Fri, Apr 5, 2019
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I had spent the night camped in the Lake Hughes area. I had arrived there after dark and went about searching for the start of the Lake Hughes Truck Trail, a dirt road climbing up into the Liebre Range. The correct start is east of the lake, off a road signed as Private and confusingly so. Seems I didn't drive far enough up the road to find the truck trail and went about looking for another way. I found it at the end of E Lake Shore Dr on the south side of the lake. The pavement ends at a gate and it was here that I spent the night, expecting to walk the road in the morning. I was happy to find that the gate was unlocked and I was able to drive through the gate and meet up with the truck trail I had hoped to use the previous evening. I was able to drive almost 3mi up the road to get within a quarter mile of Peak 4,234ft. I parked at a saddle NNW of the summit and followed an old firebreak/motorcycle track up to the summit. Views were limited due to lingering clouds from the previous afternoon's modest storm system. I found a cairn and a small memorial someone had left for their family. The whole hike took only 10min, whereas the driving was 20min each way.
Back out through the same gate, I spent the next 30min driving down Elizabeth Lake Canyon on Lake Hughes Rd, stopping at the closed Warm Springs Camp. I was here to hike the Warm Springs Fish Canyon Truck Trail to a trio of unnamed peaks. The truck trail is gated from the start and no longer open to vehicle traffic. I parked on the right side before the gate, one of the few places I didn't see No Trespassing or No Parking signs. The hike was long, about seven miles each way, including the small diversions from the truck trail to climb the various summits. I had the place to myself, not another soul the for the 5hr+ that I was there. Most of the gradient is pretty tame, no steep sections at all on the truck trail. Less than 10min from the gate, one finds out why the road has been closed to vehicles - a bad washout has completely destroyed it. It looks like the drains where Warm Springs Creek goes under the road got clogged, allowing the creek to run over the road and eventually modified its course to include part of the road. It would appear the Forest Service has no plans to ever reopen this to vehicles. Easy enough to manage on foot, however.
Past the washout, the road begins to climb out of the creek drainage on the north side, eventually reaching a divide between Warm Springs Canyon to the east and Fish Canyon to the west. Turning northeast, the road becomes more of a trail as it has been some years since vehicles have been allowed on it. In one location where a washout occurred, a drainage culvert has been repurposed as a bridge, quite cleverly. The first summit is about a mile up from the divide, Peak 3,780ft. An old firebreak allows access from the northwest, a steep but short climb up chaparral-covered slopes. In similar fashion, I returned to the truck trail, continued northeast and climbed the next two summits. About a dozen ticks found their way onto my clothing while hiking through the brush growing along the truck trail between the first and second summit. I flicked most of them off before they could cause trouble, but one got pulled from my arm a few minutes after it had begun the process of burrowing in. Oddly, no ticks were found on the brushier firebreaks leading up to the summits. I left a register on the last summit, Peak 4,119ft, which was furthest from my starting point. If one were to continue on the truck trail (which ends not far north of Peak 4,119ft) and the firebreak climbing steeply up from there, one would reach Sawtooth Mtn, an HPS summit a little over a mile north of Peak 4,119ft. Feeling no need to tag that one a second time, I headed back down the way I'd come. I finished back at the jeep around 1:15p and decided to call it a day. I was to meet Laura M. in Burbank that evening and would have do some driving through traffic to get there. I showered somewhere off Lake Hughes Rd before finishing the drive down to Castaic Lake. Then it was onto Interstate 5 for the drive into the Los Angeles Basin, the least-fun part of the day...
This page last updated: Sun Apr 21 19:18:08 2019
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