Deer Springs questions

General Palm Springs area.

Deer Springs questions

Postby steelcup » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:06 pm

Hello all, first post.

I saw some great information in the Marion Mountain trail questions thread but didn't want to hijack it.

On the topic of parking around Deer Springs, what do people generally do when they arrive late at night or early AM for an early start? Does the city park mentioned have gates that close? What about taking a "quick" nap while parked at the trailhead? Is that something that's frowned upon?

I was thinking I could just get a campsite but the prospect of rolling in around 11 and then getting up at 3 or 4 doesnt sound all that appealing. Neither does taking a nap in the car before starting but It couldn't hurt to know my options. I can't really decide whats better, leaving SD at 9pm and sleeping there until 4ish or leaving SD at 2am... Are
campsites even a viable weekend option for someone who likely can't get out of SD earlier than 8pm on a Friday?

Forest Service websites make it seem like backpacking permits need to be requested in advance but I swear I saw applications in the box at the ranger station...

Finally, I read theres a pit toilet at Strawberry Junction, but all I saw up there was a small plastic outhouse an armada of flies had built to live in. Did I not look around hard enough? Maybe the site I read meant Round Valley, but I was sort of hoping there was more to Strawberry Junction than the couple sites I saw...

Apologies if this info is available in other threads! My cursory search couldn't find anything.
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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:56 pm

If the park were closed, one could just park alongside the road.

It's pretty standard practice for backpacking permits to be either available in advance or in person at the ranger station. Backpacking permits are typically not self issue.
Day hike permits in contrast are frequently self issue.

I don't think there's anything more at Strawberry Camp than a porta-potty. If it's too gross, one could just go out in the woods. I don't mind potty structures if made out of natural materials that blend in with their surroundings, but those plastic porta-potties are an eyesore.

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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby steelcup » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:11 pm

Nah, I was hoping there was a section of Strawberry Junction that wasn't apparent. I only saw 3-4 'sites', so Inwas thinking I missed the secret turnoff with the luxury pit toilet and numerous campsites. If that's the whole spot, then that's the whole spot. :)

Even parked alongside the road, is sleeping in your car something that will get you hassled?
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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:04 pm

steelcup wrote:Nah, I was hoping there was a section of Strawberry Junction that wasn't apparent. I only saw 3-4 'sites', so Inwas thinking I missed the secret turnoff with the luxury pit toilet and numerous campsites. If that's the whole spot, then that's the whole spot. :)
You mean you missed the free open bar and the satellite TV giant screen with free all you can eat steak and lobster? :wink:

steelcup wrote:Even parked alongside the road, is sleeping in your car something that will get you hassled?
Dunno. Never tried it. I'd probably just do it and see what happens, but that's me.

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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby steelcup » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:12 pm

I'll just say Hikin' Jim said it was okay.
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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:39 pm

Perfect. Glad to help out.

Oh, and I can recommend a good bail bondsman if you, um, just happen to need one. ;)

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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby Ulysses » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:37 am

I don't think you'll have any problems sleeping in your car at Deer Springs trailhead or directly across the highway in the Idyllwild Nature Center parking lot. Probably quieter in the NC parking lot. One option would be to get a self-issue camping permit at the Forest Service office (SBNF) on Pine Crest in Idyllwild for the "North Rim" zone. If you go south on the PCT at Strawberry Junction you'll leave the State Wilderness and enter the San Jacinto Wilderness (SBNF) in about 1/2 mile and you can camp anywhere as long as it's the requisite distance from the trail and any streams. There are some nice spots in that area, just be cool and don't build a fire and pack out all your trash. You could also just get day hiking permits for however many days you'll be traveling. I've never seen anybody up there checking campers for permits.
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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby steelcup » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:39 am

Oh! Now we're talking. That's great to know.
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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:27 am

Ulysses wrote:just be cool and don't build a fire

Yeah, fires are a big concern these days. It's our 5th summer of drought in Southern California. :(

Of the three principle mountain ranges in Southern California:
1. We lost a big chunk of the San Gabriels to the 2009 Station Fire.
2. We lost some of the best hiking in the San Jacintos in the 2013 Mountain Fire (Tahquitz and Willow Creek drainages, Desert Divide, etc.).
3. We lost some of the best hiking in all of Southern California in the 2015 Lake Fire (lower South Fork of the Santa Ana River and Fish Creek were hit severely). :cry:

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Re: Deer Springs questions

Postby steelcup » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:00 am

Some areas up there are still closed due to the Mountain Fire right? Such a bummer.

How will I scare off the wolves though?

I'm kidding. I don't do fires or trash. Thanks for getting it out there, some people legitimately don't realize it's an issue.
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