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So Cal Overnights

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So Cal Overnights

Postby Digforfire » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:48 pm

I live in San Diego and am looking for some fun overnight backpacking trips to do on the weekends. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby SCandy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:41 pm

Some ideas:
Anza borego
PCT . The San jacinto region. It's on my list to do as a section. Up San Jacinto and down and then up San Gorgonio and all the San Bernardino forest.
Other sections of deserty portions of pct might be cool , I'm thinking backside of Julian and beyond??
Up in the Lagunas for short overnighters?
Joshua tree
Catalina island?
I see the San Gabriels almost every day but don't know much about overnight options but there's lots to explore
One last socal: Los Padres forest out of santa Barbara region.

You have to rationalize the fact that most of this gets darn hot after May so we are sort of an off-season option. Especially the desert. Just my vague ideas. Sorry no specifics but lots to chew on since I have not spent overnights myself south of the Sierra and I have been here all my life. Kinda sad really.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby Digforfire » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:57 pm

Thanks for the input. I did most of Catalina last year and went back to finish off the final portion last month. Ive decided to do Bear Canyon in the Angeles forest in a couple weeks. Its nothing fancy but its something. I have a couple friends new to backpacking that did the final section of Catalina with me and now they are hooked. We have a trip planned to Sabrina Basin in early sept and want to get a couple short overnights in to tide us over until then.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby robow8 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:35 pm

Angeles Crest Highway, above Wrightwood. Park at Islip Saddle, cross the road, and hike the PCT 2 miles to Little Jimmy Campground. Pit toilets, tables, fire rings, and bear boxes. Year round spring near by. Can day hike to Mt. Islip and/or Mt Baden Powell. Baden Powell is a longer hike, but you can bag several other peaks along the way. One of my favorite areas in the San Gabriels.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby sparky » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:17 pm

You should be visiting the San Jacinto mountains. It is closer to you and quite scenic.

1. Devils Slide TH->Caramba->Devils Slide TH: this area suffered from a burn and may still be closed. If it is that is unfortunate because it has really great campsites, pools for swimming and waterfalls, as well as a nice view of the desert. Definitely my favorite destination in the area.

2. Fuller Ridge TH->San Jacinto Peak->Fuller Ridge TH: This is my favorite TH. Scenic views across the valley to the San Bernardino Mountains, then great views of the very scenic North Face of San Jacinto Peak for the first few miles. This TH does not see much traffic, as it is 45 min up a rough forest service road. The view from the peak is fantastic. Great campsites at little round valley.

The tram also is a great place for an overnight trip. We rode the last tram up once (9pm) and hiked under a full moon to the Round Valley campsites. It was quite a memorable experience.

You can do a loop that circles the peak that is accessible by all trailheads in the area, so there are many options. Tahquitz Peak is a scenic place, as are many areas in the San J wilderness. The range is sort of an island, surrounded by very deep valleys. With the exception of the San Bernardino Mountains, the San J's Tower over everything around. Ocean, desert, and city views can be had from many areas in the wilderness.

The PCT between the Tahquitz area to where it meets the 74 can get hot but is a beautiful walk on a ridge. Better in late spring when the weather is cool.

Just check on water sources before you go. There are several year round water sources up there as well, including a spigot at round valley.

Trails are steep and the lower elevations get hot out here afternoon. Fuller Ridge and the Tram are the highest TH
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby sparky » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:27 pm

And for Fall/Winter/Spring, the desert destinations are your best bet, with Joshua Tree being the most scenic, but Anza Borrego is really great too. Just expect to carry your own water year round at both of those places.

Spring opens up the mountains east of SD (I've never been there so cannot comment), and also The San Moteo wilderness. I have never seen another backpacker there, and it is fantastic in spring. Solitude is A+. The Santa Rosa's I have only been to once in Summer, but again I didn't see any other hikers while there. I imagine spring is quite wonderful there, and again A+ solitude.

I also backpack the southern Sierra foothills in spring. That might be farther than you want to go, but I think it's worth it. If you decide you are willing to go that far you might as well put death valley on your radar too. There are many many destinations in DV, which would be a thread in itself.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby Digforfire » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:10 am

robow8 wrote:Angeles Crest Highway, above Wrightwood. Park at Islip Saddle, cross the road, and hike the PCT 2 miles to Little Jimmy Campground. Pit toilets, tables, fire rings, and bear boxes. Year round spring near by. Can day hike to Mt. Islip and/or Mt Baden Powell. Baden Powell is a longer hike, but you can bag several other peaks along the way. One of my favorite areas in the San Gabriels.



I did Little Jimmy Camp last summer with my wife and had a great time. It was a bit crowded (100+ Boy Scouts) but we were able to find a spot away from most of the commotion.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby Digforfire » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:12 am

We definitely want to hit the San Jacinto range and Joshua tree, I just have a feeling we are going to have to wait until fall to do so because of the heat factor. Its good to know I have a lot of options tho! Thanks again!
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby robow8 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:56 pm

Digforfire wrote:I did Little Jimmy Camp last summer with my wife and had a great time. It was a bit crowded (100+ Boy Scouts) but we were able to find a spot away from most of the commotion.



Most places in the San Gabes get rather crowded on the weekends; especially Saturday nights. We usually go in on Friday and come out on Saturday. We were at Little Jimmy in February and had one other couple there.


Another option is on the frontside at Chantry Flats. Again, Saturdays and Sundays it is a MADHOUSE. But there are several options. Hoegee's Trail camp, Spruce Grove trail camp, over Newcomb Saddle to DeVore trail camp. Then you can hike up to Mt. Wilson and then back down to your car. This is a good late Fall/Winter/Early spring option as it is lower elevation/warmer and the poison oak isn't as prevalent.


Let me know if you want more info on Chantry.
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Re: So Cal Overnights

Postby Digforfire » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:22 pm

Im definitely interested in hearing more. Thx
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