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null

Weeklong Backpacking Trip in the Angeles NF

I am considering taking a weeklong backpacking trip in the Angeles National Forest.  Has anyone done this or can anyone suggest a route?

I have a 15 year old copy of Trails of the Angeles and the map shows some established campsites (not sure about water) but I thought I'd ask some experts.  I'm not even sure if these sites still exist or if dispersed camping is OK.

It would be nice to start around Altadena, but certainly not a requirement.  I'd go on any route that makes sense.

Thanks,
STeve
atomicoyote

The only idea I can think of is hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail.  If you didn't want to do a one-way trip involving a car shuttle or rendevous, you could simply do an out-and-back style trip; start at one spot, hike for three days, then on the fourth day just do an out-and-back hike from your 3rd campsite followed by a three day hike back to your starting point.  Its not as boring as you would think, since trails definately look different as you hike back along them.    

Water availability can be found on some of the PCT websites and blogs. And since a lot of thru-hikers have recently gone through the ANF you should get some good beta on water AND trail conditions.
Uncle Rico

If I was going to plan something like this, I'd probably look to start in either Wrightwood or at Manker. If I started at Wrightwood, I'd ascend the Acorn Trail to access the PCT along Blue Ridge. If I started at Manker, I'd go up over Baldy and down the North Backbone to access the PCT. Either way, once on the PCT, I'd follow it west to just below the summit of Mt. Willamson. I'd then take the use trail to the summit of Mt. Williamson and go cross-country along Pleasant View Ridge to Pallet and then drop down to the Burkhart Trail. From there, I'd follow the Burkhart Trail south all the way out to Buckhorn.

At Buckhorn, I'd cross the ACH and then follow the Mt. Waterman Trail all the way to 3 Points. At 3 Points, I'd cross the ACH again and make my way over to Horse Flats where I'd pick up the Silver Moccasin Trail and head south to Shortcut Canyon. There, I'd descend into the West Fork where I'd pick up the Gabrieleno Trail and follow it up over Newcomb Pass and out Santa Anita Canyon at Chantry Flat.

Don't know the mileage on that but seems like you could probably get a week out of that.
Uncle Rico

Variations on a theme:

Alternate First Leg: Icehouse Canyon->Icehouse Saddle->3 T's to Baldy Notch->Baldy->North Backbone->PCH

Alternate Last Leg: Shortcut Canyon->West Fork->Gabrieleno Trail to Red Box->Bill Reilly Trail->Markham Saddle->Mt. Lowe Trail->Inspiration Point->Idlehour Trail->Henninger Flat->Mt. Wilson Toll Road->Eaton Canyon

I think I'd prefer this alternate last leg better than exiting at Chantry.
null

Thanks for the great info, I'll check these suggestions out.  Is dispersed camping OK anywhere?  I've heard that water caches are getting depleted on the PCT and in November I would guess nobody is leaving water for PCT hikers anymore.

Also, do you know if trails / established campsites have changed a lot since the guidebook I have was published 15 years ago?

Thanks,
Steve
Uncle Rico

Subject to the prohibitions on camping within X many feet of trails, water sources, trailheads, roads, and established campgrounds, I believe dispersed camping is allowed "everywhere" in the national forests. See this link, but I'd contact the Ranger's station before I made my trip to get specifics and to get up-to-date information about potential closures:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ang...st/districts/?cid=stelprdb5173088

I wouldn't count on there being water caches along the PCT in November.

I can't comment on changes to trails/established campsites over the past 15 years since I don't have the publication you reference and I haven't been exploring the ANF that long. I'll have to defer to the other guys/gals on this site are who are grizzled veterans of the San Gabes and have a much greater storehouse of knowledge than me.
walker

Even though it's technically not in the Angeles NF, Middle Fork Lytle Creek would be nice to fit in somehow. Some very nice camping up in there. The challenge would be to find a good route to get you through the high country to the next good campsite. I guess you could start out over by Gobbler's Knob as well.

Also, if you do go over Baldy, Dawson and beyond, why not drop into Fish Fork camp? See Elwood's recent TR. Then maybe go down into the upper East Fork from around Lupine then head up to Vincent Gap and grab the PCT.
AW

null wrote:
Thanks for the great info, I'll check these suggestions out.  Is dispersed camping OK anywhere?  I've heard that water caches are getting depleted on the PCT and in November I would guess nobody is leaving water for PCT hikers anymore.

Also, do you know if trails / established campsites have changed a lot since the guidebook I have was published 15 years ago?

Thanks,
Steve


The Station Fire may have affected trails. For example, the Gabrielino trail from Switzer to Altadena is ill-advised for a backpacker.

You could still travel a nice easy Pasadena loop.
Eaton->Idlehour(1/2 day)
Idlehour->Bear Canyon
Bear Canyon->Strawberry Peak(northside)
Strawberry Peak->West Fork
West Fork->Chantry Flat
Chantry Flat->Henninger Flats

Rough drawing of loop
simonov

AW wrote:
The Station Fire may have affected trails. For example, the Gabrielino trail from Switzer to Altadena is ill-advised for a backpacker.


Could you expand on that?
AW

simonov wrote:
AW wrote:
The Station Fire may have affected trails. For example, the Gabrielino trail from Switzer to Altadena is ill-advised for a backpacker.


Could you expand on that?


http://www.yelp.com/biz/gabrielino-trail-altadena

1/29/15: "Most of this hike was closed after the Station Fire and only recently reopened.  The topographical map shows the Gabrielino Trail preceding all the way to Switzer Falls, but we were unable to find a trail.  The dam is the turn around point.(coming from the south @JPL)"

Looks like there are still 2-3 miles of it that is trailess.

Dec 29, 2014 rescue(many rescues on this section since the Station Fire)
http://ktla.com/2014/12/29/two-me...es-national-forest-near-altadena/
Hayduke

AW wrote:
simonov wrote:
AW wrote:
The Station Fire may have affected trails. For example, the Gabrielino trail from Switzer to Altadena is ill-advised for a backpacker.


Could you expand on that?


http://www.yelp.com/biz/gabrielino-trail-altadena

1/29/15: "Most of this hike was closed after the Station Fire and only recently reopened.  The topographical map shows the Gabrielino Trail preceding all the way to Switzer Falls, but we were unable to find a trail.  The dam is the turn around point.(coming from the south @JPL)"

Looks like there are still 2-3 miles of it that is trailess.

Dec 29, 2014 rescue(many rescues on this section since the Station Fire)
http://ktla.com/2014/12/29/two-me...es-national-forest-near-altadena/


The trail continues past the dam for maybe a mile or so before disappearing into the wash. It's closed for about two miles from that point up to where it takes off from the trail to the falls. I walked it a few weeks ago - it's passable but not enjoyable, best to wait until the Forest Service gets it fixed up (apparently there are plans for volunteers and a youth corps to work it soon).
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