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this hike is actually 7 miles! .9 miles from the trail head to the beginning of the loop. Beautiful !

Beautiful trail just an hour and a half from LA. Arrived on 9:30am Saturday morning and finished around 11:50am, was about 65 F with gentle sun. Nice steady incline up without being too strenuous. Great views just a mile in. Good shade on the trail (not much on fire road). Saw about 7 groups on the trail. Definitely agree to do this out and back, instead of using the fire road. The trail was well laid out but you may need to check the AllTrails map if you take the fire road up or down, there were some forks in the road which could be confusing. When parking in the Buckhorn Day Use Lot, walk across the street to the white gate. You'll go up for a bit and there will be a rather inconspicuous sign/pole that marks the beginning of the trail on your left. If you miss it, you will just end up taking the fire road up and the trail will loop back down.

backpacking
19 days ago

Good and easy hike in, all uphill on the way out. Loose rocks. There was no water source when I went with my buddy. Very secluded and peaceful.

Beautiful views! I recommend skipping the fire road and going out and back among the actual trail. It’s Less steep, has better views and more shade.

Made it to the Buckhorn Day Use lot at 9am and had no problem parking. Only ran into 4 other people on this trail.

I logged this at 6.5 miles. Did some bouldering at the peak. Lots of fun!

backpacking
1 month ago

Easy 3.5 mile trek down to the valley where the camping areas are. A lot of loose rocks on the way down. Very limited shade on the way down and back up, but lots of shade in the valley. Perfect for a beginner backpacking trip, which it was for us!!

One of the best day hikes in Southern California. The views along the way, and at the top, are amazing. There are even good rocks for scampering in search of a view at the top. This would be a good hike for the kiddos as well. Well-maintained trail with easy to moderate ascent. Make sure to park at, or near, the Buckhorn Day Use Lot; the gate and entry to the trail are directly across from it.

1 month ago

Park at the Buckhorn Day use lot, not the campground. Cross the street and go through the white gate. Follow the trail up a bit and you’ll see a sign that says trail. Go to the left for the better loop of the trail. When you get to the top there’s a lot of rocks to hang out at. Beautiful view. The loop going down is a fire road through the ski resort area, which rarely opens in the winter. It’s fun to see the chair lifts and all, but the road is basically a road to get down. You can always go back the way you came up if you want to avoid this part of the loop.
Winter there could be some ice or snow on the trail going up.

excellent hiking trail with breathtaking views. Very quiet and peaceful in weekdays. Great for Dogs! We did the hike in the afternoon when the sun move to the West side so it was nice, tons of shade and nice cold winds. The entrance is across the Buckhorn Dayly Use not the Campgrounds.

Perfect weather if you start at about 730am. We finished at 1130am walking at a moderate pace, stopping to take pictures here and there. Creek beds are all dried up this time of year. Water was only found in a select few places. Best views were of the valley as you're driving in.

This was my second backpacking trip. Backpacked to Little Jimmy, setup camp, and made our way to Mt. Islip. The hike was fun and moderate. It's far into the Los Angeles Forest and takes some time to get to the parking lot. It's a great trip if you want to get away from the city. The campgrounds are well maintained and have grills, but I wouldn't recommend using the restrooms. Just handle your business in nature!

We live local and access this trail a couple of times a week. It is comprised of both narrow and wide trails. On weekends you will encounter a significant amount of hikers and bicyclists, and parking is limited. Along the trail you will see multiple types of shrubs, weeds, and cacti.The hike climbing back down to the lower parking lot and from Moro Ridge is the most beautiful. You have sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean , and on a clear day you can see as far north as Palos Verdes, San Clemente Island to the West. Along the trails you will encounter numerous birds, rabbits, and occasionally snakes ( rattler, king, and gopher ). If you have an entire day, bring a cooler and your lawn chairs, and after the hike you can access the beach through the pedestrian tunnel. This beach is rarely busy (due to limited parking) and is unparalleled in beauty. If you still have energy though, you can meander north on the sand for about a mile to the Beachcomber Restaurant. Fresh food and libations. I would recommend the Pim Cup.

backpacking
2 months ago

Don’t count on any water at the bottom of the hike in.

I went there last week. Trailhead is a little hard to spot. just a small turnout to park in. Location on should get you to it. Easy trail to follow. A continuous incline. Rock slide climb for shortcuts. Fair amount of shade spots (enough that I kept taking breaks in them every 30 seconds) It is a very nice view few hours from sunset. Reached the top with sore calves. We came back down and it was already night time driving back. Cool break from light pollution. Realized we stopped at the top. Went about 3.5 miles out and back. Didn't know to keep going. Quiet and empty trail. Great for solitude. Nothing but the wind through the trees and the local wildlife (birds, lizards, and squirrel. - saw no snakes, gladly).

One of the best hikes I've been on with the best view of mountains.

Great hike to the crash site. Started at Eagles Roost to Mt Williamson to Pleasant View Ridge.

hiking
3 months ago

Good trail did the complete Harvey Moore trail , the back side was not fun (overgrown and doesn’t look like it has seen much traffic lately) mileage was my GPS clocked the whole thing at 11.3

One of my top hikes in LA!

Lots of gorgeous views, just far/ close enough to Hollywood.

The "description" is totally inaccurate and people can get lost if they follow them!

Park at Buckhorn Day Use NOT Campground. Ignore where the trailhead is on the Alltrails app (the map trailhead looks like at the bottom of the ski hill. Who the hell would hike up or down that??) From the DAY USE lot, walk directly across the street and go through the white metal gate. After a short while you'll see a SMALL post with the word "trail" (Mt Waterman Loop is scrawled on it if you look closer) on it. Follow that TRAIL up (left). If you go straight it's just a fire road which is steeper than the left side with not much to see. The left TRAIL side has all the views and much easier of an incline.

The alltrails map is accurate the rest of the way. It will come in handy as the trail becomes unclear many times.

Please fix the description!

This was my first taste of backpacking! We went on a Friday and only one other car was in the parking lot! Basically had the whole campground to ourselves. We definitely over estimated our cardio ability and under estimated the difficulty of the trail, at least from the trailhead to Little Jimmy. It's definitely not for the out of shape. The mileage markers are wrong, so be prepared to feel like you're hiking much more than the distance on the sign posts. We stayed the night Friday night and went for an early hike to the peak around 7:30AM. Not too many people on the trail, but on the way back, closer to camp people were flooding in around 9:30AM. By 11:00AM the campground was pretty much full, so if you go on a Saturday, get there early! The spring was flowing, and it tasted amazing. Nice and cold! We filtered some of our water, and other times drank straight from it. I'd recommend filtering, because you could definitely see little bits in the water. 4 stars because it was so crowded early in the day and because of the BUGS. I got eaten alive! I was not prepared for that many bugs and the constant buzzing in my ear.

A warmer day than I expected but a really nice hike. A definite moderate trail, less crowded once you get past the campsites. Cross the 2 to reach the trailhead. Not a huge fan of how long it took to get to here (the time listed in your GPS of choice will be very accurate due to the windiness of the 2).

My favorite easy day hike in the Angeles N.F. I love everything about this trail--the huge ponderosa and sugar pines, the rocks on top for scrambling, the view from the top. It's also super fun to mountain bike!

backpacking
3 months ago

This review is more about car accessibility, dogs, water availability, and insects (especially bees).

Went on a little backpacking trip from 6/23-6/25/18. It was 80-85 degrees during the day and full sun. I brought my two very fluffy dogs with me and went 3 miles down the hill to the creek. I left the main trail and followed the trail to the left (south, downstream) one mile. One mile downstream there is a large oak perfect for climbing and very shady to set up multiple tents. And alright yes a campfire ring, but please DO NOT start a fire! Also there is a stone dam and tower and small sandy beaches to enjoy. To get there go just beyond the campsite, up and over the rocks. At the top is a lone cactus, at that point head down and walk along the creek to avoid the very steep hill down directly to the dam and tower. I saw 3 hikers total on my entire trip so a very secluded trail!!

There is minimal shade along the first 3 miles till you hit the creek. It is best to complete this portion of the hike before 930-10a. The shade is optimal then as the hill is basically west facing. The first mile or so has partial shade at least every 0.1 miles, then no shade for 1 mile, then spotty shade till the creek. It is gently sloping downhill, but nothing strenuous at all even on the way up. Took me two hours to do the 4 miles to the campsite and just under 2.5 hours back to the car. I did stop whenever the dogs wanted to and for however long they wanted. Walked at a very average pace.

Water- No water until one mile downstream (4 miles total). Currently there are several pools of water varying from 20 feet in length to only a few; they are up to 4 feet deep and are not flowing. Please be conservative and conscientious when using water to avoid washing any sunscreen, bug spray, and dish water into the pools. It is also very easy to mistakenly scoop up tadpoles, frog eggs, and fish! Critters of every size and class are trying to make it in and around there!

Car accessibility- I have a 2005 Hyundai Accent so low clearance and very compact. I did not find the road leading to the trail head to be very bad at all! Took me 50 minutes to go up and down since due to my vehicle I have to be very careful and thoughtful about how I drive up there. Definitely having a narrow car that allows me to use the whole road to avoid bad areas was very helpful and a wider car with similar clearance may have more problems.

Dogs (previous ER/ICU vet nurse here)- Do not attempt this hike if it is above 85 degrees with your dog especially between 10a-2p!! Bring bare minimum 1 liter of water just for each dog (just for this 3 mile portion) and let them have a good rest in every bit of shade and free choice water at all times. After heat, your next biggest enemy is foxtails!! Right now it is peak season and the meadow the oak tree campsite is in is filled with them! Check frequently especially deep in the toes. Dogs have died from going septic from them embedding themselves. They will creep up into the eyes, ears, nose, prepubis, everywhere!! I spent at least 6 hours removing them total. Did pick off a few mostly dog ticks (not a large prevalence of tick borne dz in SoCal), they have 2 month (out of 3 month) old Scalibor collars but they go in the water a lot.

Insects- Yes expect a constant buzz. Once a swarm finds you walking along the creek, you've got new friends. They were tolerable, but certainly disrupt mediation. The mosquitoes are not too bad just annoying flies. Far from ruined the trip for me! I found Honest brand bug spray (mostly essential oils) worked fairly well but needed frequent application. If you care about bees as I do, due to a severe allergy, then its not perfect but it could be worse. I attract bees like crazy! So I still had a few stalkers, but no stings. Wildflowers are currently in bloom the first 0.5 miles and then along the creek where there is water. The ones along the creek seemed basically too pre-occupied to pay me attention. A few got a little interested, but not for long. I felt comfortable knocking into the flowers that crossed the path even if bees were busy working on the bush. The ones to be worried about are the swarms on the little white poms in the first 0.5 mile of the trail. There are just so many bees and I believe close to a hive that they are more protective and I had quite the stalker for a while that made me nervous (...and forget my hiking poles in the car!).

Things I was glad I brought or wished I had:
- Bug spray
- Visor > sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Chapstick
- Hiking poles- lots of loose gravel and small rocks on the trail that poles help balance and stabilize you
- Comb to help remove foxtails from dogs
- Way to clean water

Things you don't need:
- sleeping pad- quite comfy on the bed of oak leaves, not worth the weight

This is a strong 4 star hike...near Mount Baden-Powell and similar in many ways. Parking and the trailhead is on Hwy 2. We took the 210 to the 2 Hwy near La Canada Flintridge and it took us about 50 mins and 40 miles of twists and turns while sharing the road with motorcycles and high performance cars that are testing their cars handling. You will pass the parking area for Switzer Falls (see my review for that one) and you will pass the Red Box parking area you can use to do the Strawberry Peak hike (see my review haha) and still will need to continue on Angeles Crest Hwy for about 25 more minutes. When you reach the campground it gets a bit confusing with intersecting trails. Don't stop here, continue on for about 1.5 miles to reach the Mt. Islip peak. The 3rd mile is the steepest and you will gain about 550 ft and pass the 8,000 ft elevation level and come to a fork in the trail that is well marked and you will make a right to go about .2 miles to the peak. It was 3.2 miles to the peak and 6.4 miles RT. At the top is the ruins of a small structure, some concrete squares, and a plastic and metal box with some notebooks. There is no sign with the name and elevation of the peak but it is about 8,250 ft. above sea level. There are some great views, not quite as great as Baden-Powell. This is a moderate hike, definitely not hard. We completed the hike in 2.5 hrs with no running. There are parts that are exposed to the sun, but equal amounts that have shade. I loved that we only came across 6 total people while hiking. I just hate that it takes so long to get here and especially the amount of driving the incredibly curvy Hwy 2.

Nice parking lot with vault toilets, recreation pass required here. For me, three stars is a nice, easy-moderate uphill climb and I would probably do this one again in the fall, but explore farther along the trails to Little Jimmy and beyond. However, there is little shade on this stretch and no water. In June 2018, even starting this hike at 7:00AM proved to be immediately warm. This is a steady, uphill climb with short stretches of steep, particularly in the last 400 meters to the peak of the mountain with broad views on both sides of the mountain from the top. Good trail for fit dogs with only one observed and very small patch of foxtails, but bring plenty of water. At top, find a red soup can protecting a notepad and pen to sign your name and write a message to other hikers.

Wonderful hike to the top. Four stars because of the descent via the dirt roads. Next time I'll return via the same path up.

backpacking
4 months ago

I just returned from my first backpacking trip and Barker Valley was the perfect choice. I received the recommendation from a friend and it did not disappoint.

Some notes: There was still a couple of feet of water left in the stream. It was hot during the day (95 degrees on the hike back up the 1,000 ft incline) and surprisingly cold at night. The bugs were pretty bad; make sure you bring a citronella candle for camp.

I did this overnight trip alone and the most striking thing about Barker Valley was how away-from-it-all it was. I didn't realize there were places so secluded left in San Diego County; no cell reception and there was no one else out there. It was exactly what I wanted in a backpacking trip.

The best part was seeing the Milky Way in all its glory; I haven't seen it in years.

The road is open as of writing this, we spent two nights on this trail over Memorial Day Weekend. Wonderful trail with incredible views. Some key notes:

Water: The stream has plenty of water to filter.

Fire: Camping stoves only at this point.

Bugs: Experience a few no-see-ums in the shade, but nothing drastic or unbearable, and we didn't have spray.

Fishing: Not sure why All Trails says you can fish it, there are no fish in this stream.

Make sure to get a pass from the Forest Service, it's free and very very easy.

Full review is here and directions on how to plan: https://www.arborcreekoutfitters.com/single-post/2018/05/30/Barker-Valley-Spur-Trail---Cleveland-National-Forest

Pretty hike, a steady uphill climb of 1300 ft elevation change that follows the PCT for the first 1-1/2 miles or so before it veers off to the peak of Mt Williamson for the last 500 ft. As others mentioned, continue following the Pleasant View Ridge to the next peak after Mt Williamson for a better 360 degree view and a guestbook to sign. I found that it wasn't worth following Pleasant View Ridge once you get to the third peak (at about 2.5 mile into the hike) and right before the steep dropoff to the (lower) fourth peak and the fork in the road. I found that the view after the dropoff and at the end of this map's route wasn't worth it, and the steep climb back up to the third peak lacked any helpful switchbacks, so it was very challenging. Overall, a good solid day hike that can be completed in a few hours.

Weather was perfect today. Views were amazing! Nice and shaded. I expected to see a lot of people since it’s Memorial Day weekend but only saw 3 people on my way up to the top. Saw a bigger group later in morning. I got here around 8am and there was one other car here. Made it to the top and spent about an hour scrambling up different rocks. The reason I’m only giving 4 stars is bc the second half of the trail (if you decide to do the full loop like I did) is really just a fire road back down. Not very picturesque and zero shade. If I would’ve known that I would’ve just gone back down the same way. But all in all a great hike about an hour outside of LA. Will definitely be back!!!

Side note: watch out for all the jerks in sports cars going 80mph down steep, narrow roads. No joke, saw a guy standing outside his Camaro at one of the turnouts with a jacket that said “In speed we trust” *vomits up a little*

Followed the pct for the first stretch, then turned left at the junction to Mt Williamson. After summiting the mountain, you can continue further down a steep slope, then back up, then back down. The trail splits to continue pleasant view ridge on the left or to the ridge on the right where you can see old airplane wreckage about .5 miles in.

Overall fun trail with challenges and great views. I went on a rainy cloudy day in Los Angeles and the clouds were like a blanket laying over the basin below. Very scenic!

hiking
5 months ago

Not fun

Fist time here. Definitely not my last definitely a hidden gem. For an experienced hike fairly easy hike knocked it out in 2 hours and that was with a 15 min break at the top. Next time definitely adding cooper falls to the day for some extra mileage. Not to many signs but the trail is clear and maintained. Plus the all trails map always comes in handy! Beautiful views from the top even as clouds were engulfing the mountains.

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