Hiking season may be in full stride, but some of the region's most popular trails and access areas remain closed due to damage and regeneration efforts related to last year's Waterfall fire.
The area from King's Canyon north is closed to hikers as the U.S. Forest Service continues its logging activities, according to Eric Walker, resource officer for the Carson Ranger District.
South of King's Canyon, including C Hill, is open - though Walker said people need to stay on designated routes.
"The replanted vegetation is growing pretty well but is still very fragile" he said Thursday. "We had a lot of moisture this winter, but fortunately we're not seeing too much soil erosion from the snow melt."
That's not to say that significant erosion couldn't happen. Walker says a few more big storms could spell trouble for the area.
Juan Guzman, open space manager for Carson City, reports that Ash Canyon is also closed to hikers, due to similar efforts.
Guzman said there has been an explosion of cheat grass in the area, a fire hazard which also has to be managed.
Carson City owns 40 acres in the area.
"We ask that hikers stay out of the damaged areas until they're back in shape," he said. "Help us protect your safety and ours."
Walker says the Forest Service is preparing to plant some 100,000 new trees in the Kings Canyon area, including Jeffery and sugar pines.
"The logging and thinning gives Mother Nature a jump start," Walker said.
It allows the natural process of regeneration to move forward faster and the seedlings to get a chance to grow without too much competition from other flora.
"Hopefully we'll have another wet winter next year," Walker said.
Affected areas will be closed until all logging operations are complete, which are expected by the end of the summer.
Trails not affected by the Waterfall fire are open as usual.
Deeper-than-normal snow packs in the Sierra have also caused the Carson Ranger District to warn visitors to be ready for a longer-than-usual wait to enjoy the higher elevations of local recreational areas this season.
According to the Ranger District, trails and trail-head access into the high wilderness of Mount Rose, Mokelumne, Hoover Wilderness and Carson-Iceberg will likely remain snow-covered until late in the summer.
They also warn that the east fork of the Carson River is experiencing high flows and anyone planning on being in the area should check river conditions before planning a trip.
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.
Other options for hiking
• Prison Hill - east Carson City
See Sunday's Focus section for what Prison Hill has to offer
• V&T right-of-way - Carson River canyon
• Deadman - Washoe Valley
• Faye-Luther Canyon - Genoa area
• Clear Creek - west from Costco
• Davis Creek - Washoe Valley
• Sunset Trail - Mount Rose to Pleasant Valley
• Spooner Trail - Spooner Summit