11 February 2006

Trail Canyon Trail

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

This is my second trip in this area. The first was last May.

Ah, let us go on a short little trip to stretch our legs. And let us rest up somewhere far from the hum of electrical lines overnight. Yes, that is a good idea. And thus it was decided that we should have a lazy weekend backpacking trip. At least on my side.

Apparently, the other side simply desired to put to use her equipment since she had never actually been backpacking before. There was also a demand that there not be a ranger at the campground watching TV or other horrors along the lines of being near people who were not, in fact, "roughing it". This demand was met. The second demand that there be as much water in the canyon as the pictures from May show was not met, as a simple comparison of some of these pictures will show. It turned out that there was still enough water so disappointment did not set in due to this unmet demand.

Being a rather short hike, we felt no need to start quickly. So one party drove up from San Diego after sleeping through an alarm, parking and campfire permit were obtained along the way, just a little out of the way, and the trail was arrived at without overshooting the rather unmarked road in the afternoon. Everyone involved was not particularly worried about this and everyone managed to neglect lunch but did manage to eat a banana.

We proceeded up the trail, quickly leaving the still used portion of the road behind, with many easy stream crossings. A quick marveling at the falls and further on. We got to Lazy Lucas, which had appeared to be someone's guerrilla addition to the sign at the bottom, but turned out to have a metal campfire ring and somewhat fancy sign. Guess the campfire permit was unneeded.

Declaring it soonish to be dark and better to cook in the light, besides neither had had lunch, we stopped for a bit to munch. I believe I managed to have actual flames inside the pot at the bottom of the rice after pumping on the fuel rose the flames too high. This seems to be the danger of a nearly full fuel can, the pumping is required often leading to uneven cooking.

With a bit of light left, we packed things back up and headed to the original destination for the night. It turned out to be a little more than a mile between Lazy Lucas and Tom Lucas, we got there a bit after dark. The moon was full, providing ample light to see the countryside when everything was open. The valley closed in for a while, requiring a lamp. Seeming too long along, it opened up again and the campground was a welcome sight.

sign at Tom Lucas campground

(The sign and a memorial to Paul Little at Tom Lucas campground. Once this was a car campground, or so we are told, but there is now no obvious evidence of a road although so many of the old roads are easily found.)

After a lazy morning, we got started again heading further up the valley. The creak was left soon after the campground and we started to climb a bit. Maybe it's time to go ahead a snap a photo...

not particularly green creakbed and tree stand


Below, as we climbed, the valley was drying out but still had some growth, like this random outcrop of trees. This is a south side, so not many trees anyway. Above us, a rusty mountain rested.

redish rocks on the mountainside

From further up, we could see all the way down the valley to the main valley below.

view over the valley

Fire is, of course, a danger in this area. The scars of fires long gone still remain.

burned stump

With time, we returned to the waterfall. You have to take a good look at waterfalls. We didn't the first time because we were a little late out onto the trail, and besides, we were coming back the same way the next day. This viewpoint was photographed last May as well. It's just a little drier even though the middle of winter this time.

look down

A little closer look at the dribbly remainder of these falls.

two shallow arms of water leading off the edge

closer to the edge

slightly different view of the edge

Upstream is also a bit less deep.

upstream from the falls

We spotted a very large and very red ant scurrying over the rocks, so here is some fauna.

large, red ant

A pool along the stream.

swimming hole

Some flora.

large leaves for a cloverish plant

The falls were actually very pretty with the small amount of water. This allowed it to actually be twin falls coming over the side of the cliff. Here they are from afar.

twin falls from the high trail

Further down the trail while still high above the stream we can look down on the water. Very nice, but we're on some precarious feeling trail at this point.

canyon from above

The participants in this hike were:

Shachi Valerie
Shachi Valerie




©2006 Valerie Norton
Posted 11 March 2006

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