Explore the best trails near Lytle Creek with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
I was walking on the rocks and sand, and reached the cliff filled with graffiti and when I noticed little rocks falling. I looked up and saw mountain goat's
on the edge of the cliff and kept going on, too find the waterfall. I made it or we made it our little adventure; my wife and I.
I find this to be one of the best hikes in So Cal. A bit remote so it isn't ever crowded meaning if you see three other groups it is a busy day. Wonderful trees and running water year round. Past three stream crossing camp site it gets very steep for a mile or so but you are mostly walking through shaded forest. Go see the Whats in our backyard
Michelle U. on Middle Fork Road to Icehouse Saddle
Had a great time out there! It was definitely beautiful! I advise not taking a small car to the trailhead!
Was excited to try this trail butwas unable to make the drive up middle fork road due to road conditions. definitely gonna try coming back when i have adequate transportation. but for now writing the review just to give you guys a heads up make sure you're in a durable vehicle that can handle some off-road conditions!
Michael S. P. on Middle Fork Road to Icehouse Saddle
One of my favorite places to spend the day outdoors with my lady. From mountains to straight forest in no time flat.
To get to the Lytle Creek trailhead you have to drive on a dirt road for a few miles. It was a bit rough so it was nice having all wheel drive, though it wasn't mandatory. There is a port-o-potty at the trail head. We started at 730am. The falls are off-trail from Lytle Creek at 2.6 miles in. We should have followed a stream joining up with Lytle Creek on the left (or south side) and then taken that up until it dead ends with the falls. But we accidentally passed the stream and then just took a left (south) at an indeterminate point, you walk off-trail until you meet the smaller stream and then follow it up to the falls. The falls were three-tiered. It was very cool, the water level was extremely low. The low water level allowed us to get the falls much easier, if the water level is too high it might be near impossible to follow the stream up to the water falls (you would definitely be hiking in water shoes). At the bottom of the final water fall the pool was quite deep. Two guys were planning to rappel down the falls, unfortunately we didn't get to see them do it. We ate a snack there and left because we were taking the middle fork trail farther to Icehouse Saddle.
This trail comes up the backside of Icehouse Saddle. To get to the Lytle Creek (Middle Fork) trailhead you have to drive on a dirt road for a few miles. It was a bit rough so it was nice having all wheel drive, though it wasn't mandatory. There is a port-o-potty at the trail head. We started at 730am. We first went to the falls, off-trail from Lytle Creek, which was 2.6 miles in. We should have followed a stream joining up with Lytle Creek on the left (or south side) and then taken that up until it dead ends with the falls. But we accidentally passed the stream and then just took a left (south) at an indeterminate point, you walk off-trail until you meet the smaller stream and then follow it up to the falls. The falls were three-tiered. It was very cool, the water level was extremely low. The low water level allowed us to get the falls much easier, if the water level is too high it might be near impossible to follow the stream up to the water falls (you would definitely be hiking in water shoes). At the bottom of the final water fall the pool was quite deep. Two guys were planning to rappel down the falls, unfortunately we didn't get to see them do it. We ate a snack there and left because we had much more trail to cover.
It was difficult to find the trail again which leads up to Icehouse Saddle. After wandering around a bit we finally found it going straight up a ridge. From here out it was quite a steep, rough trail. Not many people take this trail so it was quite difficult. It had a strong slope to it, not a nice flat cut in the slope so it hurt the outside tendon of my knee facing downhill. The last mile was very steep, and I was very tired by this point. This unkept trail exhausted me, I would not take this trail again to the saddle, only to the falls. We got to Icehouse Saddle at 6.6 strenuous miles in and had lunch. The way down hurt my other outside knee tendon, at least it balanced out. It took 4 hours up (including waterfalls) and 2.5 hours down, we stayed at the saddle for half an hour. Thunder and lightning started right as we were finishing the trail. It rained once we got off the dirt road and stopped when we got to the freeway.
I would have rated it a 1/5 stars if not for the waterfall we stopped at. I hate unkept trails. The saddle rules though, but I'll get to it from the Baldy side from now on.
Strenuous is right! This hike is strenuous alright, but not difficult. The trail was great with only a few loose rocky parts. For the most part it was almost a constant incline, but really no steep parts. It was definitely less abusive to my poor tender feet than Ice House trail. It starts out exposed and has some more exposed sections higher up, but there is plenty of shade on the rest.
11 miles doesn't seem that far, but it feels far after you've done it. If you go in summer go early and bring plenty of fluids. I brought 4 liters and ran out 2 miles from the trailhead, so did 2 others of the 5 I hiked with.
The road to the trailhead is rough, but any 2WD with adequate ground clearance can make. Don't leave valuables in your car or truck, as is not uncommon, opportunistic thieves sometimes hit the parked vehicles at the trailhead.
I'll do this trail again when the memory of the climb fades and my feet are less sore.
A challenging climb particularly in hot conditions, you will need 3.5-4liters of water or alternatively bring tablets to use in the streams. Watch out for the occasional rattlesnake, though they give you plenty of warning! The course isnt well marked so keep an eye out for small rocks that define the route. The view at the top isnt particularly rewarding but the descent offers beautiful views from halfway down onwards. A good climb if you are looking to build stamina in preparation for bigger hikes.
I've been there twice and I made it to the three-tier waterfall .I highly recommend it .This is not for the weak minded . Determination and endurance is a must. I only seen a couple of pieces of trash the whole way and I picked them up. It seems that there are constant rock slides, some trails are somewhat destroyed in some parts but you can still see the trail continuing ahead . The first part of The hike is under the hot sun with no shade. After the first mile it is rather pleasant and very beautiful. There is plenty of wildlife out there
Hike we took was about 2.5 or 3 miles to the small cedar grove, then across (the mostly dry) riverbed to the other side of the canyon, then up a side canyon with huge granite walls to the 3-tiered waterfall. The bottom waterfall seems to be perpetually in the shade, but is a nice pool deep enough to swim in. To reach the second tier of the waterfall requires either rapelling in from above or a scramble up a scree slope and around the hill to the falls. There is about a 15-foot section however, of traversing a wall - and a slip will kill you. If you are not comfortable with heights, you will not enjoy this. We saw 2 people the entire day (it was a Sunday). Cons: The trail has a LOT of exposure, very little shade until you near the end.
I would go back and do this again but not during the summer. It was pretty hot out and the ground burnt my dogs feet :(
Other than the heat, it was a nice trip in and back. We took a detour and went down to the water and didn't follow the whole trail cuz I wanted my dog to cool off. Once we found water it was pretty and we even saw a couple little waterfalls. No one was around so it was nice to quiet for just me and my pup!
Went to see a bird called the American Dipper, which has been spotted in the area, was a no show. But, we did see a Western Tanger. Little to no cell reception. Longer trails popular with backpackers. High ground Clearence needed to reach reach trail head, road is rutted.