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Sean

Islip Saddle to Devil's Chair

Yesterday I drove to Islip Saddle intending to hike up toward Baden-Powell, but then I remembered that there is something called the South Fork Trail, so instead I hiked down to South Fork Camp, then across to Devil's Chair. It was about 50 degrees with some light wind when I started at 11am. By the time I reached the Chair, two thousand feet lower, it felt like 75 or 80. The South Fork Trail is rough, with lots of little rocks covering long stretches of Trail. In several places landslides have narrowed the path, especially along some areas of exposed, rocky ledges. Nothing terrible, as long as you aren't afraid of heights. These sections are also the most scenic, where the rocky canyon walls narrow and the stream rushes a hundred feet below the trail. Eventually I reached the stream crossing and the campground. Lots of people filled the sites for Easter weekend. I then headed west on the High Desert Trail, which went up and down a couple times, and crossed the stream in Holcomb Canyon, en route to Devil's Chair, where I informed three other hikers about the Bighorn Sheep that was lounging on the rocks directly below. After some lunch and sight-seeing, I started back and made it to the car by 7pm.

Some scenes:


Deadfall on the South Fork Trail


Looking back at the Crest.


Landslides covering the trail. Narrow use paths have been stomped into the debris.


The beautiful narrow part of the South Fork of Big Rock Creek.


Stream crossing in the South Fork.


On the High Desert Trail, looking back at South Fork Camp.


Dropping into Holcomb Canyon.


Signs at the Devil's Chair turnoff.


Panorama of the Devil's Chair view.


A Bighorn lounging in the sun below Devil's Chair.


View of Devil's Punchbowl from the Chair.
Uncle Rico

That's another trail I want to tread. How's that climb back to the saddle at the end of the day?

Nice Big Horn sighting btw.  Cool
Sean

The climb back was not bad. The first mile or so tried to exhaust me with a little steepness, but most of the trail climbed very gently. I took one or two short breaks. It was nice to have streams every couple miles the entire day.
Tom Kenney

A long time ago (15-20 yrs), I hiked directly up South Fork (creek, not trail) and found some cabin ruins.  These were old, with no concrete foundation.  Anybody know anything about these?  They were about 1/3 the way up-canyon from the CG.

My 'TSoG' (Thirty Seconds of Google) research turned up nothing!  Smile
JeffH

That's a pretty narrow "trail" in your photo, how far down was the slide (just in case of course)?
Also cool shot of the sheep.
Sean

The worst slides were about halfway down the trail, where the canyon is most rocky and narrow.
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