Tag Archives: Things to do in San Bernardino County

Third Stream Crossing via Middle Fork Trail

SAN BERNARDINO NATIONAL FOREST

CUCAMONGA WILDERNESS

LYTLE CREEK

Activity: Day Hike, Chasing Waterfalls

6+ miles, 1,500’ elevation change, four hour duration, rated Hard

Date: 8-16-21

This is an outstanding outing in nature that has just what you are looking for when you are ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. It has grand alpine scenery with a rugged canyon, picturesque peaks, old growth stands of pine and cedar, a babbling brook and a hidden treasure being a three tier 80’ waterfall that is a little hide and go seek in nature.

The first part of the adventure is just getting to the trailhead. By the way, you will need an Adventure Pass for Parking or other suitable pass for the National Forest. There is about three miles of gravel road that sometimes is pretty torn up depending on when it was last worked on. Many people believe that you need a 4×4, but I would say a truck or SUV with descent clearance would do.

Once the trek is underway there is approximately a mile of switch backs to maneuver and the view gets better with every step. This portion of the trail can be steep with some portions that are rather narrow, dusty and rocky.

You will work up to a forested area with some magnificent trees which is much appreciated on a hot summer day. I would suggest an GPS Map App to follow as finding the actual hidden gem of a falls is not easy. It’s off to the left of the main trail at about the 2nd mile or so, across some dry creek beds, off trail, sort of bush whacking your way in hopes that you are going to find the correct finger heading up. I trusted my intuition while verifying my steps with the GPS Map App. This can be frustrating and not everyone finds their way. I soon was on the path, and when I say path it is not much of a path as you are soon doing some creek crossings, log walking, rock hoping, and scrambling along a glorious little stream. There are some little pools collecting along the way of clear cool water until you lay eyes on the main event a gorgeous 3 tier 80’ waterfall cascading down the rock face to a crystal clear reflecting pool. The water is cold even in the summer, but it feels so good after the hike up. Rejuvenation and relaxation is in order as you soak up this treasure’s bounty.

On my way back I made a bit of a loop dropping down off of the main trail to Stone House Camp a rocky area along a stream with wonderful deciduous shade trees for a reprieve of the afternoon heat. There is only a foundation of what must have been a small stone house and you could pitch some tents here, but it is not really a camp, but still it is a scenic and restful spot. From here you reconnect with the main trail once again making your way back to the trailhead.

Most people love this hike, but not all… some complain of bugs, not finding the falls, being worried of the narrow trail with big drop offs, and the condition of the road to the trailhead. Sounds like paradise and adventure all wrapped up in one ball know as attitude and perspective.

A waterfall needs to be seen in motion. Click here for PBTA YouTube Clip
“Grace is finding a waterfall when you were only looking for a stream.”- Vanessa Hunt

Thanks for joining me chasing waterfalls while ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. This time I really was chasing waterfalls as the last half mile push was off-trail, traipsing about hoping that I was somewhere in the vicinity of the falls. Thank goodness for GPS mapping or I would probably have turned around. I suppose that it is all part of the adventure of finding this hidden gem. The good part of the difficulty is this special spot has not been destroyed and trashed by graffiti as some of our Inland Empire Waterfalls have. Speaking of Adventure, for more profound outing in nature, with me as your host, please complete the following simple tasks: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you peruse the menu above you will discover that PBTA ventures to incredible spots all over the West. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Please stop by and purchase our top quality Adventure Wear at SHOP APPAREL, such as the shirt on my back. It not only looks great and carries the mantra, but helps support this endeavor.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Cucamonga Peak

CUCAMONGA WILDERNESS

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

13+ miles, 8,859’ elevation, 4308’ elevation gain, 8.5 hours, rated HARD

Date: 7-9-2021

Ice House Canyon to Cucamonga Peak Trail is a difficult hike through some of the most scenic territory in Southern California and will give you the impression that you are in the Sierras. This area is my favorite in SoCal because you have so many options. Ice House Canyon leads up to a saddle which branches off in different directions to multiple hikes that will wet your hiking palette. It is a gorgeous hike up a wonderful tree lined trail, along a flowing stream in view of mountain tops in close proximity.

Once at the saddle you head on up to Cucamonga Peak taking in the views of the neighboring mountains Timber Mt and the Three T’s, Bighorn Peak, Ontario Peak, Mt Baldy and farther off in the distance the other direction you can catch glimpses of Modjeska Peak/Saddleback Mt, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto.

I love to stop and talk to fellow hikers and learn about their adventure. Along the path I met a young woman, Vivian, who has summitted Cucamonga Peak 48 times! She was proposed to on Cucamonga Peak and as a matter of a fact she informed me that the following weekend she would be married there and in attendance will be hiking friends. How cool is that?  And she just got back from Mount Whitney. 

Along the way if you are observant you might spy an Old Abandon Gold Mine started in the boom of the 1860’s. Lytle Creek Mine starts out a small hole in the ground that you have to shimmy into on your hands and knees and then it opens up so you can stand. It has several passage ways ending in a mind shaft that goes straight down, so mind you step and bring a good light if you DARE to explore. This probably was not the best idea since I was alone with only a IPhone to light my way, but I wasn’t expecting an old creepy abandon mine to tempt me. I did alert my safety group that I was about to do something crazy. I have a group of friends that are hikers, follow any trekking adventure of mine with detailed info on the trip, where I would be, when I start, and when I plan to finish. If I am in cell service they can track me with an APP. If I am not in cell service, which many times I might not be except if on top of a mountain, then they will know my last location that I did have cell coverage. I spent 15 minutes or so spelunking, and then gave my safety group the all clear of the mine.

The trek up the mountain is not an easy one, and it is long, so it is not for those just starting to do some hiking even if you are tempted by the sounds of adventure, discovery, nature, with alluring mountain vistas that spill out before you to revamp and rejuvenate. In other words this is a first rate hike that certainly can fit the bill of ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Such an adventure can act as an equilibrium between the workaday world and it’s stresses and pitfalls – freeing ones soul in nature. But… you should be in good physical shape, carry plenty of water and snacks, equipped with good sturdy hiking footwear, and trekking poles are a good idea. (if you are doing this in Winter then that is a whole other ball of wax and I suggest reading about my first Winter trek in this area, in deep snow, Bighorn Peak and also Hiking in Snow.)

Once on top you will want to spin around belting out the theme to the ‘Sound of Music’. Take some time and hike around the top a little and take in the astounding views in every direction. Pose with the summit sign on the cliff overhang and just take a load off… if only for awhile.

I stopped and passed the time with this young women who was engaged atop Cucamonga Peak and would be married on the summit next weekend. How unique is that?!
British Young Women loving life on Cucamonga Peak
Cucamonga Peak 8,859’, Wikipedia has it at 8,862’ maybe that is if you stand on that rock in front of the ledge I am on, lol.

Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul.

The Tree was barking out commands to me. It suggested to me to be ”Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”.

Thanks for joining me on this exquisite journey to the top of one of the tallest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains, and certainly one of the most beautiful trips around. For more adventures be sure to do the following: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. The menu above will have many different locations in the West that PBTA travels to in the pursuit of finding balance in life through nature and adventures in it. You just might find yourself in need of this type of freedom. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. For the appropriate adventure wear for such a pursuit please click here: SHOP APPAREL where you will find top quality gear with the PBTA logo and mantra.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Pumpkin Rock Trail

Norco, California

“I have discovered the Great Pumpkin and it is me.”  

Activity: Day Hike

Date: October 16, 2019

2 Miles, elevation change 400’, 45 minutes, rated Moderate

Wow, what a unique hike.  My friend Adam, whom I sometimes hike with, surprised me with this hike.   All I knew was that we were hiking in the Inland Empire.  It turned out to be such a unique and fun hike, and by the way Tis’ the Season as they say.  What a spooktaculare adventure this would be to take your kids on especially right before Halloween.

So when I got my first glimpse of the Great Pumpkin, up on the hillside above the George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center in Norco, California, I thought how nice of the city to have a giant inflatable pumpkin for Halloween.  I pondered they must have a generator up there or something to keep it inflated.  As we got closer I saw that this was a giant painted boulder that was perfectly shaped to play the part of the Great Pumpkin.  If only Charlie Brown was here to see this, and then I realized he was.  Because all of us have a little Charlie Brown in us hoping that he will finally succeed in his “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” search for the Great Pumpkin.

This is a short hike and is great for kids.  Besides the fun of the Great Pumpkin there are a couple sights along the trail which I have nicknamed Jack Rock, and Scary Pumpkin Rock.  You do need to be prepared as temperatures in this area can be hot and there is not any shade.  Bring a hat and plenty of water to enjoy this Halloween spectacle.  Watch your step as there are places that are steep and the hard pack ground and rock is covered with dusty finely ground pebbles and footing can be slippery.

Now if you are looking for a little more of an adventure then you can do what I did as there are multiple trails running along the ridges.  I ended up hiking 5 miles and hitting several of the peaks, more than doubling the mileage and almost doubling the elevation change.  It is quite a workout doing it this way as a couple of these peaks go all the way down before going back up to the next one.  I would move the hike at that point from moderate to hard.  You always know that a hike is hard when your heels don’t touch in back.  There was even one section that was a down on all fours scramble.  I am not really into urban hikes, but this hike has nice views in every direction from the top of the ridge, and add the Great Pumpkin and you have an unusual yet satisfying hike.

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
Meditating with Jack

 

 

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
I am sitting on what I am nick naming Jack Rock.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is something about this adventure that spooked me.  I was climbing this hill on the way to the peak where you see the cross and the flag, when suddenly out of no where there was this loud buzzing sound from all around me.  A large bee swarm flew right over and to each side of me, followed by a flock of Big Black Ravens.  I was thinking is this some sort of sign?

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
The Red line on the map shows the Pumpkin Rock Trail.  The Blue dot shows my location on a trail along the ridges above adding to my adventure.

 

 

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
“I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one.” -Linus, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

Pumpkin Rock Trail Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Here are a couple of videos from my Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure YouTube site.


Thanks for joining me for this Halloween Trick or Treat to Pumpkin Rock.  If you enjoyed this episode of “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure” then please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

Happy Halloween!

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure