Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Hike 2015.073 -- Forsee Creek Trailhead to Johns Meadow
the Aspen Grove was burned in the Lake Fire last year, and the area is part of a huge closure order that stands until at least next summer.
This may actually prove good for the aspen grove, since conifers encroach upon its footprint. Depending on how the larger conifers weathered the fire, occasional clearing fires like this will let the aspen expand, or, at least, stop losing habitat to conifers.
Aspen actually do better after fires (unless the temperatures are too high), and recover quickly. They're a transitional species that needs those occasional disturbances (fires, avalanches, etc) to do well.
The Forsee Creek Trailhead is located off of West Jenks Lake Road. From CA-38, if coming from Redlands, it's just about six miles past Angelus Oaks. Jenks Lake Road is on your right. Almost as soon as you get on Jenks Lake Road, the dirt road to Forsee Creek trailhead is on your right. About 1/2 mile on a rough, rocky, but (on this day) passable dirt road ends at the trailhead.
"Your" trail goes west and west-southwest, along the northfacing side of the mountains. From there, you gain altitude and have nice views into the Santa Ana River drainage. Mount San Gorgonio is to your east-northeast. Slide Peak and Keller Peak, each in the high-7,000, are to your west-northwest.
After crossing the creek, there's a slight rise, to "Johns Meadow." It actually looked nothing like a meadow, to me. There were plenty of trees, and no rolling carpet of grass.
Having not been sure if I was there, I continued a bit. The trail crossed a second little creek shortly, then climbed, first slowly, then steeply, towards the San Bernadino Mountains ridge. Once assured that Johns Meadow was not ahead of me, I returned the way I came.
Because I went past the actual meadow (and also backtracked some when I thought I left my phone on the ground, I figure I covered well over six miles, so I'm calling it seven miles, though it might only be 6 1/2. Pleasant, shaded, cool. Nice hike, but no aspen.