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    Dan Hughley completed Pika Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Dan Hughley completed Barney Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Dan Hughley completed Duck Pass and Pika Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Dan Hughley completed Skelton Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Dan Hughley completed Duck Lake Trail to Purple Lake

    about 1 month ago

    Dan Hughley completed Devils Chair Trail

    11 months ago

    Dan Hughley completed Big Horn Mine Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Dan Hughley completed Mount Baden Powell Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Dan Hughley completed Hilton Lakes Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Dan Hughley added Columbine Camp

    about 3 years ago

    Dan Hughley reviewed San Bernardino Peak Trail

    about 3 years ago

    Now this was a great hike! I didn’t particularly enjoy waking up at 2:30 am to arrive at the trailhead at a decent time coming from Los Angeles, but it was more than worth it. To my surprise there were already people at the trailhead when I arrived and we all hiked at about the same pace. I walked with a nice man named Bob for a few miles and enjoyed his company. After Bob met up with his son and his Boy Scout troop, who was camping overnight at Columbine camp, we parted ways and I was on my own. To my enjoyment, there was a great deal of solitude on this hike; I went long periods of time before running across another group of hikers or backpackers.

    The first 3.5 miles are a pretty steep climb but then you get about 2 miles of pleasantly narrow trail that climbs gently through Manzanita and very easy on the legs and offers great views. You pay for this relieving section in the last few miles, which just grow steeper as you draw nearer to the summit. Overall I reached the summit in just under 4 hours. I ate some lunch, hydrated and began my descent. I reached the car in just under 3 hours making my trip, including breaks, exactly 8 hours. The temperature at the car when I began at 5:48am was 46 degrees while it was a full 42 degrees warmer when I completed the hike at 1:48pm.

    The driving directions given by SoCalHiker are perfect, the fire station is easy to find and there are signs to guide you from there. The dirt road is a little bumpy but I took it slow and my Ford Focus made it without the same problems I had in the Marion Mountain trailhead parking lot.

    Dan Hughley reviewed Mount Wilson Loop via Chantry Flats

    about 3 years ago

    My wife Tracy and I arrived at Chantry Flats around 5:30am and there was parking, halleluiah! This wasn’t our first time summiting this peak so we knew to plan ahead and arrive early. The hike was mostly uneventful, except for a squirrel that gave me a very dirty look, must have thought I was after his nuts. The weather was pleasant on the ascent, once we arrived at the bench where this trail and the Mt. Wilson trail meet, we were hiking in the clouds until we reached the summit. I took a short detour to Harvard peak and there was almost zero visibility. Once we reached Mt. Wilson, the temperature dropped and we had to put on warmer clothes and rush through our chili pie (highly recommended) and got back to work on our descent. The trip back to the car was pleasant and we enjoyed a coffee and snack from our favorite coffee shop on the drive home.

    Dan Hughley reviewed Mount San Antonio (Mt. Baldy)

    about 3 years ago

    I selfishly planned a family camping trip to Manker Flats with my wife, her friend and her friend’s 2 kids. My motive was to once again summit Mt. San Antonio early on Saturday morning as part of the Six Pack. I woke up around 5 am (about 30 minutes later than I had planned) ate oatmeal, drank coffee and was on the trail by 5:30. I quickly passed the waterfall and soon found the unmarked single track towards the ski hut with no problems. After signing the book, passing the vacant ski hut, and crossing the boulder field of the bowl I knew it was about to get steep. I was surprised to see another hiker at this point but it was nice to stop and have a chat with a fellow adventurer. After a short break I continued towards the summit. There comes a time on this hike when there are many trails going in many directions (none of which I believe are incorrect) I have not taken the same route twice but I always laugh when all of these trails converge AND THEN there is a sign pointing you towards the summit! You can almost see the summit at this point so the sign just gives you a good chuckle. Even after an asthma attack nearing the summit, I was the first to arrive that morning. I only know this because there were two backpackers who spent the night and confirmed this for me. I had a brief break before the hiker who I spoke with earlier joined me. We chatted a little more then it was time to head down the backbone trail. I was on my own again and moved as quick as I could. I bought a cold diet soda from Top of the Notch and was on my way back to camp. I saw a rattlesnake that day at the campground, not part of the hike but interesting since I never expected to see one in this type of terrain.

    Dan Hughley reviewed Cucamonga Peak Trail

    about 3 years ago

    About 30 seconds before I turned into the parking lot at about 5:30am I encountered a 400 lb. bear crossing the road. I was quite excited because that was the closest I’ve been to one in the wild. I parked my car and began my solo hike to one of my top two favorite hikes I’ve been on. I walked through fog until I reached Icehouse Saddle and got a glimpse of the high dessert on the other side. There wasn’t anyone else on the trail yet so I kept on going, towards the rising sun. After the saddle I was hiking above the clouds which always gives me a great feeling but today was a special day, as most people on the trail commented on my descent. I reached the summit and was surprised to see 2 backpackers who spent the night on the trail and had arrived just seconds before I did. At the summit we were hundreds of feet above the clouds and it was extremely magical. On my descent I had my wilderness pass checked by two very nice and polite rangers who reminded me to always be prepared out there. I drove to the next exit for a snack and coffee from a local coffee shop and enjoyed a drive home.

    Dan Hughley reviewed Vincent Gap to Mt. Baden-Powell Trail

    about 3 years ago

    This is the second half of my two favorite hikes in the San Gabriels, still can’t decide if I like Mt. Baden-Powell or Cucamonga Peak more.

    My wife Tracy and I arrived at Vincent Gap at around 6:00am and got hiking so quickly that I soon realized I had forgotten to change into proper hiking shoes. I turned around and changed and we were on our way. We stopped a little beyond the halfway mark at my favorite break spot and after a few minutes we continued climbing. The sun rising through the forest made for a magical day and some pretty good photos. We reached the summit and walked just beyond to a nice fallen tree, which made for a great bench facing Mt. San Antonio. We noticed that no one hiked passed the summit to where we were seated which was surprising since it offers a comfortable place to sit and have a snack and or nap with incredible views. After about an hour-long break we began our descent. On the way back on Angeles Crest Highway, we stopped for a picnic at Charlton Flats Picnic Area. I only mention this because it was hilariously windy at the picnic area, so much so that a full can of soda wouldn’t even stay on the table without blowing over. We finished our lunch in the car and laughed all the way home.

    Dan Hughley reviewed Marion Mountain to San Jacinto

    about 3 years ago

    Before I begin what is sure to sound like a negative rant, in theory, I loved this hike. I’ve already booked a campsite and am giving it another chance (solo) in October when I was able to work it back into my schedule.

    The day started out with high expectations, which quickly turned to disappointment. We planned to camp Friday night to could get up early and start the hike rested without having to drive 2 hours to get there. The Marion Mountain Campground is a great facility and less than ¼ mile uphill from the trailhead, there is even a dirt road that joins the trail right by camp.

    Make sure to be very careful when you try to attempt to park in the lot near the trailhead, there are a lot of very deep ruts from water flow that do not easily accommodate small cars. Subaru’s, SUVs and trucks should have no problem but my Ford Focus got hung up on the frame and I had to get pretty creative to get it loose before finally parking on the street.

    We began hiking at around 5:30am and my hiking partner, who shall remain nameless, hiked at a much slower pace than I’m used to which was extremely frustrating. It was over 13 hours from the time we left the car until we returned, I expected to be done in less than 9, including breaks.

    This hike is relentlessly steep; you climb about 900 feet per mile with almost no relief. It’s steep and steeper except in two very welcome areas. The first is right after the first PCT junction and lasts only a short time. The second is Little Round Valley and this gives you a very nice break before the final 1.3-mile push to the summit. SoCalHiker mentions a chemical toilet in this location and I did scratch my head in wonder as to how it made its way up there.

    The weather was surprisingly very pleasant for August in Southern California. The maximum temperature on the mountain was less than 80 degrees with the low around 60.

    The summit is glorious, if you like big crowds. If not, I suggest a mid-week hike or very, very early in the morning, like I intended with this hike. There were almost fistfights in the line for the coveted photo-op with the summit marker. I quickly got my picture taken and was ready to head back down after leaving my extra supplies in the hut and closing the door.

    Lessons learned on this hike:

    1. Don’t expect someone who doesn’t hike at your pace to hike at your pace.
    2. Do not attempt to park a small car where it clearly doesn’t belong.
    3. Make sure to eat and drink plenty of food and water. Hydrate for a good few days prior to the hike.

    Dan Hughley completed Marion Mountain to San Jacinto

    about 3 years ago

    Dan Hughley completed Sturtevant Falls Trail

    about 4 years ago

    Dan Hughley completed Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

    about 4 years ago