Monday, February 17, 2014
Hike 2014.009 -- Bonita Falls, San Bernardino National Forest
I hiked here once before, at the end of 2011. Been thinking about stopping here on the way from a Las Vegas run one of these days. Finally did it this weekend.
Bonita Falls is a dramatic, beautiful waterfall. It's also highly accessible--a short 2 mile roundtrip after a short, ten minute drive from I-15.
That accessibility is a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately, a lot stupid people with no appreciation for nature or consideration for anyone other than themselves have spray painted rocks, logs, and cliffs with a wide variety of stupidity.
Interestingly, some descriptions of this hike describe two "treacherous" stream crossings on this hike. In real-life, there's no need to make any significant stream crossings. Cross Lytle Creek at the bridge that heads into Green Mountain Ranch. (BTW, they apparently are a destination for mountainesque weddings). Don't actually enter Green Mountain Ranch, especially with your car. Instead, after crossing the bridge, bear right at the boundary fence, and stay outside the private inholding.
At the first reasonable trail on your left (about 1/2 after turning up the canyon), head up the incline. It's no more than 1/4 mile up the canyon to Bonita Falls. Most of the time, there's no water coming out of this canyon. It all seems below ground higher up the hill, and makes its way underground to Lytle Creek. No stream crossings are usually required to get to this waterfall, at least not until you're basically at the falls.
And it certainly is a big falls. For some perspective, note that the second picture on this post is a crop of the first picture. It's made larger so you can see the guy standing up near the edge of the falls. He's barely visible in the full-frame version.
Less than two miles for the day. Short hike, but a nice interruption to the long drive across the Mojave.