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By Dave Goodell
Dec 9, 2011
The culverts (large water tubes) under the dam are blocked by sediment and debris. This means that water flows over the dam instead of through/under it. I imagine that on a hot summer day this stream crossing is refreshing, but at the beginning of December it was absolutely frigid and painful. On December 4th the water was about 3 inches deep and flowing at a moderate rate.
Besides the cold water itself, the concrete conducts a significant amount of heat away from your feet. On top of all of this, the concrete is slimy and slick, which means you must move slowly and carefully to avoid taking a spill.
I recommend bringing along stream crossing shoes/sandals/crocs/whatever if you intend to to head to Muscle Beach.
We also saw a sign over by the trash cans that mentioned several bridges and dams on FS 9b were going to be removed some time in 2012. This seemed to imply that this clogged dam would be one of those demolished, although it was not 100% clear.
18 hours ago
Just went to Muscle Beach yesterday. There is a ton of New Development the renders the old directions completely useless. The dam is no longer there, neither is the parking area or the campsite on the inside left bend for Minas wall.
Now, for people who have never been there, you park 1.5 miles down the gravel road (it's closed for the season of 2015). Walk the gravel road until you get to a board/sign and some bear protected garbage containers. It should be rather obvious, as it's now a large piece of excavated land. Currently there's a wood sided porti poti on the right as well.
Essentially when you come up to the sign (which explains the creek restoration project) you can see the top of Muscle Beach straight ahead. Poking out with a bit of orange rock feature through the top of the trees. This is particularly evident if it's winter/fall.
Cross the creek, there are several rock hopping ways. We crossed almost directly behind the sign. Walk Straight across the field, almost bearing left a little, until you hit the tree line. Go straight uphill and pick the path of least resistance. You should after maybe 200 ft of uphill find what could be considered an "old road". It's clear it might have been a road, and not natural to the forest, but it's very very overgrown. Lot's of small trees and bushes and overgrowth. Don't expect an old tire track dirt road. But when you hit it, I think, it's obvious. Take the road left (otherwise North west ish). It will gradually wind up the hill, crossing many mounds. Eventually you'll be able to pick up a very very faint trail. Keep following the road/trail.
You'll make it to a spot where boulders start appearing. There will be four downed trees across the road (although there are many down trees on the road, these four are somewhat together, separated by no more than 25 ft in between them). You should be able to see the cliffline at this point. After the first downed tree, veer left up the bank and follow a very very faint trail up hill towards the cliff line. Keep mostly right and you should come up to the 5.9 crack.