11 September 2005

Bear Canyon

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Another day, another hike. Today the map was stabbed a little further east up highway 39 instead of in the veritable backyard. There, one can find the West Fork National Scenic Bikeway, an old road still kept paved to a single lane for traffic to the dam, but locked to keep out general traffic. This route is indeed scenic, if you get off the road and into the trees. That's where this little tributary was spotted.

tributary falling to the river below

10 September 2005

Millard Canyon and Falls

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Ravi and myself decided to hike out at Henninger Flats for the day, but we were balked by the rather high and rather locked fence. It claimed there were "dangerous conditions", one can only assume it meant the rather obvious massive land slide occurring just the other side of the river from the rather high and rather locked fence. People where down there, so there must be a way in, but it didn't look all that attractive so we didn't look that hard.

Instead, we went over to Millard Canyon. For this hike, you can start at a campground maybe a quarter of a mile from the Falls or you can start high up the canyon on a fire road a little more than a mile from the falls. We climbed down from the fire road, which was a pleasant hike, well kept since all the switchback cutters aren't hiking it. The poison oak was out in patches, turning red with the fall.

This trail put us at the entrance to Millard campground, which looked like a nice place to stay there next to the stream. Following to the end of the campground, the trail continued up the canyon. It starts off with a little man made fall over a flood control dam.

water from a small dammed pool

05 July 2005

Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Locate the trailhead.

Today's plans held only dropping off the car at the Homer, which closes up around 5, and getting onto the ferry around 8. The rental said we could actually drop it off after hours when the airport was still accessible if not actually populated. That was far away, but not so far that it would take the whole time after breakfast. We went back to Exit Glacier where the trail actually keeps going up beyond the glacial face until it is high and overlooking the Harding Icefield that is the source of ice for the various glaciers we saw the day before.

Here we are at Exit Glacier again, but this time climbing above it and soon above its source, the ice field that occupies the center of the peninsula. Today is a bit clearer and brighter than yesterday.

01 May 2005

Trail Canyon Trail

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Trail Canyon Trail is apparently named for the canyon named for itself. I guess I should put in directions for getting to places, but this one is over by Condor Peak, and the more active ones of us can make a twelve mile day hike of the peak and the canyon in a loop. Consult your local guidebook for the secret to the old entrance to the trail to Condor Peak, or you'll have an extra 1.5 miles.
But more importantly, this trail starts at the end of a quarter mile dirt road that is... quite passable, so long as there's no one to pass going the other way. Plenty of parking and trees at the end, but don't block anyone's driveway.

Pass the couple of cabins and you'll be on your way into the trackless wilderness. And if it's really trackless, you're going the wrong way. The trail is very easy to follow. Pick your season right and you'll have a floral display. May may be a little late, but we still got some flowers.

A bit of thistle, a late season flower anyway.

Some more purple flowers standing tall in the sand.

Also, the trail does indeed follow a canyon, as advertised, with the usual fast growing hardwoods. And possibly an Antonio behind one of them.

Small segment of creekbed.

06 March 2005

South Fork Trail

San Gorgonio Wilderness

Locate the trailhead.

Starting off snowshoeing in the San Gorgonio Wilderness (well, not quite there yet, but we'll get there) on the South Fork Trail, we see a lot of mysterious white layering over all the land. We think this is what the people of the colder areas call snow. If so then that's good, for we are out to meet the snow! Starting off, we can still see a few pieces of dirt beneath the snow, but for the most part it's all white. Here a stream has been able to clear off the snow mostly so that all can see it.

chilly water

23 January 2005

Switzer Falls

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

After the heavy rains, we (myself, Shachi, and M.A.) decided to take a hike down to the falls to see it in full flow. Of course, this was completely forgetting the fifteen river crossings and the one spot where both sides of the canyon are covered in the high water. Many log bridges improved the probability of getting across with our feet dry, but a few still required looking upon rocks even two inches under as a stepping stone.
We weren't the only ones with this thought, as the trail was quite crowded.

The trail is about two miles from the start at the top to the bottom of the lower falls. Most of the falls cannot be gotten to safely even in dry times as it is surrounded by steep canyon walls and the riverbed itself keeps dropping quite suddenly. This leaves one only viewing the larger falls from high above, but once back down to the water, a short few tenths of a mile and nearly half of the crossings bring one to the bottom of a somewhat smaller fall. And when we got there, we saw the falls like this.

somewhat cascading falls

01 January 2005

hikes of 2005

 Switzer Falls, Angeles National Forest: Jan 23

 South Fork, San Gorgonio Wilderness: Mar 6

 Trail Canyon Trail, Angeles National Forest: May 1

 Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park: Jul 5

 Millard Falls, Angeles National Forest: Sept 10

 Bear Canyon, Angeles National Forest: Sept 11


View hikes 2005 in a larger map