Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Hike 2014.040 -- Mill Creek Canyon to Morton Peak Fire Lookout, San Bernardino National Forest
I came across this hike by accident. I was looking at my San Bernardino National Forest recreation map, looking for a hike I had done before. Came across the red line of a trail that I had NOT done before, instead. I googled the name of the peak, and came across several hits, which I read, and found promising.
Here's the Summit Post entry.
And here's Nobody Hikes in LA's entry. In terms of directions to the trailhead, this one is more accurate. I didn't not reset my odometer, but 2.3 miles from the Mill Creek ranger station to the turn for this trailhead is definitely a more correct distance than the "about 1.5 miles" on Summit Post.
As noted above, the trailhead is off of CA-38, about 2.3 miles past the Mill Creek ranger station. It's on the left, and it's the only road-looking left turn you'll come to once you're within the canyon.
BTW, you may note my trailhead picture no longer includes a red car. I traded in my Saturn L200 for a Toyota Prius. Not sure if I've mentioned that, yet. I'm not sure if this car will prove as well-traveled as my old car. Only time will tell.
Yet, there was also quite a big of clouds. Indeed, on my return leg, after noon, it looked like thunderclouds were building pretty strongly above the mountains to the north.
In the previous shot, however, I caught a cloud drifting behind San Bernardino Peak. I thought it made it look a little volcanic.
After about 1.25 mile, I came to another, open gate. I'm told that this gate is normally locked, unless there are firespotters up on the peak. A sign here pointed the way to the lookout, again.
The lookout is not too far off the ground, although the steps are narrow and steep, so, if you do walk up the actual lookout, be extremely careful, and use your hands.
On the drive back, I stopped in Mentone. There's a produce market / fruitstand thing in town that I often stop at. I bought some avocado, strawberries, and oranges. The avocado wasn't ripe, so I haven't eaten that. But the strawberry and oranges were both crazy-sweet.