Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cedar Spring Trail, Garner Valley


This afternoon I left the desert and went on one of my favorite little hikes to Cedar Springs. It leaves Garner Valley and climbs up over the Desert Divide to a little spring high in the San Jacinto Mountains.

You start toward the end of Morris Ranch Road and are quickly met by several signs. I think it's obvious that the Oak Grove Trail is closed to the general public.

This gate leads to the Cedar Springs Trail and is the first of four you pass through.

Blah, blah, blah

It's nice that the landowners allows people to cross their property.

This sign is new. I don't think it is really necessary but putting it here gave someone a job and we need more of those these days.

Another new sign and this one is en EspaƱol.

Yet more signage. Since I didn't start hiking until after 4:30 I think I'll limit my adventure to going to Cedar Springs. Since the Toll Gate closes at 5:00 I don't think I'll make it there in time.

Another of the gates. Cattle have been known to roam these hills so it's important to close all these gates when passing through them.

There's a picnic table here for the unadventurous hiker. It is only about twenty minutes from the trailhead to get here.

Only adventurous hikers should proceed beyond this point. I have a water bottle and a camera so I'm prepared.

They have another mileage sign because the one I came to 1/2 mile back probably wasn't enough.

At the top of the trail, you cross the Pacific Crest Trail and we have yet another sign. This one has seen its better days, though. The wind up here has beaten it up a bit.

The view from up here is fantastic with the Coachella Valley thousands of feet below.

After a quick mile of downhill, you come to Cedar Springs.

It is a different world from the surrounding chaparral and oak woodland. It's more like a forest here.

It is also a popular campsite.

It has running water.

Although I don't think they have to worry about people washing in this basin.

Or this one.

Near the campground is one of my favorite lunch spots in the San Jacintos. The view is amazing.

And with four bedrock mortars like this one, it's obvious that I am not the first to enjoy this view during a lunch or dinner break.

Cedar Springs is a great little excursion for an afternoon or overnight trip. I ran into a Pacific Crest Trail hiker on his way to Canada who stopped for some water and to enjoy the serenity of the area. It is easily one of the nicest water stops in Southern California and a fun little day hike.


darlene said...

i'm surprised you just saw the one pct thru hiker! now is the time when the majority are passing through our area. did you ask him when he left from campo?

Hal Summers said...

I wasn't on the PCT but only on the Cedar Springs Trail so there was only a small chance to see a PCT hiker there. I didn't really talk to him that much as he was trying to get a little further up the trail to camp.

I did, however, see a HUGE gathering of hikers at the PCT junction with Hwy 74. I'm assuming some support team members were meeting through hikers. They had an awning, chairs and coolers so a big gathering. I didn't stop since I was short on time.

Hikin' Jim said...

Thanks for the report, Hal.