Stepping It Up
Bridge to Nowhere
Sheep Mountain Wilderness, San Gabriel National Forest
Map(s): Mt. Baldy & Cucamonga Wilderness (Tom Harrison maps)
Great, easy hike for brand new and young backpackers. Trek is approximately 1 mile from trailhead to campground. Once there you'll rock hop across Lytle Creek and make camp on the southern side of the bank. Plenty of trees for shade. Water is usually flowing through the creek "near" year round, but best to always check first at the Lytle Creek ranger station for current condtions. Young scouts typically love playing in the creek for the afternoon, exploring up the creek to find where it originates as a natural spring, and generally goofing off in camp. More adventurous scouts can continue on up the trail as a day hike (without packs) and return to Stonehouse ... or instead camp at Third Stream Crossing campground some 2-3 miles further west.
Since the distance from trailhead to the camp location is so short, this is a great hike to truly be "boy lead".
Related HAT Awards
San Bernardino Trails Award - Cucamonga Segment
Day use and overnight permits are required for the Cucamonga Wilderness. Search the web for the San Bernardino National Forest website. We would have included the link here, but it seems to be moving around their site right now.
Angeles National Forest
Map(s): Angeles Front Country (Tom Harrison maps)
This is a supper fun and challenging hike with a ton of CA Historical site to see. The Trail starts in Alta Dena - take Lake Avenue off the 210 Fwy and go north until it dead ends. Park along the street and start your hike at the Historical Cobb Estate.
The trail first takes you up to Echo Mountain, the site of the Historic Echo Mountain Resort - Grand Hotel - Tennis Courts, Swimming Pool and more. This portion of the trail is roughly 2.5 mile with some good elevation gain. Lots of non hiker do this portion on the weekends so you will want to start early in the morning to get parking. After taking in the historic sites at the Echo Mountain Resort - there are a couple of Trails that take you up to the Mt. Lowe Trail Camp - a historical site of Ye Alpine Tavern - - this is where you will set up camp (has a new pit toilet - a fancy one) and there is a spring water source just outside of camp.
A favorite trail up to the Trail Camp is to hike along the old electric rail way where there are historic plaques along the way to describe what took place from the 1890's through the 1930's. (More on the history of this place later) Then from there, it is 1.4 miles with 1,100 feet in elevation gain up to the top of Mt. Lowe. After taking a swing ride, it's back down to camp for dinner and then a short day hike just before sunset to get up to Inspiration Point to see the sun set over LA and Pasadena and then the magic of watching the town light up with the city lights as it gets dark. Pretty spectacular. Back into camp for a camp fire and a good nights rest, for after all by this point you have covered 10+ miles and 3,900 feet in elevation gain. Up in the morning - have a good breakfast and hike back down to Echo Mountain and then on to Lake Ave for the short drive home.
Related HAT Awards
San Bernardino Trails Award - Mt. Lowe Segment
No permit required. Five hike-in campsites. Stream water (treat before using). Stream can be seasonal so check online at hiking websites to see if it is flowing before you count on it being there.