Flume Trail
bridge along the Flume Trail

bridge along the Flume Trail

remains of wooden flumeThe Flume Trail, as its name suggests, follows the path of an old wooden flume [remnant shown at left] that was used to carry water from various creeks draining the Crags to the town of Castella, near the Park Headquarters.

The lower part of the trail can be accessed from the western end of the Indian Creek Nature Trail Loop. A few hundred yards "counter-clockwise" from the upper bridge, a sign marks the start of the Flume Trail. This is a great hike on hot days as it is heavily shaded.

Hiking west the trees seem to have dark brown or almost black trunks, especially after a rain, but on the way back it looks like a totally different forest the trees look green with their moss-covered bark and you'd swear that you've never hiked along here before.

Except for a short uphill deviation, the trail is mostly level, reaching an "environmental" campground along Castle Creek Road in about ¾ mile. There is a conveniently located restroom here, and the trail continues to contour along and eventually work its way up to the Pacific Crest Trail. This is a good way to reach the central part of the PCT below the Crags.