Apr 11, 2010 at 9:10 am #1257569
I'm taking my 8yr old daughter for her first backpack next weekend. 3days 2 nights. We live just east of LA county. The plan was to hike up Middle Fork Lytle. But she says she wants camp on top of a mountain. Ice house saddle is too hard so i need a better spot. I need water along the way so i dont have to carry it all. Anyone been around Crystal Lake maybe? Any good places near Idylwild that arent covered in snow anymore? I would love to find a forested place with creeks and some easy ridge/peak opportunities but we've had a pretty good snow this year. I really hope to make this special for her, she is so excited.Apr 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm #1596866
Is there any streams around Crystal Lake? There are several campgrounds around there, is there water? Are the hikes too difficult there for youngsters?
Also, what about around the Santa River? Any kid-friendly hikes up there that might keeps us walking for two days?Apr 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm #1596979
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
How about a 5-mile loop @ Chantry Flats, Arcadia?Apr 12, 2010 at 7:30 am #1597029
I'm really looking for some forest that's not so developed with resorts and cabins along the way. That's a great hike though for a kid, it's not to steep, has lots of water and is shaded the whole way. I'll keep it in mind.
Maybe I need to go out to wrightwood or Los Padres? kids cant appreciate chaparal as much as i do. there must be some decent forest hikes near pine mountain or near wrightwood.
Otherwise, maybe we'll do Chantry.Apr 12, 2010 at 7:39 am #1597032
Is Crystal Lake even open?
I think everything west of the East Fork San Gabriel River is closed because of the Station fire until September 2010.
I'd say go up Icehouse Canyon, but not necessarily to the saddle or head out to Los Padres.
As crowded as it can be with hikers, I'd go up the East fork also. Everyone disappears at sundown and there are some good spots along the river if you go way up. I'd take the East Fork over Chantry personally…Apr 12, 2010 at 8:19 am #1597040
Yeah, i saw a map of the fire once and it looked like the eastern edge of the fire went to Crystal Lake and to Cogswell reservoir. East fork is also a good option. Still would like to hear from anyone that has a good kid friendly hike through actual forest. Near Barton Flats maybe? Idylwild? She's been to east fork alot already. Most trails like I'm looking for are under snow which i warned her of this if we went to early in the year but she couldnt wait. See, she has these eyes, that's all it took.Apr 12, 2010 at 9:05 am #1597053
I would check snow conditions wherever you go. The east side of the San Jacintos still has a lot of snow. I have not been up there in a while, but snow if visible on the east facing slopes, from my house. I would imagine that upper elevations from Idylwild still have a lot of snow. Also the Devil's Slide Trail might be a little tough for a kid.
Another option might be the Cedar Springs Trail from Garner Valley. The trail from the Morris Ranch Road Trailhead to Cedar Springs Campground is about 4 miles one way. A little steep, for about 2 miles, but easy trails (switchbacks). Elevation gain is about 800 feet. The campground is in a grove of incense cedars with a year round spring.This is Desert Divide country with great views. I don't know if there is any snow, but probably not.
Probably won't see many hikers unless the PCT through hikers are hitting the area.
Here are some pictures of the hike.Apr 12, 2010 at 9:15 am #1597054
I forgot to mention that this is not a hike through forest. First 1/2 mile is high desert, then through some nice groves of large shady oaks. The climb up the mountain is exposed chaparral. The mile gradual descent is in the open, but Cedar Springs is heavily forested.Apr 12, 2010 at 9:51 am #1597061
Thanks Nick. I'll check into this a little more. Is there anything beyond cedar springs? we'll be walking two days so if camp1 is cedar, what's camp2?
I'm thinking there should be something foresty along the headwaters of Santa Ana river but I'm not sure if it's all snowed in. elevation is around 4-6000 feet so it should be okay but i dont know any specific camps/trails.
probably wrightwood too, blue ridge maybe? probably no water though.Apr 12, 2010 at 11:55 am #1597103
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
The few cabins along the way may not be a negative to a child on her first hike. The small stream crossings, on the other hand, can be fun for her. Who knows…
Anyway, whichever trail, happy hikes to both of you!Apr 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm #1597315
This area is along the PCT, and not easy to find a loop. You could continue north the 2nd day towards Fobes saddle. It isn't far, maybe 3 or 4 miles. You will be hiking in high desert, but sections are a Mazanita forest, pretty cool. Also a lot of rock formations. Before you get to Fobes saddle it turns into forest with a small pine/fir forest. As you descend to the saddle you will walk through large oak tress and then it turns into scrub oak. Camp anywhere you like, and then hike back to your vehicle.Apr 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm #1597322
@tinyscraftsLocale: So Cal
four corners, in san mateo wilderness? I don't remember much about it but it was as a suggestion to me once… Maybe also around palomar mountain? if you don't mind the drive.
I took my 5 yo to Hogees/chantry flat. We had great fun splashing around. And for some reason, the camp was empty! I was planning to go back soon with the other kiddo too. Let us know how/where ya go. I'm always looking for good kid hikes…Apr 13, 2010 at 7:06 am #1597395
Nick, that hike sounds really fun for me but not quite what I'm looking for in this case. I figure Santa Anita canyon has water running all the way through (kids love creek hopping), very thick woodsy feeling, easy gradient and a few opportunities at climbing some hills to get a view. maybe there is a trail out of there to somewhere a bit more remote that we can do on day two. Thanks for the help. By the way, I still want to get up on Granite Mountain some time.
Mirelle, I googled the four corners and it seemed like a climb and not much trees. thanks though. I'm planning a bp soon with a large group who are taking kids, maybe you'd like to be in on that.May 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm #1609231
I turned out to be a perfect location for a kid's first time. Shaded the whole way, the inclines were mild but enough in spots to make the kid really feel like a mountaineer. Yes it was crowded, but it turned out to be a plus because all the day hikers commented on how cool my daughter was for backpacking in the wilderness. clean springs flowing everywhere, it was nice. Nasty poisok oak though, i had to hold the dog very close to avoid getting slammed by him when he slept in our tent.
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