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Sean

POIs on Glendora Ridge

I kind of flopped out of bed and staggered into the car yesterday. While driving to Glendora Mountain Road, the list of unbagged points and peaks floated through my groggy mind like a phantom. With any luck, that list would receive three new checkmarks by the end of the day.

First up was something I'm calling Garcia Point (2040'), which is the small bump at the end of Garcia Road (1N25). This road connects with the Glendora Ridge Motorway (1N26) near Glendora Mountain Road. Of course I've taken GRM several times out to Glendora Peak and Azusa Peak, and I've noticed Garcia Road, very much overgrown and abandoned, heading north and west to Garcia Point, which overlooks Morris Reservoir. Many times I thought, "That might be a fun excursion." Then I would inspect the road more closely and decide, "Maybe some other day."

Well, yesterday was the some-other-day.



Predictably, the road started off overgrown with knee-high dead grass all around, plus a bunch of garbage tossed in for good measure. But after some distance, most of the garbage subsided, which left me with only the grass and various light bushes, including lots of tobacco plants, with which to contend.





The path went on a little longer than I expected, turning in and out of little gullies, one of which had washed away most of the original road. Then it banked left and began heading west, following the spur ridge out to the Point.



This stretch of the old road bounced a couple times from one side of the ridge to the other. It was very overgrown with light brush and tall grass, some avoidable poison oak, too. Eventually, I reached Garcia Point, basically a large, flat, overgrown area atop a slight rise.



I had come for the views, which were nice. The Point has a perfect angle on the recent Complex Fire burn area in Islip Canyon.





I haven't done any research on this road, so the reason for its existence is still a puzzle to me. It dead-ends at the Point. Maybe there was a cabin or lookout post.

On the way back, rather than follow the fire road again, I instead took the ridgetop, which was slightly less annoying. Then, where the road turns south, I continued up the steep ridge, without much difficulty, directly to GMR.



Next up was Horse BM (3530'), off of the Glendora Ridge Road.



After locating the correct turnout and access point, the short ridge proved to be fairly easy with only a little climbing and scrambling around some bushes here and there.



The 1954 benchmark was located at the highpoint of the ridge, partially concealed by tall bushes.





Also discovered were two generic, county reference marks, one of which, affixed to a length of metal pipe, had come out of the ground.



My third and final POI of the day was Dora BM (4547'), another little something that I found on a USGS topo map from 1995.

Near MM 7.78 along Glendora Ridge Road, I parked at the turnout for the western approach road (2N07.1) to Sunset Peak. Half of the turnout was blocked by large boulders. Opposite from the gated 2N07.1 road, a use path led up to the rolling, roadside ridge, heading west.



While going up and down a couple times on the slightly grassy, old firebreak, I noticed a couple spots at the saddles where the mile-long roundtrip might be shortened even further by obscure access points from the highway. Soon enough, though, I reached the area of the benchmark and started examining a boulder pile marked by one of those triangular metal signs.



"How nice of them to pinpoint the location with this sign," I cheerfully told myself. Unfortunately, my joy turned to frustration as I couldn't find a mark anywhere. I even overturned some rocks, looking for a mark hidden underneath. No luck.

I decided to walk a little further to another point at about the same height. But that area obviously had nothing. Not even a boulder pile. Though it did offer some shade which I used to take a break from the hot sun and eat lunch.

Afterward, I returned to the original spot and made a more determined effort. The actual highpoint was overgrown with thick bushes. A rodent had built a large nest over some of the topmost boulders. So I reached in as far as I could this time and used a rock to scrape away the old nest and get a better look. Still no luck.

Then I happened to glance down again at the boulder I was standing upon. Something caught my eye. It was a very small metal disc fixed somehow to the rock's surface. It was no larger than a nickel or maybe a quarter.



All along I had been looking for the larger, standard disc, and had therefore overlooked this tiny one in the initial search.

Not satisfied, though, I continued pushing my head into the brush, looking for a standard one. A few unreachable boulders sat several feet into the thicket of branches. They were partially covered by leaves and dirt. I spent some time staring at them, wondering if one particular spot was a dirt-filled disc. Still a little unsure, I started extricating my head from the bush when, "HELLO!", my eyes focused on a standard disc not two inches from the tip of my nose.



The damn thing had been under my chin the whole time.



So went the search for Dora BM.
tekewin

Dora the explorer! That is some fine BM hunting.
SGBob

Re: POIs on Glendora Ridge

Sean wrote:
I haven't done any research on this road, so the reason for its existence is still a puzzle to me. It dead-ends at the Point. Maybe there was a cabin or lookout post.


The road only appears in the 1968, 1975, and 1995 editions of the USGS maps. Prior to that there was the Garcia Trail that followed the same route from Glendora Mountain Road to the point, and then continued on into the north fork of Garcia Canyon. That trail shows up is USGS maps all the way back to 1933, which as far as I can tell is the earliest 1:24,000 map of the area. The 1933 edition shows the trail going all the way down to the reservoir. None of the maps show any structures or offer any explanation for the existence of the trail/road.
Sean

Re: POIs on Glendora Ridge

SGBob wrote:
The 1933 edition shows the trail going all the way down to the reservoir. None of the maps show any structures or offer any explanation for the existence of the trail/road.


Seems related to watershed management around the reservoir. Perhaps they were planning to install more gaging stations or check dams in Garcia Canyon. The 1953 map shows a gaging station at the mouth of the canyon.
Gene

There is an abandoned cabin in lower Garcia canyon I think it was a girl scout camp.
Sean

Gene wrote:
There is an abandoned cabin in lower Garcia canyon I think it was a girl scout camp.

Thanks! I found the cabin on the 1939 topo.



Before the Morris Dam was finished in 1934, the old canyon road went across the mouth of Garcia Canyon. Most likely a recreational trail, The Garcia Trail, was built through the canyon and up the spur to Glendora Ridge.


(This 1933 Topo shows the old road, reservoir under construction, trail, and cabin.)

Road access to the cabin was eventually cut off by the reservoir. The property was either abandoned or confiscated. And a new, graded pack trail was built to reach the canyon.


(1953 map shows nicely graded trail as opposed to earlier ridge route.)

Then sometime later, but before 1966, the Garcia Road was built out to the point of the spur ridge.



I tend to think it's unlikely that a road would have been built for the cabin, which was probably abandoned by 1953, when it stopped appearing on maps. Therefore, I'm still left with the idea that it has something to do with the reservoir or watershed management. Maybe they were upgrading the pack trail to make access to whatever they were working on easier. To speculate even more, the Point was leveled and cleared wide enough to accommodate a helicopter. Perhaps it was used as a staging area where supplies were flown or driven in and then packed down into the canyon.
Gene

Sean wrote:
Gene wrote:
There is an abandoned cabin in lower Garcia canyon I think it was a girl scout camp.

Thanks! I found the cabin on the 1939 topo.

Then sometime later, but before 1966, the Garcia Road was built out to the point of the spur ridge.

I tend to think it's unlikely that a road would have been built for the cabin, which was probably abandoned by 1953, when it stopped appearing on maps. Therefore, I'm still left with the idea that it has something to do with the reservoir or watershed management. Maybe they were upgrading the pack trail to make access to whatever they were working on easier. To speculate even more, the Point was leveled and cleared wide enough to accommodate a helicopter. Perhaps it was used as a staging area where supplies were flown or driven in and then packed down into the canyon.


Great research.  I would agree, and the topography would make roadbuilding difficult.  A staging area for firefighting perhaps.  The final location also overlooks the Navy test yard so it might have had something to do with one of their projects or . and road may have been used to support repairs to the Azusa Powerplant conduit that follows the canyon down from San Gabriel Dam to the powerhouse behind the Foothill dairy.

This is a very old picture of myself in front of the abandoned cabin.  Apologies for the dark exposure, it was taken with a simple Instamatic camera and not very fast slide film.

HYW 39 Morris Dam Garcia Canyon GSA Cabin-3 me by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/48828348@N00/][/url]

Album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/488...28460419830/in/dateposted-public/
dima

I just want to say that this thread is awesome. Somebody went someplace obscure, then someone else pointed out that if they went further into the bush, there was an abandoned cabin to find, and then someone produced a photo of said cabin. The collective knowledge here is inspiring.
Gene

dima wrote:
I just want to say that this thread is awesome. Somebody went someplace obscure, then someone else pointed out that if they went further into the bush, there was an abandoned cabin to find, and then someone produced a photo of said cabin. The collective knowledge here is inspiring.


I too enjoy this forum for just that reason.  In spite of living on the other end of the USA, I spent many enjoyable years in the San Gabriels, exploring, living and working.

There is one other thing I can add to the story of Garcia Canyon.  Rumors have it that people seen fishing in the upper end of Morris reservoir would visit the brush in Garcia Canyon while waiting out the LA Sheriffs or State Game warden.  Rumors, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.  Cool
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