Gabrielino Trail (Santa Anita - West Fork - Arroyo Seco)

Rescues, fires, weather, road closures, trail updates, water reports, etc.
Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

27 Oct 2013, 00:02 #51

This afternoon I wanted to see if I could get to Oakwilde from JPL along the Gabrieleno Trail. I couldn't. I got stopped at the Debris Dam above Paul Little. Did I just miss the trail around the Debris Dam or has it been completely obliterated by the Station Fire and subsequent flooding? Is the only realistic by-pass up Brown Mountain Road and down Ken Burton? And if you get to Oakwilde (or maybe what is left of it), what does the trail look like above there?
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cougarmagic
Doesn't Like Cats
cougarmagic
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Joined: 07 May 2008, 23:21

27 Oct 2013, 02:19 #52

You didn't miss it, it's gone.

There is no trail above the dam, and most of Oakwilde is buried in new streamed/debris flow.  No more stone foundations.  Its brief history in the Arroyo has been erased.

I haven't been on the Ken Burton trail, so I don't know about that.
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Joined: 15 Oct 2012, 19:55

27 Oct 2013, 05:10 #53

I haven't been on Ken Burton in a few years....but from what I understand, it's essentially no more.   I was going to bike it the other day, and take the gabrieleno back down to JPL.  It was very rough going 5 years ago.....so I figured it would be ridiculous now.

I thought Oakwilde was okay though?  Maybe I heard wrong.  My understanding was that the trail from the 2 down into the Arroyo was still intact.   I'm probably wrong though.  Maybe wishful thinking.
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mattmaxon
Danger is my Middle Name
mattmaxon
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Joined: 24 Mar 2008, 18:48

27 Oct 2013, 14:24 #54

Uncle Rico:46286 wrote:... And if you get to Oakwilde (or maybe what is left of it), what does the trail look like above there?
You can scramble up the dam on the east side.

But the trail such as it was is no more above the dam last time I was there. It likely has not go better over the subsequent years

Above Oakwilde I cannot say but lots of people have been coming down from Switzers.

The trail to Bear Cyn Trail is open and in relatively good shape

Oakwild is under several feet of debris flows

This was 12/2010 (or so I'm told :wink: )

So many canyons...So little time
"You can't fix stupid" Ron White
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison
"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." James Madison
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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

27 Oct 2013, 14:53 #55

Thanks for the beta everyone. I guess my trip was a fool's errand. And I don't know why I assumed Ken Burton is still be there when the Gabrieleno isn't.
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Joined: 09 Apr 2013, 05:14

28 Oct 2013, 06:52 #56

The section of trail from Paul Little up the canyonside and around the dam is still there and negotiable, it's just in a state of total abandonment since the closure area begins right around there. The turnoff is buried under mounds of fallen timber so it's easy to walk right past it.

The upper portion of the Ken Burton trail is walkable, the trailbed is in pretty good shape, but the chaparral is starting to swallow it up. I imagine the trail gets worse the further down it you go.

Looking down into the canyon from above, that whole area looks pretty devastated. There used to be a big debris field above the dam, but now it looks like the sand flats extend all the way up beyond Oakwilde and halfway up Dark Canyon as well. It would probably take a catastrophic event to clear some of that debris out.
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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

28 Oct 2013, 13:33 #57

The turnoff is buried under mounds of fallen timber so it's easy to walk right past it.
Well, that's exactly what I did. May have to go up for a second look.

Btw to no one in particular and everyone in general, what purpose does that Debris Dam serve anymore other than degrading the canyon above it? Or is that a third-rail subject?
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 05:20

28 Oct 2013, 15:44 #58

Debris basins are government employment projects. Even if they were built for free by the CCC or private property owners, they still require decades of maintenance. They don't really accomplish anything but it's real easy to convince people they do. Now that most are at the end of their service lives they will provide decades more of employment opportunities. Just think of all the EIR's and bickering between subject-matter experts that will be required before the demolition can begin. Then there's the post-demolition monitoring for compliance with CEQA and the ESA. All to take a canyon that was turned into a meadow, and turn it back into a canyon.
Seriously - The one in Malibu is 100' tall. The removal cost is estimated at a million dollars a foot. :shock:
 :) Sorry. Sometimes government employees have to get things off their chests on Monday mornings; to prepare for another week. I'll go numb and shut up in the next few minutes.:lol:
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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

29 Oct 2013, 01:03 #59

Seriously - The one in Malibu is 100' tall. The removal cost is estimated at a million dollars a foot.
The $140M to tear down Matilija is looking like a freakin' bargain. Or we can just along the dotted line.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/mar/03/ ... m-removal/
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 05:20

29 Oct 2013, 02:27 #60

Yeah, I quoted some old numbers for the Rindge because a million dollars a foot had a good ring to it. The Matilija looks like a lot bigger project. You never know. Sometimes Mother Nature has no respect for EIR's, committees, and procedures. She may make the hard decisions for us.
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Joined: 13 Sep 2009, 03:31

15 Nov 2013, 06:02 #61

If you go up The Arroyo, steer clear of the bloated, stinky, rotting, sand-encrusted corpse of the socialism salesman. If you make it past the flies, the creek runs free and clear.
"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." ~George Orwell
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Hikin_Jim
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15 Nov 2013, 18:18 #62

tracker:46309 wrote: Sometimes Mother Nature has no respect for EIR's, committees, and procedures. She may make the hard decisions for us.
That's what happened in Rubio Canyon.  Rubio had some nice falls which were buried by a bungled attempt to blast a platform for a water line.  There was all kinds of debate how to restore the canyon and who was going to pay for it.  Ultimately, mother nature took care of us after some heavy rains.

For $1M/foot, I'd probably just live with the dam.

HJ
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Personal hiking blog:  Hikin' Jim's Blog
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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

08 Apr 2014, 21:23 #63

Last Sunday I encountered a shitload of bees as I transitioned onto the Gabrieleno Trail where it splits from the Sturtevant Trail near Sturtevant Camp. There is a seep or some other water source at that location which may have been the attraction, but there is also a downed log on the other side of the wet area that the bees may have colonized/might be colonizing. Honestly, I couldn’t tell what the deal was, but I didn’t feel like tempting fate during swarming season. So I found a less unpleasant work-around that involved crab-crawling up a very steep and loose embankment some 20 yards up-trail from the bees.

Anywho, if you’re in that area, you may want to proceed with caution.
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012, 19:18

09 Apr 2014, 18:28 #64

I hiked there and saw the down log but not the bees on an earlier hike just prior to spring.  So this must be a new thing.  Thanks for the "heads up" about it.
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Joined: 07 Aug 2013, 20:12

24 May 2014, 01:25 #65

Yesterday I attempted to hike to Royal Gorge from Gould Mesa Campground.   After Nino Rest Area and Paul Little Picnic Area, we ended up at Brown Mountain Dam.  I searched in vain for the turn off to continue on the Gabrielino trail.

I am going to attempt it again, but has anyone hiked this stretch recently?  Am I missing something?  Where is the turn off?  I did see one fork, but ended up right back at the dam after following it.
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 09:35

24 May 2014, 01:55 #66

I was there maybe 2 years ago. The trail splits off to the right immediately before the Paul Little picnic area. The fork is right behind the ruined bathroom. There was a "trail closed" sign there, but the trail was passable all the way around the dam, until it rejoins the river. I ran out of time, so didn't continue further up. In any case, this area is mapped well in openstreetmap:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/34.2374/-118.1824
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Joined: 09 Apr 2013, 05:14

24 May 2014, 06:54 #67

I was up there a month or two ago and it's passable. The trail is right where Dima says, but concealed under piles of deadfall and other debris. The trail is navigable, but hasn't been worked since the fire. There are a pair of minor washouts you have to skirt or cross. You climb the hillside, pass the dam and as the trail descends back towards the creek you enter an oak grove and the trail eventually disappears into a bunch of poison oak.

If your goal is to reach the Royal Gorge, it remains a long way up canyon from there and from the little I've seen, travel in the canyon bottom above the dam is a bit of a romp through the bushes. It would probably be a long slog through all the sandy sediment and debris backed up for about a mile or so above the dam.

Maybe descending the Gabrieleno from Switzer's is worth considering? I recently hiked it to the saddle above Long Canyon and the trail was in good condition up to that point. Not sure what kind of shape the descent into Long Canyon is in. Or you could follow the Bear Canyon trail and just continue down the creek from the junction with Bear Canyon.

There's a pour-off in the Royal Gorge that presents an obstacle. There used to be a rope off to one side, but who knows what things are like down there now.
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Joined: 09 Apr 2013, 05:14

24 May 2014, 07:09 #68

Okay never mind. Looks like the Gabrieleno below Bear Canyon Trail (and probably all the way to Brown Mt. Dam) is still part of the station fire closure area. Oh, well.
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Joined: 07 Aug 2013, 20:12

25 May 2014, 03:39 #69

I do know that there was a big announcement re. opening of most Station Fire closure areas as of Memorial Day Weekend over on Modern Hiker.  I wonder if that includes the Gabrielino.  I'd like to hike it down from Switzer's area or even Red Box.
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 04:23

25 Jun 2014, 01:24 #70

I know "somebody" who tried the hike to royal gorge last year from Gould Mesa. A lot of stream walking to end up about 1/4 mile shy of the gorge with a large, bushy tree blocking a narrow section. The limbs were too thin and springy to climb on and too thick to climb through. "They" tried until getting bit or stung by something, swearing loudly, and turning around. Bring a machete or at least long sleeves.
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Joined: 04 Jun 2013, 19:32

16 May 2016, 01:39 #71

It's now open up to where Ken Burton connects to it but not beyond it (north).
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

18 Oct 2016, 18:02 #72

Any new beta on conditions between Oakwilde and Switzer? Thinking about doing a day hike of the Gabrielino trail for giggles now that the Sierra is out for a while until snow accumulates and firms up and conditions stabilize..
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007, 02:58

02 Jan 2017, 23:23 #73

Hey Psyko, did you ever find out any info about this?
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

09 Apr 2017, 05:34 #74

hillbasher:54685 wrote:Hey Psyko, did you ever find out any info about this?
No, haven't had a chance to check out that section yet.

I did do a loop starting/ending at Chantry today. For the most part the trail is in good shape where I hiked today. Took the Gabrielino trail all the way to the junction with Kenyon-Devore and hiked that to Wilson. Down the Mt. Wilson trail and took the ridgeline to San Olene instead of Winter Creek back to Chantry.

The Gabrielino trail is pretty rough between Devore and West Fork trail camps. Passable, but lots of scrambling up, over, around, and through deadfall, blowdowns and snags in that section. Lots of Poison oak in the shady areas starting to encroach on the trail in some sections. The rest before Devore and after West Fork were in pretty good shape. A couple of fallen trees across the trail here and there, but nothing like the other section.
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

29 May 2017, 00:37 #75

Ran the section between Red Box and Valley Forge this morning as I was on a loop starting/ending at Eaton Saddle. Trail was in really good shape, water was flowing really well with a few stream crossings. Passed a few people hiking back up to Red Box after staying at Valley Forge or West Fork Campground.

Valley Forge from the bottom up to Eaton Saddle was a different story. Very overgrown with a lot of stuff encroaching the trail. Fortunately only saw a couple of isolated clumps of poodle dog on that section.
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Sean
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 18:32

29 May 2017, 01:02 #76

psykokid:55562 wrote:Valley Forge from the bottom up to Eaton Saddle was a different story. Very overgrown with a lot of stuff encroaching the trail. Fortunately only saw a couple of isolated clumps of poodle dog on that section.
Thanks. I tried Valley Forge awhile ago after a rain. I got drenched by the damp, overhanging brush. Then I noticed some poodle dog and gave up and turned around. Wasn't in the mood for PD.

Sounds like the PD is mostly gone now. Guess I'll give it another shot.
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

29 May 2017, 05:38 #77

Sean:55563 wrote:
Thanks. I tried Valley Forge awhile ago after a rain. I got drenched by the damp, overhanging brush. Then I noticed some poodle dog and gave up and turned around. Wasn't in the mood for PD.

Sounds like the PD is mostly gone now. Guess I'll give it another shot.
It's actually not in bad shape, just overgrown due to all the vegetation getting a super dose of rain this winter. The majority of the trail follows an old road bed up the hill so the slope is never really too terribly steep. It's fairly shaded as well, except for a few sections that got burned during the station fire. A little time with a set of loppers and a machete would go a long way...
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Joined: 21 Aug 2012, 16:27

16 Aug 2017, 19:11 #78

Someone should try to get the Forest Service to completely open Gabrielino Trial from north of old Oakwilde Camp area to Switzer junction. This trail is supported by the US National Trail system and should have all means to get that done. This section of trail has been closed since the Station Fire and has a USFS sign stating "Trail Closed To All Users" which seems to be because of heavy overgrowth and flood debris. The Gabrielino Trail was a 28 mile diverse trial starting at JPL parking lot (now resident streets) to Chantry Flats the parking lot at the end of Santa Anita road. It is sad that the US Forest Service is under staffed and low budgeted but this is an historic trail that needs to be restored for the preservation of our ancient trails that have been experienced by many past users.
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Sean
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Sean
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16 Aug 2017, 21:33 #79

sshiker:56102 wrote:This section of trail has been closed since the Station Fire and has a USFS sign stating "Trail Closed To All Users" which seems to be because of heavy overgrowth and flood debris.
The FS leaves those signs up even after the area reopens.
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Joined: 21 Aug 2012, 16:27

16 Aug 2017, 21:52 #80

I see from your "reopen" link that the USFS status is open for horseback but it doesn't mention hiking.
Besides I didn't see any trail beyond the sign which was marked along the way with pink plastic ribbon.
The questions, is there still a trial somewhere or just bush whacking?
I remember you use to follow the canyon a little further up then the trail started climbing out of the
canyon on the north side up to Switzer junction.
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Sean
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Sean
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16 Aug 2017, 23:08 #81

sshiker:56104 wrote:I see from your "reopen" link that the USFS status is open for horseback but it doesn't mention hiking.
Yeah, they aren't much into clarity. According to their site, the Burkhart NRT also appears limited to horseback riding, when that's obviously not the case.
The questions, is there still a trial somewhere or just bush whacking?
It's been a couple years since I was on the stretch between Oakwilde and Switzer. But back then it was rough but passable on foot.
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

05 Oct 2017, 23:48 #82

I'm planning a day hike of the entire trail in one shot in a few weeks for giggles. I'm going to head up this weekend and scout the section between Switzer and Oakwilde to see how things look on the ground. I'll report back what I find while I'm out there.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2017, 02:37

17 Nov 2017, 02:55 #83

Hiked from Chantry Flats to Devore. Stayed overnight.  Chantry Flats is a zoo (as always).  Parking lot was full when we arrived @ 6:30 am.  Flush toilet was overflowing in mens room.  Paid for parking at the pack station.  Packs of boy scouts and Korean hiking groups mulling about made me think the trail and camp would be crowded.

Fortunately it was not the case. Saw very few people past Studervant Falls.  Only one camper at Spruce Grove.  Only one other camper came to Devore after dark.  Otherwise no one else there on a holiday weekend.  Awesome!  Lots of water in West Fork and in Santa Anita Creek.  Trail is covered in huge acorns.  

There is a fire break at Newcomb Pass that is not on the map and made the junction a little confusing.  Otherwise, trail in great shape.  Saw three deer hunters at the pass that left cigarette butts and an empty bag of chips on the ground :(
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

17 Nov 2017, 17:45 #84

Things came up that put the kibbosh on my checking out the section between Switzer and Oakwilde previously. I did however manage to go out for a run on Sunday morning and covered the section of the trail between Red Box and the Kenyon-Devore trail while covering a loop from Eaton Saddle. Between Redbox and Valley Forge was in really good shape, no water though. Between Valley Forge and Kenyon-Devore it was in good shape overall, but there were a couple of trees that died in the fire that finally lost their battle with gravity and had fallen across the trail. I saw two people coming up the stone steps to redbox that had camped somewhere the night before. Other than those two folks, I didn't see a single soul on the trail portion of the rest of my 12 mile loop. I did however see a TON of ladybugs clustered on logs near the Gab/Kenyon-Devore split:

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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

23 Nov 2017, 06:06 #85

Did a little searching and found this recent trip report - https://www.trvrsapparel.com/blogs/so-c ... st-to-east From his report it sounds like the section between Oakwilde and Bear Canyon Jct is clear. Going to try and check it out this weekend.
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Joined: 18 Mar 2016, 07:15

26 Nov 2017, 03:53 #86

Finally went out today and saw for myself. Trail is clear for the most part Between Oakwilde and the Bear Canyon Jct. Someone has been back there doing a lot of work clearing the log jams and brushing. The trail still needs a lot of love on the tread before it's ready for prime time, but I think that will come. 
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Sean
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Sean
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05 Dec 2017, 01:55 #87

It might be CORBA working on that.
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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
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Joined: 21 Mar 2008, 01:48

20 Dec 2017, 03:49 #88

I was out at Oakwilde on Saturday. Ran into a guy and a gal from the Forest Service working the trail. They said they had made a clearing at Oakwilde and told me that a group was coming up the Arroyo that night to camp and then work the section between Bear Canyon and Oakwilde on Sunday. Another group was going to start from Switzer and work the other direction. That last section should be totally clear and "open" in the near future. At least that the way it sounded.
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Sean
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10 Feb 2018, 01:14 #89

The Forest Service posted this on FB:

Screenshot_20180209-170329.png

Then people started questioning whether the Switzer to Oakwilde segment was still closed. An hour later the FS replied:

Screenshot_20180209-171536.png

Screenshot_20180209-172115.png

Is it legal for the FS to permanently close a trail without a closure order in effect? Even with temporary closures during fires they will post an order online. Must we now visit FB comments to receive the "official" will of the almighty FS?
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