- er, no easy crossing places ex- ist. except at the previously mentioned bridges, because the bottom is so muddy, wad- ing across would result in very muddy feet. Only once have I encoun- tered cows on this hike. They are big and mooey but not fierce. A loud, "Get outa' here!" makes them scram. Are there grizzlies along Big Griz- zly Creek? Nope: the only grizzly to be seen in the state iS on the CaJl~O,,-n],:J state l:ag. My newl ublis book, Feather River Country Ad- venture Trails, in Appendix D, gives ff short interesting history on Jim Beckwourth and his famous emigrant trail. The book, which is available at local stores or by calling (800) 852-4890, includes several other hikes along por- tions of Beckwourth's Trail. ,r $@ C.v,,',~ r~,** Tt6'd Carral % I ,mD ,P It % Tr='~P - - until 5 p.m. reach the De- and Game's Sacramento al lications for ear's pair of sage grouse Sept. 8-9, the office said to- due by hunters may submit a single postcard for one of the hunts and must include their names, addresses, current hunting license numbers and the hunt choice. The cards must be sent to the Depart- August 13 ment of Fish and Game, Sage Grouse Permit Drawing, 3211 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95816. Hunters also may apply via the Internet at