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Leslie L

Modjeska Peak questions

Hi,

I am planning to hike Modjeska in a couple weeks and looking for the shortest route.  The most attractive is HPS route #4 via Maple Springs Road - 7 miles roundtrip.  The curious thing is I’ve found 4 write ups from the exact same trailhead – the end of Maple Springs Road at the ‘hairpin turn in the road’ – and have 4 different roundtrip mileages: 7, 9, 10.5, and 12.8 miles.

Can anyone confirm the actual mileage and/or shed any light on the discrepancies?  

I realize this route is dependent upon roads being open so I'll call the day before to verify.  

Thanks!

Leslie
lilbitmo

The route from the end of Modjeska Canyon to the summit is over 20 miles, the route up Maple Springs Road (Starting at the end of Santiago Canyon Road - there's a gate there and no car access past that point the last I heard but things do change) is 18.3 miles in the Book "Afoot and Afield in Orange County". Both are long dry approaches on hot days. I've done it with my dog super early in the morning, it gets hot by 10 AM.

You can get pictures and information from this page http://www.caopenspace.org/maplespr.html

This Youtube video makes it look like that gate is open to main divide road but it's been a long time that I've heard of it being open http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Shphc6ZL4o Check with the Corona Branch of the Cleveland National Forest for that

Trabuco Ranger District
Keith Fletcher, District Ranger  

1147 East Sixth Street
Corona, CA 92879

(951) 736-1811  
Fax - (951) 736-3002

Would love to see the links/Trip Reports that say it's less than that and why?
Leslie L

Thanks for your reply. Yes, apparently the gate is open sometimes.  Here are some links - each from the same point on Maple Springs Rd. I'm trying to figure out why the mileages are so different.

10.5 miles http://nobodyhikesinla.com/2010/06/06/modjeska-peak/

12.8 miles  http://sweet-adversity.com/index.php/guides/96-modjeska-peak-dayhike

7 miles http://angeles.sierraclub.org/hps/guides/18brt4.htm
lilbitmo

Leslie L wrote:
Thanks for your reply. Yes, apparently the gate is open sometimes.  Here are some links - each from the same point on Maple Springs Rd. I'm trying to figure out why the mileages are so different.

10.5 miles http://nobodyhikesinla.com/2010/06/06/modjeska-peak/

12.8 miles  http://sweet-adversity.com/index.php/guides/96-modjeska-peak-dayhike

7 miles http://angeles.sierraclub.org/hps/guides/18brt4.htm


If the hike from the "locked gate" is 18.3 and you are allowed to drive up Maple Springs Road 3.5 miles and park further up that would take 7 miles off the total hike thus resulting in a 12.3 mile hike as indicated by the nobody hikes in LA post. But you are right the distance they indicate is 10.5 miles, they maybe taking a shortcut along the way or they used a GPS that didn't track as well as it should have.

The Sweet Adversity says (Distance:  12.8 miles) on it's site, which is more accurate if you park 3.5 miles up from the gate.

The HPS site notes that the road turns to dirt thus making it longer if you park at the end of the paved part or shorter if you venture on until you come to the hairpin turn. My guess is that they have their distance completely wrong. There's no way that hike is 7 miles round trip from the 3.5 miles up from the gate parking area, unless they are taking a short cut not mentioned in their posting. They may have written down the part about it being 3.5 miles up from the locked gate and put that down as the total distance of the hike which is an easy mistake to make.

The Afoot and Afield Book is very accurate in all the times I've used it to give me distances for particular hikes.

Here's what I suggest, count on the hike being close to 18.3 miles if the gate is locked, if not drive as far are you feel safe but mark your odometer very carefully, what ever the distance is on your odometer for the drive in from the gate double that and take it off of the total of 18.3 miles, so if it's 3.4 miles into the parking area, take 6.8 from the 18.3 which is 11.5 miles. Be prepared for the longer distance, I've done that hike and it's longer than most people think. There's some very nice pine trees, a large amount of them at about 3,600 feet to 4,200 feet along the ridge that faces East in the area on the map that says "Big Cone Spring" and before Maple Spring just above Spruce Canyon. It's the largest set of Pines in the whole area, so there's places to have a lunch and enjoy the views.

It's very hot on the rest of that hike so plan accordingly. Some of the ranger stations are closed one day of the week so I'd call them sooner rather than the day before your hike to find out if that gate will be open. Please post if it is as this will be the first time I've heard it directly from someone that found it open. The two times I've been there it was locked.

Thanks/Enjoy
Lilbitmo  Very Happy
Leslie L

thank you - will do!
tekewin

From the spot where Maple Springs road turns into a dirt road, the shortest path is the Sierra Club documented use trail that starts at the end of the first turn.

When I hiked it in January, I didn't know where the use trail started, so I did most of the hike on the road, picking up the use trail after the intersection with Main Divide Road.  My round trip was 10.8 miles (according to my Garmin eTrex20 track log).

More info with pix:
http://ironhiker.blogspot.com/2013/04/modjeska-peak.html

I also scouted out a use trail that leaves on the right side of the road just past the gate in case it is locked, before you get to the  trail to Bedford Peak (on the other side of the road).  I went up about 2 miles and 1800', far enough to confirm that you can make it to Modjeska from there.  I estimate that would add 2-3 miles and 1200' of gain from the Sierra Club route (about 3700' total).

Regarding the lower Maple Springs gate, I've found the rangers close it when it rains and leave it closed for a few days after until the road dries out enough that vehicles won't damage it.  Since it has been dry lately, I expect it will be open.

Have fun!  Modjeska is so much nicer than Santiago.
Leslie L

Thanks, Tekewin.  I was wondering if a use trail could cut the mileage some.  Hopefully we'll find it and use it! Maple Springs gate was closed for a couple days last week due to high fire danger so I guess this time of year it could close at any time.
tekewin

Leslie L wrote:
Thanks, Tekewin.  I was wondering if a use trail could cut the mileage some.


Hey, Leslie.  The use trail will definitely cut some mileage off vs. the road.  There is a chance I may do the use trail route myself on Sunday (depends on my daughter) and will post the GPS reported mileage here if I do.
Leslie L

Cool, look forward to seeing your report if you make it.  
Leslie

P.S.  Great blog Smile
tekewin

I ended up not doing Modjeska today, but I was up that way Friday hiking  Pleasants Peak and the gate just past the visitors center was open.

Here is a satellite image of where the use trail starts, just after the first hairpin turn, on the right.



My guess is 8-9 miles.  Have fun.
Leslie L

Love it... thanks!  Very Happy
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