87-1 East Fork Ranger Station to Bonita Peak

Participants: Craig Cheetham and Tom Chester
Date: 10 December 1998 (Written up 20 December 1998)

Overview: This hike gives great views of the San Gabriel Mountain High Country without being very strenuous and without being at high altitude.

Trail condition: Excellent shape up to saddle at 3,042'. Above there the trail is vanishing in places, with the "flat part" of the trail gone. Those parts are a bit tricky and dangerous if you are not paying attention. There is much brush in the trail - I was glad I was wearing long pants, which I infrequently do. Many untrimmed yuccas are growing on the trail or right beside the trail.

Snow patches began to appear at 3,000', just below the saddle, even though the snow level was clearly at about 8,000'.

Plants in bloom: A few redberries.

Weather: Beautiful weather - although the winds had been blowing, and it was windy at the parking lot, this part of the trail was calm. The temperature was 64° at noon at 2,700', much warmer than it had been recently.

Bugs: None.

Number of ticks: None.

Number of rattlesnakes: None. One little non-rattlesnake at ~2,800'.

Other pests: None.

Explanation of columns for all trip logs

00.0011:18 1700East Fork Ranger Station. True altitude is about 2000', so my readings are about 300' too low, due to extreme high pressure we are having. This high pressure nearly matched the all-time high in San Diego.
10.4511:28 1600Jct. Heaton Flat Trail. Although the trail appears to go both left, paralleling the road, and right, the trail goes right.
21.6512:12 2550Little non-rattlesnake.
31.7512:1912:352700Saddle with great view. 64°. Sugarloaf Mountain is majestic right in front, with Sunset Peak and Glendora Ridge Road below it.
42.401:02 3250Ridge.
53.001:341:553800Bonita Peak (3983'), with even better views from here. Starting from the north, you can see Iron Mountain, Baldy, Lookout Peak, Sugarloaf, and Sunset Peak. To the southwest you can see the ocean, Catalina, Mt. Bliss, Monrovia Peak, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Wilson, Mt. Markham, San Gabriel Peak, and Strawberry Peak. To the northwest Rattlesnake Peak is prominent, with South Mt. Hawkins, Mt. Hawkins, Throop Peak, Mt. Burnham, and the ridge of Mt. Baden-Powell. There is a stealth (pre-attack marker?) in a bush at the ridge. We walked on several patches of snow on the trail to get here.
63.452:102:393800Turnaround just east of Bonita Peak, after crossing saddle and regaining a similar elevation.
75.003:13 2950Saddle
85.253:33 2800=#3
96.704:11 1700=#1
107.104:23 1750Car.

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Copyright © 1998 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 20 December 1998.