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Winter Want to Backpack Map

Shady. Well maintained. Really pleasant trek.

This was an INCREDIBLE hike AND there are a few things you should know.

- Start early, it’s full exposure and can get very hot
- Bring lots of water, more than you think you’ll need
- There is no clear trail or path after the first mile. You’re basically blazing your own trail, this is NOT a beginner hike. It required a lot of focus and attention on where you’re stepping, constantly thinking about where you can find a path to avoid cacti, rocks etc.
- There are many false summits, you’ll know when you’re really at the top

this hike was a little longer than we expected just over 8 Miles round trip we saw a bobcat and some bicyclists believe it or not beautiful views

I did this hike expecting great views and beautiful trail (palomar mountain it’s beautiful) but it’s not. 2 first mi are steep and somewhat pretty- after that it’s a service road with nothing to enjoy. The views at the top are Ok- but for me not enough. Good exercise little enjoyment

We did about 2.5 miles up the ridge, roughly halfway to the summit. We decided to call it a day as we approached the beginning of the very steep pitch. The nice thing about this hike is that you can do as much or as little of it as you want depending on your skill level and how much risk you want to take on. I’d say the whole thing is pretty easy until you reach about 2,800 elevation, then it turns into a danger-fest! Very steep after that point and extremely thick with formidable and aggressive vegetation. It becomes straight up mountaineering.

Not another soul out there on this ridge the day we went up, this isn’t a climb to do by yourself. I’d like to return some day and go all the way to the summit. In addition to water and the standard hiking gear, I’d recommend long pants and heavy duty gloves to mitigate the likelihood of getting poked and shredded by agave and cactus. Be safe up there, the view is epic.

trail running
27 days ago

Love the single track and the scenic changes

1 month ago

Was a nice hike with lots of trees and it was really neat seeing the cabins and camp. There really wasn’t much water so I’m sure it’s more beautiful when there is. Was shaded most of the hike and the bugs were pretty bad for me. Was definitely a booty buster the last few miles! On the was back down I took the trail to Zion ➡️Hoegee’s camp ➡️back to Sturtevant. So it was more of a loop vs an out and back.

Definitely a great hike but get there early during the warm months to beat the heat and beat the crowd. I’d also suggest taking Castle Canyon to Inspiration Point and come down through the Sam Merril trail since Castle Canyon has a lot of rocks on steep inclines that might be dangerous to travel downward on. We got that tip from a stranger as we started heading back down Castle Canyon. Safer way to travel down is definitely Sam Merril. Great views.

I sign up to EisPiraten.com and I found cahikr, I left a message anywhere i could. I don't know if you will find it.

Seen a bear less than 1/4 mile from inspiration point telescopes.. it was less than a foot from me and another hiker eating some left over trash someone should have carried out with them.. non the less the bear was small and easy to scare off... cool hike liked the feeling of being above the clouds once to the top.

I would be interested in getting a group together to do some trail maintenance, but I think we should discuss on another forum.
Anyone out there on EisPiraten.com?
I don't visit there often but I think it's a good place to start the process.
I'm cahikr.

Next time I willing to hike an extra day, rather to go to the wash again. That "easy" wash have an inclination of 97° and since I'm not a rock climber I will hike around the mountain. Really nice hike. Let's finish the cleaning. #hikerevolution

I have been coming up here to do trail maintenance and have been working on clearing a lot of the fallen timber that is not too big and cutting back the overgrown buckthorn. I really enjoy this area and see a lot of potential if it is given some seasonal TLC, but it’s such a big job and one or two guys is not enough. Above the burned out cabin is the worst spot with large fallen timber. To deal with it will require chainsaw or crosscut saw. Once you get up to the ridge though the rest of the trail up to Cucamonga is clear. An alternative path is to bypass that area and take the wash up to the ridge saddle, where you overlook the Middle Fork of Lytle Creek. I am RockHoundHiker.

My annual visit to the Big Tree Trail this year was a maintenance trip. Few people hike this trail and after last year I decided I would concentrate on making the trail a little more accessible. As I started out around 7am it was noticeable that someone else had been up here recently with the same intentions and had done a pretty good job as well. So I just continued on up trail trimming back the buckthorn and tree branches and widening the areas that had already been worked. So the trail is fairly clear up to about the three mile mark for the exception of a few large dead falls that will require a crew to clear. After the old cabin site around 3 miles up the trail is still very difficult to follow with many large dead falls and lots of brush. The good news is that’s only another 1/2 mile of work to be done for the trail to be mostly clear to the summit. I turned around upon reaching another dead fall on the north slope above the middle fork as I was pretty exhausted by this point. It’s very hard work clearing brush and cutting tree branches plus I was getting pretty torn up from the buckthorn even with protective clothing. I also worked the road up in a few places both on the way up and down to help alleviate the pinstripes being inflicted on my ride. If you decide to try this trail out take some tools along and give this trail some love before it’s lost forever.

Loved it. Worth the hike to the top.

Love love love. Shady. One day I will reach the end.

Did this one with my hiking buddy. We started in the late morning. Made our way through the back side. My altimeter watch was giving us very wrong elevation readings so we thought we were ascending very very slowly, but before we knew it, we reached the top! The backside of Wilson facing the San Gabriels takes your breathe away!

One of my first Mountain Summits. Small yes, but was fun none the less! Great panorama view at the top.

**HOEGEES CAMPGROUND is on the East side - by the junction of Lower and Upper Winter Creek trails, after you've descended from Mount Zion. This map has it located at the North, which is Camp Sturtevant's location, where you can get water.

Loved it! But the ridgebacks after Mount Zion, which is worth a visit, were pretty tough. Made sure to stop every few for a break. Great views, despite the vegetation at the top of Zion. If I had to do again, I’d go later in the day, set up camp at Spruce campgrounds, refill water at Camp Sturtevant and hit up Mount Zion or Wilson the next day.

Planned to camp but saw bear scat in the Hoegees campground, then a ranger said, “Be sure to use this new food box, in case the bear comes.” He was gone before I could clarify if he meant “a bear” in general or “the bear” as in, a specific one that regularly visits. I had been there a few hours & since nobody else was setting up camp, I decided to pack up and head back to the parking lot.

Really beautiful nearly the entire hike, great views. However, if you shit in the woods please pack out your toilet paper and pack out your food trash. Leave no trace.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike, plenty of shade throughout, bugs got annoying here and there, not as bad as I expected from the reviews.

made it to san antonio on the redo its 15.2 miles from the parking area before acorn trail. this is a beautiful hike tremendously challenging, the views from pine and baldy are wonderful it was a clear day in thr desert north and a cloudy day in La south, great views of san gorgonio and san jacinto, this is a prime hike for the dedicated outdoorspeople get out here its amazing.

My son and I left Wrightwood at Acorn & Finch at about 9am and made it to Pine Mountain and back despite getting lost early, just about 1/4 mile above WW a sign says Acorn Trail to the left, “2.1 Miles to PCT and 1500 feet of gain”. Well, of course we went straight or right and ended up having to scramble on all fours 1000 feet up a ridge to get back to the trail. What a great hike! We saw a rattlesnake on the trail coming down. Not too hot, the Devils Backbone portion from the Jeep Road up to Pine Mt has some knarly parts to it, steep fall off both sides, loose rocks, gaining altitude trail. It seems like you can see forever atop Pine Mt. Definitely going to try and do the whole hike, the three peaks, in September.

The elevation gain posted here is correct but not the mileage...it is at least 1 mile longer than the posted 9 miles if you do the loop...definitely recommend getting there early to avoid the heat and the crowds that come later...I usually try to start around 6 am. Hiking poles aren’t needed but could be useful for some people. Depending on the weather conditions when you do this hike, I think 2-3 liters of water should be fine.
From the Cobb Estate gate it is about 2.5 miles up to Echo Mtn. From there you can either start with the San Merrill trail or the Castle Canyon to get to Inspiration Point and use whichever one you didn’t take up to get back down to Echo. My GPS measured Castle Canyon to be about 1 mile shorter.
Distance- 10.1 miles
Duration- 4-6 hrs
Difficulty- hard

*easy to find street parking and no Adventure Pass needed

Yes it’s been so hot this summer!! BUT this trail is nice and shady if you start as early as 6am. You would definitely need all terrain/hiking shoes. WATER and snack as well. Too many mountain bikers so Earphones headphones is not a good idea. Due to recent fires the view wasn’t as good but will definitely comeback!! Really liked the trail and if you’ve never hiked be ready for a great uphill downhill leg workout! :))

really good hike.
I actually did 12.4 mile total.
I started from Sam Trailway worked my way up to Inspiration
( I took the longer way) I liked the challenge. Came back down the same way I went up. You definitely need at least 3 or 4 liters of water in a hot day. Took a sandwich and orange and u survived lol.

Yes this hike is recommended for advanced hikers.

Absolutely loved this hike. There were people on the trail but you get some lovely unobstructed views. More shade than I expected, but still be prepared with enough water, as always! We got a late start around 10am and to be fair we were not feeling amazing by 3ish, but we still really enjoyed ourselves. Definitely recommend, more like moderate difficulty if you're relatively in shape.


have done this trail and all the variations up to Wilson and every time I'm grateful to have the bug net!

Did this on a Wednesday 7/18 at 6:30am. Sturtevant falls was a small fountain. as you back track a bit to go to the upper part of the trail looking down on Sturtevant Falls, some parts of the trails have been eroded since I did the hike all the way up to Mt Wilson last October. be careful since there are big sharp drops. There was only one other group at Mt Zion summit. It's a decent challenging hike. Felt it in my glutes the next day and I've done Whitney and Baldy so it's a good warm up to bigger peaks. Definitely recommend. Shaded mostly the whole way. It was very warm due to passing heat wave in the area just the week prior but the shade kept it comfortable. Saw several deers on the trail. My Fenix 5x clocked this in at 13 miles. Finished under 6.5 hrs with 2x20min photo/snack breaks. Plenty of out houses at various campsites (Hoagee's, Spruce). I wore a long sleeve and forgot to spray my clothes and got a bug bite on my forearm even with the long sleeve. be careful with ticks and all the bugs due to still creek water become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bugs. the bug of definitely manifested and also watched out for ticks due to all the deer I saw on the trail

bring lots of water!

happy hiking!

My favorite hike what can I say out of all the places I’ve been hiking, this is still by far my favorite hike to do!

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