03 December 2017

Travertine Pools along Cold Spring Trail

Los Padres National Forest

Click for map.

The blurb said a hike down to Forbush Flat and then 1.5 miles more to a natural spring. Cryptic. What could it mean? If they head down Gidney Creek, it would be somewhere I have not gone before. Maybe they would hike up the creek and it is that far to the spring that should be feeding Forbush Flat? That seems rather long, but I have not done it and with enough twists, maybe it is. It is rated strenuous for just six miles. That could mean off trail or just try to discourage those who might get in trouble with the "upside down" hike. Most likely, they mean the travertine pools. It would be easy to ask, but also easy enough to sign up and get to either see the pools again or something new.

starting with the view and heading down
Up toward the top and heading down. A beautiful day for it.

Little Pine in front of Big Pine and West Big Pine
The loose cliffs of Little Pine Mountain are looking especially stark today.

Blue Canyon overlook
Taking a moment overlooking Blue Canyon with Old Man Mountain approximately center behind it.

We pause a moment at Forbush Flat. One person was thinking she might get to try the pears, but the trees are far past that. Only one still has any leaves at all. A lucky break considering they are pretty nasty. We leave, continuing down the trail and up and over the ridge. We are indeed off to the travertine pools. We wind down a while and suddenly, there is moisture.

small pool
Just a little bit of water with some cattails.

leaves floating in a pool
Pools decorated with leaves are quite nice.

leaves covering a pool
Leaf decoration can be taken too far, though.

A few more twists while the moisture beside the trail seems to build and then there is the large travertine pool. It is a little cool and shaded and seems to have a thin sheen of something on it, so is not too attractive for dipping into. It is our destination. We mostly head for the sun with some excursions down the stream a little further to see even more pretty little pools.

large travertine pool
The pool as we come upon it.

side and cliff from the side of the travertine pool
The pool looks a little odder from a little further down the trail.

With no one seeming to be interested in a swim, quick or otherwise, we are not there for all that long before taking on the climb back up to the top. It seems dreadfully middle of the day to be going for it, but it is not all that warm.

Gidney Ridge
Gidney Ridge from the north side.

hills to the north
The hills to the north.

I take a wander meadows of Forbush at the sign for the canyon. They are dry and a little buggy, but there are a bunch of birds too. The rest of the group is resting at the first site, and after dumping a rock from my shoe, we are off again for more climb.

Forbush and Blue Canyons
A different viewpoint of Blue Canyon, this time with the Forbush Trail quite visible heading down Forbush Canyon.

Cold Spring Saddle view
And back at the top.

afternoon sun on water
Got to take a moment for the other view with the afternoon sun on the ocean.

Hiking with other people seems to force me to actually keep some semblance of a reasonable pace. Almost. Everyone seems generally satisfied with the hike as we roll back down the hill.

©2017 Valerie Norton
Posted 7 December 2017

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