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Harding Truck Trail

Saturday we hiked the Harding Truck Trail as far as Laurel Spring. We shared the trail with about 50 bike riders who were part of a time trial. So much for solitude. This was our first hike on this trail this year. There was a new sign at the trail head.  WTF? A mining claim? According to the OC Register, some guy has filed a gold mining claim here. If there was ever a law that needed repealing, it is this 19th century anachronism that allows mining claims on federal land.

The effects of the drought were obvious with little to be seen in the way of wildflowers or wild life. The trail gains altitude quickly with nice views of Modjeska Canyon and the Santa Ana foothills. The last 50 feet of the side trail to Laurel Spring were blocked by several dead trees that fell over. The fire of a few years ago killed them and eventually the roots gave way on the steep slope. Here are a few pictures.


the gold claim baffles me? is it the 1800's?

I've been interesting in the laurel spring trail, do you think its passable with some effort?

have you ever explored harding canyon, really interesting stuff down there. Usually a few tracks, some flowers, and the waterfalls.


Here is a link to the OC Register story. The claim is brand new.

The Laurel Spring Trail is a short spur trail off the Harding Truck Trail. It leads to Laurel Spring. The spring is a trickle of water out of a hillside that flows into a cistern box. Only the last 50 feet is blocked. If you don't mind a bit of bushwacking, you can reach the spring box. I have never tried the water, not even iodined. Here is a picture. We have not visited Harding Canyon yet. I gather it is a lot of boulder scrambling and stream crossing.


Those are some nice photos.

I've never been on the Harding Truck Trail. Is it a wide dirt road like Main Divide?  The 50 mountain bikers alone would probably keep me in other parts.

tekewin wrote:
I've never been on the Harding Truck Trail. Is it a wide dirt road like Main Divide?

Yes, it is nearly as wide as Main Divide, but closed to vehicular traffic.  The trailhead is next to the Tucker Wildlife Center. There are about 18 parking spaces across from Tucker's that belong to the national forest. These fill quickly on weekends. Tucker has its own lot which they guard jealously. Roadside parking is also limited. It is wise to be there before 8AM if not earlier.

Interesting mining article, I have seen a few of the mines, I'll have to stake my claim when I find the old Los pinos mine :/.

Yes Harding canyon is a lot of boulder hopping, not so much bushwhacking but plenty of stream crossings. 40ft waterfall and plenty of "deep" pools by OC standard  at least.

4 miles to the falls but it's one of those hikes you measure in hours per mile. Takes me about 4hrs depending on how high the water is.

Harding truck trail Is just as popular with mountain bikes as holy Jim, not 50 every day but you will see 2-3. It's a full truck trail that meets up with the main divide and the maple springs road below modjeska peak. Forum Index -> Other SoCal Ranges
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