Updates to Trails of The Angeles 1998 edition

This page lists updates and typo corrections to the September 1998 Seventh edition of Trails of The Angeles. If you know of further corrections, or if you find any of these corrections in error, please email me your input, and I'll put them online with credit to you. This effort will help hikers to have more accurate and updated information, as well as allow Robinson and Wilderness Press to improve the next printing. Hikers with the 1990 Sixth edition should see Comparison of September 1998 edition of Trails of The Angeles to the January 1990 edition.

Nothing below is intended as criticism of Trails of The Angeles, since it is difficult if not impossible to hike 100 trails in the year or two before a guidebook must go to press. Thus it is entirely expected that the guidebook would be out of date for some trails even at the moment it appears, and increasingly out of date with time.

I list the typo corrections separately below.

Updates and Error Corrections

Trip or Chapter NameUpdate or Correction
--The San Gabriel MountainsRobinson wrote:
Rarely seen in the San Gabriels is the black bear; naturalists estimate that 150 are left, and the number is decreasing.
In actuality, the number of black bears is increasing, and is almost surely larger than 150 and perhaps as large as 500. See SGM: The Black Bear Numbers.
2Atmore Meadows to Gillette Mine, Bear Canyon


3Cienaga Public Campground to Pianobox, Fish Canyon Narrows, Rogers Camp, Lion Trail CampRoy Randall found that the approach using Warm Springs Canyon road was also closed on 4 July 1998, as well as requiring a 4 WD vehicle if it was open. He drove Templin Highway to where it is closed and hiked an extra 2.5 miles each way to Cienaga campground.

See also Russell Bell's report.

Russell Bell also found that the Burnt Peak Trail has been cleared as of 5/18/00 and is no longer "choked with brush in its lower portions and impassable".

5Placerita Canyon County Park to Walker Ranch Campground, Los Pinetos Spring, Los Pinetos Ridge, Firebreak Ridge, Manzanita MountainRoy Randall reports on 18 July 1998 that the Park is actually Placerita Canyon State Park, it doesn't open until 9 a.m. and it costs $3 to park there.
6Dillon Divide to Pacoima Canyon, Dutch Louie Flat, Dagger FlatRoy Randall reports on 19 July 1998 that the "road" in the bottom of Pacoima Canyon has nearly completely disappeared, making this trip much more difficult than described.
7Gold Creek to Oak Spring, Fascination SpringRoy Randall reports on 25 July 1998 that the trailhead is 0.7 miles up Gold Creek Road, not 1 mile.

Russell Bell reports in June 1999 that if you start at an alternate trailhead for this hike from the south in Ebey Canyon (spelled 'Eby' on the signs in the area), the gate at the beginning of the Ebey Canyon fire road has an improper 'private property, no trespassing' sign, which should be ignored. Also, although the topo shows a road from the junction to Fascination Spring, Russell found no trace of a road, just a trail, and so marked.

9aBig Tujunga to Tom Lucas Trail Camp, Big Cienaga, Mendenhall Fire Road, Yerba Buena TrailRussell Bell reports:
In June 1999, I found the Yerba Buena Trail sign still on Mendenhall Ridge road in June 1999 despite its use for target practice. The trail looks as though it has had some maintenance in the last twenty years: no washouts, no overgrowth. I found no water in Yerba Buena spring, in case somebody would expect to find water there. One gets the best view near this trail on Mt. McKinley. A switchback begins a little north of McKinley. One can easily descend the saddle between the trail then up to its peak for the view. Then one can claimed that s/he has climbed Mt. McKinley. I spent the night on the saddle (a nice flat place to camp) and went up for the sunrise.
11Big Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail Trail access may be closed. See Big Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail. The trail was significantly improved in late 1998, and Matt Maxon now regularly maintains it, so the trail is no longer "not regularly maintained".
13Angeles Crest Highway to Grizzly Flat and Vasquez Creek via Upper Dark Canyon TrailThe actual mileage and elevation gain is 4 - 4.5 miles roundtrip with 1100' elevation gain, not 5 miles roundtrip, 500' elevation gain. Brian Trudell reports that the trailhead is at mile marker 30.02, not Robinson's 30.2.
14Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Haines Canyon TrailRoy Randall reports on 22 August 1998 that if you proceed past the first gate on Haines Canyon Road you might get locked in as he did. Ed Johnson recommends that hikers park on the east shoulder of Haines Canyon Road, just below the last house.
16-18... Switzer Trail Camp ...John Chandler reports on 7/6/00 that all tables are removed and the pit toilet is gone from Switzer Trail Camp, leaving just three old forest service stoves as the only evidence of the Camp. John camped there anyway and reports that the falls were still beautiful, despite the lack of rain in the last two years. The ANF Supervisor's office simply said that this Trail Camp "was not ours", and hence they have "no responsibility" for it.
19Millard Canyon to Dawn MineRoy Randall reports on 12 September 1998 that Dawn Mine is south of where Grand Canyon meets Millard Canyon. My notes from 15 July 1996 show that Dawn Mine is 0.3 miles south of the Dawn Mine Trail intersection with the Millard Canyon Trail, near a true elevation of 2800', about 200' below the elevation of the Dawn Mine Trail.
22Mount Lowe Railway Self-Guided Tour - Sunset Ridge via old railway bed to Mount Lowe CampgroundRoy Randall reports on 13 September 1998 that the Mount Lowe Historical Society has placed signs and plaques at places of interest along the old railway bed, which show photos of the railway and its attendant buildings in their day, placed at the sites from which the early photos were taken. Robinson has updated this information for hike 23, but not in hike 22.
24Sam Merrill Trail - Altadena to Echo MountainIn Summer and Fall 1998, the trail has been redone through the washout sections so the trail is much safer. See Trail "Bulldozing" in the San Gabriel Mountains.
25Altadena to Rubio CanyonThe saga of Rubio Canyon and its falls has now become a continuing soap opera. Here's a brief history:

The trail was "closed" during the bulldozing and blasting Rubio Water activities in the Canyon during late 1998, including on 13 September 1998 when Roy Randall hiked the trail. The sign was gone by 4/5/99 when I hiked it. The "closed" sign was replaced by a warning about "unstable earth", with another sign at the location of the second waterfall. See Rubio Canyon: The Waterfalls, Water Rights and Rubio Water Association, and Recent Construction Activities for more info.

The trail is now officially open despite someone's attempts to close it. See The Waterfalls of Rubio Canyon for the latest information.

Note as well that trails are often "officially closed" only whenever the government thinks it might get sued by inexperienced hikers. I have hiked many trails that have been officially closed and have never found any problems worse than tricky spots. However, clearly you hike such trails at your own risk, and you should definitely use caution.

Both Roy and I had no trouble continuing upstream to the first waterfall without the 50' descent to the canyon bottom mentioned by Robinson. Just look for the trail continuation upstream, either by a steep 5' drop on a clear trail or by an only slightly-tricky navigation to the left of the boulder in front of you at that point, which joins that trail immediately past the boulder.

26Altadena to Henninger FlatsRobinson makes no mention of the parking restrictions that the residents of Pinecrest Drive have succeeded in obtaining, at the expense of hikers (see my diatribe against the tyranny of the privileged few at the expense of the public), or the closure times of the hiker entrance gate. Roy Randall reports on 27 September 1998 that parking on Pinecrest is limited to 2 hours weekdays and is forbidden on weekends. Fortunately, you can park a block or two farther from the trailhead on Crescent Drive or Bowring Drive. The hiker entrance gate to the Toll Road is open from sunrise to 8:30 pm during daylight savings time, 6:30 pm the rest of the year. It is a big improvement now that the closure time is given in times instead of "sunset".
28Altadena to Henninger Flats, Idlehour Trail to Eaton Canyon, Idlehour Trail Camp, Inspiration Point, Castle Canyon, Echo Mountain, back to AltadenaRobinson mentions the last fire being the September 1979 Pinecrest fire, but the last fire was the Fall 1993 fire that burned much of Eaton Canyon.
Roy Randall reports on 11 October 1998 that the Idlehour Trail "is not washed out and there is no boulder hopping as described in Robinson". I found the same thing in 1986.
29Red Box to San Gabriel Peak, Mt DisappointmentThe mileage is much longer than given by Robinson, 7 miles and 1400' vs. his 4 miles and 1200'. Roy Randall measured 6.6 miles and 1372' from "Topo!", and I measured close to 8 miles using the fireroad before the Trail was built.
33Eaton Saddle to Markham Saddle, Tom Sloan Saddle, Bear Canyon, Arroyo Seco, Switzer CampgroundThe trip is actually a one-way trip requiring a car shuttle, not the "round-trip" claimed by Robinson. See 16-18 above for info about Switzer Trail Camp.

Roy Randall reports on 11 November 1998 that the trail to Tom Sloan saddle is now marked and is in much better condition than Robinson reports. My poor memory indicates that the trail was reworked in the late 1980s.

34Mt. Wilson to Harvard-Wilson Saddle, Mt. HarvardMt. Harvard itself is now inaccessible. See Mt. Wilson to Harvard-Wilson Saddle, Mt. Harvard.
35Josephine Fire Road to Josephine PeakThe trip is actually 8 miles, not 6 miles. Roy Randall measured 7.7 miles using Topo!, Robert Immler reports 8.08 from his mountain bike odometer, and my pedometer also confirms 8 miles.
36Colby Canyon to Strawberry PeakThe Colby Canyon Trail was reworked by the JPL Trailbuilders in early 1996, and hence the trail is now "a well maintained and groomed pathway" (Roy Randall's words) instead of Robinson's "passable, although eroded in some spots and brushy in others".
41-47Chantry Flat to ...The Chantry Flat Road was closed to all traffic, including hikers and bicyclists, from 12/26/99 through 8/16/00 due to the Santa Anita II arson fire, and the subsequent undermining of the road by rain and mudslides. The Road was reopened temporarily on 8/17/00, but will be closed at the first sign of rain since $250,000 of major repairs to the road, its culverts and its debris basins are still needed. The road will be repaired permanently sometime in 2001. Hence make sure the road is open by calling (626) 574-5200 before you hike. See Chantry Flat for more information.

For trip 47, see 16-18 above for info about Switzer Trail Camp.

49Duarte to Fish Canyon, Fish Canyon FallsSee Guide to hike #48 Duarte to Fish Canyon, Fish Canyon Falls
58Chilao to Horse Flats, Mt. HillyerBe aware that if you use the option to drive to Horse Flats Campground to shorten the hike, that a day use fee for the Campground is required. The Adventure Pass won't do.
60Buckhorn to Mt. WatermanThe Buckhorn Ranger Station, said to be at the trailhead, burned down in 1980 and all structures have been removed. Just look for mile marker 58.0.
65Mt. Williamson from Angeles Crest HighwayRoy Randall reports that Robinson's mention of a higher knob to the northwest is incomplete, probably caused by the border of the topo map just north of Mt. Williamson. Although it is correct that the "bump 1/4 mile northwest is 30' higher and offers a better view of the Devils Punchbowl country", there is a yet higher bump a further 1/8 mile northwest that is yet another 4' higher that is on the neighboring topo map.

Roy reports that:

There is a cairn on the first bump, but the Sierra Club Hundred Peaks Section's summit log jar is on the second one. The third bump is a barren sandy knob.

The Hundred Peaks Section write-up for Mt. Williamson says the following:

The register has been moved back and forth repeatedly. Please keep it on the 8214' summit.
71-75SR39 TrailheadsThe "$3 parking fee in San Gabriel Canyon on the weekends" has now become the Adventure Pass.
74San Gabriel Wilderness: Highway 39 to Smith Saddle, Bear Creek, West Fork of San Gabriel RiverRoy Randall reports that on 11 July 1999 some sections of the switchbacks at the bottom of the trail descending from Smith Saddle to Bear Creek require some care to cross. Some slides and general erosion have taken out a few sections leaving only a narrow foot-bed on unstable scree and sand. It's not so much that one is in danger of falling as that IF one did fall it would be bad.

Roy found only a few difficult places in the section of boulder hopping and stream crossing between the upper and middle camp.

The trail below the middle camp, about where the northern end of the trail is shown on the Waterman Mtn. topo, has been recently worked and is in excellent condition. The trail was easy to follow even at stream crossings.

Unfortunately, Roy found the two lower camp sites full of trash.

76, 79Crystal Lake TrailheadsThe trip write-ups fail to mention the $5 day-use fee required to enter Crystal Lake. The Adventure Pass is not accepted at Crystal Lake in lieu of this fee.
87East Fork Ranger Station to Allison Gold MineThe "trail" is in worse condition even than implied by Robinson's comment "eroded and overgrown in spots". See recent trip reports.
90Cow Canyon Saddle to Sunset PeakSometime before 5/15/00, the owners of the private property at Cow Canyon Saddle posted a "Private Property - No Trespassing" sign at the gate for this trailhead. Although I don't believe that they can legally restrict access to a route used regularly by the public, the Forest Service recommends that hikers use a new unsigned trailhead near mile marker 7.78 that is 3.3 miles farther west on Glendora Ridge Road. (The new trailhead is 4.5 miles from the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center and 4.2 miles from Mt. Baldy Road.) The only identifying feature at the trailhead is a bear-proof trash can.

The trip using the new trail is 6.5 miles roundtrip using the brushy (as of 5/15/00) ridge trail, 6.9 miles roundtrip by also descending the ridgetop to the road junction to the south of the peak, 7.2 miles roundtrip using the ridge trail up but backtracking and then descending the winding fire road to the west of the peak, and 7.8 miles roundtrip using the winding fire road to the west both ways. All variations have an altitude gain and loss of 1400' (4400' to 5796'), and all are 0.5 miles longer than using the Cow Canyon Saddle Trailhead.

The private property boundary is just on the other side of the gate, so it is essentially only the trailhead itself that is on private property. There is now a steep shortcut that scrambles up to the other side of the Cow Canyon Saddle gate, which hikers have used to get around the gate and take the original hike, without violating that ungracious and possibly illegal "Private Property" sign.

For the original route, the mileage and altitude gain quoted by Robinson is incorrect. The correct altitude gain is 1273' (5796 - 4523'), not 1200'. Taking the fire road all the way to the top gives a mileage of 7.3 miles, not 5 miles. There is an error in his directions: the "left again at a second junction 1/2 mile farther" should be "stay on the fire road to your right", since the "left" would take you on the steep brushy ridge trail.

94Stockton Flat Public Campground to Baldy NotchThere are two gates on Lytle Creek Road that were only open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in November, 1999. The mileage from I-15 to Stockton Flat Public Campground is 15.3 miles, not 16.5 miles. See Stockton Flat - Baldy Notch Road.
95Baldy Notch to Thunder, Telegraph, Timber Mtns., Icehouse Saddle, Icehouse Canyon via Ski LiftA free permit is needed since this hike enters the Cucamonga Wilderness Area. The permit can be obtained from the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center.

The altitude gain is 2,100', not the 1,200' quoted by Robinson. The additional altitude gain by taking San Antonio Falls Road instead of the ski lift is 1,600', not the 1,500' quoted by Robinson. Finally, the reverse hike has an altitude gain of 4,700', not the 3,200' quoted by Robinson.
The mileage is also incorrect. The total mileage is 10 miles, not the quoted 8.5 miles.
See Links for hike 95 for more information.

100San Sevaine Flats to Cucamonga PeakCraig Cheetham reports that personnel at the Lytle Creek Ranger Station said that Forest Service Road 1N34 is locked for the fire season until 9/1/99.
-Loomis Ranch TrailThis trail is listed in Appendix II: Trails That Used To Be, p. 185. Robinson wrote:
Today Loomis Ranch is inaccessible to the public, and the old ranch trails up Alder Creek from Big Tujunga and down from Chilao are closed off.

Russell Bell found in 1998 that it is now possible to hike that trail:

I hiked the Alder Creek trail from Upper Big Tujunga road all the way to Loomis Ranch [in 1998]. I found it marked by the side of the road and a little south of Loomis Ranch as 'Alder Creek Trail'. The topo maps show the trail connecting to Roundtop & Granite Mtn road but I have not hiked it; the trail crosses ranch property. I plan to go to the top someday and try the descent bushwhacking around the ranch (or just barging through; downhill I could cross it in five minutes if I don't lose the trail.) The Alder Creek trail goes south of Upper Big Tujunga road, to peak 5239 then Barley Flats; I started up it and went about a mile before turning back because I had not the time for the whole trip. I intend to finish that sometime too. Loomis Ranch is on private land but it covers about 250 meters east-west, 1250 meters north-south. The trail crosses it east-west near the north end. I see no reason one cannot walk the good dirt road (3N18) (people must still drive on it, judging from the condition of the road and the non-decrepit state of some of the ranch buildings; the ranch having no other road access), all on NFS property, whence the Alder Creek trails crosses it, to Chilao Flat. I did not find it a particularly attractive hike.


Location of ErrorTypoCorrectionSource Of Correction
Trip 1, first sentence under Description, p. 24GermanGormanRussell Bell
Trip 3, first paragraph under Description, p. 28seversevereTJC
Trip 6, second paragraph under Description, p. 33Indians once visited the lower canyon to gather scornsIndians once visited the lower canyon to gather acornsKelly Smith, who writes I haven't confirmed this with any anthropologists but they were probably more interested in "acorns" than in being scorned. ;-)
Trip 17, second paragraph under Features, p. 51LitLizJane Strong. It was Liz in 1990 edition, and Liz twice in Trip 60 in 1998 edition.
Trip 26, second and fourth paragraph under Description, p. 67EatenEatonJoanie Matheson
Trip 38, first sentence under Description, p. 8515 miles14 milesTJC
Trip 77, last paragraph under Description, p. 144(The entire last paragraph)Delete last paragraph. This paragraph is a holdover from the previous incarnation of this hike, when trip 77 started at now-removed Pine Hollow Picnic Area, which is 1.5 miles east of Islip Saddle. (For example, in the 1976 3rd edition.)Jane Strong
Appendix II: Trails That Used To Be, Sierra Madre and Antelope Valley Toll Trail, first sentence, p. 186p. 116p. 96Russell Bell
Index p. 191Throe PointsThree PointsTJC
Map of hikes55aDelete text, since this trip shown on the map of hikes does not exist in the text.TJC
Legend for Map of hikesA trip number followed by "a" designates an alternative or additional route.Delete text, since there are no such trip numbers in the text anymore.TJC

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Updated 4 October 2004.