B-17 Crash Trail

38 miles from Georgetown. Easy-moderate 6 miles.                                     MAP

Nov. 2, 1941 this B-17c “Flying Fortress” crashed due to weather on a flight from Reno to Sacramento. Eight of the nine crew were saved by parachuting as the plane broke up in the sky, only the pilot remained in the doomed plane.

Follow directions to “Van Vleck Trails” but continue out the back side of the parking area and find a place to park in the horse camping area. The trail is the Bassi Falls trail that leaves south by east out of the camping area, its path is an unpaved 2-track to the creek. Take the trail 1 ½ miles to intercept the Sun Rock trail. Go R about a mile. When you cross Tell’s creek go downstream 1/4 mi.The wreckage is scattered over a large area but the nearest piece is the biggest. It’s the upside-down right wing.

The Tell’s Peak area is a rugged shortcut into Desolation Wilderness using the Forni Lake trail up to Tell’s peak where a faint abandoned trail goes off the NW side and down to Highland Lake.

Another cross country route, shown on old maps, heads more north from this same NW side towards Lake Winefred near the Rubicon Jeep Trail.

The Van Vleck ranch burned down but the USFS purchased the property and built a new chalet that is offered for rent. There’s an abandoned air strip about 2 miles east of the ranch that looks like a golf course from up on Tells peak. The area supported a dairy and cheese

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