Here are five ways to prevent a trailhead break-in
One of everyone's biggest fears is showing up at the trailhead after several miles and hours on the trail to discover that your car has been broken into, your tires have been slashed, and the spare water that you keep in your car has been consumed by the same thief. Stuck, alone at an isolated trailhead, without cell phone reception.
Nothing would ruin a good day on the trails more than a trailhead break-in like this. And it’s easy to get complacent, especially for those of us who think we live and play in safe places. A little bit of common sense and street smarts are a vital part of break-in prevention.
1. Chose your trailhead wisely. Stay informed, check the news or a good social media news monitoring site to see if there have been any trailhead break-ins in areas you want to explore. If we hear of trailhead break-ins, Mother Lode Trails will keep you posted. A report of recent break-in is no reason to stay home or avoid a trailhead since local authorities will likely be checking trailheads, and that one in particular, more often.
2. Keep the inside of your car clear. a clean car. Reduce the amount of clutter inside the car. If a thief looks into a car and can see a bunch of clutter, loose change, and gear, it’s an invitation to smash open the window with a rock and see what else they can find.
3. Park your car in a smart place. Check the ground for broken glass or evidence of vandalism. An article on the REI website recommends parking “your vehicle with the trunk or rear-access door facing the most exposed section of the parking lot,” to expose any thieves tampering with your vehicle.
4. Stash items in the car before you pull into the trailhead. It’s inevitable that we aren’t going to carry everything we bring in our car to a trailhead. Sheriffs will advise you to stash your items in a locked truck BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT THE TRAILHEAD. Chances are if someone wants to break into a parked car they are watching every move at the trailhead and they’ll pay close attention to where you are hiding our gear before we lock our doors and head out for adventure.
5. REPORT your trail and trailhead issues to www.ParkWatchReport.com And, you can dlownload the free app from the App Store (parkwatchreport). This vital data is sent to the land managers to have a paper trail and keep tabs on all trail issues (maintenance, conflicts, law breaking) so they can respond appropriately.
HOW TO ACCESS THE INDEPENDENCE TRAIL AT HIGHWAY 49, 5 MILES NORTH OF NEVADA CITY.
PARK HOURS AT 49 CROSSING ARE SUNRISE TO SUNSET. NO PARKING 10PM-6AM.
Pass through Grass Valley / Nevada City and turn left to remain on Hwy 49 for another 7 miles. There are 2 parking areas for the Independence Trail about 1/2 mile before the river crossing on the right. The parking lot for 49 Crossing is immediately before the bridge on the right.