100 Classic Hikes in Southern California
by Allen Riedel (The Mountaineers Books)
© Allen Riedel/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
We only made it to the Saddle which was our destination. We set out thinking that the trail would be fairly simple because of all the maps we saw and a review we read. The first part was fine up to Fish Creek Campsite. After Fish Creek it's a climb to the Saddle. It's about 6-7 miles from Fish Creek Trail Head to the Saddle and I wouldn't suggest doing the hike in the heat of a summer day. This is a beautiful time to go.
I would strongly suggest that you do the trip in of couple days. We did the trek to the Saddle and back in 25 hours. Next time we'll stay at Fish Creek Campsite, then at the Saddle and perhaps actually make it to the peak that way. From the Saddle I hear the peak of San G. isn't too far away so that could be a day trip if you stay at the Saddle.
If you want to have time to enjoy the stillness of the forest and the stunning views I would strongly suggest taking a few days to go. If you like to push yourself and challenge yourself you can hike to the Saddle from Fish Creek Trail head in one day but seriously not recommended. Also fill up your water bottles at Fish Creek no water until Mine Shaft.
It's a beautiful hike. After Fish Creek it gets hot and lots of steep switch backs for about 3 miles. Remember simple carbs are great to boost your energy, lots of fruit and raisens are great. There are some rock seats to sit on every now and then so take advantage even if you're not tired.
I haven't actually gone all the way to the peak but have explored this trail a couple of times. Less than a mile in from the dirt road is a magical Aspen forest, probably one of the best Fall destinations in Southern California. It's a sea of quivering yellow in October. East coasters will feel more at home.
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