Day hike loop from Powers Garden to the shootout cabin and mine, with the return trip along the West Divide Trail.
Powers 96 was in fine shape, especially upstream of Corral canyon which was the source of a recent flood. South of Corral, there is no sign at all of the 2014 Oak Fire down in the valley. Once reaching the saddle and the Divide trail junction the trail down to the cabin is overgrown with catclaw. I'd say this trail should be cleared, but I suspect the FS is perfectly happy making it a pain to get to. And I'm actually ok with that. It's neat to see the cabin, having only scraped the surface of the history there. I'll have to watch Powers War
again now that I've been there. I'm sure some of it will make more sense now.
We took a lunch break there and continued down the road to the mine where I was quick to voice my disapproval of the lack OSHA safety protocols in place.
On the way back, FOTG, LP, and Steady headed their own way while Karl and Pat and I decided to take the ridge back.
Like the other trails we hiked in the Galiuros, West Divide 289 is overgrown and involves some good bushwhacking, but isn't really too tough. The views were great, and a nice breeze kept the warm and largely shadeless route quite pleasant.
When we arrived at the first option to drop back to the garden, we opted to continue. The first trail is signed as Field Canyon 294, but I believe it is actually called Tent Lookout 294.
From this junction north on West Divide 289 we encountered the nicest trail conditions of the weekend. The ACC trail crew had been clearing this section and it was an absolute dream
. Almost too good to be true! --And soon enough, in fact, too good to be true! We reached the end of where the trail had been cleared, and we were faced with about a mile of the worst trail of the weekend. The only good thing is there was no manzanita and no catclaw, but it was otherwise a linebacker's worth of pushing through trees, bushes, and branches. Crawling was a regular part of getting through.
Finally we reached the junction with the trail that drops into South Field Canyon. The Divide Trail north of this point was clear again, as was the trail that we followed downhill. Despite the flowing water all over the east side of the Galiuros, we were surprised that this canyon was bone dry. Nonetheless, it was a scenic canyon and a pleasant hike. The trail deteriorated and fell into what seems to be a common state for trails out here ... overgrown.
One short climb up a ridge brought us to the junction of the lower end of the signed
Field Canyon 294 trail that we had bypassed up top earlier. Before heading back to camp we decided to check out the Powers Spring area, which was an amazing narrows of rocks and flowing water.
This was a great day hike loop from the garden. It'll be great once the final northern section of the Divide trail is cleared.