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[pct-l] Trail Report - Castle Crags area
Following is a copy of a letter which Tony DeBellis asked me to forward to the
list as information to all concerned. Tony is a PCT section hiker whom I met
last year just south of Crabtree Meadow. In addition to the problems he
experienced at Castle Crag, Tony has added some trail information for Section
P which may help hikers in that area. If you wish, please reply directly to
Tony at email@example.com rather than to me. I'll see any responses which are
posted to the list. Thanks.
Date: 98-07-28 14:13:59 EDT
Castle Crags State Park
PO Box 80
Castella, CA 96017
Please allow me to introduce myself. I a 60 year old retired physics teacher
who was walking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Dunsmuir, California.
It has been a terrific experience so far. I plan to continue on to Canada by
the summer of 2000.
On Tuesday, July 21, 1998 I drove my 1981 Volkswagen pickup into Castle Crags
State Park and asked the Ranger on duty where I could leave my truck while I
backpacked the trail north. She told me there was a “borrow pit” or quarry
3.5 miles west of the entrance on Castle Crags Road that was safe and
patrolled. I left my truck there, locked and with nothing in sight, and
proceeded with my trek. That night the windshield and passenger side vent
were smashed. All of my possessions and spare equipment were gone or were
strewn around the parking lot. A Youth Conservation Corps group was assigned
to clean up the mess; my things were bagged and I picked up the bag at
Castle Crags State Park.
I learned from Richard K. Arm, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Ranger ( the
quarry is on their property) and from Alfred C. Welcome, Castle Crags State
Park Ranger, that the quarry is a popular place for local teenagers to “party”
and shoot guns. They also said the Castle Crags Entrance Ranger heard about
20-25 cars full of loud teenagers drive past the park about 10:30 that night.
The California Highway Patrol filed a report at 12:30 AM that morning about
the vandalism to my vehicle.
Upon my insistence, Richard Arm began a report on the vandalism which occurred
in his jurisdiction. Richard stated to me that the unofficial policy is to
let teenagers party where they will so long as the clean up afterward and
bring sleeping bags. It’s not working, Richard.
Ranger Arm also criticized the teenagers from the Youth Conservation Corps who
were assigned the job of cleaning up the mess. He said that they messed up
the crime scene for evidence gathering so why wasn’t he there to direct the
investigation on his own jurisdiction?
I was told by the Castle Crags Entrance Ranger...twice... that I should park
in an unsafe “party” site. Why didn’t the Castle Crags Entrance Ranger take
action when 25 carloads of loud teenagers drove by to “party” that night?
Why did the parents of 100 teenagers allow their children to party, shoot
firearms and vandalize cars...or do they care?
Tony de Bellis
cc: Pacific Trail Association
Superintendent - Shasta Trinity National Forest
P.S. The parking inside Castle Crags would undoubtedly be much safer but it
costs $5.00 / night. It might be possible to park by the post office in
Castella for a night or two, beyond that you would probably get towed.
The cornice in section P5 is not going to go away this year. Allow a couple
of hours to work around this large overhanging mass of ice and if possible try
to get around it on the southern side thus avoiding dropping down into the
valley and then having to climb back up to pick up the trail. I can really
recommend the Oak Tree Inn at 6604 Dunsmuir Ave....(:530)235 2884. This
family run small business really caters to PCT hikers.
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