Mystery Valley Forge Canyon Trail

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Mystery Valley Forge Canyon Trail

Joined: September 14th, 2012, 11:21 pm

March 5th, 2018, 12:03 am #1

I've noticed this trail in the past; it takes off from the turnout off Angeles Crest Highway at MP 40.41 at the upper west wall of Valley Forge Canyon but I cannot find any record of it in any of the common sources.  Anyone know anything about it?  Logic suggests that it gives access to Valley Forge Canyon and thence to the Valley Forge Lodge site, but that's just logic.  Any information, thoughts, speculation appreciated. IMG_0855.JPG Trail from next turnout east
IMG_0874.JPG Trailhead with gate looking down from turnout at MP 40.41

5-30-1994.jpg 1994 USGS aerial shows a fairly robust trail/road marked.jpg
Google view of Valley Forge Canyon; red arrow marks trailhead at ACH.
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Joined: December 15th, 2016, 9:31 pm

March 5th, 2018, 2:37 am #2

That is strange. It’s not even showing on OSM.




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Jeremiah
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Joined: February 12th, 2014, 9:35 am

March 5th, 2018, 5:21 am #3

I just looked through the old aerial imagery. Apparently

- This trail didn't exist in 1938. And the road East from Barley Flats has some mean switchbacks that have been smoothed out now.

- This trail was in great shape in 1956

Aerials are available here: http://mil.library.ucsb.edu/ap_indexes/FrameFinder/

The frame I'm looking at is c-22555_5-43.tif. Copy here: http://pub.secretsauce.net/c-22555_5-43.jpg

My uplink is slow. Link needs a few minutes to upload.
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Joined: September 14th, 2012, 11:21 pm

March 5th, 2018, 6:04 am #4

Thanks Dima, didn't look at the 1956, just earlier aerials.  Doesn't look like the trail/road goes anywhere, just goes into Valley Forge Canyon and dies.
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Joined: February 12th, 2014, 9:35 am

March 5th, 2018, 8:05 am #5

Ever been in that canyon? Could it be an access road for something? Somebody's cabin?
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Sean
Cucamonga Man
Sean
Cucamonga Man
Joined: July 27th, 2011, 6:32 pm

March 5th, 2018, 11:07 am #6

By 1934 they had pushed up Valley Forge Canyon a bit. There was a trail from Valley Forge Lodge to a lone cabin a short distance upstream. My guess is that once the ACH went through, they started on an access route from above. Maybe they wanted to build more cabins upstream or connect the existing trail with the new highway.

Screenshot_20180305-024557.png
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Joined: September 14th, 2012, 11:21 pm

March 5th, 2018, 2:06 pm #7

What is interesting is that there is no sign of the trail prior to the 1956 aerial; it is not on the 1944 11-22-1944.jpg nor on the  1952 11-3-1952.jpg
and it doesn't seem to go anywhere but down to the floor of the canyon where it appears to stop.  I begin to believe it was a built to facilitate a special construction, perhaps a debris dam.  Only one way to find out.
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Sean
Cucamonga Man
Sean
Cucamonga Man
Joined: July 27th, 2011, 6:32 pm

March 5th, 2018, 4:41 pm #8

Paul Ayers wrote: I begin to believe it was a built to facilitate a special construction, perhaps a debris dam.  Only one way to find out.
Maybe this will inspire a subset of explorers obsessed with finding debris dams and their date stamps. If you find one, we can start a new thread for this, like the one for triangular peak/firebreak signs.
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Joined: September 14th, 2012, 11:21 pm

March 5th, 2018, 4:50 pm #9

Well they would have a world of work up Fern Canyon. IMG_0423.JPG
Fern Canyon DD #1.
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Joined: April 9th, 2013, 5:14 am

March 13th, 2018, 9:10 am #10

If you zoom in, you can see a couple of the buildings at Valley Forge on the '56 image.
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Sean
Cucamonga Man
Sean
Cucamonga Man
Joined: July 27th, 2011, 6:32 pm

March 28th, 2018, 5:43 pm #11

Willie and I went down this road yesterday.

DSC04392_stitch.jpg

It was relatively easygoing until the last stretch, which was heavily rutted.

DSC04263.JPG

DSC04266.JPG

DSC04272.JPG

Approximately fifty feet above the stream, the obvious road ended at a debris field and some pipes.

DSC04274.JPG

We then found a class 3 route down to the stream and arrived at two tanks and a pump house.

DSC04324_stitch-001.jpg

DSC04320.JPG

Next to the pump house there was a small rock dam.

DSC04293_stitch.jpg

Based on equipment found in the pump house, the water works were installed sometime after January 1947, which fits with the road not appearing on aerials until the '50s.

Also, the tanks can be seen on current satellite imagery.

Screenshot_20180327-175803~2.png


I'll include more information with an upcoming trip report on Valley Forge Canyon.
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