4.0 miles
958 feet
Out & Back




3 months ago

Some people call this area Fern Valley as there are areas where ferns actually grow.

Been on this hike several times and I am always amazed at the amount of water seeping and flowing along the trail. I have seen ducks in the pools just before "Dark Shadows" (an area where rock climbers do their thing).

Once past Mescalito Peak things get a little rough till you hit "Dark Shadows" but I would not characterize it as hard. A little past the peak you will find some pools of water. It is best to get high up along the north (right) part of the trail (overlooking the pools) because in the valley, you will have to scramble over boulders.

Once you get to "Dark Shadows" (where you might see some rock climbers) go a head and descend into the valley and follow along the stream (it is there most of the year and if it drys up, you can still see pools and evidence of the stream and follow it). Part of the stream follows along a steep side of the valley and is always cooler (like Ice Box Canyon) than Pine Creak Trail.

You may have to walk around boulders and do some light scrambling but it is easier going than the area between Mescalito and Dark Shadows.

Towards the end, you will see a HUGE boulder and and old fallen pine tree, if you get past that there is more trail. I have explored past it and tried to find a water fall to no avail.