Explore the north-side of Alder Creek Trail

Alder Creek Trail connects Barley Flats (at the south end) to Loomis Ranch (on the north), both of which are private property. This trail is neatly bisected by paved Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, which provides convenient access to our trailhead.

Loomis Ranch is the penultimate private land acquisition in the Angeles Forest, and long ago housed a hiker-friendly lodge. The new owners, unrelated to the Loomis family, prefer privacy and have not agreed to allow access (I had originally hoped to tour this historic site, but that's how it goes...)

According to the people I contacted about it, the trail was maintained shortly before the station fire. It looks ok on google's satellite view. I believe the forest service has now given up on it. I have never hiked it - this trip should be regarded as "exploratory", but I'm optimistic.

If you attend the Pacifico Mtn trip the day before, you will get excellent top-down views of Loomis Ranch and the Alder Creek area. That is the impetus for this hike.

stats: 9 miles, 1200' gain on probably fair/ok trail. It's a 45 minute drive from Sport Chalet to the trailhead. rain cancels.

map: http://daveb.decreation.com/anf--n-alder-creek-tr.png or you might like an interactive map: http://bit.ly/14lNnPc

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  • Leland

    So a "HAY" turns out to be a Helicopter Assembly Yard - associated with the power line construction. See for example http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info/aspen/antelopepardee/reports/apreport235-237.pdf

    1 · March 11, 2013

    • Dave B.

      great link! i don't like the power line but i appreciate the transparency of their planning.

      March 11, 2013

  • Leland

    Apparently they can build a whole tower at an assembly yard, then helicopter it to the installation site and just attach it to the foundation. More efficient and reduces environmental impact at the installation site.

    March 11, 2013

  • Dave B.

    anyways, here's a historical loomis ranch reference: http://www.loomisranch.org/index.html

    March 10, 2013

  • Dave B.

    well, the trail kinda sucks, and it's not really even all that scenic, and i got a ticket. so i give my own hike 4 stars.

    March 10, 2013

  • Dave B.

    Trip writeup (cont): we descended through gusts of wind to the canyon; I had expected the trail from here to be poor - but actually it is pretty well-marked. The trail had been rerouted at the request of the loomis ranch denizens to avoid their property -- to achieve that, it undulates steeply through rocky, brushy terrain, but it's also pretty well-marked and easy to follow. We got many nice views of Loomis Ranch. Eventually the trail hits the Loomis Ranch Spur Road which has a sign clearly stating "Trail".

    The return wasn't hugely memorable - the combination of knowing the trail and primarily descending made for quick going.

    And now the bad news: when we returned to the car, I had a ticket for $150 for entering the station fire recovery area. Fair enough, really, but I also didn't think that you'd get a ticket for that w/o actually being caught in the act. So, in conclusion, if you want to visit this area, wait for it to open, or start at Chilao.

    March 10, 2013

  • Dave B.

    Trip writeup: we drove my car to a little parking area near an ancient gate at the 4.00 mile mark on Upper Big Tujunga Rd (south side). We parked 30' from the pavement, as regulations seemed to require. (This proved insufficient though, see below). We walked over the large tunnel that let's Alder Creek pass under the road. Perhaps 15' past the sign indicating Alder Creek is the very indistinct Alder Creek Trailhead.

    We began going north. The trail is overgrown and the hardest part to locate is immediately after it crosses alder creek - it is in a rocky area and the trail can be a little hard to see. Shortly, though, it becomes quite nice to follow.

    Then it abruptly ends where So Cal Edison has plow a road through it. The trail resumes at the end of the road, making a sharp left and contouring around the base of a powerline tower. The trail contours around many canyons - sometimes on sandy scree that is badly eroded. Finally, we found ourselves at a gap, the high point.

    March 10, 2013

  • Scott

    Dave -- I am not picky as to where I go hiking tomorrow. I am no stranger to overgrown trails so if you decide to go, I'm up for it, otherwise I'll just go hike someplace else perhaps just start from the JPL parking lot and go up the Arroyo, or over to Fern Truck Trail/Brown Mountain Road.

    March 9, 2013

    • Dave B.

      Now that's what I like to hear! I'll see you tomorrow morning!

      March 9, 2013

    • Leland

      I was hoping to see Alder Creek, since I haven't hiked in that area. But I'll met you guys at the Sport Chalet and we can decide what to do.

      March 9, 2013

  • Dave B.

    I learned a few things today. This area is (still) in the station fire recovery area and is closed; this is somewhat ironic, since the area was not actually burnt. There is, however, legal parking (30' from pavement) near the "trailhead". The trailhead markers have been taken down. The trail is not easy to follow, and is overgrown. Alder Creek is really scenic. Taken together, I'm torn as to whether to cancel this thing. thoughts?

    March 9, 2013

  • Leland

    Don't forget - this is the weekend we set our clocks ahead and lose an hour of sleep. Don't be an hour late to the hike!

    March 6, 2013

  • Leland

    If I'm not too wiped out from a hike I'm doing the day before.

    March 4, 2013

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