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

That little sight was actually around the corner further down the road from the trail. The road, of course, provides easy routes over the river below whenever it is needed, with fewer crossings.

Bridge over river occupied by onlooker Ravi

Just past this first bridge is where the trail north up Bear canyon starts. As promised at the start, it is at mile 1.

marker for mile 1 and trail, sort of

But that isn't actually where the trail starts. Turn south to the signs proclaiming Welcome to San Gabriel Wilderness and follow what you find there down to the riverbed

this bit of the river, exactly

and under the bridge to find the actual trail. Now it's time to criss-cross the stream while hiking up the canyon. It's a nice canyon, so we enjoyed it.

nice spot for a snack

more stream

yet more stream

flowing water

But the water doesn't always have to flow in big chunks. Sometimes it likes to just seep out of the rocks, like this.

seeping water

Sometimes the trees have a hard time being by the water, although they like it very much there.

trees clinging to rocks

Also saw some fungal growths along the way. Sounds gross said like that, but they're pretty too.

mushrooms on wet log

more mushrooms

yet more mushy things

The reason the trail insists on pushing us across the stream over and over again? Well, that's easy. Cliffs just have to happen. They are common sights.

vertical ground

can't be walked on

But when we get away from the stream, just behind those trees hanging over it, the land dries out rapidly. This is the trail as it got maybe 40 feet from the flowing water.

deserty trail

Then even higher up...

trees along the top of the canyon wall

For some reason, yucca doesn't like to grow straight. Look at the trees! That's not just inept photography.

yucca growing at a wild angle

Oh, yes, there's also some fauna to go with all the flora (and fungus). Flycatchers were flying about in the early evening. Tiny birds going quickly, they didn't photograph well.

flycatcher hunting

But I tried! Not a very good result? Then it's just back along the road. It might be a nice bike ride or roller-blading if one can go that far on such things. It's 8 miles to the dam along the road.

©2005 Valerie Norton
Posted 14 September 2005

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