I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

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I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby mattytreks » Mon May 16, 2016 1:33 pm

I've been doing Skyline/C2C so much the past several years that it's been nearly TWELVE years since I've done San Jacinto from either the Deer Springs and/or Humber Park Trailheads. Now is the time!

I'm wondering of the three routes below, which would be considered the "most scenic", if one can even be picked over the other three:

  • Humber Park to summit via Devil's Slide/PCT/Peak Trails (passes through Wellman Divide)
  • Deer Springs to summit via Deer Springs/PCT/Peak Trails (passes through Wellman Divide)
  • Deer Springs to summit via Deer Springs/PCT Trails (passes through Strawberry Junction/Little Round Valley)
And lastly, is there a use trail leading to the summit of Marion Mountain that leads off any of the trails that encompass it? As an alternative, could I simply follow the ridge from SanJ to access Jean Peak and subsequently Marion Mountain? I have no intention of weed-wacking and would only consider this if there's some semblance of a trail.

Thanks!
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Sose » Mon May 16, 2016 3:40 pm

I would vote for fuller ridge from black mountain
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby mattytreks » Mon May 16, 2016 6:24 pm

Sose wrote:I would vote for fuller ridge from black mountain

Thanks for the recommendation, but I've already summitted SanJ via Fuller Ridge Trailhead and via Marion Mountain Trailhead more recently.

I'm looking specifically for a recommendation from either Deer Springs Trailhead or Humber Park Trailhead 8)
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Ulysses » Tue May 17, 2016 7:03 am

I would recommend taking Deer Springs trail to the PCT, then through Little Round Valley to San Jacinto and descend via Wellman's Divide back to the PCT and Strawberry Cienega and back down Deer Springs. Makes a nice loop. Very scenic. There is a good use trail to Marion Mountain from a spot near Bed Spring.
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby mattytreks » Tue May 17, 2016 8:05 am

Ulysses wrote:I would recommend taking Deer Springs trail to the PCT, then through Little Round Valley to San Jacinto and descend via Wellman's Divide back to the PCT and Strawberry Cienega and back down Deer Springs. Makes a nice loop. Very scenic. There is a good use trail to Marion Mountain from a spot near Bed Spring.

Thank you very much. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for!

RE: the use trail, is it fairly obvious, or are there any special landmarks or cairn's I should look out for?
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue May 17, 2016 8:48 am

Ulysses wrote:I would recommend taking Deer Springs trail to the PCT, then through Little Round Valley to San Jacinto and descend via Wellman's Divide back to the PCT and Strawberry Cienega and back down Deer Springs. Makes a nice loop. Very scenic. There is a good use trail to Marion Mountain from a spot near Bed Spring.

Near Bed Springs? Do you mean Deer Springs? That doesn't make sense (to me) that someone would go so far north to get to a peak that is on the south side of the summit plateau.

I've not seen a followable use trail although you can definitely tell people have gone up from the Deer Springs area to Marion Mountain. I still consider it cross country even though it's fairly frequently done. There is a ridge about where the Marion Mountain Trail intersects the PCT. A lot of people just follow that ridge on up. There is manzanita and chinquapin up there, but I've always found a way to get through without much bushwhacking.

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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue May 17, 2016 9:03 am

Here's a map I put together some time ago. I don't claim to know everything, and Ulysses lives up there, so listen to what he says and don't take what I say as exhaustive. That said, here's the map:
http://caltopo.com/m/1J35

If you're coming up from the west, I think the easiest routes to follow (no trail mind you) are the "HJ" route and the ridge route. The "HJ" route is a route I scouted a few years back. It's one drainage south of the drainage that Deer Springs flows down. It's much easier than following up the Deer Springs drainage (steeper and more brush) which I've labeled the "Norris" route. The ridge route is also fairly easy to follow.

DO NOT (in my opinion) try the Middle Fork of Stone Creek. If you're coming from the Deer Springs Trailhead, it's tempting to cut up early to Marion, but there's brutal brush and major boulders. You've been warned.

The easiest route in terms of steepness is to go all the way to Owls Hooch campsite in LRV and then cut up over Drury Saddle into the summit plateau country. Then just contour along at about 10,100 feet until you get to the foot of Marion. Least amount of steepness, least amount of brush, but the greatest number of miles. I sometimes like to go up either the ridge or HJ routes and come down the Owls Hooch route. Makes a nice loop albeit a fair number of miles.

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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Ulysses » Tue May 17, 2016 5:08 pm

Hikin_Jim wrote: Near Bed Springs? Do you mean Deer Springs? That doesn't make sense (to me) that someone would go so far north to get to a peak that is on the south side of the summit plateau.

It seems to me like there is less bushwhacking going up from Bed Spring than at Deer Springs. It's steep, but direct, and after it levels out at the plateau it's a fairly easy walk south to Marion.
That plateau between Marion, Jean, and Newton Drury is incredible. So beautiful. Limber Pine and Lodgepole Pine. I wonder if they logged that area back in the day or if some of those trees are old growth specimens?
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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue May 17, 2016 10:11 pm

Ulysses wrote:It seems to me like there is less bushwhacking going up from Bed Spring than at Deer Springs. It's steep, but direct, and after it levels out at the plateau it's a fairly easy walk south to Marion.
Interesting. I'll have to try it some time.

Have you tried the "HJ" drainage (for lack of a better term)? It's really not bad. There's some brush near the top (manzanita and chinquapin), but I circled around to the east and never had to do any heavy bushwhacking. Something always seemed to open up.

Ulysses wrote:That plateau between Marion, Jean, and Newton Drury is incredible. So beautiful. Limber Pine and Lodgepole Pine. I wonder if they logged that area back in the day or if some of those trees are old growth specimens?
Absolutely. One of my favorite spots in S. California. I'm pretty sure that's old growth up there, but I could be wrong. It would be hard to extract the lumber from up there. Easiest route in is Drury Saddle, but getting it down from LRV wouldn't be any too easy.

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Re: I've Neglected Non-C2C/Skyline SanJ Trails - Help Needed

Postby pkirkham » Wed May 18, 2016 11:51 am

I'd agree with HJ on the x-c travel to Jean/Marion Pks. I did the DS/LRV/SJ Pk./Wellmans/Strawberry Cienega/Strawberry Junc./DS loop (as recommended by Ulysees) a couple of weeks ago and it's a great 'lollipop' route. Its almost 19 miles and I did it in 6.5 hrs. There are minimal snow sections on the upper DS trail but nothing major. However, I could see there were still large patches of snow left in the forested areas on the north-facing slope of Jean and Marion Pks. so plan accordingly. Have fun, may see you up there!
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