Obejrzane 3565 razy, pobrane 9 razy
w pobliżu Bonnie Bell, California (United States)
This hike is approximately 21 miles from the Preserve to Mission Springs. It's uphill nearly the entire way, total elevation gain is over 7,000 feet, most of it over just 6.5 miles between Mission Creek and Mission Springs.
The first 7 miles take you thru the Whitewater River's bed. You'll cross the Whitewater at least once before meandering thru the foothills of the San Gorgonio range. There's very little shade, so when you arrive at your first crossing of Mission Creek you'll welcome the shade of the small bosque and the water trickling past.
From there you'll follow Mission Creek roughly North, crossing and/or paralleling the creek for 8-9 miles. If you're lucky, the creek will have water for most of the way. The reliable water in a desert environment creates the small pockets of bosque all along the creek - which in turn creates wildlife habitat. I was able to see two species of owl, Redtail Hawks, frogs, coyotes, and mule deer.
I highly recommend camping around mile 16. On the map the way point is WR235. There's a very small creek in a glade here with a flat, pine duff campsite right by the trail.
At mile 16 or so you'll start switchbacking out of the creek's bed and canyon. Some fires have cleared what little shade would normally come from the trees for the first half of your climb. The trail narrows to 12-16" at points along this climb.
Eventually your elevation gains result in the pine forest. Ponderosa, pinyon, and lodgepole pine, as well as oak and willow trees fill in the gaps between ribbonwood and other scrub. The trail will gain some pine duff texture, some shade, and, of course, views.
Mission Springs CG is comprised of two Yellow Post camp sites just past the vehicle barrier you'll see as the PCT pops across the Forest Road. I enjoyed ample water from a spring at this location. The YP sites offer metal fire rings with grates, picnic tables, and lots of either shade or sun to suit your needs. I believe fires are prohibited at YP sites, but the picnic table was a blessing. Note there are horse corrals nearby, so you may share this area with riders and/or packers.
Mission Springs CG is a good place to leave a car or have someone pick you up. The Forest Road is bumpy, but virtually any car could make the drive. It's only 8 miles from Hwy 38. You can also reach Fish Creek Trail to the West of the CG and use it to summit San Gorgonio peak.
My original plan was to continue on to where the PCT crosses Hwy 18 just East of Big Bear - about 26 miles further North. However, my poorly behaved dog caused herself a foot injury and I elected to hike out on the Forest Road instead of continuing on the PCT. The FS road was wide, sandy, and gently graded compared to the PCT's narrow, rocky, and sloping. All in an effort to help out the pooch.