Tuesday, October 6, 2015
the Aspen Grove was burned in the Lake Fire last year, and the area is part of a huge closure order that stands until at least next summer.
This may actually prove good for the aspen grove, since conifers encroach upon its footprint. Depending on how the larger conifers weathered the fire, occasional clearing fires like this will let the aspen expand, or, at least, stop losing habitat to conifers.
Aspen actually do better after fires (unless the temperatures are too high), and recover quickly. They're a transitional species that needs those occasional disturbances (fires, avalanches, etc) to do well.
The Forsee Creek Trailhead is located off of West Jenks Lake Road. From CA-38, if coming from Redlands, it's just about six miles past Angelus Oaks. Jenks Lake Road is on your right. Almost as soon as you get on Jenks Lake Road, the dirt road to Forsee Creek trailhead is on your right. About 1/2 mile on a rough, rocky, but (on this day) passable dirt road ends at the trailhead.
"Your" trail goes west and west-southwest, along the northfacing side of the mountains. From there, you gain altitude and have nice views into the Santa Ana River drainage. Mount San Gorgonio is to your east-northeast. Slide Peak and Keller Peak, each in the high-7,000, are to your west-northwest.
After crossing the creek, there's a slight rise, to "Johns Meadow." It actually looked nothing like a meadow, to me. There were plenty of trees, and no rolling carpet of grass.
Having not been sure if I was there, I continued a bit. The trail crossed a second little creek shortly, then climbed, first slowly, then steeply, towards the San Bernadino Mountains ridge. Once assured that Johns Meadow was not ahead of me, I returned the way I came.
Because I went past the actual meadow (and also backtracked some when I thought I left my phone on the ground, I figure I covered well over six miles, so I'm calling it seven miles, though it might only be 6 1/2. Pleasant, shaded, cool. Nice hike, but no aspen.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Don't remember the conditions of this hike, other than that there were plenty of flowers blooming.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Area in the spring time, of course. Nor, even like these same trails in the spring time. But, like many desert and semi-desert areas, there's a second season of growth, as you approach the fall. Also, some significant rainfall in July helped to prime things.
This was just a quick little dash into the foothills. While I usually park down near the Millard Canyon campground, this time, because the goal was Echo Mountain and I was somewhat limited on time, I decided to park up on the ridge.
Overall, this is quite similar in distance, and has the same end point as the Sam Merrill up to Echo Mountain. But this way is a whole lot less crowded, though with the trade off of more mountain bikes.
I took a number of hikes from Millard Campground in August and September, at least three of which I have yet to blog. Much work to do, yet.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Hike 2015.071 -- Placerita Canyon State Park, Heritage Trail, Manzanita Mountain Trail, and Botany Trail
Meanwhile, the adjacent property owner, the Disney Corporation, claims there's another oak, on their property, that's the REAL Oak of the Golden Dream. Pretty impossible to prove, either way.
Next up for me was a walk up the Manzanita Mountain Trail. This one is supposed to be about 1.6 miles roundtrip. From the main trailhead, go straight, on the Hillside Trail. After 1/10th of a mile, there's a sign to make a sharp left turn, on to the Manzanita Mountain Trail. It's supposed to be .7 miles from here to the mountain top. I have to say it seemed a bit longer than that on the way up, but that's probably because it's REALLY steep in parts.
I don't think the mountain top is visible from the trailhead, as an intervening hilltop intercedes.
At this point, I decided to go home, because BYU was playing at Michigan, and this game was on ABC. Thought it might be a fun game to watch. Alas, once in the car, I learned Michigan was up, 31-0. Well, heck! If I knew it was going to be a blowout, I'd have stuck around for another short walk or two, then waited for the third drawing.
Anyway, between my three short walks, my several walks from my car to the park headquarters and back, and the walks through the visitor center and between the trails, I'm sure I made my three miles minimum.
After exiting, turn right at the bottom of the ramp. This is Placerita Canyon Road. One and a half miles east on Placerita Canyon Road brings you to Placerita Canyon State Park.
There is no entry fee for this park. Dogs are permitted on a leash.
Nice park to visit, though it can get hot in the summer. Better in the spring or later in the fall.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Once at first water, I explored a little downstream, and we both slid down a short chute. Fortunately, I had little trouble making my way back up, and I was able to push my dog up ahead of me.
We made it back fine, and got back in the car, for the drive home. My poor old dog was beat. He curled up and took a nap on the floor in front of the passenger-side seat.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
This was my first visit to San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area. Which isn't to say that I haven't been in many places within the national monument before, but this was the first time I saw an actual sign with the words, "National Monument" anywhere in the forest.
The national monument is just under one year old, but this was the first concrete evidence I had seen on the ground of its existence.
I had no way of knowing when I had reached the end of the trail as indicated on the map, but I eventually came across a large flat area with a fire ring. As I said, this seemed to be well over 3 miles from the trailhead, but I can't be certain about the distance.
On the way back, I noticed a few patches of water. This was after almost two months of no rain, and some very high temperatures. This was also after an earlier hike that had me find Switzer's to be practically dry. So here, apparently, some patches of water make it through to near the end of summer, even in a drought year.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Going straight on the dirt road would eventually loop you around the ridge to your left, and head towards Inspiration Point. Turning right takes you steeply but briefly up to a ridge, where you can hit Mount Disappointment (the one with the antennas on it) and/or San Gabriel Peak. Going left takes you towards Mount Lowe. After about 3/4 of a mile, you'll encounter a sign, with the trail to Mt. Lowe requiring a sharp right turn. Very short up from there to the peak.
Because it's late in the season, you don't expect many wildflowers. But there were at least three common varieties spotted, all pictured here.
Not certain about any of the species, except that they're all common in the area. I'll have to confirm their identity, then post that, later.
So, by the time I finally did encounter the road, I had to head back. Didn't get to visit Inspiration Point, though I've been there, many times before.
Mostly just used phone camera shots on this hike, except for the last flower shot.