It’s been a while since I’ve committed some time to blogging. A lot has happened. I ran the Huntington Beach Marathon (improved on my previous time by 25 minutes), I got engaged, we’ve been backpacking, trail running, and attending various music concerts over the last few months.
A couple of weeks ago, we did a trail run from Chantry Flats, headed up the Sturtevant Trail, climbed Mt. Wilson, then headed back to Chantry Flats via the Wilson Rim Trail and the Winter Creek Trail. This weekend we wanted to go on a trip that had access to water. We backpacked Joshua Tree, and another trip out to the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, both of which we had to pack water into. Water is crazy heavy, especially if you have any decent elevation change or distance. Anyways, this weekend we didn’t want to pack water, and we were curious about the West Fork of the San Gabriel River. What a great opportunity! Especially because we had already explored that area a couple of other times, and wanted to expand our knowledge of the area.
On a lot of our Southern California adventures, we routinely find that Modern Hiker has already done what we are trying to do, which is very nice because his blog is the best I’ve come across for hiking, and he includes a GPS file complete with waypoints that you can download and then upload onto your GPS device. Thank you!
Our original intention was to take the Devore Trail down from the top of Mt. Wilson and stay at the Devore Campground. We hiked into the West Fork camp, and shortly after leaving that camp we ran into hikers coming from the Devore Camp and let us know that space was very limited there. I guess that’s not normally the case, but this weekend it was full of campers who had gotten there before us.
The West Fork Camp is nice, has access to water, and there’s a good amount of overflow space when there’s more tents than there are campsites. This morning we saw a bobcat. It was chasing a squirrel down the hill on the other side of the creek. That’s definitely a first for me and it was impressive to see a wild cat like that, especially because it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.
The hike out was pleasant. The trail between West Fork Camp and Devore Camp meanders through the bottom with creek crossings and some interesting variations in the terrain. We met a couple of Forest Service Volunteers on the way out. They had let us know that the trail used to be in bad shape and that they had volunteered to work on the trail so that it could return to its prior form. The forest service lacks the funding it needs to pay for tail maintenance on trails like this one, so these very generous volunteers take care of the task, based purely on their love for the trail. I think that’s a wonderful testament to the power that these trails can hold on us.