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Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?

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Offline RedBuffalo

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 With the Gov Shutdown thinking BBRSP instead of BBNP.  First timer and backpacker so looking at the Rancherias Loop Trail.  A few questions.
1) CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?  Understand there are no trail markers, but reliable cairns.  I've seen the post w/ downloadable .gpx and .kmz files so will get those loaded.
2) What is expect on water sources?  Casa Raza Spring, Rancherias Spring.
3) Recommended campsites? Likely do a one night two day trip, but maybe two nights?
4) Recommended primitive sites day before and day after?

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 05:01:13 PM »
With the Gov Shutdown thinking BBRSP instead of BBNP.  First timer and backpacker so looking at the Rancherias Loop Trail.  A few questions.
1) CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?  Understand there are no trail markers, but reliable cairns.  I've seen the post w/ downloadable .gpx and .kmz files so will get those loaded.
2) What is expect on water sources?  Casa Raza Spring, Rancherias Spring.
3) Recommended campsites? Likely do a one night two day trip, but maybe two nights?
4) Recommended primitive sites day before and day after?

Whatever you do, do NOT go counter-wockwise.   :icon_wink:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline RedBuffalo

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 08:02:47 PM »
Whatever you do, do NOT go counter-wockwise.   :icon_wink:

Does going CW navigate better on the section south of Panther Canyon?

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 06:10:51 AM »
Whatever you do, do NOT go counter-wockwise.   :icon_wink:

Does going CW navigate better on the section south of Panther Canyon?
I believe he was joking there. 

I would go CCW, it makes the springs work out a bit better and I wouldn't want to climb the west end the first day.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline RedBuffalo

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 09:37:15 AM »
Gotcha!  Read a few reports of getting off trail south of Panther Canyon so thought maybe the "trail" was easier to follow CW. 

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 11:55:44 AM »
Most people hike it in counter-clockwise fashion from East to West over three days and two nights. I don't believe that "easy" is really a term that can be applied to many aspects of the Rancherias, so either direction should be considered. It often boils down to which direction best accommodates your trip with the other groups that may be using the trail at the same time.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline MedMoneyCat

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 11:28:36 PM »
Just finished this loop with the GF. We loved it.

Went East to West. Look for the Cairn to the Right as you ascend and depart from the initial long wash. It's easy to miss and several groups, (us included), ended up canyoneering up a dead end to start the day.

Otherwise, Casa Reza had plenty of water. Flat spots for camping are on the side opposite the springs from Casa Reza.

Rancherias Springs was day2 water. It requires bushwhacking in a grove. You'll see a grove of trees on your left (it appeared lush) once you've cleared the jeep road and hiked up and into a valley. It's nice and shady. You can get there by lunch time with a decent morning start. I think I heard water but it's probably leaves rustling. Ranger said to head deeper into the grove and follow it to find the spring. We made the mistake of packing 3L each on day 2 and missed the Rancherias Spring and Guale Campsites.
Ended up camping about 15 min from trailhead on day 2. Wish we'd camped on the Guale Mesa by the cliffs. It's an amazing site.

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Offline hunterhughes

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 08:52:53 AM »
Did you see a lot of other backpackers?  Could you see other campsites when you pitched your tents?  I am trying to get the feel for the traffic.  Thank you.

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Offline dprather

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 01:24:47 PM »
Did you see a lot of other backpackers?  Could you see other campsites when you pitched your tents?  I am trying to get the feel for the traffic.  Thank you.

Hunter - do a Rancherias search within this forum.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline MedMoneyCat

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Re: Rancherias Loop Trail; CW or CWW, which is easier to follow?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 04:42:38 PM »
Did you see a lot of other backpackers?  Could you see other campsites when you pitched your tents?  I am trying to get the feel for the traffic.  Thank you.

Yes, we saw several groups of two and three. The parking lot at East TH was full by the time we finished. I suspect many OML'ers who showed up during that time period just diverted their plans to Rancherias. One of the hikers we spoke with said that he'd completed Rancherias prior and had never seen another soul.

Rangers should be able to tell you more about traffic.

As far as visuals on other campsites, we were spaced closely with three other groups at Casa Reza because there wasn't an abundance of flat space. Foliage broke up the visual and dampened the sound . On our second night of camping we didn't see a soul. One of the groups we hiked with on day 1 hoofed it out and finished ahead of us and we made it proximal to the W TH as sun was going down and just set up on a flat spot.


 


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