T. Chester's Trip Reports For Dripping Springs Trail: 2001 - 2002 Season

1999 - 2000 season
2000 - 2001 season

19 December 2001
7 February 2002
8 March 2002

See Dripping Springs Trail for a general introduction to this trail. These comments relate only specifics appropriate to a given hike. All mileages below are referenced to the Detailed Trip Log.

Trip Reports

19 December 2001

Leona Rodreick, the USFS Wilderness Manager, left in August 2001 to take another Forest Service job. The Forest Service still hasn't even advertised to replace her as of now.

I was surprised to find that the campground still had some bugs. Fortunately, once I left the campground, the bugs disappeared.

According to Candy, the camp host, the Sierra Hotshots still have another season's worth of work to clear the upper part of the trail. I hiked to just before mile 5.0, and the trail was beautifully clear all the way. However, some of the chamise and other plants have become 1-2' high just from April to December 2001. In another couple of years, the regrowth will make the trail brushy again.

It was beautifully clear until mid-afternoon. I could easily see the entire panorama of the San Gabriel Mountains, from Cucamonga Peak on the east to Inspiration Point, Mt. Lowe, San Gabriel Peak and the Mt. Wilson ridge on the west. The closer ranges of the Santa Anas, San Bernardinos and San Jacintos were stunning, with snow on top of the San Bernardinos.

For the first time, I could clearly see the grasslands of the Santa Rosa Plateau to the west. Both the Mesa de Burro and the Mesa de Colorado were easily identified. I have tried for years to see them from other locations, but have usually been stymied by poor visibility and poor contrast with the higher peaks in back of them.

Since I haven't been used to hiking more than ten miles with significant elevation gain, it was a perfect time to do a plant survey along the trail. I recorded the location of the first occurrence of each of the species I found. This slowed me down enough so that I turned around at about mile 5.0.

Only wand chicory was blooming. No ropes of wild cucumber were visible, and the buds of hoaryleaf ceanothus were still small. Only ashy silk-tassel bush showed any promise of blooming soon.

The trail was amazingly clean of trash, despite a fairly large number of people who had signed in at the trailhead since the last time I was there. I only found enough trash to fill a third of a sandwich bag.

7 February 2002

Worked on the plant list for the first part of the trail.

8 March 2002

Again, worked on the plant list for the first part of the trail.

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Copyright © 2001-2 by Tom Chester.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 26 December 2002.