This is a magical yet secluded area of the Angeles National Forest. Chances are you and your dogs might be the only civilized life on the trail, even on weekends. The main reason for seclusion is that this is the backside of the forest, and coming from L.A., you have to travel pretty far around to reach it. Even from San Bernardino, this trip is out of the way. If there is water in the creek and people staying in the campgrounds, you can almost lay odds that they are fishermen and not hikers. Perhaps the greatest reason this is a seldom traveled route is that it is primarily a winter hike; situated at 4500 feet where the mighty Mojave Desert meets oak and pine means that this area can cook any time of year. Needless to say, coming here in summer and expecting free-flowing water and cool temps would be the very definition of insanity. Even in March, temperatures can be well above 80 degrees, so check the weather before setting out, and if it is hot, bring extra water for you and your dogs.
© Allen Riedel/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.