Lottie Potrero Trail – Silver Peaks Wilderness

There are a number of abandoned or nearly abandoned trails in the Ventana.  The Lottie Potrero trail falls into the “nearly abandoned” category.  The existence of this trail opens up the opportunity for some nice loops in the Silver Peaks wilderness, so I decided to go check it out, and combine it with the Three Peaks trail into a concise loop.

As it turns out, we were able to find the trail easily enough for about 90% of the route.  In a few places, we walked in the stream, which probably is not part of the historical route.  The going was slow for a run, but if our intent had been hiking, the overgrowth didn’t slow us down much.  In one location, we had to route several feet around the Lottie Potrero route due to a small land slide.  Otherwise, the route is quite intact.

Along the Spruce Creek Trail in spring... no winter.  This is what the 2014 winter looks like: early blooms everywhere!

Along the Spruce Creek Trail in spring… no winter. This is what the 2014 winter looks like: early blooms everywhere!

You’ll want to follow our GPS track – except near Baldwin Ranch Area.  There is a Buddhist Hermitage that you need to walk through.  You will need to be quiet here, and only walk on the fire road, which you are allowed.  Initially, we mis-interpreted the sign, and tried to navigate around the private property (via the dry creek bed).  Later, we discovered that you are allowed to travel Baldwin Ranch road; you just can’t leave the road.  Our track goes around the gate, but you can just go through it.  Otherwise, following our GPS track will keep you on the Lottie Potrero trail almost entirely (except briefly just before the Heisel Cabin, where we deviated into the creek).

Spruce Creek Trail headed towards Dutra Flat.

Spruce Creek Trail headed towards Dutra Flat.

Along the Spruce Creek Trail in spring... no winter.  This is what the 2014 winter looks like: early blooms everywhere!

Along the Spruce Creek Trail in spring… no winter. This is what the 2014 winter looks like: early blooms everywhere!

 

Entrance to the Buddhist Hermitage.  You're allowed to walk Baldwin Ranch Road.

Entrance to the Buddhist Hermitage. You’re allowed to walk Baldwin Ranch Road.

You can see a bit of the Lottie Potrero trail here; David is overlooking the Carpoforo Creek Drainage

You can see a bit of the Lottie Potrero trail here; David is overlooking the Carpoforo Creek Drainage

We briefly left the trail for easier going in the creek.  In the portion where Lottie Potrero trail nears the water, there is enough overgrowth that you might lose the trail briefly.  We found that going in the creek was a little easier, and a lot more "adventuresome."

We briefly left the trail for easier going in the creek. In the portion where Lottie Potrero trail nears the water, there is enough overgrowth that you might lose the trail briefly. We found that going in the creek was a little easier, and a lot more “adventuresome.”

Heisel Cabin

Heisel Cabin

David on a runnable portion of Lottie Potrero Trail.  As you can see, there is still some trail bed here.

David on a runnable portion of Lottie Potrero Trail. As you can see, there is still some trail bed here.

David on Lottie Potrero Trail.  As you can see, there is still some trail bed here.

David on Lottie Potrero Trail. As you can see, there is still some trail bed here.

David on Lottie Potrero Trail

David on Lottie Potrero Trail

David on the upper portion of the Three Peaks Trail.  The upper portion was fairly clear and scenic!

David on the upper portion of the Three Peaks Trail. The upper portion was fairly clear and scenic!

The middle portion of the Three Peaks trail is pretty overgrown.  The route is fairly clear most of the way, but there are some dense stands of mountain mahogany and ceanothus.

The middle portion of the Three Peaks trail is pretty overgrown. The route is fairly clear most of the way, but there are some dense stands of mountain mahogany and ceanothus.

Descending the Three Peaks Trail

Descending the Three Peaks Trail

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