It would be great to hear what trail conditions are on the trail from Bear Canyon to Sloan Saddle. I went up Bear Canyon from Switzer's this Spring. I got as far as the Trail Camp at the south end of Bear Canyon. It looked like the trail was in very bad shape from there up to Sloan Saddle. I didn't have time to explore it. I have been up the other side of Sloan Saddle from Millard Canyon last winter. That trail was in poor shape, but doable. Lots of washouts, blowdowns, and brush. I found leather gloves and treking poles helpful. (Maybe some clippers?) The trail is heavily used from Millard to Dawn Mine. The trail immediately above Dawn Mine is hard to find at first, but then goes well to the Grand Cyn. A large group of us went thru to Sloan Saddle and on toward Mt. Lowe in Feb.
I also explored the Gabrielino trail southbound from Switzer's last Spring. It is posted as closed at the turnoff to Bear Cyn. I went about a mile further. It was washed out and overgrown but passable. I think the worst part might be getting around the dam at Paul Little(?). I didn't like the idea of getting into trouble by myself on a posted closed trail. The FS might not see the humor of the situation.- Scott