AsABat's Pacific Crest Trail - California Section C

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November 23, 2002, Jan, Connie, Ken, Scott, and I hiked southbound from Mission Springs Trail Camp to the Cottonwood Trailhead (Map pages C4 to C1).
Sunrise from Mission Creek More than you really wanted to see, but it sure felt good!
After spending the night at Mission Springs Trail Camp, we awoke at 5:00 to start the long day. We enjoyed a great sunrise during our descent. After pounding out many miles downhill, the tired dogs enjoyed a soak in a cool pool of water.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any good pictures of the lush vegetation below Forks Spring. The stream from the spring flowed for five miles, and the trail crosses the creek many times.
A small sample of the lush vegetation of Mission Creek near Forks Spring The trail between stream crossings
A stream crossing Cottonwoods in fall color
The cottonwood trees put on a great show of color.
Eventually, what goes down must climb up. The first of three climbs took us to a ridge walk with nice views across the desert towards Palm Springs.
A ridge walk Whitewater Canyon
The sound of rushing water in Whitewater Canyon teased us with the thought of cold water, but the river was heavy with silt.
From Whitewater Canyon, the trail climbs a total of a thousand feet, first to traverse an interesting bench, then up a canyon to a view of the Mesa Wind Farm, telling us the cars were just an hour down hill.
Mesa Wind Farm Almost home


September 13-14, 2003, I returned to continue from Mission Springs Trail Camp to Highway 18 near Big Bear City (Map pages C4 to C6). Because of warm temperatures, I started at Onyx Summit both days, hiking south to Mission Springs Camp the first day and then north to Highway 18 the next.

Heading south from Onyx Summit, after great views of Mt. San Gorgonio, I soon came face-to-face with some of the largest animals I've seen in the woods - tigers. Behind a tall fence with ominous warning signs were cages containing two tigers that stared back at me, and other cages behind them. I've heard these animals are used in movies. My pleasant walk took me past Coon Creek Jumpoff, over a ridge, and then down to Mission Springs Camp.

San Gorgonio Views from the trail
San Gorgonio Coon Creek Jumpoff

The next morning I again started at Onyx Summit, this time heading north. The first part was delightful, especially along Arrastre Creek with cold water at the trail camp. As the day warmed up, so did the trail, as it left the trees and followed hillsides with views towards the Mojave Desert.

Heading north towards Hwy 18 Heading north towards Hwy 18

March 12-13, 2005, Geezer and I hiked from Highway 18 to Little Bear Trail Camp.

There was plenty of snow along the way. I left my snowshoes in the truck on Saturday, but made good use of them on Sunday. Snow conditions ranged from none on exposed slopes to four feet or more on some north slopes. Postholing ranged from a few inches to over a foot. It was quite an adventure. My snowshoes were a big help trying to keep up with Geezer's fast postholing. Navigation was even more fun, using GPS waypoints to avoid uncertainty. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work for 22 miles in 2 days.
Baldwin Lake Caribou Creek bridge in Van Dusen Canyon
PCT post north of Bertha Peak View
One of the more visible parts of snowy trail Big Bear Lake, Mount San Gorgonio
Trail at Polique Canyon (Holcomb Valley) Road Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake Big Bear Lake
Hiking on Holcomb Valley
Looking towards the San Gabriel Mountains More views
Creek crossing on road to Little Bear Spring Safe arrival at Little Bear Trail Camp, where there was some bare dirt

In 2004 I hiked with Geezer and Capt. Bivy from Little Bear Trail Camp to I15 at Cajon Pass in two one-day hikes.

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