2008-04-19 – AAT – Holcomb Creek Trail (3N93)

Recently the MyJeepRocks.com was given the opportunity and privilege of co-adopting the Holcomb Creek Trail with the San Bernardino National Forest’s Adopt-A-Trail program. MyJeepRocks has worked hard on 2N84 Little Bear Peak, however as one of the larger groups in numbers, and hours, we had little to do with such a small trail. Holcomb Creek was damaged severely from the “Butler 2” fire in the 2007 burn season and the weather in the 2007/2008 winter only made things worse. Much of the surrounding brush had burned and hundreds of trees have been damaged, burned, and fallen. Where trees had fallen and brush had burned the weather washed out many sections of trail and washed ledges out very badly. The erosion damage was immense. The program coordinator said the trail was probable to be closed for at least two years!

The two groups who had previously adopted Holcomb Creek Trail (Riverside Ruff Riders, and Sons of Thunder) hadn’t been putting adequate hours into the trail to take care of the problems it now faces, although it hadn’t needed the amount of work it does now. This is what prompted Greg Hoffman to seek more help for this trail. MJR gladly obliged! We were given the trail in March and our first run was already planned in April. This run’s goals were to run the trail and create a trail maintenance plan. The trail maintenance plan lists the safety concerns, goals, and objectives of the group(s) maintaining the trail. Each task is correlated with a mileage from the trail head and a maintenance plan must be submitted by Adopt-A-Trail groups each year. We had Greg Hoffman accompany us on the run since nobody in MyJeepRocks’ Adopt-A-Trail group has a chainsaw certification valid for the San Bernardino National Forest. We knew there would be fallen trees that would need to be moved, and we wouldn’t get much else done on the trail.

The plan was to run the trail east to west, and assess anything blocking the trail and skip everything else (making notes) and return west to east because the trip would look different and we might see things we had previously missed. Simply moving the downed trees was so much work, we only ended up running the trail from east to west and going back via fire roads which saved hours.

I remember two trees specifically, but there were at least 5 which we moved that day. The biggest of the trees required two winches and 3 jeeps just to remove a piece trail-width which was maybe 12-15 feet. This section weighed enough to pull all 3 Jeeps down a ravine, or seriously/fatally hurt Greg operating the chainsaw had something gone horribly wrong. The group of people we were with has extensive recovery knowledge and everything accomplished was done with the utmost professionalism and safety in mind.

Unfortunately for my website, I brought the “bad” camera and was only able to snap a couple of pictures before it died, so this report only comes with three pictures.

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