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Suggestions??? Quick snowshoe/winter trips from So Cal
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Suggestions??? Quick snowshoe/winter trips from So Cal on 03/03/2009 21:02:48 MST Print View

Howdee folks,
Any ideas?
Option 1: San Jacinto??? Never been up in the winter. SOunds good because it's so close...
OPtion 2: Sequoia/Kings Canyon???

I'm really itching to go snow camping right now, looking for somewhere decent I can get to from the Los Angeles area after work on a Friday, sleep in the car if necessary, hike in the next morning, stay Sat. night and get home by Sun night. Got a quick trip that fits the bill?
Any ideas are welcome...

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
SoCal winter on 03/03/2009 22:18:20 MST Print View


You just missed some good opportunities, but this weekend may be good again as the temp is supposed to drop and storms are coming in.

Where? San Jacinto State Park. If you do not want to mess with winter travel and chains go to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and go up to Long Valley Ranger Station. Get a permit and map and have fun in the snow. Temps are going to be around 14 F this weekend.

You can get to the same area with more hiking (climbing) by taking one of many trailheads from the Idyllwild area. From Humber Park to Long Valley is 9 miles, lots of camping opportunities between and around.

Another quick fix that I do a lot is the San Gorgonio area. Going to the Vivian Creek or Momyer Creek Trail heads are usually chain-free.

Mt Baldy area has lots of snow too. It does not take much to be in it.

If you want to drive to the Sierra there is tons of snow. But for novice camping/hiking I would stick to the lower stuff close to good roads. The June Lake loop is nice in winter. (Or just a piece of it.)

Winter is a lot of fun. It is much cleaner than 3-season. And when you do it all winter you really love seeing warm weather hit. (Then at the end of fall you can’t wait for snow…)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: SoCal winter on 03/03/2009 22:29:13 MST Print View

I'm familiar with Jacinto, just not for winter camping. I figured the tram would be the fastest way to camp. I might go ahead and try it- I'll call and see what's up with permits/conditions tomorrow.

I've done the Baldy area in the winter many times...thought about it, but I'm looking for a new trip.

If I get lazy and end up not wanting to drive, I'll probably just do some climbing in the Baldy area for a day, maybe Timber Mtn, Ontario, or Cucamonga Peak, depending on conditions...


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SoCal winter on 03/04/2009 02:25:05 MST Print View

There is 4+ feet of snow in the area of the tram, so make sure you bring snowshoes! No snow is predicted for this weekend. But winds have been 20 - 40 mph lately and there will be gusty winds this weekend. Also it will be cloudy and you can never predict how it will be up there.

For those who don't want snow, this weekend will be the best of the year for wild flowers in the lower desert (i.e. Palm Springs south to Anza Borrego).

Here is a good one for you. Route up Snow Creek to top of San Jacinto. 10,000' escarpment. I did not take the picture, it is on

Snow Creek

We have gotten a fair share of snow in this neck of the woods this season. Here is a picture of the trail to Lost Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree in December (3,000' elevation ). It was cool. All entrances to the park were closed, so if you snowshoed in, you had the place to yourself.

Lost Palms Oasis Trail

Here is what the higher elevations in Anza Borrego looked like in mid December. This picture is about 2 miles from where I camped last weekend. If you look at the picture I posted of my poncho/tarp in the "Do I need trekking poles" thread, you can see how things have changed in a little over 2 months.

Above Butler Canyon

Live life in color!!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Angeles Crest Highway on 03/04/2009 15:59:07 MST Print View

There's a lot of snow above 6,000 ft. on Angeles Crest Highway. I ski at Mt. Waterman each weekend. You could hike in from any trailhead in the area. Just a 45 minute drive up the canyon from the entrance to the 2 Hwy.

How about Islip Saddle to Little Jimmy. About 2.2 miles to a camp with a spring. You could then hike up to Islip Summit the next day.

Edited by scottbentz on 03/04/2009 16:10:11 MST.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
RE: snowshoe/winter trips from So Ca on 03/05/2009 13:10:06 MST Print View

Hi Nick,

My grandparents live in 29 Palms (I graduated from there) and sent pics of the place buried in snow. I remember that happening during the 78/79 winter too.
I dreamed of doing the coulier route and skiing down it. It never happened…

I did make up a hike I called Snow Creek to the Peak when Dave wanted to do a harder day-hike than the Cactus to Clouds. We took the PCT to Little Round Valley then the peak and down to the tram. It was a BIG day.

Scott, can you get over to Islap right now? The road was out last time I was up there.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE: snowshoe/winter trips from So Ca on 03/05/2009 14:23:15 MST Print View

Yes, I remember the that big winter. I made my first shoeshow/backpacking trip. The Rangers didn't want to give me a permit, because they wanted no one back there. But I convinced them. I sure learned fast!!

I only went up Snow Creek once, years ago when I was younger. Went with a couple experienced climbers. I really don't have enough experience or inclination for climbing, I stick to what works, which is I just like to hike.

The Cactus to Cloud is getting pretty crowded now a days. But even with the high traffic in Mt San Jac area, it is possible to find solitude.

Take, care.